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1996 Pichon Lalande, 1982 Lynch-Bages…

November 11, 2012

The wining and dining at the tail end of October continued unrelentlessly, the following being a dinner thrown by F at Cotton Bleu on 29 Oct 2012, an unpretentious bistro run by a French family that excelled in original French cuisine (generous portions, friendly on the wallet), coupled with excellent stemware and wine service where corkage is only SGD20. All wines (except the sparkling) were decanted on-site.

We began with a 2009 disgorgement of Rockford Black Shiraz, its tiny bubbles soft and gentle, imparting a medium-bodied wine with an excellent concentration of dark fruits and red currants coupled with notes of earth, forest floor and plum, yet to develop significant complexity, leading to its signature (mild) liquered finish. Quite excellent, and I look forward to further complexity with age. The 2006 Clos du Marquis (courtesy Ben) that followed was my second tasting in as many months, with consistent notes. A weighty bouquet corresponded with notes of red currants and raspberries, the wine medium-bodied, soft and fleshy although the spectrum of flavours and body seemed to be confined within a narrow bandwidth. Undeniably attractive, if just a bit short.

The 1990 Ch Gombaude Guillot (courtesy F), a small estate in Pomerol, was distinctly soft and mellow, very harmonious and almost burgundian in character with some cedar although it could do with greater fruit concentration, especially for this stellar vintage, which could have imparted more depth, layering and complexity. Undeniably pleasurable on its own, but on this occasion overwhelmed by the two lovelies from Pauillac.

The 1996 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, displaying some browning at the rim, gave off highly complex aromatics of plum, citrus, cassis, soft and medium-bodied, displaying great depth, framed by very finely knit highly supple tannins, beautifully integrated, the whole impression unmistakably feminine. Notes of blueberries and darker fruits began appearing over time, laced with a trace of sweetness, the Pauillac signature of  dried tobacco and snuff box appearing only towards the final pour. Very, very lovely. A wine caught at its peak, and will hold for many more years. Next to it, the 1982 Ch Lynch-Bages (courtesy John) was still relatively dark and youthful, highly perfumed, absolutely soft with a lovely opulence, almost lush and burgundian if not for its classic Pauillac character (though perhaps not as dry as expected). A superb end to quite an outstanding line-up of wines, making up for the stiff dinner company.

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