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Ric’s Most Memorable Wines of 2011

January 24, 2012

Here goes Ric’s choices, based on my tasting experiences in 2011…

Best Unaffordable Red: 1985 Ch Lafite Rothschild. Only someone like David could afford this (thanks!!). Quite simply, a quintessential Lafite that still packs persuasive power and elegance effortlessly. Memorable as well because it came about as a result of a wager I’d won, and for being part of an expensive Palmer vertical.

Best Affordable Red: 1982 Ch Montrose. Affordable only because KP managed to source a case at a ridiculously low price. Surpassed a ’87 Mouton Rothschild and ’94 Haut Brion at the same dinner.

Most Memorable Red: 1989 Ch Beaucastel, brought by a Frenchman at Hinoki. I’ve never had a properly aged CdP, and this showed beautifully, having shed all its heavy dark outer layers to reveal a very lovely glow of predominantly red fruits and currants, still very much alive, supported by a deeper phenolic vein of dark cherries and a kaleidoscopic display of tertiary nuances. The 1998 Penley Estate Reserve cabernet sauvignon is a close second, pairing an outstanding vintage and winemaker from Coonawarra.

Best Value Red:  2000 L’Hospitalet de Gazin. A nicely-matured and confident second wine of Gazin that easily commands twice the price of SGD42 that I bought.  

Most Disappointing Red: 1970 Ch Margaux, at Daniel’s wedding. Absolutely past its prime. As they say, there’re only great bottles, no great wines.

Worst Red: 2006 Ch de Pressac. Not worth wasting your hepatocytes (and money) on.

Best Unaffordable White: I don’t think I had any wihite in 2011 that, to me, justified its stratospheric price.

Best Affordable White: 2005 Pahlmeyer chardonnay. Grows in stature. Utterly convincing.

Most Memorable White: I’ll opt for a dessert wine here, the 2006 Kracher No.8 Traminer trockenbeerenauslese. At PS’s farewell dinner.

Best Value White: A tie between 2009 Estancia (Monterey County) chardonnay and 2008 Wilderness chardonnay. Try searching hard for these.

Most Disappointing White: None, really.

Worst White: None, really.

I must thank all friends and contributors who had so unselfishly made available these wines for tasting. Bon vin et merci beaucoup!

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