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February 2016: 2004 Fritz Haag, 2006 VCC, 2011 Joseph Drouhin Batard-Montrachet, 2001 D’Arenberg Dead Arm

February 29, 2016

2011 Joseph Drouhin Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru (courtesy of Chee Wee), popped and poured at Jiang Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore, 4 Feb 2016. Ample with an abundance of peaches, ripe melons and citrus along with a hint of tropical fruits and vanilla well contrasted against the chalky minerality, fairly full, displaying excellent linearity all the way to its crisp finish, gaining in subtle intensity over time.  Yet to develop significant complexity but the potential is enormous.

2008 Ch Lynch-Bages (courtesy of Vic), popped and poured at Jiang Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore, 04 Feb 2016. Ripe dark berries and black fruits on the nose, distinctly medium-bodied and slightly lean on the palate where the dry Pauillac character turned a tad metallic at the finish, taking time to flesh out with emerging plummy notes.

2006 Vieux Chateau Certan (courtesy of Philippe Capdouze), popped and poured at Jiang Nan Chun, Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore, 04 Feb 2016. This wine opened with an earthy pungency along with some grassy elements on the nose, medium-bodied, harmonious and rounded but notably rich in glorious black fruits and dark currants with traces of soy on the palate where the intensity and excitement are enhanced by supple tannins, gaining further intensity over time. Excellent.

2008 Vina Alberdi, popped and poured from the restaurant list of La Taperia, 05 Feb 2016. This is a lovely wine with a predominant plummy note amidst red fruits and red currants, bright, aromatic and rounded with overtones of camphor and sweet incense. Worth seeking out.

2011 Au Bon Climat (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. Red cherries and a hint of raspberries of understated intensity and sweetness, displaying excellent purity and balance. Excellent.

Joseph Perrier Brut Rose (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. Notes of grapefruit with traces of red apples and tangerines. Dry and minerally. Could do with slightly more forward fruit balance.

2008 Ch Leoville Poyferre (courtesy of Vic), popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. Aromatic bouquet of roses and redcurrants. Fresh, rounded with earthy tones and a mild tarry quality on the palate, displaying fine acidity and definition with slightly dry textures. Excellent balance.

2006 Ch Lynch-Bages (courtesy of Choon Jin), popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. Attractive earthy pungency on the nose, medium-bodied with a classic Pauillac dryness, somewhat underwhelming, seemingly austere and sullen. Needs more time?

2000 Coonawarra Reserve cabernet sauvignon, popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. One of my perennial favourites but not slowing well here with predominant vegetal tones, earth and dark plums, awkward and disjointed.

2005 Anamorphosis (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured at S S ENT, 05 Feb 2016. Rich in warm ripe Barossa shiraz, dominated by licorice, vanilla and dark chocolate with mild medicinal overtones, rather tense and firm on the palate, ending in metallic finish.

2016-02-05 20.47.472004 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, aired in bottle for almost an hour prior to serving at Tunglok Signatures, 05 Feb 2016, on the occasion of Mom’s 85th. This is a bottle that I have faithfully cellared since its release. Somewhat lean initially with aromas of sweet citrus and petroleum, it blossomed beautifully after 60 minutes into a full-bodied complex of pineapples, mangoes, lychees, nectarine and apricot with overtones of sweet incense, highly supple in spite of its fabulous intensity and concentration that trailed all the way to its long lasting finish, the sweetness never getting in the way. Outstanding now, even though I don’t think it is anywhere near full maturity.

2009 Ch Le Doyenne, popped and poured at dinner on the eve of Lunar New Year, 07 Feb 2016. This wine still boasts rich luxuriant ripe blackberries and dark currants but there is now a trace of hardness on the mid-palate that wasn’t present before, its tannins as supple as ever but not gelling as well with the fruit. This may be the start of an awkward period for this over-achieving table wine. Best to let it rest for some time.

2008 Montevertine, decanted on-site at Yan Ting, St Regis Hotel Singapore, 18 Feb 2016. This wine has a lovely glow of cedar and raspberries on the nose with attractive musky overtones though, on the whole, it is rather restrained. Powerful notes of plums and tangerine dominate on the palate although textures are open and relaxed, structured through sweet supple tannins and fine acidity, just a tad feminine. Very fine.

2009 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er rouge (courtesy of Chee Wee), popped and drunk very quickly at Glen after hours, 22 Feb 2016. This wine is highly elegant, impressing on the nose with aromatic floral nuances while raspberries and camphor dominate on the palate with traces of incense, smooth and rounded, displaying very good depth of fruit and concentration, slightly cedary with some early complexity without the burliness nor vegetal tones that tend to characterise the reds from the Cote de Beaune. Lovely. Located next to Pommard, Clos des Mouches is planted with both chardonnay and pinot noir.

2009 Bethel Heights pinot noir, hand-carried to Singapore by Professor William Young four years ago (where it had lain in my cellar since) and  shared with him at Majestic Bay seafood restaurant, 25 Feb 2016. Aired in bottle for 30 minutes prior. This Oregon pinot displays overtones of seared caramel and raisins, just a bit too flat and one-dimensional, unfortunately, lacking delicacy, freshness and complexity.

2001 D’Arenberg Dead Arm shiraz, decanted for over an hour prior to serving at Majestic Bay seafood restaurant, 25 Feb 2016. My very last bottle from a half case that I have cellared since 2004. Displaying characteristic richness and concentration, this flagship wine offers an abundance of warm ripe shiraz fruit, licorice, dark chocolates, dark currants and black fruits of excellent intensity and balance, cloaked in silky smooth tannins, finishing with mint and a dash of spice. Not at all jammy, and far more sophisticated than usual for a McLaren Vale shiraz. Excellent.

2012 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne blanc, popped and poured over dimsum lunch at Asia Grand, 27 Feb 2016. This is a rather half-hearted effort. Decent notes of cream and chalky minerals are not met by sufficient fruit, resulting in some hollowness that does not equate with delicacy. Disappointing.

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