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Nov & Dec 2017: 1986 Ch Lafite Rothschild, 1999 Dom Armand Rousseau Chambertin, 1999 Abreu, 1999 Comte de Vogue Musigny, 1978 Leoville Las-Cases

January 3, 2018

I can’t believe how much I had eaten and drunk in the final two months of 2017…these are miscellaneous notes outside of major or formal events…

2012 Ch Tour Massac, house pour of Tanglin Club at a company dinner hosted by Stephen Co, 08 Nov 2017. Character in keeping with traditional Margaux, proffering a minerally nose of graphite and earthy elements matched by attractive red currants and rose petals, showing good concentration and smooth textures though finishing with traces of green .

2015 Le Petit Chevalier Blanc, at Crystal Wines megasale tasting, 11 Nov 2014. Attractive forward balance of crisp citrus, white flowers and mild chalky tones, refreshing with good lift and plenty of verve, slightly sweet at the sides.

2012 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion, at Crystal Wines megasale tasting, 11 Nov 2014. Earthy tones, forest floor, redcurrants and woody characters dominate, displaying good intensity and acidity though its fruit is somewhat subdued and backward, rather tight and minerally, finishing with sweet tannins. Not convincing.

2013 Ch Le Crock, at Crystal Wines megasale tasting, 11 Nov 2014. Forward balance of red fruits and raspberries, medium-bodied with camphor and rose petals, gentle but reserved.

2014 Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Rouge, at Crystal Wines megasale tasting, 11 Nov 2014. Good colour, revealing delicate red fruits of gentle intensity and gorgeous acidity, seamless with good linearity and lovely balance though not much in terms of structure.

2014 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, at the SilverKris Lounge of Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport T2, 12 Nov 2017. Highly aromatic with a wild exuberance of white flowers, yellow citrus, sweet tropical fruits and nectarine, almost full-bodied with great vigour and freshness imparted by its dense citrus tones and controlled acidity, finishing well with a trace of stern pomelo. Highly reliable and successful.

2015 Albert Bichot Saint-Veran, at the SilverKris Lounge of Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport T2, 12 Nov 2017. Almost reticent, proffering just traces of citrus and clear minerals, equally reserved as well on the palate with its backward character, again with only traces of citrus fruit towards the back palate. Seemingly undistinguished, but another glass tasted on board SQ336 Business Class on 18 Nov 2017 was considerably better, more forward with better presence, character and intensity. Bottle variation, or was it a matter of differences in atmospheric pressure??

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Poisson…at Bistrot du Sommelier, Paris

2001 Leroy Meursault 1er Blagny (courtesy of Stephen Co), at Jade Palace, 14 Nov 2017. Somewhat reticent at first, displaying notes of light morning dew and some lemongrass with a resinous quality. Over time, it developed a great expanse and fullness with a delicate flinty minerality but slightly reductive, losing a bit of focus towards the finish before turning increasingly delicate with delightful deftness though it is paradoxically fuller and richer. Amazing!

1996 Ch Palmer (courtesy of Chee Wee), at Jade Palace, 14 Nov 2017. From its discouraging appearance – a dark opague rusty sheen – one wouldn’t have believed that this wine could proffer such a beautiful hallowed glow of dark berries and delicious dark currants, open with excellent definition and lovely freshness brought on by a deep vein of sublime acidity that culminates in a great tensile tone, fleshy and utterly seamless across its entire length, turning more and more effusive in its bouquet over time with a finish that never seemed to end. Fabulous stuff!!

2009 Peter Michael Les Pavots (courtesy of Kieron), at Jade Palace, 14 Nov 2017. Reticent, just showing some blueberries and sweet dark berries on the nose, though a lovely deep streak of ripe berries cuts across the palate with searing intensity and great succulence, rich in nuances of cedar and dark currants, positively glowing, developing even greater biting intensity and tightness over time, taking on a glossy sheen of dark prunes and blueberries that’s unmistakably New World. Huge potential here but far from ready.

2003 Domaine du Pegau Reservee at Jade Palace, 14 Nov 2017. Darkly opague with some evolution, imbued with gloriously ripe dark fruits with attractive overtones of earth and incense. Rich, expansive and succulent, displaying great acidity and tannins that are highly supple, culminating in a long slow glowing finish. Superb.

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2010 Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint Denis Les Alouettes 1er, from the list of Iggy’s bar, 14 Nov 2017. Good pinot tint with some evolution, exuding intense aromas of camphor, dark cherries and bright red fruits. Rounded and fleshy with lovely acidity and fullness, quite seamless, developing a brighter tone over time, richer with a more glossy sheen yet remaining understated in power. Excellent.

2017-11-16 20.24.362009 Domaine Meo Camuzet Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits Clos Saint-Philibert monopole, courtesy of Dr WKW, plucked from the list of db Bistro, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 16 Nov 2017. Light floral tones on the nose lead to a gentle note of crème with characters of faint morning dew on a palate glowing with lovely chalky intensity, excellent in complexity, depth, detail and freshness, finishing with icing and mint. Quite superb.

2012 Ben Glaetzer Bishop, tasted at the First Class lounge of Changi Airport T3, 18 Nov 2017. Big, bold and balanced, exuding a very deep bouquet of dark plums, black fruits and dark cherries, highly supple, displaying great verve and acidity, oozing with sweet dark tannins. Great choice!

2002 Piper Hiedsieck Rare, tasted at the First Class lounge of Changi Airport T3, 18 Nov 2017. Do not be misled by the mild bouquet of gentle yeasty tones and subtle minerals, for the palate is brazen with bone-dry intensity of crisp yellow citrus, very tight, finishing with bitter lemon and slight ferrous trace.

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Bistrot du Sommelier, Paris

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV, on board SQ336 Business Class SIN-CDG, 18 Nov 2017.  Brioche, honeysuckle and yellow citrus dominate with mild yeasty tones and chalkiness, slightly dry but refreshing, well balanced, finishing om a note of gentle sweetness but still tight.

2016 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc, on board SQ336 Business Class SIN-CDG, 18 Nov 2017. Dryish with grassy elements amidst tones of wet heat, earth and chalk, covering the palate with broad expanse of white flowers, finishing with great freshness and vigour.

2012 Ch Siaurac, on board SQ336 SIN-CDG, 18 Nov 2017. This Medoc wine is stuffed with good concentration of earth, mulberries and dark wild berries tinged with green elements and a good dose of ferrous minerals.

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Sorry not wine…but SQ Business Class is cool

2015 Ch Haut Mouleyre, at the Star Alliance Lounge of Paris CDG, 26 Nov 2017. Strong hint of forest floor, undergrowth, dark fruits and currants dominate with good concentration and full plummy presence, finishing with spicy tones.

2014 Stonier Pinot Noir, on board SQ335 CDG-SIN, 26 Nov 2017.  This wine is saturated with abundant cool fruit, showing red cherries, strawberries and light red fruits of superb ripeness, open with lovely transparency and feminine succulence. Excellent.

1978 Ch Leoville Las-Cases (courtesy of Nicolas Laurent), tasted blind at Otto Ristorante, 29 Nov 2017. Some evolution at the rim with a hint of bricking, exuding a delicious fragrance of red currants and dark cherries with a hint of dryness. Medium-bodied and well-rounded with good depth of fruit, displaying a deep core of orangey tangerines amidst a lovely spread of warm intensity throughout its superb length. Excellent, and still holding on well.

1996 Ch Grand-Puy-Lacoste, tasted blind at Otto Ristorante, 29 Nov 2017. Deep in colour with a bold savoury bouquet of sweet meats and dark cherries, full-bodied and expansive but still youthful, imbued with fabulous intensity of flavours amidst splashes of earthy minerals though without much of the classic Pauillac signature. May not have peaked. Excellent.

1990 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou (courtesy of Alex Olmedo), tasted blind at Otto Ristorante, 29 Nov 2017. Opague purple hinting at some evolution, dominated by a superb earthy pungency on the dryish nose and palate, medium-bodied, displaying good concentration and gentle intensity of fruit with predominant plummy tones, somewhat subdued towards the finish.

1998 Ch Latour-a-Pomerol, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 01 Dec 2017. Deep colour, exuding a deep bouquet of delicious dark currants, sweet black fruits and ripe wild berries. Medium-bodied and fleshy, open with notes of cassis and some lavender amidst secondary development, gelling together over time with a rich core of blackberries cloaked in svelte supple tannins, lovely in intensity with a fabulous earthy pungency though somewhat attenuated in depth. Quite excellent.

2017-12-09 21.44.442006 Ch Rayas Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reservé Blanc (courtesy of Dr Ngoi) from the list of L’ardoise, Paris, over a late dinner, 09 Dec 2017. Lifted tones of icing, vanilla, cider and some lychees, developing a growing expanse and intensity of white floral tones and paraffin, excellent in concentration, finishing with a powerful spicy glow. Quite superb, but would be hard to place in a blind tasting.

2013 Domaine de Trevallon (courtesy of Chee Wee) from the list of L’ardoise, Paris, over a late dinner, 09 Dec 2017. Huge in concentration of dark fruits and black currants with smouldering ember and traces of licorice, tight and angular with crisp acidity and assertive tannins. Much more rounded and approachable after forty-eight hours of aeration in bottle, which says a lot.

2014 Domaine Theulot Juillot Mercurey Les Chenaults, at EUR66 from the list of Bistrot du Sommelier, Paris, over lunch on 11 Dec 2017. I have not come across this producer but what a revelation it turned out to be. Lovely in colour with generous creme de la creme and chalky tones, this wine displays superb intensity of fruit with just the right degree acidity, open with excellent detail, depth and delicacy. Outstanding. This superb dining venue has been renovated, now sporting a purple awning (instead of orange) while its dining space remains very limited.

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2001 Ch Lagrange, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 16 Dec 2017. Very earthy tones of aniseed and graphite elements amidst dark currants and cool black fruits, darkly delicious and fleshy, displaying great presence and acidity. Very fine. Lagrange of Saint-Julien is always under-rated.

1996 Paul Aine Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de la Thalabert, aired in bottle for an hour at Song Garden, 18 Dec 2017. Deep fragrance of dark berries and red currants with a tinge of tangerines, fully mature, rounded and open with good acidity, more minerally towards the back palate, highly seamless though not profoundly deep. I have worked through almost half a case of this wine. At its peak now and will not improve further.

2000 Moet et Chandon Grand Vintage, courtesy of Stephen Co at Senso, 20 Dec 2017. Mild yeasty tones, open with fresh clear citrus and green fruits.

2007 Vintage Tunina, courtesy of Stephen Co at Senso, 20 Dec 2017. Deep golden hue, closed initially with just a resinous trace and reductive notes of crème and chalk, eventually developing emerging notes of nectarine and apricot, satiny smooth with lovely layering and understated acidity, recalling the gentle glow of meadows in full bloom. Excellent.

1999 Domaine Georges Comte de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at Senso, 20 Dec 2017. Deep colour. Rather reluctant at first, showing only dark cherries and muted red fruits but gradually opened up well, turning more masculine with great body and presence, deeply layered in glorious fruit of superb intensity and structure. Outstanding but far from ready.

1999 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Stephen Co at Senso, 20 Dec 2017. Dark, deeply intense and brooding. Densely concentrated with a hint of licorice and hot stones, attacking the palate with brilliant intensity and sharp acidity though smooth in texture with subdued tannins, becoming more rounded and fleshy over time with plummy overtones. Fabulous potential, but far from ready.

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2005 Clos du Marquis, decanted on-site at Osteria Art, 23 Dec 2017. Dark with barely a hint of evolution, quite full and fleshy, imbued with earthy dark fruits, currants and graphite minerals, showing good acidity and integration with fine detail, becoming more masculine and structured over time with a slight tarry quality. On par with classified growths.

Champagne Devaux Cuvee D, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 25 Dec 2017. Forward balance of fresh lively citrus and lime, open and inviting with muted yeasty tones and smoke, turning drier and more minerally with fine concentration. Very fine.

Bruno Paillard Rose NV, at Frankle Widjaja’s Christmas party at his residence, 25 Dec 2017. Distinctly feminine in its gentle characters of grapefruit and tropical fruits, displaying lovely presence with fine balance.

1998 Dom Perignon, at Frankle Widjaja’s Christmas party at his residence, 25 Dec 2017. This wine exudes perfumed aromas of dense tropical fruits with a mild yeasty pungency, quite lovely and delicate, while green fruits and complex citrus dominate on the palate with excellent depth and intensity of flavours, finishing with traces of pomelo, bitter lemon and graphite minerals. Highly refined and elegant.

1998 Ch Pape Clement, the house pour at Frankle Widjaja’s Christmas party at his residence, 25 Dec 2017. At 19 years, this wine is still bold and imposing, covering the palate in broad swathes of delicious dark currants and black fruits with silky textures, deeply intense,  culminating in a tannin structure of fine intensity amidst  tarry earthy tones. Excellent but still not quite ready.

1999 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru, at Frankle Widjaja’s Christmas party at his residence, 25 Dec 2017. Served blind from decanter. Quite evolved in colour, slightly dusky, though the palate is swept up in a glorious lift of aged raspberries and cherries with deep tangerines at its core, displaying good intensity, presence and remarkable balance with a quiet depth, not showy at all, finishing with overtones of camphor and earth. Excellent, but may have been even better had it been aired in bottle instead. I guessed the wine correctly, though I thought it to be a 2003.

2016 Croix du Marquis, tasted at the SATS Premier Lounge of Changi Airport T2, 26 Dec 2017. Good concentration with notes of fresh grassy elements and morning dew, slightly recessed with a relaxed easy feel, finishing on a minty note. Perfectly serviceable for early drinking.

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1999 Champagne Salon, courtesy of Simon Cheong at Buona Terra, 29 Dec 2017. Lovely glow of yeasty and toasty characters with a bright and lively palate lit with citrus and green fruits amidst prominent crystalline minerality, slightly dry, finishing with bitter lemon. Highly refined and elegant.

2006 Domaine Vincent Girardin Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, at Buona Terra, 29 Dec 2017. Good color though reticent and backward, rather minerally at first with a mild reductive character, developing more buttery notes over time with traces of icing. Quite fine but needs some coaxing.

1986 Ch Lafite Rothschild, poured from magnum, courtesy of Simon Cheong at Buona Terra, 29 Dec 2017. From its infinite depth arose a beautiful hallowed glow of rich dark berries, black fruits and dark cherries that led to deep delicious flavours on a palate infused with dark feminine charm amidst the classic Pauillac dryness, fleshy with crisp acidity, blossoming well in the glass with dark luxuriant plummy tones. Has the legs for another few more decades. My final drop for the year. What an outstanding way to end 2017!

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