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2003 Mouton Rothschild, 2006 Climens, 1999 Dom Perignon…

July 19, 2012

It was very kind of Ms Angelina Teh from the Singapore office of Bordeaux Index to invite me for dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World on 11 July 2012, saying she couldn’t wait to share with us a bottle of 2003 Ch Mouton Rothschild. I can’t imagine anyone would turn down such an offer. And so, we duly showed up and drank the following over a simple but highly-refined Cantonese cuisine.

1999 Dom Perignon (courtesy Kieron). Soft bubbles, subdued effervescence, leaner than the 2000, the citrus notes gelling very well with the crystalline minerality without much of the usual oxidation. A quiet bystander, but it certainly has the stuffing to hold its own against more exuberant rivals. A good start.

2007 Peter Michael Mon Plaisir. Aired in bottle for an hour. Too cold initially, resulting in a subdued affair although notes of green apples and melons with a mild grassy overtone were apparent. As the temperature warmed up, and with further airing, it fleshed out considerably, gaining in body and presence with further notes of bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits emerging nicely, just missing the last ounce of complexity that comes from a Burgundy. Lovely.

2003 Ch Mouton Rothschild (courtesy Angelina). We had been promised that this wine, contrary to all expectations, is drinking very well now, and it certainly was. Aired in bottle considerably before being served. Very open on the nose, with some of the classic Pauillac signature of tea leaves and tobacco box already apparent. Incredibly, it became even more open over time, the wine soft and fleshy against the recessed wood and tannins, leaving behind just enough of the cabernet structure without any tell-tale sign of burnt, just missing in tertiary characteristics at this stage. It reminded me of other wines of 2003 that I’ve had over the past year — Clerc Milon, Sociando Mallet, Lagrange — that had, similarly, seemed to be evolving at a much faster pace than usual for Bordeaux. An effect of the heat-stressed vintage? Will it last the distance, or fall off the cliff completely? Only time will tell. But if you do have enough of this wine to spare, now is a good time to get to know it better.

2006 Ch Climens (courtesy Pipin). In my opinion, Climens is the true flagbearer of the entire Bordeaux dessert wine industry. Classic Barsac character, where making an understatement is the order of the day. Apricot, some honey, fig, sancha, sparkling with just the right level of acidity and a deeper vein of orangey citrus amidst a certain austre steeliness. Superb at this stage, and should hold for many years to come. The perfect way to conclude a wonderful evening. My sincere thanks to everyone for their contributions.

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