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Notes in brief (Sep 2011): 2001 J J Prum Bernkasteler Badstube, 1995 Leoville-Barton, 2005 Rockford Basket Press…

October 3, 2011

2005 Domaine Patrick Javillier Savigny-les-Beaunes “Les Serpentiere” 1er Cru, over dinner at Jade Palace, 3 Sep 2011. Opened and drunk over the next 90 minutes. Shade of dusty red that’s entirely appropriate for pinot. Good concentration of red fruits and cherries, slightly oily in the middle, shrouded within a thin layer of saccharine. Elegant and balanced with decent depth, if not the power of top-flight burgundies. This is drinking a lot better than a previous occasion last year. At only SGD53 from Le Benaton, it’s very good value.

2006 Ch Corbin, at Asia Grand over some excellent wagyu beef. Popped and poured from a half bottle. Compared to previous tastings, this wine finally seems to be putting more weight now, the forward fruit quality well-balanced against chewy tannins with a hint of soy. Not bad at all.

2005 Ch Reignac, after hours with colleagues on 7 Sep 2011 over cheese and crackers. This came from a half-dozen bought as en primeur. Dark red with a vermillion tint. In spite of having been decanted for 4 hours prior, this wine still came across as a bit of a monster, extracted to the hilt, heavy with notes of licorice, raisins, toast and vanilla, still primal in character, becoming more tannic as the evening wore on. Absolutely far from ready. May turn out to be better with proper food, but I’m gonna shove my remaining 4 bottles into cold storage.

2005 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-St-Georges “Les St-Georges” 1er Cru, at Etoile, 9 Sep 2011. Decanted on site. Much darker in color for pinot, translating into a big heavy wine with notes of very ripe blueberries and dark cherries, almost as if suffering from overhang, replete with toasty oak, tasting much like a New World pinot although I fancy the best ones from the New World may display more subtlety and grace. Not to my liking, I’m afraid. Perhaps it needs another 7 years, I’d imagine.

2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis 1er Cru “Les Vaillon”, over a meal of KFC and pizza on 10 Sep 2011. I’d taken the trouble to decant this for almost 90 minutes, which proved to be most beneficial as an abundance of dense sweet minerality engulfed the nose and palate, rather crisp at the edges, supported by understated notes of cream, butter and biscuits. Of course this is way too young at this stage, but its rich tone suggests that it has the legs to last the distance in the cellar. Very good.

2004 Petaluma Coonawarra, over dinner at Prive with a couple of my Residents, 13 Sep 2011. This is actually a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Decanted on site and drunk over the next 2 hours. Purplish red with notes of dark cherries and bitter chocolate amidst deeper layers of ferrous minerality, imparting a somewhat angular and austere demeanour initially. It took another 90 minutes to open up, revealing a rich core of ripe fruit with layers of raspberries and blueberries, grippy but much softer at the edges, tinged with lasting sweetness that became more and more impressive with each sip. Excellent.

2001 Joh. Jos Prum Bernkasteler Badstube spatlese riesling (courtesy Ben) at a private dinner at the Tanglin Club, 15 Sep 2011, hosted by Ben and LW. Very impressive right from the start with peaches, apricot, nectar, melons and a mix of tropical fruits of excellent concentration, depth and balance, the substantial sweetness countered by bitter citrus at the edges and finish, totally seamless. Highly inviting. Excellent.

1989 Ch Chauvin, a magnum bottling at the Tanglin Club, 15 Sep 2011. Aired in bottle for an hour, showing an evolved red that’s still fairly concentrated in color. A high-tone salty minerality with a hint of soy was obvious on the nose. On the palate, however, the wine was somewhat uneven initially, slightly hollow on the mid-palate although the fruit concentration and density was readily apparent at the periphery. After some food and with further aeration, it morphed into a fairly homogenous wine that covered any prior hollowness, very even with echoes of kumquat and orange peel, although not particularly deep. At SGD150, however, I’m not complaining.

1995 Ch Leoville Barton (courtesy Ben), at the Tanglin Club, 15 Sep 2011. Aired in bottle for almost 2 hours. Deeper and richer in color, marked by ferrous minerality, possessing excellent depth and density if not the layering one expects from this renowned estate, framed by fine supple tannins but prefers to put on a rather unsmiling and stern demeanour particularly towards the finish, the dry ferrous quality again rearing its head. It clearly needs more time in bottle. Rather unusual for a 1995, but then again, Saint-Julien wines do take a long time to turn around.

2008 Ch Citran, at the in-laws on 18 Sep 2011, only SGD35 at a promotional price from Carrefour. In spite of being aired in decanter for an hour, the initial impression wasn’t favourable, the wine utterly nondescript with plummy fruit that could certainly do with more stuffing and extraction. Things improved after an hour and after some food, gaining some biting tannins but this Haut-Medoc doesn’t seem to aspire to be a Sociando Mallet.

2005 Rockford Basket Press, over a tomahawk steak at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 23 Sep 2011. Double-decanted for almost 3 hours and aired further in another decanter in the restaurant. Dark red with a vermillion tint. Apart from some herbal medicinal aromas and hefty tannins on the palate with a hint of warm Barossa fruit and licorice, it remained rather shut and tight. It only opened up much later at the last pour, but what a glorious transformation: softer, the unctousity giving way to a much more transparent texture that revealed complex layers of ripe fruit that ran deep, finishing with an uplifting touch of liquer and roses. This is one for the long haul. Excellent.

2007 Brokenwood Mistress Block shiraz, at L’Entrecote on 27 Sep 2011. Popped and poured. This is a single vineyard shiraz that demonstrates the qualities of Hunter Valley shiraz – there’s plenty of primary flavours from the generous fruit, lots of raspberries and red fruits, and less of the typical flood of warmth and licorice and plumminess that one associates with Aussie shiraz, bold but very finely balanced with understated tannins, leaving your palate unscathed. Just a notch below the estate’s famous Graveyard shiraz, but it’s very good.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. kieron Lim permalink
    October 9, 2011 10:47

    1er cru chablis and KFC?!? how did you find the food & wine pairing?

    • Ric permalink*
      October 9, 2011 11:51

      The Chablis stands out even better with KFC, as long as you don’t touch chilli!

      BTW saw Fatty yesterday at Hiok’s clinic grand opening at Mt E. Attended by Don Tay and other non-medical alcoholics as well. 1988 Haut Brion, 1996 Leoville Poyferre, 2003 Montrose, 1990 Le Bon Pasteur….but I had to leave early.

      • Kieron Lim permalink
        November 19, 2011 00:00

        haha. He’s gifted… always can sniff out where good wines are being poured.

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