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Some Burgundy monopoles

July 1, 2018

My small group of blind tasters continued its foray, this time on a theme of Burgundy monopoles, either premier cru or grand cru. The private room of Il Cielo at The Hilton, Singapore, on the evening of 26 June 2018 had been impeccably organised by Nicholas for a group of six, each seat prepared with six glasses all properly tagged and numbered. Each bottle was popped on site and blinded with a sock. In turn, the line-up was re-shuffled by a restaurant staff such that the tasters were all double-blinded. All six wines were tasted simultaneously. It turned out all of us had brought reds, which was fine, though Paul had forgotten that the focus was on monopoles. No matter; that simply made things even more interesting. We decided that we would: i) firstly, identify our own wines; ii) pick out the non-monopole wine that Paul had brought; iii) identify each wine by producer and vintage. I felt confident enough to declare that No.5 was the wine I’d brought and that No.1 was the non-monopole, and I was correct on both counts. Interestingly, everyone else was of the same opinion as well. Paired with a delectable menu arranged by Nicholas, we were set for a most intriguing evening.

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1. The first red was clearly a well-aged wine, evolved in colour to the point of duskiness with a soft fragrance of rose petals and aged tangerines with a further mild medicinal tone after some time, highly supple and juicy but clearly short and past its prime. Would not be possible to deduce its origin. Turned out to be a 1992 Domaine Dominique Laurent Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Paul.

2. This wine showed some evolution at the rim with a deep bouquet that was highly perfumed, imparting a distinct feminine fragrance, displaying excellent detail on the delicious palate with a predominance of camphor and red fruits on a minerally base of ferrous elements, very seamless and subtly structured, fleshing out very well after some time. I’d entertained thoughts of a Prieure-Roch Clos des Corvees but should have stuck to my original hunch: the 2009 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru, courtesy of Nicholas. Excellent stuff.

3. The third red was immediately recognisable to me, exuding an explosive brilliance of bright cherries from its clear depth of ruby, very fresh and clean on the palate with a forward balance, displaying good precision and concentration amidst traces of vanillin and smoke with velvety textures that are almost lush. I had no hesitation in calling this a 2016 Domaine Faiveley Clos des Corton Faiveley Grand Cru (though I’d thought it to be a 2012; courtesy of Benjamin). Excellent but Paul prefers an older style of burgundy.

4. This wine, also quite evolved in colour, was particularly striking in its soft gentle fragrance of fresh red fruits and cherries with a earthy minerally glow, quite full and open, highly supple and fleshy, carrying good weight and layered with plummy fruit with some exotic spice, seemingly youthful. Its lack of structure suggested a Cote de Beaune origin. Must be a Corton Clos de Meix. I was correct: a 2005 Domaine Comte Senard Corton Clos de Meix Grand Cru, courtesy of Alexandre.

5. The red that I brought produced quite an arresting bouquet of dark plums and dark cherries with a dash of earthiness, somewhat lean in profile, well-integrated and rounded, becoming richer over time though it doesn’t quite possess real inner detail. Those around the table seemed impressed. Did I hear someone hazard a guess of La Tache? Very flattering indeed but no, I don’t think this is anywhere near. 2012 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er. Showing much better than ever before.

6. We all knew the final red would be a contribution from Thomas – he was last to arrive. But what was it? Very dark in colour, almost pruny on the nose with a bit of cedar, delivering well its promise of a full palate filled with stern minerals, well crafted and rounded but obviously still tight and quite intense. Definitely too dark and big to be from anywhere north of Vosne. Could be Corton but this one has more extraction. I thought aloud the Domaine Comte Armand Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er and was spot on….the 2005.

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I must say I was really on good form that evening with my guesses but it isn’t always like that. Thank you everyone for your generous contributions.

 

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