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Notes in brief (January 2011): 2001 Sociando-Mallet, 2004 Monbousquet

February 1, 2011

2004 Ch Belle-Vue (courtesy of Dr CJ Ooi), at Xin Cuisine on 6 Jan 2011. This used to be one of my favourite restaurants, and it’s good to see that its wine service is impeccable. Popped and poured. I’ve not heard of this estate and the simple label didn’t appear promising, but to my surprise, the bouquet was fairly deep right off the blocks, with loads of mulberries and dark cherries and that bit of forest floor character that’s unmistakably Medoc. Just a tad thin on the mid-palate initially, but this corrected nicely as the wine gained weight rapidly, fleshing out with a fair degree of complexity amidst notes of plum, graphite and intense minerality, rounded at the edges, drinking well. Very good.

2001 Ch Sociando-Mallet, my second bottle in as many weeks, but this bottle (only SGD79!!) came from a fresh supply collected from Crystal Wines, drunk concurrently with the 2004 Ch Belle-Vue above. Popped and poured. Noticeably darker, deeper, weightier and more complex than the Belle-Vue. There’s plenty of dark berries and intense minerality on the nose, but the wine was initially very smooth and seamless on the palate, drinking like a mature Bordeaux. Its true colors emerged after 20 minutes – revealing superb concentration and depth that held rich layers of fruit amidst emerging secondary notes of dark chocolate, toffee and minerals framed by velvety tannins that puts this wine firmly within the classified growths. Long-flavoured, not quite the epitome of elegance and finesse yet, although there’s no doubt it is headed there. I daresay it sits comfortably within Deuxieme Cru at this stage. Will it knock on the doors of Premier Cru in 2020?  I suggest you snap up as many as you can.

2005 Les Hauts de Smith, at Imperial Treasure T3. Still drinking through a half-case purchased back in 2009. Compared to previous tastings, this wine has become more seamless and integrated with an easy grip on the palate, the minerality more recessed into the background. Elegant, if not exactly exciting. I maintain that this is an excellent second wine, provided the price is right.

2006 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits Saint-Georges La Charmotte, over dinner at Moomba, 15 Jan, with the family. For reasons unclear, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. Popped and poured, showing a rather heavy pinot tint, laden on the nose with notes of red cherries, raspberries and rose cordial. Surprisingly soft and silky smooth on the palate, developing some spicy tannins at the finish with further aeration, but it lacked real depth and complexity. Very agreeable, nevertheless.

2004 Ch Monbousquet, over dinner with a couple of Residents at Broth. Decanted briefly at the restaurant. Purplish-red, with quite an attractive fragrance of red fruits and cherries. Soft, surprisingly accessible without the usual density of a modern St-Emilion. In fact, it took on more of a Burgundy character with time, as more notes of rose cordial and raspberries appear. Doesn’t say much about terroir but with the pricing of Monbousquet remaining realistic even in stellar vintages, I doubt anyone would mind.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pete c-s permalink
    February 3, 2011 01:27

    Hi again Ric,
    Very interesting to see your note on the La Charmotte, Im thinking about buying the 2009, but can’t decide. Maybe I should just pay a bit extra and buy Les Saint Georges.

    Best Regards


    • Ric permalink*
      February 3, 2011 13:57

      Hi Pete,
      Yeah I agree Les Saint George is a better buy. And if you come across any offers, try the Corton Crand Cru.
      Best wishes,

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