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Feb 2015: 2005 Colgin, 2010 Williams Selyem, 2008 E Guigal D’Ampuis…

March 4, 2015

2008 Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Des Issarts 1er, courtesy of Li Fern at his residence, 01 Feb 2015. There are notes of bright cherries amidst the mild salty minerality but, overall, this wine was disappointing, far too subdued and restrained, leaving a sense of hollowness. Could do with greater body. Certainly not up to premiere cru standards.

2008 Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuees 1er, courtesy of Li Fern at his residence, 01 Feb 2015. An interesting comparison to the above wine, both from the same producer and vintage and both hailing from adjacent communes, but Les Fuees is a better known vineyard and it shows. This wine is darker with a quiet intensity on the nose. Medium-full on the palate, it displays a good concentration of attractive red fruits well balanced against the classic burgundian minerality, blossoming very nicely over time, developing a sweet intensity at the finish. It cannot match a Comte de Vogue in power or refinement, but this is quite satisfying on its own.

2008 Kistler Vineyard Sonoma County, courtesy of Li Fern at his residence, 01 Feb 2015. Slightly darker than usual for pinot, offering attractive notes of rose petals and camphor with good concentration and attractive intensity with some spice box coming through at the finish after some time, though it remained somewhat short at the finish.

2010 Williams Selyem Russian Valley, courtesy of Li Fern at his residence, 01 Feb 2015. Another New World pinot that has attained cult status, although initial impressions weren’t promising, displaying a powerful sweet bouquet with more than a passing semblance to port, though veering away on the palate towards notes of camphor and red fruits, excellent in concentration and intensity yet open in texture. It took on an additional hint of sour plum after some time, becoming very burgundian, just a tad upfront. Very good, if you can find it.

2011 Majella Cabernet Sauvignon, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 04 Feb 2015. Discounted to SGD39, I could not resist trying this wine as I have a soft spot for this estate, having visited it as far back as 2003, and its 1998 vintage is fabulous. Typically for an Aussie red, this wine was big, sharp and tannic, imbued with a density of red and dark currants, leafy characters and a distinct ferrous aftertaste that seemed to recall the ferric sub-soil of Coonawarra. In that sense, it may have succeeded in delivering its terroir, but this is spoilt by excessive spiciness at the finish and I cannot say that I enjoyed this wine at this stage. At that price point, you are better off sticking with Bordeaux cru bourgeois from 2005 or 2009.

2009 Ch Mouton Rothschild Aile d’Argent, courtesy of KP, popped and poured over dinner at his residence, 14 Feb 2015. Very lovely on the nose, an effusive abundance of apricot, melons, white flowers and nugmet all combining very well to produce an air of great complexity and expectation, but falling short on the palate where it was noticeably steely, lacking in vibrancy and fullness. A pity, but I’m still grateful for the opportunity to sample this uncommon white from Mouton.

20150214_203700[1]1990 Claude et Hubert Chavy-Chouet Pommard Les Chanlins 1er, courtesy of Hiok, popped and poured over dinner at KP’s residence, 14 Feb 2015. Very dusky and opaque. In spite of the outstanding vintage and classification, this wine isn’t convincing,

1995 Ch Figeac, popped and poured over dinner at KP’s residence, 14 Feb 2015. Good concentration of dark fruits and redcurrants, almost fully evolved with notes of violets, cinnamon, earth and cedar contrasted against the dried mushrooms and tea leaves. Likely to hold station for many years to come. My last bottle.

2006 Kistler Hyde Vineyard chardonnay, courtesy of Li Fern, popped and poured at Glen Arden after hours, 17 Feb 2015. Displaying a very attractive earthy pungency on the nose, this chardonnay sparkles with brilliant notes of white flowers, melons and icing supported by complex chalky minerality in equal measure, never weighed down by its excellent concentration thanks to its fresh acidity, ensuring that the wine remained lively and vibrant. Excellent.

2005 Colgin Cariad, courtesy of Li Fern, a bottle that’s had the benefit of having been aired overnight, drunk at Glen Arden after hours, 17 Feb 2015. This is a superb example of the heights that Californian cabernet can achieve. The bouquet offers generous notes of aromatic dark currants and mocha, saturated with glorious ripe berries and dark fruits on the palate, underscored by supple minerality, rich yet silky smooth, displaying superb linearity and definition all the way to its lasting finish. Still tight after ten years and clearly yet to peak, but it is outstanding even now. I can’t imagine how it would be once it has time to unfurl its full potential. Superb.

2009 Ch Le Doyenne, popped and poured at Glen Arden after hours, 17 Feb 2015 and again on 19 Feb 2015 during Chinese New Year dinner at home. The nose promises an abundance of aromatic black fruits which translates well onto the palate, medium-full, supported by firm minerality imparting a dash of graphite with traces of bramble and briar, the vanilla and enamel from the new oak still discernible although the flavours seemed rather narrow with the first bottle, but bloomed very well with the second, finishing with fine sophisticated tannins. A prodigious over-achiever.

2008 E Guigal Chateau D’Ampuis Cote Rotie (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured at Glen Arden after hours, 17 Feb 2015. The word “racy” comes to mind, the wine an exciting proposition of ripe dark fruits and raspberries offering some bright spots, medium-full, smooth, excellent in depth and concentration and layering. Hard to place if tasted blind.

2009 Ch Macay, popped and poured at the reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year, 18 Feb 2015. Similar to my previous experience of this wine more than a year ago, it opens with quite a fair bit of dusty tannins and wood dust, the fruit erring towards dryness. But some early development has taken place, with notes of cedar, licorice and earth emerging. Still not impressive enough for me. You’re better off with a cru bourgeois from the Medoc. Moreover, Cotes de Bourg is getting expensive these days.

2011 Ch Pey La Tour, courtesy of Kee Soo, after aeration in bottle for two hours during Chinese New Year dinner, 19 Feb 2015. This wine is imbued with dark berries and raspberries with sweet tannins, weighty and substantial which is unusual for a supermarket wine, but still not able to match up to the 2009 Ch Le Doyenne (above, drunk alongside) in intensity, concentration and sophistication.

2010 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, popped and poured at home, 20 Feb 2015. This has settled considerably, more smooth and open with a myriad of fresh lime and citrus, nutmeg and a dash of apricot, its acidity no longer so crisp and cutting as before and so much the better for it, taking on considerable weight and intensity after some time. Quite excellent.

2011 Ca’Marcanda Vistamare, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. From Gaja. Full-bodied, fresh and bright with a mild steely edge. Gained some floral lift and more intense notes of lime amidst crisp stony minerality but still a relatively straightforward wine.

2012 Nargalie Vigot Vosne Romanee, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Terrible stuff. Too simple and undistinguished.

1997 Michel Gaunoux Corton Renardes Grand Cru, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Still retaining quite a classic burgundian character in spite of its bottle age and the less-than-impressive vintage. Mildly medicinal on the nose and palate with other notes of rose petals and understated minerality.

20150108_131554[1]2004 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Some lovely notes of blueberries, redcurrants, velvety forest floor and a slight vegetal hint that seems to be a characteristic trait of this estate. Medium-full with some early secondary development. More memorable for its attractive aromatics.

2008 Ch Rauzan Segla, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Classically poised, decent red fruits and dark berries with a hint of bramble, structured and lifted at the finish but, overall, somewhat lean.

2009 William Fevre Grenouilles Chablis Grand Cru, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Minerally and chalky, true to its roots with an abundance of perfumed white flowers and vanilla that exuded great presence, creamy rich and delicious.

2006 Ch Montrose, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Attractive earthy pungency, stern and linear on the palate leading to a slightly austere finish. Lacks opulence.

2007 Sassicaia, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Curious blend of dark fruits and tangerine, somewhat lean and not quite seamless at this stage. Needs time to settle down.

2009 Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Intense notes of citrus and white incense, generous in fruit, well-balanced. Lovely.

2010 Meo Camuzet Vosne Romanee Les Charmes 1er, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Cool ripe fruit, balanced but lean.

Krug Grand Cuvee Brut NV, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Full-bodied but dry, almost acerbic, as expected of Krug. Very tight. Great ageing potential in spite of its NV classification.

2007 Clos Sainte Hune Alsace, at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year dinner, Swissotel Stamford Singapore, 27 Feb 2015. Good concentration of dry crisp citrus with a distinct petroleum character in the mid-body that’s classic of Old World Riesling. Should have started the evening with this, rather than at the end!

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