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Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru

February 12, 2011

The Burgundian group gathered on 20 January 2011, once again at Jade Palace upon the occasion of another of YW’s visits back home. KG masterminded yet another lofty theme, the premier cru of Chambolle-Musigny which number 24 in total.

I arrived late to find that the group was already almost done with a bottle of 2002 Dom Perignon (courtesy of KG). Light-golden and rather reticent on the nose. Yet its illustrious pedigree is unmistakable, for in spite of its brazen minerality, this full-bodied wine was remarkably well-balanced, the alcohol, acidity and wood perfectly offset by the ripe fruit. Tightly coiled, of course, but the sense of depth was already quite apparent. Excellent now, but will be great in 2031.

The first red was a 2005 Domaine Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny “Les Fuees” 1er Cru (courtesy of Yap Seng), decanted on-site. Deep ruby. Restrained and tight, consistent with its youth, with a petroleum note on the nose that was quite alluring. However, it is not as rich on the palate as suggested by its color, medium-bodied with dscernible new oak but well-balanced and silky smooth without any harsh edges, thinning out towards the finish initially. It began opening up after some time with a deeper vein of red fruits. It’s good to see Faiveley on form in this great vintage.

Next was a pair of Robert Groffier Pere et Fils Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru, drunk side-by-side. The 2004 “Les Haut Doix” (courtesy of See Lim), displaying a classic pinot tint, exuded a powerful bouquet that was highly perfumed, rather feminine. Very lovely. Rich on the palate, containing substantial fullness in the mid-body with excellent definition and delineation, tapering to a gentle finish. Quite complete. Excellent as that was, the 2004 “Les Amoureuses” (courtesy of KG) – from the same producer – was darker in color and appreciably superior by a significant margin, being much more layered, imbued with wonderful purity and an enticing richness in the middle, superbly balanced, displaying great definition and linearity all the way to its lively finish. There’s a bit of an orange peel note amidst all the complexity, contributing to the wonderful spine of lasting flavours. Has the layering that’s missing from the Haut Doix. Very, very lovely. Definitely belonging to the Grand Cru class.

The 2002 Serafin Pere et Fils Chambolle-Musigny “Les Baudes” 1er Cru that followed was just as deep in color, but the similarity ended there. This was a huge wine, absolutely full-bodied and dense, rich in red fruits with a dash of spice. Still very primal. Unfortunately, there’s a good deal of extraction going on, which was a pity as the glorious fruit that’s evident from such a stellar vintage would have benefitted infinitely from more delicate handling. In that sense, it was disappointing. It opened up a little with time, but this isn’t ready at all. Will it ever? In contrast, the final wine, a 1999 George Roumier Chambolle-Musigny “Les Cras” 1er Cru (courtesy of JJ), managed to avoid the excesses of an outstanding vintage. Rather dark in color and dense, but it managed to maintain a good balance with the purity of the fruit coming through. The finish was somewhat short, but it was a wine worthy of rounding up the excellent evening. My sincere thanks to all for their kind generosity.

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