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Nov 2015: 2001 D’Yquem, 2006 D’Yquem Y, 2008 Mount Mary Quintet, 1989 Palmer, 2001 Etude Pinot Noir, 2012 Saint-Cosme Les Deux Albion, 2000 Pontet Canet, 2009 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, 2006 Sylvie Esmonin Clos St Jacques, 2008 JF Mugnier NSG Clos de la Marechale…

November 30, 2015

Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose, popped and poured at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. Notes of toast, white smoke, grapefruit, traces of plum, apples and apricot, glowing with good concentration on the palate, good balance, not too crisp, ending in a dry metallic finish.

Henri Giraud Fut De Chene Ay MV (courtesy of KG), popped and poured at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. This champagne displayed a high-toned bright minerality, generous in citrus zest and sweet yeasty overtones, appropriately crisp, coming together very well with lovely intensity and significant complexity. Excellent.

2008 G Prieur Echezeaux Grand Cru (courtesy of Peter Tan), from a magnum aired in bottle for almost an hour at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. This wine is restrained with aromas of strawberries and red fruits, open on the palate, characterised by bright red fruits, good intensity and classic balance with a salty minerality without being too profound in depth.

20151031_1957372006 Soldera (courtesy of Dr S S Ngoi), aired in bottle for 9 hours prior to serving at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. Medium-full, white flowers, black pepper, red fruits, dark plums, excellent length but slightly stern at the finish. Almost voluptuous.

2006 Ch D’Yquem Y (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), aired for 2 hours in bottle before serving at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. An unusual opportunity to taste this uncommon white, the Y displayed a bouquet of crème de la crème, white flowers and traces of nectar with further notes of pineapples and tropical fruits after having settled down, but dominated by a ferrous tone on the palate, imparting a stern demeanour.

2001 Ch D’Yquem (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), two half-bottles aired for 2 hours prior to serving at Tunglok Signatures, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 31 Oct 2015. The second time in as many weeks that I’ve had this very same wine with consistent notes. Pure liquid gold oozing with luscious nectar, apricot and intense smoky sweet incense, displaying great linearity, acidity and uniformity, yet to develop secondary nuances but clearly stamped with greatness. Outstanding.

Laurent-Perrier Brut NV, popped and poured at All Night Long, Hong Kong, 06 Nov 2015. Forward characters of lime and yellow citrus, pretty intense and underscored by yeasty overtones, zesty and vibrant, a tad too dry for my liking on this occasion but not lacking in body.

2008 Frogmore Creek cabernet merlot, popped and poured at Golden Dragon restaurant, Hong Kong, 07 Nov 2015. Obviously a quaffer, this Tasmanian red, nonetheless, acquitted itself rather well with a lovely nose of red fruits, plums and a hint of prune and tangerine, but too disjointed on the palate where it was stern with a prominent metallic quality, finishing with dusty tannins.

2012 Chateau de Saint-Cosme Les Deux Albion, poured after a brief airing of 20 minutes in bottle at Golden Dragon restaurant, Hong Kong, 07 Nov 2015. This wine (albeit a 2001) achieved cult status after having been prominently featured in Vol. 2 of the famous manga The Drops of God, where it had swayed the taste buds of an eminent wine critic and, thereafter, formed part of a blinded 3-wine line-up of French vs Italy. True to form, the 2012 displayed an attractive earthy pungency with copious notes of cedar and red currants on the nose, somewhat lean on the palate initially but blossoming into a fine wine of fair intensity and definition with overtones of orange peel, a classic hallmark of Rhone, medium to full-bodied, ending in a graphite finish that was a tad short. The varied Cantonese cuisine didn’t match very well with it but I’d imagine this robust wine will go very well with barbequed meats. Priced at a shade above HKD400 from the restaurant list, this is, in every way, a good drop.

Raphael et Vincent Bereche Champagne Cote premier cru, a 2007 disgorgement, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure T3, 10 Nov 2015. Forward balance of lime and citrus zest, underscored by yeasty overtones and toast, featuring good depth and intensity but a tad too dry.

2008 Mount Mary Quintet, popped and poured from magnum over 3 hours at the wedding of Jon & Fiona, Ritz-Carlton Singapore, 14 Nov 2015. I thought this may be a massive wine but, most surprisingly, it turned out to be highly accessible with initial aromas of dark cherries, camphor and sweet incense and further notes of dark currants and blueberries within its depths on the palate, rounded with subdued tannins and understated structure, transforming further after some time into an utterly harmonious wine with a high tone of red plums, peaches and orange peel. In essence, this is a feminine wine, pretty much in spirit like a Lafite Rothschild or Ducru Beaucaillou, more of refined elegance than outright power though without the voluptuousness. Excellent.

20151114_2246481989 Ch Palmer (courtesy of Vic), opened for at about 3 hours at the wedding of Jon & Fiona, Ritz-Carlton Singapore, 14 Nov 2015. Fully evolved, this stately Margaux displayed a dominant tone of dried plums and tangerine supported by a prominence of dry gravel and earthy minerality that was almost saltish, utterly seamless, the glorious red fruits of 26 years ago still substantial and fresh beneath all that outer sheen. Likely to hold on for several more years. Excellent.

2001 Etude Pinot Noir Carneros (courtesy of Dr Ngoi), tasted after being aired in bottle for a couple of hours at the wedding of Jon & Fiona, Ritz-Carlton Singapore, 14 Nov 2015. This is a true pinot in style and spirit, relaxed, open and flowing with excellent linearity and purity of fruit, though its depth and power is considerably more substantial than I’d expected with a rich vein of ripe raspberries and dark cherries coursing through, trailed by traces of tangerine. Forget about comparing Old and New World pinot. I enjoyed it.

1999 Maison Roche de Bellene Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er (courtesy of Sanjay), tasted at Chef Kang’s after a brief airing, 17 Nov 2015. Traces of apricot and white flowers well supported by chalky minerality of fair intensity with an aged feel where the wine is somewhat subdued and placid in spite of having retained decent acidity, but its lack of fullness in mid-body for such a successful vintage is telling, eventually fading away, becoming hollow.

1999 Hospices de Beaune Beaune 1er Cuvee Maurice Drouhin (courtesy of MH), tasted at Chef Kang’s after a brief airing, 17 Nov 2015. Made by Joseph Drouhin, this wine displayed notes of dark raspberries and sweet wild berries with a dash of spice, linear, straightforward and fairly generous on the palate, turning stern and minty with a vegetal trace not unexpected of the Cote de Beaune reds before blossoming with a powerful tangerine and plummy tone.

2006 Sylvie Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1er, tasted at Chef Kang’s after 45 minutes of aeration, 17 Nov 2015. Well-proportioned, good depth of fruit with predominant notes of bright cherries and rose petals, structured, well matched with a minty earthy tone, attaining a perfumed fragrance after some time though a tad short. Distinctly feminine, perhaps because it’s made by a female vintner?

2004 Jayer-Gilles Echezeaux Grand Cru (courtesy of LF), tasted at Chef Kang’s after an hour of aeration in bottle, 17 Nov 2015. Made by a distant relation of Henri Jayer, this wine seemed rather shut on the nose even at this stage, where one could only discern traces of red cherries on the nose while mild medicinal notes with bright spots that eventually broadened on the palate, gaining in intensity towards the end of dinner. Not particularly distinctive on the whole.

2002 Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny 1er (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), tasted at Chef Kang’s after 90 minutes of aeration in bottle, 17 Nov 2015. Dark, big, almost creamy with a metallic trace, saturating the senses with an abundance of dark currants and ripe dark cherries of excellent linearity with a dash of soy. Still yet to peak. Excellent.

2000 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (courtesy of Vic), tasted at Chef Kang’s after 90 minutes of aeration, 17 Nov 2015. Aromas of lemongrass amidst mild grassy overtones. Buttery with notes of coconut, nectarine, apricot and seared caramel with a controlled sweetness, intensity and understated complexity. Lengthy. Quite outstanding.

2011 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillon 1er, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Quite the opposite of a Pucelles, the Clavoillon is marked by its distinctive aromatics with ample floral characters and notes of dried citrus and cinnamon, understated in minerality. Delicious.

20151123_2239372012 Meo Camuzet Vosne-Romanee Les Chaumes 1er, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Clear ruby, predominant notes of red roses but surprisingly linear and restrained, lacking in multi-dimension on the palate. I’d expected more from this address.

2008 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Here is burgundy at its best, a wine of great purity, displaying excellent balance between the depth of intensity of fresh roses and cherries and the delicate aromatics. Lovely.

2009 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Morning dew, melons, green apples and citrus of great intensity, supported by clear minerality with a trace of steeliness at the finish. Needs time to unfurl its full glory. Truly one for the long haul. Will be outstanding.

2006 Ch Montrose, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Dark, full-bodied with a vegetal trace amidst an abundance of dark with a sense of warmth, dry with a gravelly tone at the finish. Still primal without much character at this stage.

2007 Ch Cos D’Estournel. at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Oozing with sweet tannins with a sense of heated stones, earth and cedar with excellent depth and concentration of fruit. Already very open at this stage of relative youth. Very pleasant. Almost as if it is made to please.

2011 Sassicaia, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Earthy with broad swathes of dark currants and ripe red fruits, slightly disjointed and a tad simple at this youthful stage, displaying an attractive sweetness in its tannins.

2000 Ch Pontet Canet, at Parkway Pantai’s annual cocktail party, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 23 Nov 2015. Open, not too dry, displaying excellent depth, richness, concentration and balance, coupled with attractive aromatics. Clearly excellent now, but may be outstanding in another ten years

2009 Ch Corconnac, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 24 Nov 2015. Deep purple. Notes of dark currants and wild berries, generous in fruit density but shorn of fat and layering, imparting a lean austere texture to the wine, imbued with graphite minerality.

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