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Mar 2014: 2009 Meo Camuzet Gevrey-Chambertin, 2010 Ch Loudenne, 1986 La Fleur…

March 31, 2014

1989 Ch Canuet, popped and poured at Burlamacco Ristorante, 4 March 2014. I took a chance on this, figuring that 1989 was excellent for the Margaux commune and that I don’t stand to lose much for SGD89. It turned out very well, in fact, its cork pristine and the wine still displaying a healthy glow of cedar, old leather, earth, bramble with a dash of tangerine and herbal aromas, clearly dipping in acidity although it didn’t fade away. A cheap glimpse into the magic of a fully mature claret but, ultimately, not quite memorable.

2005 Ch La Tour Carnet, popped and poured at Burlamacco Ristorante, 4 March 2014. Coming after the above, this was much more satisfying, the wine already beginning to mellow with early development of secondary nuances, medium to full bodied, excellent in weight and concentration with an abundance of ripe dark berries, cedar and earth without any sign of green. I wouldn’t say its elegant, though.

Verve Cliquot Yellow Label NV, popped and poured at Rang Mahal, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, 5 March 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic. Fairly generous, ticks the right boxes with notes of toast, cashews, a dash of yeast and excellent concentration of citrus characters supported by dense chalky minerality, just a tad dry at the finish. Pretty decent.

2011 Dr Loosen Wehlenur Sonnenuhr spatlese, popped and poured at Rang Mahal, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore, 5 March 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic. Immediately pleasing with its understated sweetness along with notes of melons, apricot and tropical fruits, medium-bodied. Typically for Dr Loosen, though, the wine lacks concentration and complexity, made for early consumption.

Mansard NV, popped and poured at Tung Lok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, 6 Mar 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic . This champagne from Epernay, even though offered at a one-for-one deal (SGD128), is certainly not bad at all. Generous in body and saturated with yellow citrus and pomelo, its lively acidity cutting through the dense Cantonese cuisine with ease, its dryness just a tad overdone at the finish where notes of toast and gentle oak contrive to put up some semblance of complexity.

2008 Christian Moreau Pere et Fils Chablis “Les Clos”Grand Cru, two identical bottles drunk at Tung Lok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, 6 Mar 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic. Aromas of white flowers with some cream and vanilla, medium bodied and rounded, somewhat lean in fruit and minerality. Could do with greater presence and depth. I’d expected more from a Grand Cru.

2004 Ch Bernadotte, poured from two magnums after airing in bottle for over an hour at Tung Lok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, 6 Mar 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic. Rounded, soft and fleshy, perhaps more promising on the nose where generous notes of violets and blueberries dominate, translating only to an earthy medium-bodied wine that could do with more opulence and layering. The 2005 is preferable.

2009 Meo Camuzet Gevrey-Chambertin, two identical bottles drunk at Tung Lok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, 6 Mar 2014, with faculty from The Mayo Clinic . Aired in bottle for over an hour. Lovely clear cherry red displaying excellent purity of fruit that has the right amount of weight and finesse with overtones of rose petals and ripe strawberries supported by mild minerality, slightly forward yet delicate enough without the  usual obligatory saltiness. Very fine.

Glorious wagyu ribeye from Otto Ristorante2008 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin, a magnum decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 11 Mar 2014. Lovely purplish-violet in color with generous aromas of raspberries, rose petals and red cherries with a dash of camphor and violets, just the right level of extraction for a village wine that strikes a good balance between weight, depth and delicacy, the ripe fruit supported by understated minerality, replete with some fat in the mid-body. Admittedly, not much in terms of actual complexity at this stage, but it went really well with the medium-rare wagyu ribeye. Good stuff.

1990 Ch Cordet, an unclassified growth from the commune of Margaux. Would you take a gamble on a bottle of this wine for SGD69 off the shelf? Of course. Popped and poured at Jade Palace, 14 Mar 2014, its cork looking absolutely pristine. Distinctly medium-bodied, fully matured in color and on the palate. Slightly dry at first and low in acidity, very soft with primary notes of rose cordial and earthy minerality, eventually, gaining in intensity after an hour and with some food, broadening with further notes of violets, rose petals and a dash of tangerine, becoming fuller in body with transparent textures. Quite lovely, really.

2009 Domaines Leflaive Macon-Verze, popped and poured at Alex Wong’s residence, 23 Mar 2014. As with most Maconnais wine, this is somewhat lean with an even mix of clear citrus, pomelo and some grassy element, slightly soft at the edges, missing in mid-body fat and complex minerality that would have added so much more depth and character to the wine. Disappointing.

2010 Ch Loudenne (magnum), popped and poured on two separate occasions just a few days apart: first at Alex’s residence on 23 Mar 2014, again at the EMSS AGM at the Grand Copthorne Singapore, 25 Mar 2014, with consistent notes. Having been won over by this estate’s 2009 on board Singapore Airlines Business Class, I wasted no time in snapping up half-dozen magnums of the 2010 at only SG81 per magnum when I chanced upon it on offer at a local wine retail chain. I can hardly think of a better deal and I wasn’t disappointed. Dark purple. Fairly generous with aromas of ripe blueberries, raspberries violets and briar, medium-full and certainly benefitting from the excellent growing conditions although notes of enamel and new leather were still discernible. Very well crafted without any hard edges at a level of sophistication well beyond most cru bourgeois of the Medoc with superb integration of fruit and tannins, finishing with a tinge of graphite. I certainly couldn’t detect any hollowness nor any trace of vegetal character. It became slightly more relaxed after some time, putting on a bit more weight and opening up a little more, becoming broader and fuller with added notes of cedar. Very fine. This is a connoisseur’s red.

2005 Ch Lalande Borie, two bottles from the same batch tasted on two consecutive nights, both popped and poured, first at the Grand Copthorne Singapore, 25 Mar 2014, then again at Top Seafood, 26 Mar 2014, with consistent notes. This is a very relaxed wine right from the first pour, very open and layered, slightly leathery in texture and saturated with ripe dark berries entering into a new phase of development, evidenced by more complex characters of mocha, cedar and cinnamon. Very good.

2009 Matanzas Creek Winery (courtesy Jeremy), popped and poured at Top Seafood, 26 Mar 2014, basically a coffee-shop (in Singaporean parlance) off Sixth Ave with cheap but excellent Chinese cuisine, but you bring your own wine and stemware. This sauvignon blanc was rather out of sorts, trying too hard with notes of nutmeg, spice, lemongrass, citrus and tropical fruits. Just too over-the-top for me, with some steeliness creeping in after some time.

1983 Ch La Fleur (courtesy Hiok), popped and popped at Top Seafood, 26 Mar 2014. Not to be confused with Lafleur of Pomerol. Uneven at first, the wine fading at the sides while struggling to maintain its core of fruit that is clearly past its peak, lowish in acidity with herbal notes and tertiary characters of old leather, cinnamon and a dash of apricot. It firmed up after some time and held course for the rest of dinner, but the 1986 below is far preferable.

1986 Ch La Fleur (courtesy KP), popped and popped at Top Seafood, 26 Mar 2014. Still very fresh and almost full-bodied after all these years with notes of raisins and cedar, still lively with a rising tannic spine towards the finish. Compared to the 1983, this is much firmer and broader right from the outset. Very good.

2010 Henri Boillot Savigny-Les-Beaune Le Lavieres 1er, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014. Attractive nose of raspberries and dark cherries with a good dose of earthy minerality, slightly salty in texture, certainly generous in body with a fair amount of fat, well-integrated. Very good. I bought two bottles.

2009 Ch German Marbuzet, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014.  As expected from Saint-Emilion, a wine of good density and weight, medium-to-full bodied with predominant characters of dark wild berries, but just a bit too stern and steely for my liking.

2008 Frank Phelan, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014. Second wine of Phelan Segur. Touch of green and forest floor and earth. Supple with excellent mouthfeel, lacking in charm but otherwise correct.

2005 Ch Preuillac, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014. Disappointingly short on the nose and palate. Perhaps it deserves a re-tasting?

2009 Bernadotte, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014. Regular readers will know this is one of my trusted favorites in good vintages. The 2009 has fleshed out significantly since its release two years ago. Great color – glorious deep purple. Notes of heated stones, saturated with ripe dark and red berries, a touch of briar, raisins and toast. Mildly tannic and laced with lively acidity, yet to shed its cloak of enamel. Great potential. This wine will be long-lived. Get some magnums for keeps if you can.

2010 Fleur de Clinet, at Crystal Wines’ sale on 29 Mar 2014. Although a second wine, I must say I was quite taken by its weight and fullness, displaying attractive dark ripe berries with some bright spots and a touch of earthy forest floor. But second wines are getting ridiculously expensive.

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