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Sep 2015: 1983 Silver Oak (Napa Valley), 2002 Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet 1er, 1982 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 2000 Louis Jadot Clos St Jacques…

September 21, 2015

2014 Ochagavia Silvestre cabernet sauvignon, a glass of which over lunch at Catalunya, 03 Sep 2015. Notes of plummy red fruit proliferate amongst other notes of earth and forest floor, generous in body with well-managed tannins. Quite serviceable as a table wine.

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne blanc (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. This wine easily outperforms its classification, its quality fruit offering generous depth and body, soft and creamy, offset by some chalkiness and very well balanced on the whole.

2001 Maison Leroy Mersault 1er Blagny (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. Dull golden and relatively muted, medium-bodied, its clean citrus notes displaying clear delineation. Somewhat lean. Could do with more opulence

1999 Maison Leroy Puligny-Montrachet 1er (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. A definite step up in quality from the Mersault, much more evolved, displaying the lovely fragrance of white flowers and crème de la crème, still rather backward on the palate, not helped by the subdued minerality although there is some emerging complexity. Still has a long life ahead. Very fine.

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne rouge (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. Just like its white counterpart, this wine can easily stake its position as a top village or perhaps even outperforming the premier cru of some estates, offering an abundance of ripe raspberries and dark cherries imbued with mild earthy minerality, oozing with sweet tannins throughout its length. Quite excellent.

2003 Maison Leroy Savigny-les-Beaune Les Ratausses (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. This wine is well into its secondary development, displaying an attractive complexity of savoury characters and sweet cedar throughout its length without any trace of burnt nor burliness normally associated with this commune. Good stuff.

2002 Maison Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet 1er (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured after hours at S S ENT, 10 Sep 2015. One of the rare reds from Chassagne, this wine offers a gorgeous bouquet of camphor, red fruits, red roses and a hint of incense, highly attractive and complex, medium-bodied, displaying excellent depth, balance and well-defined minerality.  Almost approaching grand cru status. Excellent.

2014 Flametree chardonnay, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. This Margaret River white took me by surprise with its delicate citrus, white flowers and crème de la crème, generous without being over-the-top, sensibly balanced and lengthy. A bargain at SGD48.

2014 Frankland Isolation Ridge Riesling, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. Marked by a dominant and lifted note of petroleum, pleasant and fairly substantial on the palate but a tad short.

2014 Turkey Flat Butcher’s Block white, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. Made in the style of a Rhone white, this wine offers notes of nutmeg and traces of spice from its blend of marsanne, rousanne and viognier, but somewhat lean and short.

2009 Misha’s Vineyard High Note pinot noir, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. Highly aromatic with notes of rose petals, camphor and red cherries, fairly intense and assertive, ending on a minty note. Unashamedly New World but I’m not convinced by its balance.

2012 Flametree cabernet merlot,at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. This Margaret River red possesses an earthy pungency with a vegetal tone, far too one dimensional. Disappointing.

2012 Katnook cabernet sauvignon, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. Not its Odyssey flagship. Plenty of ripe red fruits producing a velvety mouthfeel with vegetal and earthy overtones, rather dry at the finish. Lacks distinction.

2003 Secret Places Barossa Shiraz, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. A fine shiraz in the Barossa tradition, medium-full, tight with plenty of plummy red fruit framed by lithe tannins. Needs time to unfold.

2013 Turkey Flat Butchers Block red, at a Crystal Wines tasting, 12 Sep 2015. Too much of vegetal and earthy forest floor character, generous proportions, almost dense but undistinguished.

1983 Silver Oak Napa Valley (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Poured from a double magnum, this beautiful wine is fully matured but still exciting, displaying a powerful glow that is slightly medicinal in character, leading to a complex of red plums, cinnamon, red fruits and overtones of sandalwood, absolutely harmonious, layered with great depth and opulence, developing an attractive pungency later on the nose. This is probably the finest example of a Californian cabernet that I’ve had. Outstanding.

1986 Ch Pape Clement (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Poured from magnum, this wine produced a powerful and intense bouquet of red fruit, dark berries, anise, ripe sweet plums and tangerine, highly promising but somewhat of a let down on the palate where it was smooth with traces of earth but lacking in weight and character.

2012 Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Poured from magnum, the wine possesses an unusual bouquet of intense lively citrus with notes of  longans, tropical fruits, grapefruit and a trace of nail polish, ending in a chromic finish amidst a hint of must and earth. I liked it.

1999 Maison Roche de Bellene Chambolle-Musigny (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Poured from magnum, this wine displayed racy aromas of red cherries and traces of enamel, let down, unfortunately, by a nondescript palate.

2004 Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5  (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Poured from magnum. Racy and plummy from the tempranillo but somewhat unsettled, yet to unfurl its full colors.

2007 Comte de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny 1er (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Fresh with plenty of red fruits and some darker berries, subdued in minerality, ending with traces of spice and mint, lacking in opulence.

2013 Rockford Black Shiraz, (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Forward balance of dark cherries and raspberries but not in-your-face, well crafted and layered, the bubbles adding a further dimension to the sweet tannins. Will benefit from a few years of cellaring.

2011 Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. Fairly dense and weighty, as expected, with a solid core of ripe dark fruit and wild berries amidst other notes of earth, smoke and medicinal overtones, quite linear and focused. CdP lovers will appreciate this.

2005 Hestan Cabernet Sauvignon (courtesy of Li Fern), aired in advance at the grand opening of S S ENT, 19 Sep 2015. A big wine, no less, saturated with notes of tangerine and dark berries with a vegetal trace, still tight and structured but very well integrated and balanced.

2003 Silver Oak Alexander Valley, courtesy of Vic at his residence, 20 Sep 2015. This is a another beautiful wine from this estate, featuring a slight forward balance of red fruits and darker berries that is quite typical of the cabernet from Alexander Valley compared with its sister wine from Napa Valley, less structured, softer and more accessible with recessed tannins, just a tad stern at the finish but still very lovely, nonetheless.

1982 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste, courtesy of Kieron at Vic’s residence, 20 Sep 2015. Fully matured, this wine features the classic Pauillac character of dried tea leaves, mushrooms and wood shavings balanced against ripe dark berries and tangerine, the fruit still holding up well with sweet tannins trailing in its wake, very relaxed and open but neither as lush nor opulent compared with estates in the top tier for the same vintage. Unlikely to improve further.

2003 Barossa Valley E & E Black Pepper shiraz, popped and poured at Vic’s residence, 20 Sep 2015. The cork was truly desiccated, but the wine was, thankfully, still pristine with a forward balance of red fruits, tangerine and an exciting spark of lime in the middle, soft and plush with recessed tannins, open and layered.

2010 Ch Loudenne, at the SIA First Class lounge, Changi Airport T3, 23 Sep 2015. One of my favourite producers of the Medoc, once served on board SIA Business Class. Possesses an aromatic fragrance of ripe red fruits and dark berries but it turned out to be rather stern and monochromatic on the palate with dry dusty textures. Disappointing.

2012 Glaetzer Bishop, at the SIA First Class lounge, Changi Airport T3, 23 Sep 2015. Enticing nose recalling rich dark berries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied and warm interspersed with chocolate and spice, slightly vegetal. Lacks true complexity.

2004 Verve Clicquot, at the SIA First Class lounge, Changi Airport T3, 23 Sep 2015. Toast and yeasty overtones dominate, but far too dry and monochromatic for my liking.

2011 Joseph Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, from the restaurant list of Ma Cuisine in Beaune, 25 Sep 2015. Intense nose of red fruits and dark cherries, rather minerally and minty, well-integrated but slightly angular at the finish, not helped at all by the warm ambient temperature at this iconic restaurant. Yet to develop secondary nuances. A wasted bottle.

2003 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs, from the restaurant list of Ma Cuisine in Beaune, 25 Sep 2015. In spite of the significant bottle age, this wine is still dark with a raisiny quality, saturated with intense dark cherries amidst a spicy backdrop with trace of burnt. Lacks charm and elegance.

2010 Paul Jaboulet Aine Le Chevalier de Sterimberg, from the list of three-Michelin-starred Arpege in Paris, 28 Sep 2015. Beautiful luminous gold with rich aromas of seared caramel, buttery notes and crème de la crème, generous in the mid-body, chalky, lively with fair intensity and excellent concentration. Well-priced at EUR165.

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2000 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1er, from the list of three-Michelin-starred Arpege in Paris, 28 Sep 2015. Dull red that belies a lovely effusive bouquet of red fruits and attractive earthy pungency, lively and vivacious, quite racy with a prominent minerally note, adding some tension that heightened the excitement. Wonderful. A relative bargain at EUR220.

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