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1988 Dominus

June 3, 2014

It has become really difficult nowadays to find time to meet up with old friends and colleagues. Fortunately on this day, 23 May 2014, both Kieron and myself could avail ourselves at the St Regis, Singapore, not least because one of us had proferred a 1988 Dominus while the other had offered to cover the meal. Decanted on-site. 1988 DominusDrinking a Dominus never fails to lead to an attempt to discover how much of a resemblance it has to a Bordeaux, given that Christian Mouiex of Ch Petrus has a direct hand in crafting Dominus but, on this occasion, I just felt that the latter was simply quite unique on its own, still displaying a deep purple after all these years with only some gentle bricking at the rim. Generous aromas of dark plums, dark berries, blackcurrants and raspberries dominate initially, replete with some medicinal and herbal overtones, the wine rather sullen, tense and angular on the palate, as if it had been rudely awoken from a deep sleep. After 30 minutes and some food, however, it underwent a complete transformation, suddenly becoming open and relaxed with sweetened tannins, the herbal notes having wafted away, allowing drier notes of tea leaves, snuff and tinder to emerge although I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it mirrors a Bordeaux, missing the hallowed glow that can only come from a true claret. A further development was to come towards the end of the meal almost 90 minutes later where an increase in weight and depth was easily appreciable, along with notes of cassis, violets and cinnamon with tannins exerting a puckered intensity on the palate, adding immeasurably to the impression that this wine still has the legs to develop further, albeit with roots firmly embedded in the New World. Excellent, but not a compelling buy.

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