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Notes in brief (June 2011): 1990 Cos Labory, 1994 Cos D’Estournel, 2006 Sylvie Esmonin “Clos St-Jacques”…

June 30, 2011

2005 Ch La Tour Carnet, at Foo House on 02 June 2011. Popped and poured. Deep purple. Compared to a previous experience 3 years back, this is a lot more open, fleshy and less woody. Nevertheless, one can’t help but notice the relatively high level of extraction, bringing about more raisiny notes with echoes of licorice, the ripeness imparting greater warmth to the fruit, the absence of the typical Medoc toughness and greeness probably the result of the winemaker’s preference for longer fruit hang and extraction. Needs another 5 years to sort itself out, at least.

2005 Lacoste Borie, at Moomba. Decanted on site, and drunk over the next hour. Dark red, producing a high-tone minerality on the bouquet that gradually opened up to reveal more of blueberries, blackcurrants and a dash of red fruits, fleshing out over time, nicely integrated and elegant. Very good indeed. Only SGD42 from the recent Caveau sale.

1994 Ch Cos D’Estournel, at Imperial Treasure T3 on 9 June 2011 with the wifey on the occasion of our anniversary. Opened on site and drunk over the next 90 minutes. Dark purple, impressing at once with the St Estephe terroir of gravel, heated stones and high toned-minerality coming through with arresting aromas of great fragrance, suggesting a wine of great breadth and depth. However, it didn’t quite turn out this way on the palate initially, being more reticent and less immediate with more than a hint of rusticity, but it developed very well over time with food, the well-extracted fruit gaining in concentration and intensity even if it didn’t quite plumb the depths nor achieve the sophistication of Cos in its best years. Nevertheless, this is still a very good traditional Cos, before it became too “international”.

1990 Ch Cos Labory, at Hinoki on 15 June 2011. Aired in bottle for two hours. An evolved dull dusty red, producing a prominent glow of orange and dried preserved fruits on the nose, and other notes of aged Bordeaux that defies proper description. Medium-bodied, smooth, the fruit still relatively tightly-knit, holding on with good concentration, coated with velvety tannins. Not the last word in depth nor complexity. But at only SGD115, nobody is complaining.

2007 Mr Riggs Piebald shiraz-viognier, over a wagyu steak at Jaya Grocer, Empire Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Popped and poured. Very deep, impenetrable purple. Notes of warm ripe shiraz with other characters of raisins and blackcurrants, heavy in texture with some aromas of fortified spirits, the 5% viognier producing a mild floral lift. Fairly broad and even on the palate. Good stuff for fans of Aussie reds.

2006 Ch Corbin, a half-bottle at Prive on 17 June 2011. Ruby red. Significantly brighter in color and taste compared to the 2004 vintage, with primary notes of raspberries, red fruits, glycerin, vanilla and almonds. Not much depth, but decent.

2006 Sylvie Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Clos St-Jacques” (courtesy LW), at Ben’s BBQ. Popped and drunk, much under suboptimal conditions in the sweltering heat of a balmy evening, 17 June 2011. Dull dusty red. The initial notes were totally off but after chilling it to a more appropriate temperature, it began opening up with the classic Chambertin flavours of red cherries and raspberries, layered with some saccharine, fairly substantial in the mid-body (some call it “fat”), moderate in length. I fancy this wine is capable of leaving a far better impression if properly aired in advance and drunk under optimal conditions. Will reserve judgement.

2007 Ch Les Carmes Haut Brion, my second half-bottle of this wine in as many months, from a half-dozen bought during the recent Caveau sale, but this was corked, unfortunately.

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