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2010 Opus One, 1998 Joseph Phelps Insignia, 1995 Araujo Eisele, 2005 Torbreck RunRig, 1998 Three Rivers, 2013 Ao Yun

October 10, 2017

These are notes from an entire evening of New World wines at Yan, National Gallery Singapore, on 08 Aug 2017. Many of these are still youthful, fresh and big even after many years of bottle age.


2011 Champagne Marquet La Grande Ruelle. Not a New World, but who is complaining when such intense notes of ripe citrus and powerful yeasty tones seduce the senses with a rich presence of peaches, lime and clear citrus, attractively open and not too dry. Quite excellent.

2010 Opus One, courtesy of Miah Hiang. Deep purple, throwing off an intense bouquet of dark currants and blackberries, still expectedly tight with a dense body of fruit underscored by silky smooth detailed tannins, mellowing rather quickly in the glass to become more open and accessible but obviously still best to lay down for another decade or two.


1998 Joseph Phelps Insignia, courtesy of Li Fern. Deep garnet red, throwing off some bottle stink followed by an attractive earthy pungency, rich in dark plums and dark berries on the palate supported by graphite minerals, very full, finishing with ferrous tones.

2012 Sea Smoke Sea Spray, courtesy of Li Fern. A Blancs de Noir, this wine displays a lovely hue with aromas of grapefruit and after burn with excellent depth of ash, ember and yeast on the palate amidst dryish textures.

1995 Araujo Eisele Vineyard, courtesy of Hsiang Sui. Deep dark inky red, this is a big wine possessing an abundance of black fruits, raspberries and red currants of immense depth with traces of enamel, still youthful, opening up well, glowing with great intensity of flavours that culminated in a lengthy finish. Simply quite phenomenal.


2013 Ao Yun, courtesy of Li Fern, tasted blind. Deep purple, this wine is generous in ripe dark berries that exuded sweet tannins with a tarry quality, rather firm, full and lengthy though without much structure. Still primal with quite a prominence of enamel from the new wood, slightly racy, finishing well with excellent linearity amidst splashes of spice. It reminded me somewhat of a Penfolds Bin 707. Turns out Ao Yun (flying above clouds) is a cabernet grown at very high altitudes of 2600 metres in Yunnan. That’s right…this is a made-in-China cabernet!! 2013 was its inaugural vintage. Highly promising.

2002 Wolff Blass Platinum, courtesy of Vic. Displaying a deep impenetrable red, this wine is stuffed with warm ripe Barossa fruit of great concentration, oozing with sweet dark tannins and overtones of enamel, still primal. Truly a wine of huge proportions, yet satiny smooth with excellent linearity, finishing on slightly spicy note. Still youthful.

20170808_215804.jpg2005 Torbreck RunRig. Showing again an impenetrable crimson, this wine displays deep tones of licorice with a liberal splash of black pepper that imparted an immediate note of spice, framed by sweet bright tannins, its viognier component clearly discernible, positively glowing as it sat in the glass. Excellent.

2001 Veritas Hanisch, courtesy of Mr Young. Again a deep impenetrable red, this wine is still dark and primal, cloaked in spicy tones of menthol and vanilla, saturating the palate with rich ripe syrah that is barely open, decidedly stern at the finish. Looks like this will take many more years to turn the corner.

1998 Three Rivers Shiraz, courtesy of Hsiang Sui. From an outstanding vintage for South Australia, this wine is stuffed with a abundance of ripe shiraz that imparts sheer richness and opulence to match its stern graphite minerals, very full but well structured, turning slightly medicinal towards the finish. Glorious stuff.

2006 Markus Molitor Haus Klosterberg Beerenauslese. Copious notes of paraffin, nectarine and apricot dominate on the open palate with controlled sweetness and intensity, developing a light floral complex over time with superb deftness. Excellent.


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