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Nov 2014: 2003 & 2005 Sociando Mallet, 1989 Domaine de Chevalier, 1989 Lafite Rothschild, 2008 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne…

December 1, 2014

1999 Ch La Clemence, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 03 Nov 2014. Dark red with just a tinge of evolution. Quite promising at the start with a full bouquet of dark fruits amidst some lighter overtones of rose petals, almost full-bodied on the palate where a distinct note of citrus and tangerine preceded a tannic finish. Certainly not a watered-down claret as some may believe this vintage to be. However, it didn’t quite relax nor gel together over time, its tannic spine growing with relentless intensity over time, developing an earthy pungency and blandness that didn’t help things.

2003 Clos du Marquis (courtesy of Hsiang Sui) popped and poured after hours, 6 Nov 2014. There was no trace of burnt in spite of the searing heat from this hot vintage, the wine coming across as fresh and vibrant with delicious notes of cedar, cinnamon, plums and sweet meat, developing some early secondary characteristics, laced with ripe sweet tannins. Very agreeable.

2012 Penfolds Kununga Hill Chardonnay, popped and poured at Ming Kee Live Seafood, 11 Nov 2014. Quite promising right from the outset, delivering notes of yellow citrus, green apples and a hint of melons, fresh and lively. It fleshed out significantly a short while later, bringing forth notes of cream crackers and chalky minerality that matched the forward fruit in equal measure with just a dash of steeliness in its long finish. An overachieving chardonnay that exceeds all expectations. Just don’t look at the label.

2000 Pierre Peters “Les Chetillons”, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 12 Nov 2014. Consistent with a previous tasting note just last month, this champagne displays excellent depth with an abundance of roasted cashews, malt, rye, toast and yeasty overtones, suitably intense on the back palate as the fresh acidity from the rich citrus cuts through the fine bubbles. Excellent.

1989 Domaine de Chevalier, decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 12 Nov 2014, for an hour prior to tasting. I have a soft spot for this estate. Now fully matured with a muted glow of ruby, this wine is holding station with a predominance of red fruits, rose petals and camphor, medium-bodied but well-layered with excellent purity of fruit, distinctly feminine, still carrying adequate acidity to ensure that there is no danger of it fading anytime soon. Very fine, indeed.

1989 Ch Lafite Rothschild (courtesy of Jon Teh), decanted on-site for an hour at Otto Ristorante, 12 Nov 2014, to celebrate Jon’s success. Tasted simultaneously with the Domaine de Chevalier above, offering a moderate bouquet of red plums, dark cherries and some attractive earthy pungency. On the palate, the Lafite is much deeper and richer with an abundance of dark currants and delicious ripe fruit, medium-full, velvety in texture, laced with sweet unobtrusive tannins. Fascinating to compare with the Chevalier, for given the same vintage, the Lafite is distinctly feminine in character as well, displaying more of balanced fragrance and proportions rather than outright heft. This is the best 1989 Lafite I’ve had, and it is still far from peaking.

2007 Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Garenne 1er Cru, poured from bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. Too cold initially, although notes of peaches and melons eventually emerged, coupled with lively acidity and stony minerality, but it lacks presence in the mid-body.

2008 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, poured from bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. Again too cold initially, but this wine hit its stride once the temperature was right. Full-bodied, rich and creamy with complex flavours of citrus, green apples, melons and other floral aromas, tightly knit but expansive and highly inviting, aided by very attractive acidity that adds to the sophistication. A classic BdM. Excellent.

1995 Michel Gaunoux Beaune, poured from bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. This is an over-achieving village, still exuding aromas of rose petals and camphor with an abundance of plummy fruit on the palate, supported by salty minerality that adds further to the weight with tannins that have long receded. Very agreeable.

2009 Domaine B Serveau et Fils Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers 1er Cru, poured from bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. Correct in every way, striking a fine balance between the depth of fruit and the earthy minerality that defines the wine’s delicate poise. However, it did not prove to be memorable.

2006 Pavillon Rouge, poured from 375ml bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. This second wine of Ch Margaux is a letdown. Soft and flabby, the fruit distinctly uninspired, the wine lacking in structure. Most underwhelming. Almost like supermarket wine.

1996 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, poured from bottles that had been aired for at least couple of hours at Parkway Pantai’s cocktail event, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 14 Nov 2014. Deep purple. Highly attractive earthy pungency on the nose, saturating the palate with ripe dark fruits and blackcurrants, slightly tarry, layered and weighty with well-defined dryness coming from the Pauillac terroir. This will be a long-lived claret, for it only seems to be developing early secondary characteristics even almost twenty years post-vintage. Excellent.

2012 Ingoldby shiraz, popped and poured at Wine Connection, I12, 18 Nov 2014. Ingoldby is an estate from McLaren Vale that I much admire for its balanced well-crafted wines and this bottle was no exception with forward notes of ripe wild berries, plums and dark cherries laced with an abundance of sweet tannins balanced against earthy minerality, dense but not hedonistic. The structured finish came on later after an hour when the wine took on further mouth-puckering intensity. At SGD45, this is very agreeable.

2012 Jacob’s Creek Cabernet Shiraz, popped and poured at home over spaghetti, 24 Nov 2014. Forward notes of ripe red plums and licorice amidst earthy characters of forest floor and bramble and wild berries, soft and rounded quite agreeable but unmemorable.

2012 Louis Jadot Macon Villages, popped and aired in bottle after hours at Glen Arden, 27 Nov 2014. My second bottle in as many months, re-confirming the excellence of 2012 for white burgundy where great value is to be found in peripheral regions such as Maconnais and Pouilly-Fuisse. This bottle opened with notes of vanilla, white flowers and a dash of smoky incense, scoring on the palate with creamy rich minerality of unprecedented depth, fullness and linearity all the way to its tense and lasting finish. Presently discounted to SGD37, it’s a no-brainer. Buy as many as you can.

2007 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured after hours at Glen Arden, 27 Nov 2014. I respect any estate that seals its village wines with wax and this bottle doesn’t disappoint. Somewhat muted on the nose, its entry on the palate is marked by a most unusual illusion of fizz before unfurling notes of ripe raspberries and dark cherries amidst mild earthy minerality, displaying good depth and body without being opulent nor lush. I enjoyed it.

2003 Ch Sociando Mallet, decanted and drunk over a couple of hours at Glen Arden, 27 Nov 2014. Although still relatively youthful, this wine has entered its optimal drinking window, offering an abundance of ripe berries, oozing with sweet tannins and overtones of cedar, dark fruit with background raisiny notes a constant reminder of the hot growing season. This wine has transformed significantly compared with a previous tasting some 2-3 years ago, which is not surprising as the Left Bank appears to be maturing at a much faster rate for this uneven vintage. It will develop further before holding at its peak but you should start enjoying it now.

2005 Ch Sociando Mallet (courtesy of Victor), decanted and drunk over a couple of hours at Glen Arden, 27 Nov 2014. Compared with the 2003, this wine is still quite unresolved on the palate, displaying an abundance of ripe dark currants and blueberries and violets but there is more than a trace of hardness from the tough tannins along with some leafy notes. Given its impressive weight and depth of fruit, there is no doubt the 2005 Sociando Mallet will unravel itself to eventually rival the famous 1990 and 2000, but plenty of patience is required.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Calvin Ko permalink
    March 17, 2015 21:52

    Hi Ric, your blog makes fantastic reading, not just for the big name wines but also some great value finds.

    The 2012 Jadot Macon Village seems like a steal at SGD36 ! May i enquire where can I get it from?

    I am enjoy the 2012 Leflaive Macon-Verze tremendously – which at SGD60 makes your Jadot looks like an even greater bargain.

    • Ric permalink*
      March 18, 2015 09:35

      Hi Calvin, thanks for visiting! The 2012 L Jadot Macon-Villages was found at NTUC Finest (Bukit Timah Plaza, though other branches should also have). But it seems it’s now replaced by the 2013 vintage at the same price (till 31st March) which is more metallic and narrow. Ric.

      • Calvin permalink
        March 18, 2015 20:53

        ah .. let’s hope the 2012s r not all gone. cheers Ric!

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