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July 2014: 1986 Pape Clement, 2000 Robert Mondavi, 2009 Leroy Bourgogne…

August 4, 2014

2010 Ch Muret, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 3 July 2014. Regular followers will realise that I’m trying to suss out good clarets from outstanding vintages without having to burn a hole in my wallet. This cru bourgeois seemed relatively shut on the nose in spite of persistent coaxing, barely displaying characters of black fruits, gravel and graphite on the palate, balanced but tight, tapering towards a stern finish. I was about to write this off mentally when it began opening up after 45 minutes, with more notes of red fruits emerging, the wine becoming more relaxed and richer. At SGD40, it’s worth popping another in a couple of years time.

2010 Henri Boillot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru “Le Lavieres”, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 9 July 2014. Served a bit too warm initially, the wine was tannic and angular. It showed a lot better after having cooled down, revealing lovely aromas of rose petals on the nose although it took a lot longer for it to gel together on the palate, where it was medium-full with notes of raspberries and dark cherries though somewhat subdued in character without much fat in the mid-body and tannins that have yet to resolve.

2004 Ch Bernadotte, popped and poured at Ka-Soh, 11 July 2014. Although from the same case that I just bought recently, there clearly is some degree of bottle variation, for this bottle was rather uninspiring, flat and vegetal, cloaked in dusty tannins for the most part of dinner, only showing signs of transformation at the end of dinner whereby it took on a fresher stance with more quality fruit emerging to the fore whilst its tannins receded. Will try my best to refrain from popping the rest of the case for some time.

2012 Case Sparse Chianti, a half-bottle popped and poured at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 14 July 2014. Made for early drinking, this wine offers forward notes of red fruits and wild berries amidst a bright dominant tone of heated gravel, well-crafted, full-bodied yet smooth with very well-managed tannins, finishing with a touch of spice and menthol. After some time, though, the fruit seemed to recede into the background, causing the wine to lose its balance, turning a tad vegetal and awkward.

2008 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin, popped and poured from magnum at Garibaldi, 16 July 2014. Appropriately rose-tinted but restrained on the nose with the faint promise of ripe red berries and cherries that never really materialized on the palate, the wine distinctly medium-bodied amidst sandy minerality and other notes of camphor, smoke and incense, soft and rounded with well-integrated tannins. One wishes for greater richness and concentration but this wine is firmly a village in every way.

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne, popped and poured at Prive Grill, 17 July 2014. Generic bourgogne this wine may be but, coming from this distinguished estate, one expects greater things and it doesn’t disappoint. Displaying a clear ruby tint and aromas of fresh red fruits and rose petals with a hint of complexity, this wine possesses a level of richness, depth and ease on par with what would have passed off as premier cru from lesser estates, soft but generous in body, developing an attractive earthy minerality that dominated proceedings after some time. At SGD73, it’s not exactly cheap for a bourgogne, but it truly punches way above its weight, just missing in opulence and fat. Very good.

1986 Ch Pape Clement (courtesy of John), decanted for about 45 minutes prior to serving at Prive Grill, 24 July 2014, displaying a deep vermillion. At this stage, this wine is fully matured, the fruit that was once backward and shy now well integrated and abundant with generous characters of tangerine, cinnamon, violets and earth, though without the pungency of Pessac-Leognan, its acidity threatening to dip but still adequate on this occasion. Delicious.

2009 Gressier Grand Poujeaux, popped and poured at Porta Porta (Stanley St), 24 July 2014. Not impressive initially, the wine distinctly angular and disjointed with a bitter, tannic predisposition. However, it snapped together rather quickly, becoming a lot softer and smoother at the edges while notes of violets, cedar and blueberries emerged readily from the ripe fruit, medium-bodied, without much of the vanilla of new oak. Pleasant and delicious. Not much to shout about but, as I’ve said before, if the price is right, this is a very agreeable wine.

2005 Ch Villars Fontaine Les Jiromees, popped and poured at Gattopardo, 29 July 2014. This white burgundy is unusual, coming from the Cote de Nuits where reds are far more commonplace. This is the fourth bottle I’ve had from a half-case and it’s clear that, over the years, this wine has matured considerably and put on more weight. The nose is particularly attractive, offering generous aromas of cashews, hazelnuts, a dash of apricot and peaches and a touch of caramel. What used to be some crisp flinty notes on the palate has evolved into clear and gentle minerality supporting a fine expanse of lovely fruit with characters leaning towards tropical fruit, medium-bodied, suitably ripe and balanced with a mild creamy texture and acidity that’s well-tamed, although one could wish for greater opulence. I’m hopeful that this will flesh out even more over the next few years. Very fine.

2000 Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon, poured from magnum, decanted on-site at Gattopardo, 29 July 2014, for almost an hour prior to serving. Having had the 2001 recently, I thought this may need more time to settle down but, surprisingly, the 2000 appears to have hit optimal maturity and is drinking very well now. Still displaying quite a dark purple, this wine is soft, fleshy and open, singing right from the start, exhibiting top drawer fruit with cool notes of dark currants, blueberries, violets and cedar amidst some spots of rose petals, cloaked in sweet gentle tannins, medium-full, remarkably well-balanced, beautifully poised and elegant, almost feminine. It grew in intensity after some time, firming up slightly, adding immeasurably to its structure and sophistication without upsetting the fine balance. Unlike its Bordeaux counterparts, this wine may not quite possess any firm reference to its terroir, which is probably its only shortcoming, but this is a really good cabernet that I’m happy to re-visit again and again. Excellent.

2009 Vincent Girardin Gevrey-Chambertin, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure T3, 31 July 2014. Although from an outstanding vintage and made by a dependable negociant, this wine is turning out to be a major disappointment, the fruit being too dark and heavy, shrouded by dusty tannins, disjointed and angular on the palate.

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