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Apr 2017: 2005 Ch La Tour Haut-Brion, 2012 Jean-Marc Pillot Chas’-Montrachet Vergers, 1999 Ducru Beaucaillou…

May 4, 2017

2005 Ch La Tour Haut Brion, decanted on-site at Osteria Art, 01 Apr 2017. Still quite reticent on the nose, though eventually notes of high-toned plums, tangerines, dried roses and earth did emerge, leading to dark currants that coat the palate with gentle intensity, fleshing out over time with subtle velvety tannins and fine acidity, gaining in further depth with darker tones. Very fine, but not really quite settled yet. This was the last vintage of this estate that is now defunct, its grapes now absorbed into La Mission Haut-Brion.

2017-04-01 19.16.31

1999 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, popped and poured at Asia Grand on the occasion of M’s 18th, 02 Apr 2017. Substantially evolved in tone and color, exuding a complex bouquet of licorice, exotic spices, thyme, cinnamon, cassis, black pepper and dark plums with a lovely pungency, quite full on the palate where tea leaves and black fruits dominate amidst dryish textures, quite weighty with well-managed tannins, finishing with the faintest trace of graphite. Excellent.

2017-04-09 21.13.452014 Sigl Gruner Veitliner, from the list of the Goldener Hirsch Hotel, Salzburg, 09 Apr 2017, after a performance of Mahler’s Ninth by the Staatskapelle Dresden under Franz Welser-Most. This wine is surprisingly lovely, exuding apricot, creme, faint nectarine and tangy citrus though it began closing down after some time, becoming quite reticent whilst bitter lemon and stern minerals dominate with good acidity on the palate. Very enjoyable.

2013 Grassl St Laurent Reserve, from the list of the Hotel Sacher, Salzburg, 11 Apr 2017 after a performance of Bruckner Fourth by Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden. Dark currants, black fruits and traces of dark plums caress the palate with quiet intensity, displaying very good weight, acidity and structure. Just missing in real complexity but very fine, nonetheless.

2015 Birgit Eichinger Kamptal Gruner Veltliner, from the list of Zirkelwirt, Salzburg, on 12 Apr 2017 after a performance of Mahler Sixth by Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Highly aromatic, recalling deep citrus, creme, chalk and white incense, matched by very good concentration, refreshing acidity and length. Very fine.

2017-04-11 22.18.22

2010 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 14 Apr 2017. Rather woody on the nose, replete with dark plums, black fruits and a medicinal herbal tint. Quite full, oozing sweet black currants with reasonable depth but missing the characteristic streak of liqueur and complexity. 2017-04-10 22.01.40Ultimately, somewhat nondescript. Disappointing.

2007 Valentin Zusslin Pfingstberg Grand Cru, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 22 Apr 2017. Aromas of pollen, wild grass, pomelo and stern delicate citrus dominate on the nose, growing bolder over time with a lovely glow. Gentle on its entry onto the palate in spite of its fullness, very minerally but slightly backward with understated sweetness, subtly structured with seamless acidity and quiet intensity, finishing with graphite and ferrous element. A wine of subtle power and elegance. Very lovely, and yet to peak.

2000 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. This perennial favourite exudes a lovely earthy pungency with yeasty overtones, medium-full, still youthful, displaying a gentle earthiness with mild ferrous elements that imparted a bit of a stern demeanour, remarkably smooth and well-balanced. Doesn’t quite match up to the 1999 in complexity, though.

2017-04-10 13.04.162013 Peter Michael Ma Belle-Fille, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. Closed, though undoubtedly rich on the palate with smooth creaminess and traces of ferrous elements, seamless, displaying good linearity.

2008 Kistler Pinot Noir (Kistler Vineyard), courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. Weighing in at 14.1% abv, this wine possesses a racy balance with forward characters of mint, red fruits, dark currants, camphor and incense, crisp with good concentration, oozing with sweet tannins but slightly awkward towards the finish that betrayed some alcoholic dominance.

2012 Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. This wine has everything in right balance and proportion, generous in crème, icing and vanilla, open with great definition and gorgeous acidity in spite of its fullness, finishing with excellent linearity and subtle minerality, confirming once again that you can’t go wrong with the burgundy whites of 2012. Excellent.

2017-04-01 19.17.24

2004 Christophe Perrot-Minot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. Displaying a dark evolved tint, this wine opens with great classic aromas of ripe aged plums and dark fruits, displaying great acidity but perhaps jus a bit too much of that. It became more settled after some time, more open with better integration, but will benefit from another few more years of cellaring.

2002 Muller-Catoir  Mussbacher Eselsbaut Riesling Auslese, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. Luminous gold, opening with characteristic diesel tones, rich in delectable nectarine yet open with a delicate lightness on the palate, still remarkably youthful, yet to develop real complexity, just a tad short. A demure beauty.

1998 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Buffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. This wine exudes oily luminous textures imbued with dense citrus and tropical fruits that offer lovely complexity, yet open with characteristic lightness and delicacy that is, somehow, only possible with German riesling, finishing with after-tones of smoke and incense. Quite superb.

2017-04-22 19.31.38

2004 J J Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Eiswien, courtesy of LF and tasted at his residence, 22 Apr 2017. Closed on the nose, though the palate is unashamedly rich in luscious apricot, peaches, pineapples and other exotic fruits, displaying lovely concentration and intensity all the way to its glowing finish. Excellent.

2007 Delamotte Blancs de Blanc (courtesy of C J), popped and poured at Shinzo, 25 Apr 2017, where chef Lawrence Chia is doing very well. Generous spread of sweet citrus, clear fruit and raw nutmeg, displaying good concentration and excellent acidity with good linearity, supported by broad flinty minerals but it lacks inner definition, veering towards dryness.

2017-04-25 22.28.29

2006 Dom Perignon, popped and poured at Shinzo, 25 Apr 2017. More sophisticated at once compared with the preceding Delamotte with a broad expanse of stony minerals, veering towards dryness amidst high-toned dense citrus, lime and cool ripe fruit that produced excellent depth and richness. A waste to open now. Needs time.

2003 Domaine Paul Aine Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle, popped and poured at Shinzo, 25 Apr 2017. Medium-bodied. 2017-04-25 21.44.49Tight and narrow initially in spite of having aired for some time in bottle, becoming beautifully rounded and gentle in the glass, generous in red plums and tangerines with overtones of orange peel, open and relaxed, displaying good definition. Not the best of Hermitage La Chapelle but drinking well if you give it time.

2009 Dingac (courtesy of Hsiang Sui), popped and poured at Shinzo, 25 Apr 2017. Highly distinct nose of tobacco and cigarette ash tobacco, carrying well onto the palate where it is medium-full with an abundance of warm ripe fruit evolving towards red plums, lit with traces of spice at the edges. Very unique.

2006 Perrier-Jouet, popped and poured at Shinzo, 25 Apr 2017. Broad expanse of sweet complex citrus amidst dense ripe white fruits and clear citrus, delicious with textures that are slightly dry, yet to peak.

2017-04-29 19.31.182005 Ch Reignac, popped and poured at Ka-Soh (College Road), 29 Apr 2017, a no-frills Chinese diner that carries a Bib Gourmand recommendation from Michelin. Dark with traces of evolution at the rim, this is a well-extracted claret with a trace of jamminess, exuding characters of very ripe dark berries, prunes and raisins, slightly resinous, with mild medicinal tones bringing up the rear, ending on a spicy note. A little too big for its own good, I feel.

2017-04-30 19.51.322000 Ch Chasse-Spleen, popped and poured at Huat Kee, 30 Apr 2017. This came from the same batch as another bottle drunk previous month. Showing some evolution in color, this wine was tight and angular at the beginning, requiring almost two hours to loosen up with dominant plummy tones and raspberries on the nose, medium-full with good concentration and attack of dark cherries and wild berries, still imbued with plenty of verve, suppleness and acidity, finishing well. Approaching its peak and will hold for many years to come. Very fine.

2017-04-08 12.14.49

Spot Eagles’ Nest atop Mount Kehlstein, Hitler’s favourite holiday lair just outside Salzburg

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