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Chambolle-Musigny & Morey-Saint-Denis Grand Cru

June 29, 2015

It’s definitely harder for everyone to meet up these days as family and work commitments seem to take precedence over social life, as evidenced by the fact that only 6 of us could make it for what was only Bacchus’ second meeting for the year on 26 May 2015 at Yan Ting, St Regis Hotel, Singapore, where the excellent Bruce Lee had customised a menu for us in its spacious private room.

We began the evening with a Clos du Chateau De Bligny, Cuvee 6 Cepages, a unique champagne made from a blend of six grapes: pinot noir, chardonnay,  arbane, pinot blanc, petit meslier and  pinot meunier. Light golden with yeasty overtones and a clear minerally base, this wine was significantly lighter in body compared with the usual suspects for champagne, stern and steely, lacking in extended depth and layering. It eventually gained some weight over time, smoothening out, becoming more nutty with a rich tone of almonds. An unusual champagne that may not be to everyone’s liking. 20150526_222520[1]We followed on with a 2002 Louis Latour Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru that was suitably rich in lime and yellow citrus with a top note of creme de crème, displaying further notes of caramel and nutmeg on the mid-body, surprisingly ample for a Louis Latour without its signature leafy elements although I’d say it is still a notch below the efforts of Leflaive.

We kicked off the reds with a rare gem courtesy of Chris, a 1969 Domaine Grivelet Chambolle-Musigny 1er, still very much alive, displaying a fully-evolved nose of menthol and herbal characters allied with dark roses, cherries and sweet incense, gentle, rounded and pure on the palate, holding on till the end of dinner. Truly remarkable.

Staying with Chambolle, a pair of 1996 Comte de Vogue was pitted against each other, a Chambolle-Musigny “Les Amoureuses” 1er versus a Chambolle-Musigny Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, both sourced directly from the cellars of this venerable estate, courtesy of Li Fern. True to character, the Amoureuses, in spite of its wonderful fruit of rich dark cherries, was more feminine, sporting aromas of rose petals and camphor, medium-full and supple with traces of spice, a tad short at the finish. In contrast, the Bonnes Mares was a bigger wine altogether, the aromas of ripe red cherries more powerful,  distinctly darker, deeper and more penetrating on a bed of salty minerality, finishing with great length. Truly masculine. A fascinating study.

Moving north to the tiny commune of Morey-Saint-Denis, we paired the 2001 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (courtesy of Kieron) with the 1998 Clos des Tart Grand Cru (courtesy of Pipin). Again, true to form, for it is northmost and closest to Gevrey-Chambertin, the Ponsot Clos de la Roche was arresting in its floral aromas, possessing great depth, power and structure from the ripe fruit with notes of redcurrants, cherries and tangerine, very well integrated, masculine and youthful still. Simply glorious. 20150526_222800[1] In contrast, the famous monopoly of Clos des Tart, at the extreme southern end of Morey-Saint-Denis, was narrower in spectrum although it boasted a fabulous bouquet of camphor, incense and vanillin allied with great power, linearity and intensity on the palate, less structured and, hence, more feminine. Wonderful stuff.

As usual, someone would get it all wrong, and so we ended up with an oddity in the form of a 2007 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru (courtesy of Hiok) but no one is complaining, for this wine demonstrates why Clos de Beze is on par with Le Chambertin: glorious fruit of ripe cherries and raspberries and redcurrants, wonderful in depth, power and intensity with overtones of glycerine, smoke and traces of burnt, structured with ripe tannins, just a dash ferrous and minerally at the finish. And, to end, a 1983 Ch D’Yquem (courtesy of David) that displayed a heavy honeyed tone, rich in apricot and nectar, lush with immense intensity and concentration of tangerine and orange peel, its fresh acidity ensuring many more years of life ahead.

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