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Aug 2015: 2004 David Duband Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers 1er, 2009 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fume De Pouilly, 2000 Domaine de Chevalier…

September 3, 2015

2006 Kistler Hyde Vineyards “Carneros” chardonnay, courtesy of Li Fern at the soft launch of SS ENT, 11 Aug 2015. Possessing an almost cult-like following, this New World chardonnay is rich, minerally and creamy with a complex of citrus, melons, white flowers and traces of apricot and caramel, well-proportioned and balanced. Yet to peak, I suspect.

2006 Leflaive Mersault 1er Sous De Dos D’Ane, courtesy of Li Fern at the soft launch of SS ENT, 11 Aug 2015. An uncommon opportunity to taste an aged Mersault premiere cru, displaying fragrant aromas of fig and traces of plum, rewarding the palate with an aged sappy texture amidst a powerful glow of chalk and minerals, possessing lovely depth and balance.

2000 Ch Haut Bailly, courtesy of Li Fern at the soft launch of SS ENT, 11 Aug 2015.  This beautiful wine exhibits intense red plums and dark currants amidst traces of earth and forest notes, deep and glowing with sweet tannins and some early complexity, very smooth and well-balanced. I have a soft spot for the wines of Pessac-Leognan and this lovely example is still far from its peak.

1997 Silver Oak Napa Valley, courtesy of Li Fern at the soft launch of SS ENT, 11 Aug 2015. This iconic Californian cabernet has a forward balance of red fruits and dark currants of wonderful depth and concentration with textures that are open and layered, replete with arresting aromas of roses and red cherries. Excellent as it is, I don’t think this wine has hit its peak.

2001 Schloss Saarstein Serringer Saarsteiner riesling auslese, courtesy of Li Fern at the soft launch of SS ENT, 11 Aug 2015. As expected, this wine is imbued with the sweet intoxicating fragrance of nectarine, apricot and tropical fruits without being overbearing but, surprisingly, lacking in true complexity that usually comes most naturally with these Mosel whites.

2012 Follin Arbelet Aloxe Corton Clos du Chapitre 1er, courtesy of Vincent at Glen, 12 Aug 2015. This red from the southern end of the Cote de Nuits is rather straightforward with notes of  roses and raspberries amidst a faint trace of green, medium-bodied and somewhat short.

2012 JJ Chave Saint-Joseph Offerus, courtesy of Vincent at Glen, 12 Aug 2015. This Rhone offering displays an abundance of wild berries, earth and some vegetal trace, ultimately straightforward and four-square.

1995 Ch Boyd Cantenac, at a Glen tasting, 12 Aug 2015. At 20 years, this Margaux  lives up to expectations with a bouquet of perfumed incense and lovely fragrance, allied with a cool medium-bodied proposition of blueberries and some red fruits, slightly plummy.

2011 M Chapoutier La Bernardine, courtesy of Vincent at Glen, 12 Aug 2015. Medium-full with a racy blend of roses, red cherries and ripe wild berries with a mild herbal trace, supported by earthy minerality and sweet tannins. Very enjoyable.

2011 Schlossgut Diel Spatlese, popped and popped at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. As expected, this wine posseses a lovely mix of nectarine, apricot, peaches and melons with an enticing sweetness, beautifully proportioned and controlled without any excess, underscored by traces of intense tropical fruit, lush and unassuming. Quite superb.

2009 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fume De Pouilly (courtesy of Dr Wang KW), popped and poured at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. This Loire Valley sauvignon blanc from a cult producer possesses an unusual but highly attractive profile of apricot, green melons and sweet citrus, medium-full with plenty of fat in the mid-body, supported by subtle chalky minerality. Fascinating.

2004 David Duband Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers 1er (courtesy of Ooi CJ), popped and poured at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. This wine is drinking very beautifully now, displaying arresting aromas of red cherries, camphor and fragrant rose petals allied with great purity on the palate, possessing power, finesse and elegance in equal measure. Very lovely. A great success.

2001 Ch Sociando Mallet, aired in advance for 3 hours prior at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. I have read elsewhere that this particular wine is on par with premier cru grand vin on the palate. Indeed, this is no idle claim, for this wine is imbued with glorious ripe fruit recalling blueberries, dark currants, raspberries and a dash of dark cherries framed by lithe tannins, racy and exciting on the palate, displaying a level of richness and depth quite unprecedented for a Haut Medoc. Truly excellent, and may even rival the 2000 Sociando Mallet.

2004 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, aired in advance for 3 hours prior at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. Very dark. Filled with an abundance of black fruits and dark currants, displaying plenty of body, concentration and depth, oozing with sweet subtle tannins, producing a highly sophisticated mouthfeel without quite the usual dryness nor graphite quality of the Saint Julien terroir. Excellent and yet to peak, of course.

1996 Ch Calon Segur, aired in advance for 3 hours prior at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. Displaying a dusky red with an evolved rim, this wine has a relaxed and open feel, featuring blueberries, ripe wild berries and a sprinkling of red cherries, noticeably dry with a hint of mushrooms and tea leaves, finishing with an after note of sweet tannins, licorice and sandalwood. At its peak, and would probably do better with proper food. You can hardly go wrong with this estate.

1990 Ch La Tour de By (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured at Glen Arden, 25 Aug 2015. Dusty and opague, but this wine is still well and alive, fully matured, its fruit recalling notes of raisins, cinnamon and roast with mild medicinal overtones, very mellow. Will not improve further.

2000 Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon, poured from magnum at Parkway Pantai Dinner & Dance, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 29 Aug 2015. Dull dusty red, proffering some medicinal character initially that soon gave way to notes of raisins, cedar, red plums and a trace of wood, medium-full, decent in layering with ripe tannins. Unlikely to improve further although this bottle may not be entirely representative, its desiccated cork possibly implying less than pristine provenance.

Krug Grande Annee Brut, courtesy of Li Wei at her baby’s first birthday, 30 Aug 2015. Heavier in golden tint than usual for a NV, this champagne was ample on the nose and palate with notes of toast, yeasty overtones and crème de la crème, weighty with excellent concentration of fruit, forward in character, its bold dryness (typical of Krug) very well balanced against the cutting acidity from the intense citrus. Most attractive, inviting sip after sip. I couldn’t put it down. Excellent.

1996 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc (courtesy of WCY), aired in bottle for over an hour at Sichuan Dou Hua, Park Royal Hotel, 31 Aug 2015. Displaying a heavier tint with age, this wine possesses aromas of almonds, walnuts and cream with a sappy quality on the palate from the semillon component along with a hint of apricot and cinnamon, propped up by crisp acidity from the sauvignon blanc, ending on a metallic note.

2000 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge (courtesy of WCY), popped and poured at Sichuan Dou Hua, Park Royal Hotel, 31 Aug 2015. A perennial favourite of mine, this under-rated wine has mellowed considerably, its fruit and tannins more understated than before such that its classical poise, balance and quiet elegance is all the more striking, with a touch of earth. A red specially for true connoisseurs of claret.

2000 Ch Pape Clement (courtesy of WCY), aired in bottle for over an hour at Sichuan Dou Hua, Park Royal Hotel, 31 Aug 2015. Undoubtedly more exciting and fuller in body than the preceding Domaine de Chevalier of the same vintage, probably resulting from a longer hang time and higher fruit extraction, more forward in notes of blackcurrants and ripe dark berries, framed by velvety tannins. It was interesting that it mellowed considerably after another hour, regressing towards a very harmonious and homogenous balance not unlike the Domaine de Chevalier, topped with a sweet plummy glow, but not in any way superior. In fact, the Domaine de Chevalier was the more interesting wine as time went by.

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