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Notes in brief (March 2013): 2002 Joh Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr, 1998 Rockford Basket Press, 1996 Calon Segur…

March 31, 2013

2005 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges “Les Saint-Georges” 1er Cru, popped and poured at Amarone, 8 March 2013. As expected from this producer, a slightly more extracted and heavier pinot noir, saturated with blueberries, redcurrants, raspberries and a dash of wild berries as well, though not as heavy compared with my initial experience with this wine back in 2011. Somewhat dark in demeanour. Well-aged RockfordIt opened up a bit more to reveal some salty minerality with a touch of earth but it still gave an overall impression of restraint at this stage, clearly a wine that can go very far if one has the patience.

1998 Rockford Basket Press shiraz, popped and poured at Porta Porta (Stanley St), 9 March 2013. Still a deep dark ruby after almost 15 years, coming across as a big wine with alcoholic content that seemed higher than the declared 14.0%, stinging the tongue and palate. However, it settled quite quickly after 30-45 minutes, the alcohol dissipating away, allowing the warm ripe Barossa fruit to emerge, displaying notes of raisins, prunes, dark cherries, dark chocolate and a dash of licorice along with secondary notes of cassis, pepper, mushrooms and a touch of forest floor, very well integrated with plenty of body and depth, leaving a trail of sweet tannins in its wake. It really came together by the final pour some 90 minutes later, highly elegant and almost seamless. Excellent.

2009 Awatere River pinot noir, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 16 March 2013. Unmistakably New World right from the first pour, being darker and weightier than usual for pinot noir, with effusive notes of enamel, vanilla and varnish vying for dominance against raspberries and dark cherries which struggled to emerge from the background, rather tight and almost full-bodied on the mid-palate with an unusual streak of density that would definitely require time for resolution, wearing out the palatal senses by the final quarter. It has its attractions, but  think I’ll stay away from it for the next 4-5 years.

2006 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste, popped and poured from magnum at the wedding lunch of Donovan & Cherry at the Conrad Centennial, 17 March 2013. Catalunya's signature suckling pigCompared to previous tastings, all similarly from magnum, this wine has gained weight considerably, offering a generous bouquet of predominantly red fruits amd raspberries, imparting a firm and weighty quality on the palate, the sweet tannins building up in definition and intensity over time before settling into a more relaxed wine, displaying excellent concentration and depth, but yet to undergo any secondary development. An excellent bargain.

1996 Ch Calon Segur, decanted on-site at Forlino, 19 March 2013. Beautiful deep crimson with a hint of bricking at the rim, with notes of dark currants, cedar, violets and gravel, fairly intense on the palate before settling into a more relaxed tone tempered by sweet tannins and secondary nuances of plums, tangy citrus and cinnamon that emerged after an hour, the wine transformed into an abolutely harmonious whole. Excellent.

1998 Ch Lanessan, popped and poured at La Barca (still serving the best wagyu truffle Fiorentina in the whole of Singapore), 20 March 2013. Working through a half-dozen of these, and this tasting was, by far, the best Lanessan I’ve had. Generally dark in color and tone but layered with some attractive redcurrants and dark cherries, laced with sweet weighty tannins that shook off the usual greenness and weedy notes that tend to accompany these Medoc wines. Very good indeed.

2011 Oddsocks merlot shiraz cabernet by the glass at Salt Grill by Luke Mangan at ION Orchard, 21 March 2013. A relaxed wine clearly displaying the character of each individual varietal within the blend, soft at the edges, medium-bodied but carrying decent weight, even managing a hint of complexityby virtue of its blend. Not your typical Aussie fruit-bomb. Highly agreeable.

2005 Ch Bernadotte, poured from magnum, at the wedding lunch of Eng Loon and May May, Fullerton Hotel, 23 March 2013. Compared to previous tastings, this wine seemed to be shutting down at this stage, which is about right. Lovely lunch at BedrockThe bouquet of violets and dark berries is more restrained, while its density on the palate has softened considerably with an added touch of earthiness but again, the previous robustness and exuberance has been replaced by a more subdued demeanour. I’d let it rest for a few years before re-visiting again.

1993 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, another bottle of this again at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 25 March 2013. Decanted on-site. Perhaps the best tasting note of this wine so far. Vibrant and lively with a good deal of dark cherries and raspberries framed by subdued tannins, carrying good weight and concentration, offering good layering, not drying out at all. I daresay it’ll continue to hold for quite a number of years.

A Rioja by the Bay2008 Muga Riserva, at SGD108 off the restaurant list of Catalunya, situated within The Fullerton Pavillion, 26 March 2013. Popped and poured, coming across as being somewhat simplistic, lacking in punch and depth although, admittedly, it was generous in red fruits with a substantial dose of orangey citrus, peach and raspberries, very well-balanced, open and full without any spot of hollowness. It gained weight after 30 minutes, opening up further to reveal fine unobtrusive tannins, very well integrated but short at the finish. A good accompaniment to the restaurant’s signature suckling pig.

2002 Joh Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese, popped and poured at at Ming Kee Live Seafood, 28 March 2013. Already quite lovely from the first pour, the significant passage of time having sapped some acidity off the edges, resulting in a wine that’s extremely comfortable on the palate with generous notes of apricot, tropical fruits. complex citrus and rose petals that flowed effortlessly. A distinct pomelo character emerged over time, adding a highly contrasting austerity of bitter lemon to the crystalline minerality that further enhanced the wine’s complexity. Quite beautiful. I suspect it has actually yet to peak, so don’t reach for your bottles.

2010 Domaine Louis Latour Bourgogne rouge, SGD70 off the restaurant list of Creperie des Art, 30 March 2013. Popped and poured. Not too promising initially, in spite of the supposed stellar vintage, coming across as a tad thin. It fleshed out more convincingly towards the end of the meal, where notes of strawberries, rose petals, plums and a dash of orangey citrus held firm against a backdrop of earthy minerality, highly even across the palate. Could do with greater fruit concentration and depth.

Calon Segur at Forlino

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