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1996 Cheval Blanc, 1990 Lafite Rothschild 1978 Château Pétrus, 1996 Salon…

August 27, 2017

Dr and Mrs Wang Kuo-Weng were absolutely generous in hosting a lovely dinner, for no good reason, at Shiraishi, Ritz Carlton Singapore, on 26 August 2017, promising, in addition, a 1996 Salon and a 1978 Ch Petrus. That being the case, a Cheval Blanc and Lafite Rothschild were thrown into the fray as well. As expected, the cuisine at Shiraishi was delectably delicate and Sakamoto-san, the favoured sommelier of Dr Wang, was on hand to take excellent care of us.

Champagne Egly-Ouvriet Rose NV. Aromas of apricot with the faintest of cinnamon and smoke. Lively with lovely presence and expanse, displaying excellent balance and sophistication with gentle intensity and fine minerality, just missing in further development, turning a tad stern as it finished with a graphite tone. Very fine.


1996 Champagne Salon Cuvée S de Salon, courtesy of Dr WKW. Served correctly in a chardonnay glass. Shy at first, offering only light citrus and green fruits amidst gentle yeasty tones, still tightly coiled with fine subdued bubbles. It opened after an hour with an explosion of lime and bitter lemon, searing the palate with a brilliant intensity of complex citrus, captured very naturally with superb balance and integration. Still yet to peak, I’d say. Outstanding.


2004 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Initial deep bouquet of smoked meat with wild orchard, closing up quickly before easing with further notes of beeswax and raw nutmeg, layered with attractive fullness and lush oily textures, turning more minerally with ferrous elements to the fore towards its lengthy finish. Highly successful.

20170826_2005302002 Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Hean Meng. Closed at first, though the classic Puligny tone is quite unmistakable, surprisingly rich (for this negociant producer) in ripe citrus with a hint of paraffin, replete with a unique after note of peaches. It opened up very well after an hour, developing a lovely crystalline transparency and fullness with further notes of nutmeg and exotic spices, holding well. Caught at or very close to its peak. Excellent.

1996 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Hean Meng. Displaying an evolved purplish red, this wine exuded a lovely glow of bright red fruits, cherries and camphor with a hint of earthy pungency that led to a superb presence on the palate, still rather tight with a deep streak of ripe fruit amidst attractive secondary nuances, seamlessly structured with fine acidity and subtle minerals, turning more plummy with a complex rosy glow over time as more of its cabernet franc emerged to the fore. Distinctly feminine, but still yet to peak. Lovely!


1978 Château Pétrus, courtesy of Dr WKW. Tasted with palpable anticipation, this wine is utterly complex in its hallowed bouquet, exuding an enthralling glow with a spectrum of earthy elements, still beautifully fresh and vibrant on the palate that recalls bold ferrous minerals and ash seamlessly integrated with mulberries and dark currants, absolutely rounded with great transparency and complexity, offering more mandarin on the nose as it sat in the glass with a further infusion of Chinese tea leaves. Truly the epitome of finesse and elegance. At its peak and will still hold. Outstanding.


1990 Château Lafite Rothschild. This stalwart of the Left Bank boasts a great exuberance of complex aromas that leapt from the glass, carrying glorious streaks of raspberries, blueberries and dark currants tinged with earthy minerals that exuded further notes of red fruits and plums, thoroughly sensuous with its velvety tone, sublime acidity, superb vigour and quiet intensity, rounded with sophisticated tannins. An absolute cool beauty that still appears to have decades of life ahead. Totally absorbing.



This has been a most memorable evening. Many thanks again, Wai-Kum and Kuo-Weng.

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