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1996 Michel Lafarge Beaune-Greves 1er, 1999 Bruno Paillard Assemblage

August 26, 2012

1999 Bruno Paillard Assemblage, an aperitif recommended by Director of Wines Timothy Goh at Les Amis, 24 Aug 2012, taking on a noticeably heavier golden hue than usual. Immeasurably complex, where the bouquet of toast, malt, light citrus, a touch of pungent yeast and roasted almonds exploded on the palate with bursts of crystalline starlight amidst soft bubbles that were ever so refined and gentle, generous and lengthy, finishing with a twist of pomelo and grapefruit. The wine took on an even greater purity and intensity after the bubbles had faded, with an added sweetness and creamy overtone. This is still not the most profound of champagnes I’ve had but it is wonderful.

We followed that up with a 1996 Michel Lafarge Beaune-Greves 1er Cru. Aired in bottle, showing a lovely pinot tint, just a shade darker than usual that promised a fully mature wine, displaying attractive aromas of red fruits and roses, striking an excellent balance between the ripe pinot fruit and the slightly salty, earthy minerality with a good deal of depth and length, absolutely harmonious without any hint of rusticity. I never knew Beaune reds are capable of such elegance and finesse. It may not have that added lushness nor layering of a Chambertin or Musigny, but priced well below SGD200 off the restaurant list, this wine is most satisfying.

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