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1986 Les Carmes Haut Brion

April 5, 2011

I’ve never really had a chance to try Ch Les Carmes Haut Brion, but when I spotted a bottle of the 1986 last week going for only SGD76 (unbelievable!), I knew there was no better opportunity than this. Opened and decanted this evening at Ristorante da Valentino, a lovely restaurant owned, managed and run by an Italian family off Rifle Range Road in Singapore. The cork was fragmented, but thankfully the wine was otherwise intact. Fully mature in color. A bit reticent initially, but it began giving off enticing aromas of ripe red and black berries, redcurrants, a bit of cinnamon and orange peel with a sense of heated stones, earth and gravel, well mellowed after 25 years, producing a soft, smooth wine that still possesses plenty of body and grip, revealing good concentration and depth, tapering to a plummy glowing finish with barely a hint of rusticity. Has all the attributes of a well-aged claret, a commodity that’s increasingly rare in a world impatient to drink wines in their infancy. This is a wine that’s still holding on at its drinking plateau, with no hint of drying up. You can’t really tell it’s a Pessac-Leognan, as most aged Bordeaux tend to regress towards a common form, but it’s an excellent wine in its own right, and a truly superb bargain.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ted permalink
    April 6, 2011 08:16

    Ric. Thanks for your review. It certainly sounds like you enjoyed the wine! May I enquire as to where you managed to buy it?

    • Ric permalink*
      April 6, 2011 08:49

      Hello Ted, thanks for visiting RWJ!! There’s a little shop called “French Wine Cellars” along a row of old shophouses at Jalan Pari Bulong (off Bedok). Or go to There’s no way of checking the wines’ provenance, and I suspect it may not be pristine, as the corks have fragmented on 2 bottles that I bought (see the 1990 Moulinet review), although the contents have been OK.

      • Ted permalink
        April 6, 2011 14:33

        Thanks alot Ric. I’ll certainly be checking them out. I enjoy reading your posts and do so regularly. Please keep it up!

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