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Monster tasting at The American Club

September 10, 2010

The American Club in Singapore, yet again, organised a massive tasting on 4th Sept 2010 where a good number of retailers and importers were present to showcase their wines, coupled with a super-sumptious buffet spread that’s absolutely irresistible. It was a great time to catch up with Liong, Robin Soh, Boon (from Wein & Vin, proudly espousing the virtues of Pierre Peters, Guy Charlemagne, Donnhoff and Kesselstatt), Jo Hung, and others in the F&B industry, not to mention the galore of tits and asses that filled the Presidential Room, including this leggy and knowledgable babe that Rev Distribution Network never fails to provide. And so, here are the 33 wines that tested my palate…

The Whites: Baron de Rothschild Brut NV (very good weight and concentration for a NV champagne without being too dry, but lacking in secondary toasty notes); Guy Charlemagne Rose NV (very lovely tint, bit shy on the nose, good body, rounded and smooth, perfect for summer); 2002 Guy Charlemagne Rose Cuvee Mesnillesime Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (toasty, roasted nuts, yeast, fairly deep at this stage, rounded and not too dry, needs plenty of time for development…very good but not exactly a bargain at SGD165); Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (lightly rose-scented with a bit of sweetness coming through, a tad drier than the Guy Charlemagne Rose NV); 2008 Vigneti Le Monde pinot grigio (rather leafy, could do with more fruit); 2007 Malat Gruner Veltiner Suse Reserve troknbeerenauslese (lovely mix of honey, nectarine and apricot with understated sweetness, a superb drop, only bettered by the 1989 Kesselstatt beerenauslese [below]); 2007 Dog Point Section 94 sauvignon blanc (very different from the 2006, more nutty with coconut and caramel flavours that seem to add an extra dimension, less overt minerality with the acidty reined in…a bargain at SGD42…we bought a case); 2006 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis “Valmur” Grand Cru (attractively priced at SGD67, but it seemed to lack concentration and character compared to the same bottle I had at Absinthe in July 2010); 2005 Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Les Folatieres” (again lacking in the distinctive minerality of this famous terroir, rather soulless and dull…I’d expected more from this negociant winehouse); 2008 Donnhoff Tonschiefer riesling trocken (dry German riesling supported by excellent minerality and acidity); 2007 Donnhoff Hermannshohle GG (another dry German riesling, similar to the Tonschiefer but even better, showing perfect balance between the rich minerality and crisp acidity…not for ladies…costs almost thrice as much); 2007 Wittmann Westhofener riesling trocken “S” (dry German riesling made biodynamically…has a very clean feel with excellent purity); 2007 Kesselstatt Josephshofer riesling auslese Gold Cap #6 (very understated for an auslese...has it shut down?); 2001 Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger riesling eiswein (ooohhh…apricot, peaches, aged honey, richly layered…wonderful, if you’re prepared to pay SGD200 [375 ml]); 1989 Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger riesling beerenauslese (similar to the eiswein, showing more of the distilled essence with a burnished tone…SGD280 [375 ml]).

The Reds: 2005 Mount Mary pinot noir (lovely pinot hue, quite correct on the nose but unfortunately doesn’t quite deliver on the palate, lacking in depth and layering, to nondescript); 2005 Mount Mary Quintet (deep red, showing excellent weight, concentration and balance with a long finish, offered at a great price of only SGD119…easily the best red of the evening); 2004 Sergio Alighieri Vaio Amarne Valpolicella Classico (very deep red, full-bodied, luscious, threatens to coat one’s palate, doesn’t suit my preference but I can imagine others will like it); 2007 Rockford Rifle Range cabernet sauvignon (very deep red, predictably full-bodied and rich with the warm Barossa character quite apparent); 2007 Vina Almaviva “Epu” (second wine of Vina Almaviva, clear red, medium-bodied, of blueberries and jam); 2006 Shafer One Point Five cabernet sauvignon (from the Stags Leap district, very dark red with an attractive mixture of sweet plums and concentrated dark berries without being jammy); 2006 Charles Melton Nine Popes (weighty, dense with a medicinal lift); 1987 Penfolds Grange (decanted for some time, I managed to pour myself a good dollop from a tiny bit that was remaining without the ang moh proprietor even realising…exuberant and open on the nose, still very concentrated and rich on the palate, structured, just beginning to develop layering and depth…an excellent wine but not distinctive enough if tasted blind, and certainly not worth SGD576); 2005 Cesare Pavese Barolo DOCG (pleasant, but lacking in weight and plumminess); 2006 Cesare Pavese Barbaresco DOCG (beautiful ruby red, showing real quality fruit, has superb concentration, intensity and sophisticated tannins to last in the cellar…superb value at SGD63…we bought half a case); 2007 Gibbston Highgate pinot noir (correct pinot hue, but it is too nondescript, lacking in verve, as if the winemaker was afraid of making a mistake, falling apart as it traversed the palate); 2007 Vynfields Reserve pinot noir (beautiful pinot color with a bold lovely bouquet that promised so much but failed to carry through on the palate, being too one-dimensional); 2006 Au Bon Climat Sanford and Benedict pinot noir (too brazen, I’m afraid…pinot is one damn fussy berry); 2006 Peter Michael Les Esprit de Pavots (rounded, grippy, quite harmonious even at this stage, excellent stuff but pricey at SGD139); De Stefani 1624 Marzimino (an Italian red, seemingly NV, big wine, velvety with luscious fruit, almost unctuous…not my preference); 2001 Ch Cos D’Estournel (tasted this fairly early in the evening, dark red, quite harmonious and seamless, but this is not the setting to appreciate subtleties of a fine Second Growth, overwhelmed by the big reds, overpriced at SGD199); 2006 Ch Malescot St Exupery (more forward than usual for a Margaux, very good fruit concentration but yet to develop the characteristics of its terroir); 2000 Ch L’Arrosee (soft, developing very lovely secondary flavours, fragrant, not exactly a bargain at SGD109).

Well, I didn’t throw up, even after gorging on all that seafood and an entire plate of chunky black pepper beef cubes. As long as The American Club keeps organising this, I’ll be back.

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