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Phelan Segur, Ferriere, La Dominique, Olivier & Grand-Puy-Lacoste 

August 8, 2017

Parkway Hospitals organised a lovely evening of Bordeaux tasting and dinner at the Grand Hyatt, Singapore, on 21 July 2017, co-hosted by Wine Clique, that featured the wines of chateaux Phelan Segur, Ferriere, La Dominique, Olivier & Grand-Puy-Lacoste. The event was made even more meaningful by the presence of the respective Bordelaise from each of these estates to explain about their wines and winemaking philosophy. Mlle Emeline Borie of GPL was surprised to learn that I had met her father, Francois-Xavier Borie, in person in Singapore some years ago.

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Ric with Mlle Emeline Borie

We began with a promenade from the 2011 and 2013 vintages, quite appropriate as well as the wines from these challenging vintages are probably at their best during their youth, followed by another series of more mature wines that demand pairing with food. While some of these estates may not be the biggest names around, their wines are very well made and showing well, demonstrating good specificity of terroir, proving that quality can be found in abundance if you know where to look.

2013 Relais de la Dominique. The second wine of Ch La Dominique, comprising 88% merlot and the rest cabernet franc, all from young vines. This wine displays absolute floral fragrance on the nose, carrying good weight and good concentration of red fruits, quite lifted and spicy at the finish. Very agreeable.

2011 Ch La Dominique. Mostly merlot in its make-up, this Saint-Emilion grand vin exudes excellent aromas of red fruits with a heavier tint, well-structured with good length, presence and acidity with a hint of undergrowth, finishing with supple tannins. Drinking well.

20170721_2015422011 Ch Ferriere. Highly perfumed with ample aromas of red fruits, quite glorious. Supple and gently structured with good concentration of raspberries and redcurrants. Distinctly feminine. Could well be that its winemaker is a woman but this wine speaks of its Margaux origin through and through. Excellent.

2013 Ch Phelan Segur. Deep purple, displaying some early complexity on the nose, medium-bodied, structured with finely-grained tannins and good detail, very approachable now.

2011 Ch Phelan Segur. Deeper and darker, ample in earthy tones, dried mushrooms and dark berries, gentle on the palate with good concentration, tannin structure and acidity but short, unable to disguise the inadequacies of the vintage.

2013 Lacoste Borie, second wine of Grand-Puy-Lacoste, not to be confused with Lalande Borie (which is a Saint-Julien). Closed, equally placid and quiet on the palate though gentle with fine supple acidity.

2011 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Lifted aromas of red fruits with a perfumed fragrance, distinctly medium-bodied, rather narrow in profile on the palate, displaying good linearity but rather lean and short. Quite similar to another tasting note the previous week at Crystal Wines Sale.

2013 Le Dauphin d’Olivier Blanc. Second wine blanc of Ch Olivier. Notes of nectarine and fig with good acidity and presence, quite subtle in intensity, finishing with good length and understated sweetness. Very attractive.

2011 Le Dauphin d’Olivier Rouge. Second wine rouge of Ch Olivier. Red fruits and wild berries dominate, medium-bodied, displaying lovely intensity of fruit with earthy tones, framed by crisp acidity and svelte tannins. Good representation of the terroir of Pessac-Leognan.

Following the promenade, we moved on to the excellent buffet spread with a delectable line-up of grand vin from the same chateaux, importantly from the desirable vintages of 2009 and 2010.

2014 Ch Olivier Blanc. Closed on the nose, though the palate is suffused with a fine body of nutmeg and white flowers, quite gentle and rounded, displaying very good acidity with further notes of clear citrus and raw minerals, a bit short.

2010 Ch Olivier Rouge. Closed on the nose, though rounded with a soft focus of raspberries and red fruits, medium-bodied, establishing good grip with good integration and fine tannins, finishing with gentle intensity. Attractive.

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Ric with M Laurent Lebrun of Ch Olivier

2010 Ch Phelan Segur. Largely closed though one discerns dark flavours with quiet intensity, medium-bodied, rounded with good presence, already quite seamless, underscored by stern ferrous minerals that produced a higher tone over time. Very fine and very approachable.

2010 Ch La Dominique. Deep purple, quite full with broad swathes of red fruits, dark currants and enamel, displaying good presence and intensity, finishing with firm tannins and stern minerals.

2009 Ch Ferriere. Evolving well with lovely aromas of tangerines and kumquat on the nose whilst the palate is infused with excellent concentration of ripe berries, imparting  sweet supple velvety intensity, well-balanced and quite seamless, almost voluptuous. Every bit a Margaux wine. Excellent.

2009 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Serving what is supposedly the best for last, this wine exudes a very sexy bouquet with good lift and lovely earthy pungency, medium-full, rounded and fleshy, absolutely seamless between the tannins, acidity and fruit, very subtly structured, finishing with traces of smoke and some marmite minerals. Not quite utterly Pauillac in expression, veering more towards Saint-Julien but that hardly bothers me when there is so much power, elegance and finesse on show here. Excellent, and will be outstanding in time.

My thanks to Parkway Hospitals for organising this event.

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