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Notes in brief (September 2010): 1998 E&E Black Pepper, 2005 La Dominique…

September 30, 2010

Verve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut NV, a bottle shared with the wifey at The Pump Room, Clarke Quay, on 8 Sep 2010. Toasty, nutty with notes of biscuits and malt with lots of vibrant acidity, very citrusy, almost sharp but not too excessively dry. A considerable “bargain” at SGD99++ for Wednesday Ladies’ Nite.

1998 Barossa Valley Estate E & E Black Pepper Shiraz, over dinner at Imperial Treasure Superduck, Paragon. Popped and poured. Still displaying a very deep garnet red in spite of its 12 years, exuding an intense bouquet of wonderfully ripe red and dark berries, highly complex with notes of soy, cinnamon and cassis with broad swathes of intoxicating sweetness, aided by a mild herbal, medicinal lift that adds an extra dimension to its depth and layering, without any trace of the 14% alcohol. Full-bodied yet velvety and easy on the palate, proving to be even more pleasurable than my previous experience of it (see May 2009). This can stand up to a Rockford Basket Press anytime. Superb.

2006 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Boudriotte” 1er Cru, over lunch with the wifey at Imperial Treasure T3. One of the more affordable whites from Ramonet. Pale lemon grass in color, showing fairly intense chalky minerality initially but it seemed rather muted on the palate, dominated by green leafy characters, ending on a slightly austere note, perhaps as a result of it being served too cold, reminding me of the house style of Louis Latour. After an hour, however, as the temperature settled, it shed its greeness, becoming fuller and developing greater minerality and intensity, topped with a mild creamy coat, yet remaining remarkably smooth and well delineated. Went well with the excellent dimsum and truffle-meepok.

2004 Chapel Hill cabernet sauvignon, from a case bought from Ponti Wine Cellars for only SGD28 per bottle, drunk at a happy hour for Residents and house staff. Popped and poured from the Stelvin closure. Dark red with a bit of browning at the rim. Surprisingly open on the nose with a fleshy body exuding notes of cassis, blackberries, licorice and plums with just a hint of sweetness, showing excellent concentration and depth of body, every bit fresh and delicious. Superb value.

2005 Ch La Dominique, decanted for 4 hours and drunk at a happy hour for Residents and house staff. Deep garnet red, quite open on the nose, loaded with cassis and glorious ripe fruit with lovely lifted aromas of raspberries and blueberries within a medium-full body wrapped in finely-grained silky tannins, rich in earthy minerality. Very good indeed from an under-rated estate but I suggest it shouldn’t be touched for another 5 years, at least.

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