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1995 DRC Romanee-St-Vivant, 2003 Latour, 2003 Lafite Rothschild, 1990 Montrose, 1989 Lynch-Bages

April 21, 2017

These notes came from a party for about 80 guests thrown by the great Dr S S Ngoi at his residence on 26 March 2017 upon the pretext of having to clear his cellar. New Ubin Seafood was, once again, summoned to cook on-site at the premises, as was Kok Hong as the preferred choice of sommelier who saw to it that the whites were nicely chilled in spite of the sweltering heat while the reds were decanted whenever necessary. Every piece of stemware belonged to the Ngoi residence and they were beyond reproach. One only needed to eat and drink and enjoy the wonderful company of good wines and great friends.

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Pago de Tharsys Cava Brut Nature, poured from double magnum. This Spanish sparkling wine is an absolute delight with lifted aromas of delicate citrus and clear fruits with good concentration of fruit and stern minerals on the palate, finishing on a note of  bitter lemon. Very fine indeed.

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2008 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Distinct notes of olives, plums and delicate citrus, medium-bodied, rather minerally with limestone characters that imparted some sternness to the overall complexion. Needs time.

2011 Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er. Still closed on the nose though one discerns excellent concentration of white flowers, more minerally than creamy with a particularly rich vein on the mid-palate. Will be excellent in time to come.

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2011 Domaine Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, poured from magnum. Dense bouquet of lifted yellow citrus with lovely concentration of fruit on the palate where it is equally lifted, marked by delicate chalky and ferrous elements of good linearity and definition, tapering towards a minerally finish. More characterful than the Faiveley above, albeit from different vintages.

2009 Maison Leroy Bourgogne. Lovely color, exuding an attractive earthy pungency with excellent concentration of raspberries, plums and camphor, structured with recessed tannins. This is easily premier cru quality. Truly a revelation. Superb.

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1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru. Poured from magnum. Bright tones of raspberries and red fruits dominate on the nose with a feminine quality, rounded with a gentle concentration of classic pinot fruit amidst traces of earth, red plums and cinnamon, not profoundly deep but well-proportioned with growing intensity, utterly seamless, finishing with sweet subdued tannins and overtones of camphor. I wouldn’t have known this is a D.R.C. if blinded, given its fine balance and overall reserve. Will still hold for a number of years.

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2011 Domaine Prieure-Roch Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots “Pure” 1er. Lifted bouquet of red fruits with sharp dominant plummy tones leaping out of the glass, while the palate is filled with earthy tones with some attractive pungency, medium-bodied and seamless with a very fresh feel, displaying good presence and acidity, finishing with structured recessed tannins. “Pure” is a very special bottling of this wine where there is zero oxygen contact during the bottling process, resulting in the wine being fresher and more uplifted than standard bottlings of the domaine’s Les Suchots. Unfortunately, this laborious process means that “Pure” bottlings are not available commercially. Somehow, Dr Ngoi had managed to secure a personalised barrel (ie. 300 bottles) of this highly special bottling and we must surely be some of the luckiest people on earth to be able to consume this wine so liberally.

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2003 Ch Latour, literally popped and poured. Deep purple, dominated by dark and red fruits in equal measure with plummy overtones, still tight. Medium-bodied, soft and rounded with good concentration of raspberries and blueberries, subtle in acidity but seriously missing in depth and length. The latter appears to be a recurring feature of the clarets of this heat-stressed vintage though, perhaps, it may be best reserve judgement in this instance as the wine had not received adequate aeration.

2003 Ch Lafite Rothschild, literally popped and poured. More reticent on the nose than Latour with subdued red fruits amidst mild plummy tones. Dryish on the palate with fine concentration of raspberries and dark roses with traces of vanilla, more structured than Latour, finishing with good length though one discerns some awkwardness in integration.

1990 Ch Montrose, literally popped, decanted and served, exuding bright accentuated aromas of plums, rose petals, camphor and cherries. The palate is marked by dryish characters of tea leaves with some ferrous elements and vegetal traces of great definition, layered with excellent depth of raspberries and red currants, open with a quiet intensity. May not have peaked. Superb.

1989 Ch Lynch-Bages, literally popped and poured. Purplish rim with a deep garnet core. Amazingly fresh with a delicious glow of dark plums, red fruits and dark currants, layered salty minerals and solid ripe fruit, slightly gritty, gripping the palate with lovely intensity and sweet subtle tannins though its finish is short.

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It remains to thank Dr Ngoi for his immense generosity. Merci beaucoup!

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