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April 2015: 1994 Dominus, 1999 Angelus, 1982 Joseph Perrier, 2000 Serafin Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers, 2012 Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanee La Combe-Crulee, 2005 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne…

May 2, 2015

1970 Vina Albina Bodegas Riojanas Cenicero Gran Riserva (courtesy of Hiok) at Prive, 01 Apr 2015. Dusty dirty brown. Pretty decent nose of heavy medicinal and herbal aromas typical of Ryoja but there is hardly any fruit remaining, just a shell of citrus and acidity. Dying.

2009 Pauillac by Wine Society UK (courtesy of John) at Prive, 01 Apr 2015. Dark, medium-full, slightly tarry, saturated with ripe dark berries of excellent intensity and concentration, linear with traces of enamel and cedar, developing further notes of heated stones and violets over time, but lacking in lushness. Very enjoyable, nonetheless.

1999 Angelus1999 Ch Angelus, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 03 Apr 2015, on the occasion of Monster’s 16th. Deep purple, displaying a complex nose of plum, cassis, bramble, sweet wild berries, spice and blueberries.  Distinctly medium-bodied, good concentration on the palate with a fair bit of intensity, cloaked in supple tannins but cannot hide the wet harvest robbing it of lushness and charm before it regained confidence, putting on considerable weight and fullness after some time with a burst of cedar and sweet dark currants.

Laurent Perrier Brut NV, over lunch with old friends at Iggy’s, 17 April 2015. This champagne is quite excellent, delivering notes of smoky toast and sweet citrus with great definition, aided by crisp acidity against a background of firm minerality, generous in fruit of excellent depth.

2005 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (courtesy of D), over lunch with old friends at Iggy’s, 17 April 2015. This classic white was slightly leafy with notes of fresh morning dew on the nose although it seemed rather restrained and shut initially. It blossomed into a lovely expanse of perfumed white flowers with time, distinctly medium-bodied but layered with an attractive oily texture in the mid-body. Likely to develop at a glacial pace. Best to leave alone another 5 years, at least.

2011 Ballot Millot et Fils Mersault Charmes 1er Cru, a glass offered by Iggy himself for blind-tasting over lunch with old friends at Iggy’s, 17 April 2015. I deduced correctly from the extreme pallor, leafy characters and narrow spectrum of citrus that it was likely to be a Mersault premier cru. Delicate in poise but could do with greater fullness.

2000 Domaine Serafin Pere et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru (courtesy of D) over lunch with old friends at Iggy’s, 17 April 2015. Fully evolved, slightly lowish in acidity, generous in blueberries and red fruits with lovely complexity and understated minerality, sweet at the sides, almost lush, quietly vibrant and intense.

Superior shark's fin soup1995 Michel Gaunoux Beaune, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Rose scented, displaying highly satisfactory aromatics and good level of fruit, very minerally, veering towards saltiness and plummy characters, seamless and open but thinning towards the finish. Apparently a declassified premier cru, but I’d say it has slipped past its peak and will not improve further.

2012 Bruno Clavelier Vosne Romanee La Combe-Brulee 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Displaying a darker profile with an attractive pungency, delivering excellent depth of fruit with the fragrances of tropical fruits and lychee, most unusual in that aspect but well-integrated. Quintessentially burgundian. Quite excellent.

2012 Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Again darker with a youthful exuberance, proffering an exotic bouquet of roses, dark fruits and a tinge of green, ripe and warm on the palate with overtones of smoke, gravel and spice adding immeasurably to a highly satisfying mouthfeel. Nevertheless, I still preferred the La Combe-Brulee above.

1997 Michel Gaunoux Pommard Grands Epenots 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015.  Earthy and vegetal with inadequate plummy fruit, rather uneven, showing up the deficiencies of the weak vintage that even the sweet tannins cannot quite help.

1998 Michel Gaunoux Pommard Grands Epenots 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Compared with the 1997, the following vintage produced a fuller and sweeter wine that is mildly medicinal on the nose but rather flat and devoid of character on palate.

2001 Michel Gaunoux Pommard Grands Epenots 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Still dark in color with fruit that reflects tangerine, kumquat and red plums, underscored by notes of cedar and firm minerality, slightly angular and lacking true complexity.

1995 Michel Gaunoux Pommard Rugiens Les Rugiens Bas 1er Cru,at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Minerally with a slightly sweet medicinal note and stuffed with plummy fruit that seems to be a regular feature of this estate’s wines, finishing on a stern note. On the whole rather placid and undistinguished.

2001 Michel Gaunoux Corton Renardes Grand Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Oh dear…the fruit here is drying out badly, imparting a rather dry character. Avoid.

2007 Michel Gaunoux Pommard Rugiens 1er Cru, at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Alarmingly evolved in color and tone for its relative youth, the wine a one-dimensional concoction of sweet incense and rose cordial. Undistinguished.

1994 Dominus (courtesy of S S Ngoi) poured from magnum at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. This beautiful wine displays an attractive pungency with a fabulous intensity of dark tangerine, dark fruits and blueberries framed by lithe supple tannins that lead to an open, complex and spicy finish. Yet to peak. Superb.

2010 Ch Guiraud (courtesy of S S Ngoi), at Pudong Kitchen, 24 April 2015. Highly promising, saturated with peaches, melons, pineapples and other tropical fruits, quite and placid at the moment. Clearly yet to develop and may shut down soon. Keep.

1982 Joseph Perrier1982 Joseph Perrier Fils et Cie (courtesy of Augustine Kum), poured from magnum at Jade Palace, 25 April 2015. It was good to bump into Auggie again and very kind of him to give me a generous pour of this fabulous champagne that’s apparently only bottled in large format, all the better for this 33-year-old is still remarkably fresh and vibrant with complex flavours of frangipani, barley, rock melon, pomelo and clear citrus against a backdrop of subdued minerality and other yeasty overtones, finishing with an attractive steeliness. No wonder William and Kate chose it for their wedding. Outstanding.

2000 Ch Bellisle Mondotte, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 25 April 2015. Deep dark purple with notes of graphite and dark berries with a vegetal trace, oozing with attractive sweet tannins at the side, becoming more aromatic and plummy over time with emerging notes of cedar. Very good, but still tight and far from peaking. Has a long life ahead.

2009 Charles Joguet Chinon Les Varennes du Grand Clos, popped and poured at Prive, 28 April 2015. From one of the top biodynamic producers of Loire Valley, this wine displayed a deep dark red saturated with ripe raspberries and dark currants and a dash of wild berries with overtones of cedar and mild herbal characters, medium-full and firm on the palate with good depth of fruit that is forward yet pliant, framed by sweet tannins. A good drop.

2009 Ch Le Doyenne, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 30 April 2015. This must be my fourth or fifth bottle over nine months, all tasted with consistent notes. Very dark, saturated with ripe black fruits and layered with redcurrants topped with a sprinkling of graphite, displaying solid depth and concentration yet open and supple in texture without being monolithic, all for only SGD45. Punches way above its weight. Excellent.

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