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April 2013: 1994 Larcis-Ducasse, 1996 Cos D’Estournel, 1996 Grand-Puy-Lacoste…

April 29, 2013

2007 Campomaggio Chianti Classico Riserva, popped and poured over lunch at Imperial Treasure T3, 2 April 2013. My experience with Chianti is severely meagre, but this wine will definitely encourage anyone to explore further. Somewhat nondescript initially, but it rapidly shaped up into a very attractive wine with forward notes of red fruits and dark cherries supported by firm minerality, very well-balanced and open, complete with very decent layering, revealing further notes of savoury wild berries. Good stuff.

2010 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny by the glass at Lolla, 3 April 2013, supposedly voted somewhere as one of the top ten new dining spots in the world but I’m not quite convinced although, to its credit, this wine was served generously in a large Burgundy glass. As expected, notes of strawberries and red fruits dominate although I’d have preferred the fruit to be more forward, marred in this instance by leafy undertones. Corkage is SGD50 and at SGD52 for a 300g ribeye (excluding side dish) that was rather ordinary, I prefer Da Mario anytime (below).

2010 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne rouge, over dinner at home, 10 April 2013. Popped and poured. I had high hopes that this would be as good as the 2009 but, unfortunately, this wine was almost completely shut with just a bare shade of austere dark fruit showing, obscured mostly by the herbaceous notes of damp forest floor, rather too dark as well to be taken seriously as pinot noir. It didn’t really change very much even after warming up to ambient temperature. For sure, there is a lot of fruit lurking beneath but, perhaps, it needs more time to unwind. Will reserve judgement.

1996 Ch Grand Puy Lacoste (courtesy John) at Da Mario, 11 April 2013. Popped and poured. Highly aromatic from the first pour with a lovely bouquet of violets, cedar and sweet mulberries that led to a beautifully structured wine, made gentler by the passage of time, layered with the slight dryish tone of Pauillac but endowed with generous dollops of glorious fruit, well-integrated, displaying excellent definition with just the right degree of depth, eventually developing velvety tannins that sat very comfortably on the palate. 1994 Larcis-DucasseFor sure, it has evolved quite significantly from a previous tasting some 3 years ago, but it is still on the ascendency, yet to peak. Perfect with the truffled ribeye. Excellent.

1996 Ch Cos D’Estournel, drunk alongside the above at Da Mario, 11 April 2013. Aired for 30 minutes in bottle before serving. Highly reticent initially, almost completely shut. In fact, I couldn’t make out anything on the nose, probably because it had been served too cold, as I had it chilled on site for quite a while since we were dining al fresco. However, one could easily appreciate that it was a lot softer and smoother than the Grand Puy Lacoste, highly elegant and refined, almost feminine, which is unusual for Cos. Totally seamless. Over time, one could make out its bouquet of dark berries with just barely a hint of sweet tannins, underlined by a graphite note that contributed to an austere undertone. I’d say it is significantly better than a previous bottle tasted in February 2012. Excellent, but I think it deserves to be drunk under conditions that are considerably more ideal.

2008 Altesino Rosso di Toscana, a half-bottle off the list of Garibaldi for SGD50, 12 April 2013. Popped and poured. Dark red with brownish-vermillion tinge, fairly generous on the bouquet with notes of ripe berries, raisins, prunes and sweet plums, soft at the edges, medium-full with tannins kept in check. Highly agreeable and certainly better than I expected.

2010 Mazzei Badiola, SGD100 off the list of White Rabbit, 16 April 2013. Popped and poured. Generous notes of red fruits, wild berries, dark currants, orange peel and a touch of herbaceous mint and spice but it’s all over the place and certainly disjointed on the palate, the tannic grip not helping matters. Didn’t really quite gel together even by the end of the meal.

2.5kg of bleeding chunks...Guerrieri Rizzardi Prosecco Extra Dry, SGD60 off the list of Da Mario, 20 April 2013. Popped and poured. Light to medium-bodied, forward with notes of green and yellow citrus that offset the dryness, supported by understated minerality. Fresh, lively and vibrant, just what’s needed for al fresco dining on a hot day.

2002 Elderton Ashmead cabernet sauvignon (courtesy John), at the ward dinner at Pepper, 22 April 2013. Popped and poured. An exuberant bouquet of raisins, enamel, varnish and creme de la creme leapt out from the glass that translated into a huge wine with creamy textures and sweet tannins, soft but weighty, displaying great density and concentration, carrying notes of dark chocolate, licorice, cedar and a tinge of wood and smoke, the alcohol just barely kept in check, threatening to rear its head after some aeration. It’s great if you limit yourself to just a glass or two, but it can be tiresome beyond that.

1997 Kay Brothers Block 6 shiraz (courtesy John), at the ward dinner at Pepper, 22 April 2013. Popped and poured. Another blockbuster but, thankfully, made mellow by time. Smooth with creamy textures, surprisingly open in the mid-body, layered with ripe dark berries with a sprinkling of red fruits that exuded a lovely warmth, slightly tarry but not unctuous with subdued alcohol levels. Again, you can’t have too much of this stuff in spite of its 16 years.

2010 Domaines Leflaive Macon-Verze, popped and poured from magnum at Edge, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, 24 April 2013. Served a tad too warm, but one could still discern the excellent balance between the delicate notes of white flowers, citrus and melons against the clear crystalline minerality. Domaine RapetNot as exuberant nor as full in tone and body as the 2009, but it scores better in poise and balance. Very good.

2007 Ch Haut Batailley, decanted on-site at Etna, 26 April 2013. As expected for this weak vintage, this claret is beginning to enter its drinking window, possessing substantial fruit with notes of blueberries, wild berries, raspberries and a touch of violet, soft at the edges, generally pleasant on the palate with a mild grip. Lacks charm and opulence without much of a Pauillac character, but perfectly acceptable at SGD55 during a sale.

2010 Domaine Rapet Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Vergelesses, a half-bottle from the list of Brasserie Gavroche, 27 April 2013. Popped and poured. As expected from this plot, this is a darker and slightly heavier pinot noir, darker in tone as well with notes of raspberries and wild berries, supported by understated minerality that began to emerge only after the wine had opened up, allowing more of the salty tone of true Burgundy to come forth, thereby loosening up in texture. It certainly has the potential to be a very good drop. The Frenchie sommelier refused to pour it into a Burgundy glass. Bastard (or should I say Batard).

1994 Ch Larcis-Ducasse, decanted on-site at Burlamacco Ristorante, newly opened by veteran Paolo Colzani (formerly Garibaldi) with a partner, helmed by Ian (formerly Iggy’s), 30 April 2013. I’ve never tasted this estate’s wine before, but I’m quite impressed with the 1994, fully matured in color and glowing with bright red fruits and aromas of rose petals, almost Burgundian in character, beautifully seamless without any tannins in the way, just lacking in opulence, richness and depth that is a symptom of the vintage. But it’s lovely to drink now over lunch. Only SGD88.

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