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July 2016: 1996 Chateau Tertre Rotebouef, 1996 Parker Estate Terra Rossa First Growth, 2011 Bouchard Chevalier-Montrachet…

August 2, 2016

2003 Ch Phelan Segur, decanted on-site at Crystal Jade Ngee Ann City, Singapore, on 02 July 2016. Deep purple, this wine exudes an abundance of ripe dark berries and raspberries with a tinge of burnt, the heat wave of that particular vintage reflected in the raisiny quality of the fruit with a pruny character. On the palate, this wine is ample and structured with excellent concentration, just a shade stern towards the finish but opening up beautifully after an hour to yield exciting supple tannins. A fine drop with a long life ahead.

Philipponnat Royale Reserve Non-Dose Brut NV. Tasted twice on 03 and 06 July 2016. Made of predominantly pinot noir and blended with chardonnay and meunier and disgorged in July 2013, this champagne possesses quite a stern demeanour right from the start, rich and concentrated in darker shades of lime, bitter lemon and pomelo with an attractive creamy intensity, veering naturally towards dryness due to its non-dosage (ie. no sweet wine or Cognac is added before bottling) method, but never abrasive, slightly steely at the finish with a bitter-sweet quality.

2004 Ch Cissac, popped and poured after hours at Heart Partners, 04 July 2016. Dull opaque red, this wine offers notes of cool dark berries, blueberries and briar on the nose, somewhat plummy with dryish textures on the palate, medium-full, structured with firm sweet tannins and crisp acidity, fleshy but short at the finish. Immediately recognisable as a Haut-Medoc. A fine table wine but not distinctive. At one time, Ch Cissac was the Bordeaux served on board Singapore Airlines Business Class.

2012 Domaine Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos des Issarts” 1er, popped and poured at Prive Grill, 05 July 2016. Displaying a deep ruby, this monopole of Faiveley possesses an abundance of red roses and dark cherries, bright and alluring with further notes of plums and earth coming on after some time, surprisingly open and airy, laced with crisp acidity and understated minerality but yet to develop secondary nuances. Needs further cellaring.

2005 Ch Reignac, two bottles popped and poured over dinner at NUSS Guild House, Singapore, 12 July 2016. This wine offered a classic nose of violets, ripe wild berries, blueberries and dark currants without being too effusive, quite open and fleshy on the palate with a hint of prunes amidst dryish textures entirely in keeping with its Bordeaux origin, turning more raisiny towards the finish that, perhaps, betrayed higher extraction in the winemaking. Nevertheless, Reignac has always outperformed its Bordeaux Superieur classification and this 2005 is beginning to drink well.

2001 Elderton Command shiraz, popped and poured over dinner at NUSS Guild House, Singapore, 12 July 2016. It is quite unbelievable that, after 15 years, this stalwart of the Barossa is still stuffed to the brim with ripe warm fruit recalling raisins, licorice, herbs and prunes with overtones of port, full-bodied with acidity still fresh and lively, its massive concentration and layering framed by stout tannins that, I must say, are very expertly managed to give an impression of velvety smoothness.

2006 Pierre-Jouet Brut Rose (courtesy of Li Fern), popped and poured at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Notes of honeysuckle, toasted oak, yeast and malt teased the senses with excellent concentration, complexity and balance, producing a deep burnished tone with further notes of cinnamon. Excellent.

2011 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (courtesy of Sanjay), served after a brief airing in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. In spite of the suboptimal aeration, this wine was absolutely singing with effusive notes of aromatic white flowers yet light and ethereal with superb subtle intensity of apricot, nectarine and tropical fruits, creamy in texture, already complex, displaying great linearity all the way to its lasting finish. Feminine and voluptuous, for a white. Absolutely delightful. Wonderful stuff. Bouchard belongs to the top division of burgundy whites.

2012 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 1er (courtesy of Miah Hiang), served after a brief airing in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Ample in dark cherries and fresh roses on the nose and palate, richer and more intense than usual for pinot noir, coupled with traces of kumquat and tangerines held together by velvety tannins. Still rather tight. Will be absolutely gorgeous in another 5-7 years.

2010 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou (courtesy of Keen Wai), decanted on-site at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Dark and intense with a complex bouquet of raspberries and red fruits amidst some mild earthiness and traces of soy, displaying excellent concentration and intensity, oozing with controlled sweet tannins. Already accessible, but clearly needs another decade of cellaring, at least.

2009 Ch Branon (courtesy of John), served after a brief airing in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. I must admit not having been acquainted with this estate before but it is, indeed, excellent. An abundance of red fruits, earthy minerals and characters of forest floor dominate with sweet svelte tannins and overtones of enamel. Still tight, but this has huge potential.

2006 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste, after a brief airing in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Served from magnum, this GPL has finally come into its own, ample in red and dark currants, quite minerally with an austere ferrous trace and framed by sweet tight tannins, drinking well with an exciting verve from its gorgeous acidity. Already quite open, this wine has character and will be even better.

2005 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (courtesy of CJ), after some aeration in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. This is an unusual Lalande, rather dark and austere in tone, almost closed, with dominant notes of dark plums and vegetative elements, tight and unyielding. Needs time, perhaps.

2001 Ch Pavie Decesse (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), after some aeration in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Dark in tone and color with sweet medicinal overtones coupled with soy and herbal elements, rich and smooth with a quiet intensity.

2001 Poggio Salvi Riserva Brunello di Montalcino (courtesy of Li Fern), after some aeration in bottle at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Notes of plums, red fruits and tangerines, quite open and fleshy on the palate with good definition, laced with sweet tannins and fine acidity.

1996 Ch Tertre-Rotebouef (courtesy of S S Ngoi), served after aeration in bottle for over an hour at a Gleneagles event at Gattopardo, 19 July 2016. Displaying a fair degree of evolution, this wine was highly lifted, utterly complex and open, its gorgeous fruit exuding sweet tones of glycerine, still fresh with great acidity, gaining in detail and intensity over time, culminating in a mild tannic spine that added further to the excitement and heightened tension. Very classy and sophisticated. Superb.

1995 Ch Boyd-Cantenac, popped and poured at Dragon Pheonix restaurant, Temasek Club, 22 July 2016. This bottle was a poor example of this wine, far evolved beyond its 21 years with a murky pinkish brown color where the fruit has faded terribly, leaving a shell without any decency of a claret, just sweet medicinal aromas with characters of port and sour plums. Probably the result of poor provenance.

2004 Henri Abele, popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 24 July 2016. Displaying a fruit-forward balance initially, featuring green melons, green apples and white grapes, developing further notes of toast, yeast and rye with better depth after 45 minutes to balance against the dry finish. Neither profound nor as complex as the best vintage champagne, but it works well for a casual lunch.

2013 Cecchi Vermentino Litorale Val Delle Rose, popped and poured at Rubato, 26 July 2016. Notes of morning dew, green apples and peaches with a sweet nose, creamy with good concentration and understated minerality. Drinking well.

1996 Parker Estate Terra Rossa First Growth, decanted on-site at Rubato for an hour prior to serving, 26 July 2016. A bottle that I’d cellared for several years, this famous cabernet blend displayed a sweet bouquet of medicinal and herbal tones, ample in notes of mocha, chocolate and raspberries with a hint of brandied cherries on the palate, open, relaxed and well-structured with supple tannins and fresh acidity still, developing a slightly ferrous and pungent overtone over time that reflects the famous terra rossa terroir of Coonawarra. Quite unique and excellent.

Rockford Black Shiraz 2013 disgorgement (courtesy of Hiok), popped and poured at Rubato, 26 July 2016. Elements of Rockford Basket Press shiraz, from which this famous sparkling shiraz is derived, are readily discernible: the raisiny tone of warm ripe shiraz, licorice, herbal overtones, cinnamon and raspberries with traces of liquer at the finish, slightly sweet-edged with the fizz adding a fresh dimension. Uniquely attractive.

2007 Louis Roederer Cristal, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 27 July 2016. This celebrity champagne possesses a deep burnished tone with a sweet edge, ample in lime, citrus and fig with toasty overtones, crisp not too dry, very well balanced against the chalky minerality with quite a lovely intensity, developing some early complexity over time although it doesn’t quite match the depth and opulence of a Henriot or Dom Perignon.

2009 Ch Le Crock (courtesy of Hiok), popped and poured after a brief aeration at Jade Palace, 27 July 2016. Good concentration of quality fruit though rather generic in character, with overtones of enamel, wood and earthy tones, quite extracted but narrow in spectrum with a slight vegetative hint.

2012 Ch La Grave-a-Pomerol Trigant de Boisset, poured from magnum after an hour’s aeration at Jade Palace, 27 July 2016. This wine displays dominant notes of soy and ripe black fruits on the nose, open with good transparency and concentration, bright and lively on the palate with a sweet subtle intensity, quite linear, tapering towards a dusty finish. Very good value for money.

2000 Ch Monbousquet, poured after an hour’s aeration at Jade Palace, 27 July 2016. Ripe with earthy tones, dark berries and mild medicinal overtones with a trace of sweetness, displaying some evolution at this stage but still tight, medium-full with a fair bit of power. Needs more time to settle down.

2001 Ch L’Evangile (courtesy of Dr Mark Fernandez), poured after an hour’s aeration at Jade Palace, 27 July 2016. Notes of old leather, dried mushrooms and soy dominate with silky textures, quite open and harmonious with some lovely tension mounted by the fresh acidity. Excellent.

2012 Ch Grand Village Blanc, at Time & Flow, Scotts Square, 30 July 2016. Quite unusual on the nose where it was rather meaty with a reductive quality, suggesting ham amidst some earthiness. On the palate, this wine was quite ethereal, displaying great acidity and wonderful purity of fruit, fleshy but not heavy, developing some early complexity with traces of peach and burnt sugar, glowing with subtle intensity. Excellent.

2007 Ch Bernadotte, at Time & Flow, Scotts Square, 30 July 2016. This medium-bodied wine exudes notes of earth, graphite and iron ore at its core, subtly structured with good acidity and fruit quality with traces of enamel from new oak still discernible. Certainly drinking very well and, had it been blinded, I wouldn’t have known it was a Haut Medoc. Very fine, proving that every vintage carries an optimal drinking window.

2012 Ch D’Armailhac, at Time & Flow, Scotts Square, 30 July 2016. A far bigger wine than the preceding Bernadotte, displaying very good concentration of redcurrants and raspberries with fine purity and traces of forest floor, highly accessible in spite of its youth, gaining further intensity and structure, proving to be a superb pairing with the excellent lamb.

2011 Carmes de Rieussec, at Time & Flow, Scotts Square, 30 July 2016. Surprisingly good for a second wine with no shortage of nectarine and apricot, suitably intense with fine acidity and overtones of sweet incense, just missing, perhaps, the detail and complexity of a Rieussec grand vin.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Allison permalink
    August 8, 2016 15:43

    We want to thank you for your commentary about our vintage 2003. We will be delighted to receive you at the property in order to present our terroir and introduce our wines during your next visit to Bordeaux.

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