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Feb 2017: 1990 Castello di Ama L’Apparita, 1995 Cheval Blanc, 1999 Trotanoy, 1994 Haut-Brion

March 2, 2017

2010 Jean et Sebastian Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons 1er at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Served too cold, somewhat closed, but there is good concentration of citrus and pomelo on the palate, quite deft, but still flinty, lean and austere on the whole.

2013 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de La Marechale 1er at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Closed. One discerns only a faint fragrance of dark roses and some raspberries, somewhat unsettled on the palate as its strong plummy tone did not sit comfortably with saline minerals, culminating in a dark austere finish.

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2004 Vega Sicilia Unico at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Redcurrants and jam dominate on the nose without much development at this stage, while earthy vegetal characters and forest floor coat the palate along with ripe dark berries, becoming richer and more supple over time with notes of smoked meat and caramel, finishing on a spicy peppery tone, still retaining some vegetal traces. A bit awkward now. Needs more bottle age.

2007 Ch Montrose at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Dense with warm vegetal tones, earth, dark plums and wild berries. Not really distinguished, missing in opulence and class, drying out at the finish.

2012 Sassicaia at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Richly layered with red and dark berries, ripe with a faint fragrance , essentially closed though delicious on the palate, displaying very good concentration, acidity and sweet supple tannins, a tad earthy and austere at the finish. Great potential ahead.

2008 Domaine Jean et Sebastian Dauvissat Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Served too cold. Closed and austere, narrow in spectrum with a marked flinty minerality. Not ready.

1999 Ch Latour-a-Pomerol (courtesy of Dr Robert Kwok) at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Vermillion at the rim, exuding lovely fragrance of cedar and redcurrants with excellent purity and acidity, structured with sweet firm tannins, just somewhat short and unresolved at the finish. Nevertheless, still very fine.

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1999 Ch Trotanoy (courtesy of Dr Robert Kwok) at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. This wine exudes a lovely earthy pungency with a lifted fragrance, open and layered with glycerin and ferrous elements, utterly seamless, displaying great elegance and refinement. Drinking  beautifully. Along with the preceding Latour-a-Pomerol, it goes to show how severely under-rated 1999 is.

2006 Dominus (courtesy of Dr Robert Kwok) at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Delicious with an effusive fragrance of soft floral characters, displaying great acidity and concentration with supple tannins but, unusually for Dominus, missing in layering and complexity.

1994 Ch Haut-Brion (courtesy of Dr Robert Kwok) at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. This particular vintage of Haut-Brion has developed a cult-like following. This is a wine of real breed and class, glowing with a deep complex tangerine core accentuated by great acidity, perhaps a little short but more than made up for by its sheer sophistication. Quite superb.

1995 Ch Cheval Blanc (courtesy of Dr Robert Kwok) at Parkway Pantai’s Lunar New Year party, Shangri-La Singapore, 02 Feb 2017. Gentle red fruits with a light tangerine core, quite deft, exuding a lovely feminine fragrance with good acidity, integration and finish but far from ready if you’ve ever tasted a fully mature Cheval Blanc.

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2014 Jean Pierre et Alexandre Ellervin Chablis 1er Vaucoupin, courtesy of MH at Oncocare’s party, 04 Feb 2017. Generous bouquet of grassy elements, citrus and honeysuckle, producing a lovely sweet fragrance that went well with the gentle flinty minerals, displaying good presence and subtle acidity.

2009 Ch Simard, courtesy of MH at Oncocare’s party, 04 Feb 2017. Made by Ch Ausone, this wine exuded a stern demeanour with predominant notes of earth, aniseed, ferrous elements and some vegetal tones, displaying good concentration with supple tannins, building up to a minerally finish amidst some gentle intensity. Promising.

2000 Maison Leroy Meursault, courtesy of MH at Oncocare’s party, 04 Feb 2017. Somewhat reticent on the nose but solid on the palate, displaying very good concentration of complex citrus and green fruits with some early complexity, punching well above its weight.

2003 Rubicon Cask Cabernet, courtesy of MH at Oncocare’s party, 04 Feb 2017. Big, deep and rounded with notes of sophisticated dark plums and ripe wild berries, structured with sweet tannins, still youthful.

2010 Ch Beychevelle, courtesy of MH at Oncocare’s party, 04 Feb 2017. Impressions of deep dark currants on the nose, met with dark berries and red fruits, warm and ripe with velvety tannins and excellent concentration, open and supple, quite seamless, mildly intense with good acidity and sophistication. Positively glowing. Excellent.

2006 D’Arenberg Dead Arm, popped and poured at Huat Kee over Mom’s 86th birthday celebration, 04 Feb 2017. Deep dark inky red with herbal tones, licorice and dry mushrooms on the nose while the palate is dominated by a bright plummy tone, finishing on a spicy note.

Deutz Brut NV (courtesy of John), at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, 08 Feb 2017. Nutty and yeasty overtones, marked by crisp citrus and chalky minerals on the palate with sweet tannins, quite full, displaying good concentration and depth, just a bit dry. Drinking well.

Louis Roederer Brut NV, at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, 08 Feb 2017. Creamy smooth with deep yeasty tones, displaying great presence and acidity, quite minerally as well but very well integrated and balanced. An excellent calling card for this estate.

2013 Inama Vin Soave Classico, from the list of Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, 08 Feb 2017. Closed, with only gentle minerals and light green fruits discernible on the palate.

2004 Rockford Basket Press, poured after an hour’s aeration in bottle from a pair at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, 08 Feb 2017. Consistently good with an abundance of licorice, chocolate and spice, full-bodied with further notes of cedar and cinnamon on the palate, richly layered but not jammy with well-managed tannins and acidity in good balance.

2004 Pol Roger (courtesy of Li Fern) at SS’s lo-hei party, 10 Feb 2017. Deep bouquet with lifted fragrant of citrus and white flowers. Good presence on the palate, displaying excellent depth and grip with toasty characters, resin, cashews and delicate minerals, finishing very well. Excellent.

2004 Belle Epoque Perrier-Jouet  (courtesy of Li Fern) at SS’s lo-hei party, 10 Feb 2017. Very different from the preceding Pol Roger, quite subdued on the nose where green fruits and green apples dominate, while substantial ferrous minerals and pomelo impart a stern demeanour on the palate, not helped by citrus that is recessed with a slight cutting edge though the wine became better integrated after some aeration.

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne (courtesy of Li Fern) at SS’s lo-hei party, 10 Feb 2017. Complex and fascinating bouquet of wild flowers with a mild earthy pungency along with heated gravel and wheat. Dry, stern and minerally on the palate, rather unsmiling, displaying good persistence at the finish. This may be a Bourgogne, but it can sit easily at premier cru level.

1999 Maison Roche de Bellene Chambolle Musigny VV (courtesy of Li Fern) at SS’s lo-hei party, 10 Feb 2017. Good fragrance of dark cherries and dark roses, medium-bodied, still retaining good acidity with a ferrous edge, rather rustic in character and somewhat unyielding, which I find typical of this producer.

2001 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (courtesy of Li Fern) at SS’s lo-hei party, 10 Feb 2017. Quite exciting on the nose with an abundance of lifted camphor and sweet red fruits, medium-bodied, supple and rounded with good acidity  and subdued tannins with a further charge of tangerines after some aeration, finishing well.

2017-02-22-20-08-192000 Ch Chasse-Spleen, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 18 Feb 2017. A powerful warm plummy tone permeated throughout the nose and palate initially, gradually gaining in depth, layering and intensity as further notes of raspberries and redcurrants developed over time, fleshy and seamless with lively acidity and subdued tannins. Truly a wine to chase away the blues, as the name of this estate implies (apparently after a remark by Lord Byron after visiting the estate in 1821).

2013 Pago de Otazu Chardonnay con Crianza, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 22 Feb 2017. Notes of intoxicating diesel fumes and enamel on the nose, marked by sharply accentuated citrus and lime matched with gorgeous acidity on the palate where further notes of icing, tangerines and olives emerged with creamy textures, creating a tingling mouthfeel that lingered. Good stuff.

Louis Roederer Brut NV, popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. Deep bouquet of delicate intense citrus and pomelo with splashes of almonds and walnuts, very good in concentration and feel with subtle smooth minerality, finishing with traces bitter lemon ferrous minerals. Great balance.

Lombard Brut Reference (courtesy of Sanjay), popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. This wine opens with a lovely gentle earthy pungency and mixed citrus on the nose, displaying very good presence with a forward balance of complex citrus and sweet green fruits topped with crème and superb acidity, lively but slightly dry, building up to a great intensity and finish amidst some stern minerality. Excellent.

2014 Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er, popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. Tasted second time in as many months with consistent notes. This is a superb white from an unsung domaine, displaying a complex tone of crème de la crème, white flowers and white pepper, strewn with delicate citrus in spite of the high-toned fullness and concentration, subtly intense, supported by great acidity and understated minerality. Very lovely but don’t waste it now.

2007 Pelissero Vanotu Barbaresco, a pair popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. The first bottle was off (not corked but flat, probably cooked). The second was highly successful, exuding aromas of red and dark fruits and dark plums with a lovely velvety intensity, quite open and layered with gorgeous acidity, well-integrated, finishing well.

2009 Henri Bonneau Reserve des Celestins Chateauneuf-du-Pape (courtesy of C J), popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. Excellent depth red and dark fruits, very plummy with wonderful depth and detail, laden with generous overtones of camphor and rose petals, open with a gentle deftness that’s surprising for a young CdP but definitely most welcome. Yet to gain full complexity but this is drinking so well already. Excellent.

1990 Castello di Ama L’Apparita, popped and poured over dinner with new CEO at Garibaldi, 28 Feb 2017. This 100% merlot from Tuscany is supposedly the poor man’s Masseto though I’d beg to differ, considering that it was priced at SGD 550 from the restaurant list, before taxes. This wine is still dark and masculine, displaying aged sweet medicinal tones with excellent presence and great acidity, structured with sweet supple tannins with further notes of cedar and cinnamon emerging from its depths. Quite fabulous.

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