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Notes in brief (March 2011): 1990 Moulinet, 2008 Wilderness chardonnay, 2005 D’Aiguilhe

March 30, 2011

2000 Comte Senard Corton Clos des Meix Grand Cru, popped and poured over a late dinner on 15 March at Jade Palace. Lovely shade of pinot. Rather reticent on the nose, not offering much apart from a hint of red fruits and preserved dates. Made up for it on the palate with a broad expanse of red berries and cherries, soft and rounded with a bit of tannic bite and grip emerging after an hour. Lacking in layering and true complexity. Very much  second division grand cru. Don’t think I’m getting more even though it’s only SGD59 at Denise’s clearance sale at Turf City.

2008 Wilderness Estate Reserve chardonnay, of South-Eastern Australia, from a selection of wines and cocktails at the Hyatt Regency Club lounge at Yogjakarta, Indonesia, on 17 March. The bottle had been opened for some time and I was tasting the last third that was remaining. Surprisingly attractive on the nose with substantial aromas of cream and vanilla, quite weighty on the palate with notes of stony minerality and melons of resonable depth, gathering in intensity towards the moderately long finish. I wasn’t expecting anything much, hence the wine came across as a pleasant surprise. This can measure up against any village Puligny-Montrachet, I swear. Let’s see if I can find any in Singapore.

2008 Wolf Blass cabernet merlot, a one-litre bottle over an excellent tenderloin steak at Foo House. Deep red. As expected, made in a fruit forward manner with loads of blackcurrants, blueberries and red fruits, admittedly ripe and fleshy, producing good mouthfeel, soft and rounded, well balanced but without any depth nor lasting finish. Almost like Ribena plus 13.5% alcohol. A decent quaffer.

2002 Umberto Cesare Liano, a mix of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon, over a surprisingly good buffet dinner at Cafe Brio, Grand Copthorne Waterfront. Dull dark red. Full-bodied. Fruit forward as well, predominantly dark berries with a top layer of preserved red fruits, some notes of toffee and a faint trace of plum and licorice that probably came from the sangiovese, supported by firm tannins that led to a spicy, peppery attack at the finish. Rather homogenous and unyielding initially, but it opened up after an hour to reveal more depth and layering, with better integration. Still, I prefer the more recent 2007 vintage.

Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige NV, at Jade Palace on 29 March 2011 in honor of Dr LHS. Bought for only SGD42 at Crystal’s one-for-one sale. Popped and poured. A blend of pinot bianco, chardonnay and pinot nero, 20% of which actually consists of reserve wine from the finest vintages, and it shows. You can’t tell this apart from a top-flight champagne. Clear golden, hitting all the right notes of walnuts, cashews, cream and caramel, backed by gentle toasty oak , possessing great presence and balance with just the right degree of dryness, leading to a deep long finish. Lovely!

2005 Ch D’Aiguilhe, at the above dinner at Jade Palace, where two identical bottles were poured into the same decanter and aired for almost an hour before serving. Deep dense purple. An assault of vanilla and graphite greeted one on the nose, backed by dense minerality on the palate. It took almost another hour to finally open up, revealing the glorious ripe fruit of predominantly dark berries and blackcurrants, fleshy and rounded at the edges, framed by sophisticated supple tannins. Unlike the 2003 example, the level of extraction here is just right, and I suspect this has the legs to last 20-30 years, easily. Excellent.

1990 Ch Moulinet, at a happy hour to de-stress after work on 30 March 2011. The cork was far too dessicated and promptly disintegrated when I tried opening it, leaving me with no choice but to push it down into the bottle and carefully decant the wine. A mature, light purplish red with substantial bricking at the rim. A bit thin initially, although the balance was good right from the start, the tannins having melted away ages ago. It began to fade and lose focus after 20 minutes before staging a most spectacular rebound, fleshing out, gaining greater immediacy and body with a lovely soft glow of ripe fruit on the nose, layered with reasonably pure merlot on the palate, still retaining good concentration, neither deep nor intense. This wine is all about fine balance. A very, very fine Pomerol, all the more remarkable that I found it for only SGD70 last week.

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