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At Ming Kee: 2002 Pichon Lalande, 2001 Lynch-Bages, 2004 Inniskillin Ruby Reserve

November 8, 2010

It’s amazing how fast time passes, as we found ourselves back at Ming Kee Live Seafood again on 29 Oct 2010 for a combined Wards 25/48/49 dinner. This time, John had volunteered to hunt for a very decent Pauillac, so some effort was made to do a white Burgundy/red Bordeaux lineup for the senior table.

We began with a 2007 Maison Kerlann Macon Uchizy village (courtesy of LW) to go with the restaurant’s signature beehoon crab and mussels. Pale and rather flat after the initial pour, displaying a light touch of delicate citrus, thin on the palate but acerbic and sharp at the finish. It corrected itself after some time in the glass – developing more body, becoming smoother at the finish, although it was still lacking in intensity and concentration. Expectations were a lot higher for the 2004 Domaine Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Morgeot” (courtesy of PS) and it did not disappoint. Displaying a stronger hue of lemon-green, this wine was much broader on the nose with a richer and more expansive mid-body, developing a creamy texture with time and an attractive layer of smoky minerality in the middle, rather complex, finishing with a touch of grapefruit and pomelo. Very fine, but I fancy a couple of bottles I had two years ago during Christmas was a bit more complete.

The pair of Pauillac reds that followed cannot really be compared side-by-side, as they differ significantly in terroir and vintage. Nevertheless, they provided great drinking pleasure. The 2002 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, rather dark red for the vintage, was remarkably full on the palate although the Pauillac nose only came through much later. Smooth, rounded and gentle, drinking well, just lacking in real density and depth, although it managed to put on weight as well as some biting intensity with time. My best experience with this wine, definitely much better than samples tasted in May 2009 (SMA Annual Dinner) and May 2010 (at Moomba with the Residents). In contrast, the 2001 Ch Lynch-Bages (thanks to John sourcing for this wine specially for this dinner) had a more evolved hue of crimson, and was a lot more open on the nose compared to the Lalande, the classic Pauillac notes coming through readily. The vintage’s superiority is readily apparent, displaying far greater grip on the palate, greater fullness, depth and complexity without any greeness or tendency towards toughness that is becoming associated with latter-day Lynch-Bages. Very, very attractive. Beginning to loosen up somewhat, but it’d be prudent to let it sleep for another 5 years, if you’re patient enough.

Finally, I popped a rarity – a 2004 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Ruby Reserve ice wine that I remembered buying for SGD213 from Changi Airport’s duty-free a few years back. The fashion nowadays amongst connoiseurs is to dismiss such Canadian offerings, but those were the days when I hadn’t quite learnt about German eiswein. True enough, it is ruby red, though not quite penetrating, but certainly its aromatics are quite persuasive – generously rose-scented, very fragrant, plenty of peaches and dried red fruits reminiscent of sancha, not at all heavy or cloying. I actually enjoyed it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joel permalink
    March 3, 2012 23:20


    I find your website very enjoyable to read. Best regards from Toronto, Canada.

    • Ric permalink*
      March 4, 2012 11:42

      Joel, thanks for visiting! Let me know if you are planning to drop by Singapore and we’ll do an offline wine and dine. Happy drinking! Ric.

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