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Dec 2014: 1981 Margaux, 2005 Vieux Chateau Certan, 2007 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee “Aux Malconsort”, 2006 Henri Boillot Corton Charlemagne, 1989 Chasse-Spleen…

January 1, 2015

2006 Henri Boillot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru (courtesy of KW). Popped and poured after a brief period of aeration in bottle at Gattopardo, 2 Dec 2014. Too cold initially with only shades of creme and vanilla discernible. As it warmed up gradually, it grew in body and intensity, broadening with full-bodied complexity on the palate, supported by gorgeous firm minerality with a lovely lift towards a slightly minty finish. This is a Corton-Charlemagne to match those of Bonneau du Martray. Excellent.

2002 Maison Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet, decanted on-site at Gattopardo, 2 Dec 2014. One of the few reds produced from Chassagne, this wine is notably darker in tone and color, dusty red that’s almost brownish, displaying notes of ripe raspberries amidst raisins and medicinal overtones and traces of burnt. 20141213_192024Very atypical for a burgundy, even coming from this venerated estate. I’ll stick with the reds from the Cote des Nuits.

1989 Ch Chasse-Spleen, decanted on-site at Gattopardo, 2 Dec 2014. Still retaining a deep purple after 25 years, this wine exhibits effusive aromas of blueberries and raspberries and traces of tangerine that are well-replicated on the palate with excellent depth of fruit, most succulent and alluring, replete with sweet soft tannins. Clearly at its drinking peak and looks set to hold for several more years. Excellent.

Moet et Chandon NV Rose (courtesy of KP Lim), popped and poured at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Attractive bouquet of pink roses, cherries and other floral notes but somewhat dry and one-dimensional.

2002 Dom Perignon (courtesy of Vic) at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Never disappointing, the 2002 DP is a prodigious wine, somewhat muted initially but eventually glowing with notes of fine complex citrus well-integrated against the chalky minerality with a dash of creme and vanilla, displaying great depth and early complexity though still tight and steely.

2011 Hudelot Noellat Chambolle Musigny at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014.This wine is really lovely, stuffed with red fruits of excellent purity and depth, striking a beautiful balance with the salty minerality, ending in a long lasting finish. Excellent.

2004 Ghistaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny Aux Beau Bruns 1er. Corked unfortunately.

1998 Ch Clos de l’Oratoire (courtesy of SS Ngoi) at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Still displaying a deep dark red, full-bodied with predominant notes of soy amidst some mild herbal aromas, excellent in concentration with velvety tannins. Still not much development at this stage. this will be a long-lived Saint Emilion.

2005 & 2006 VCC2006 Vieux Chateau Certan (courtesy of SS Ngoi) at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Full-bodied with a powerful earthy pungency, yet soft and accessible. Still unevolved and slightly short.

2005 Vieux Chateau Certan (courtesy of SS Ngoi) at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Dark inky black, oozing with ripe warm black fruits with subtle graphite colouring, full-bodied but superb in balance. Still primal, this will be a long-lived Pomerol.

2005 Hestan Vineyards cabernet sauvignon (courtesy of LF) at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Predictably huge with a strong graphite element, traces of herbal medicine and an abundance of dark fruits. Hedonistic but superbly controlled, balanced and crafted.

2011 Alois Kracher No.8 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese, at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. One marvels at the remarkable balance, just medium-full, never heavy, achieving a lovely concentration of melons, tropical fruits, lychees and fig with a quiet intensity and inner complexity, yet never over-bearing. Excellent.

2003 Ch Guiraud at New Ubin Seafood, 07 Dec 2014. Full-bodied but dipping in acidity already, which is both surprising and alarming, robbing this Sauterne of its verve and liveliness, turning a tad heavy and flat.

2007 Paul Hobbs Lindsay Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, popped and poured at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 08 Dec 2014. If I hadn’t known that this bottle was a pinot noir, I’d have thought I was drinking a malbec or GSM blend, for such was its weight and forward projection of ripe dark fruits and raspberries amidst powerful medicinal and herbal overtones, tight and tannic on the palate. Did the estate label the bottle wrongly?

2009 Altavilla Della Corte Firriato, a half-bottle bought off the list of Buona Terra, 09 Dec 2014. Popped and poured. I’m highly impressed by the lifted aromas of white roses, fig, melons and citrus coupled with seared caramel and light honey of surprising richness and intensity on the palate, supported by firm chalky minerality that added to some degree of genuine complexity. An over-achieving Sicilian, perfectly agreeable at SGD58.

2008 Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino, a half-bottle bought off the list of Buona Terra, 09 Dec 2014. Aired in bottle for well over an hour. This Brunello does not disappoint, promising a big wine with powerful aromas of red plums, cedar, raisins and dark berries, living up to its promise on the palate, medium-full with excellent depth of fruit, yet open and layered with a rich vein of dark berries, suggesting that this wine still has quite some way to go before peaking.

2004 Ch Bernadotte, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 13 Dec 2014. This wine appears to have turned the corner, shedding its green surly coat, more open on the nose and palate with notes of cedar, raisins and ripe berries, carrying excellent weight and supported by understated minerality and sweet subdued tannins. Definitely much more inviting and delicious than ever before.

1995 Verve Cliquot La Grande Dame (courtesy of Chor Tzien) at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. Very lovely on the nose with notes of cashews, toast and yeast, deep and inviting, displaying excellent balance on the palate between the lively citrus and crystalline minerality. Sophisticated and highly attractive.

2004 Belle Epoque Perrier-Jouet, popped and poured at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. Forward balance of dense citrus that is somewhat acerbic on the palate, tapering to a steely austere finish.

2009 Leflaives Macon-Verzes (courtesy of Li Fern), aired for 45 minutes at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. It was good to return to this perennial favourite, still full-bodied and packed with an abundance of ripe citrus and chalky minerality, intense on the palate, yet to yield further complexity.

2002 Leroy Montagny (courtesy of Li Fern), aired for almost an hour at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. Attractive  bouquet of earthy pungency. Slightly flat on the palate but it transformed quite quickly into a broader wine with notes of white flowers and tangy citrus, rather firm, finishing with a bit of spice at the edges. A good drop but I wished it carried greater complexity.

2009 Meo Camuzet Morey St Denis, aired in bottle for 90 minutes at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. In spite of its youth, this wine is fully accessible now, stuffed with fruit of great purity, offering lifted aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries and camphor with traces of vanilla still discernible, replete with plenty of fat in the mid-body, just a tad spicy at the finish. Excellent.

Scallops with foie gras at Chotto Matte2003 Joseph Drouhin Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (courtesy of Ooi CJ) aired in bottle for 90 minutes at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. I’m afraid this Grand Cru doesn’t quite live up to its billing, rather heavy with medicinal aromas that tend to impart a certain density on everything else. Disappointing.

2007 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee “Aux Malconsort”1er Cru (courtesy of SS Ngoi), aired in bottle for 90 minutes at Chotto Matte, 18 Dec 2014. Expectations were high and this wine doesn’t disappoint, offering a fantastic bouquet of pink roses and other floral fragrances, displaying great presence and depth on the palate with predominant notes of red cherries and spice that lent plenty of verve and vibrancy. Excellent.

2004 Clonakilla Shiraz-Viognier, popped and poured at Beng Hiang, 20 Dec 2014. I don’t like the way this wine is shaping up after 10 years, even though this bottle had been immaculately cellared for the past 7 years. Heavy with a predominance of medicinal overtones and forest floor and wild berries, one-dimensional and angular, almost hard. Disappointing.

2007 Ch Haut Batailley, popped and poured at home, 22 Dec 2014. Compared to a previous bottle from the same batch tasted about 18 months ago, this wine has turned alarmingly angular and disjointed, its fruit already stale and drying out, leaving a carcass of musty wood and dusty tannins. Not worth buying even at SGD59.

2010 Ch Loudenne, popped and poured from magnum (my last!) at the wedding of Evan & Cynthia, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 27 Dec 2014. This wine offers deep aromas of rich dark currants and blueberries on the nose although, on the palate, it is distinctly medium-bodied, slightly lighter and more open in texture than before with a good concentration of violets and graphite elements in its sophisticated tannins, growing in intensity over time, a cru bourgeois within touching distance of a Fifth Growth. Very good for its price.

1981 Margaux1981 Ch Margaux (courtesy of John), a half-bottle decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 30 Dec 2014. To be honest, there was substantial bottle stink on the nose and palate that almost amounted to the bottle being corked, but we didn’t have the heart to pour away a Margaux. Thank goodness, though, it seemed to blow off by the time we reached the latter half of the bottle, revealing predominant red fruits and tangy citrus that the wine still carried, allied with notes of earth, forest floor and wild berries amidst a soft fragrance. However, this wine clearly lacked distinction and if I’d been blinded, there was no way I’d have known this was a 33-year-old premier cru. Nevertheless, a big thank-you, John.

Mansard Brut NV, popped and poured over lunch at Imperial Treasure T3, 31 Dec 2014. Attractive and promising at first with generous notes of lime and citrus supported by flinty minerality, offering very good depth of fruit. However, it became far too dry and crisp after some time, becoming one-dimensional and hard.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 3, 2015 18:43


    Thank you to have taste our Brunello. I’m Riccardo Gabriele Pr from Il Marroneto. I’m glad to Wait for you in ITALY o asap in Singapore
    Happy new year

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