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1982 Joseph Perrier, 2000 Pichon Baron, 2001 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche, 2002 Bouchard Montrachet, 1989 d’Yquem

August 7, 2018

20180520_121457.jpgSanjay very generously laid on a lunch party at Cassia, La Capella Resorts at Sentosa, Singapore, on 20 May 2018 where not only has he (or perhaps more likely the wifey?) arranged a full 8-course Cantonese cuisine of the highest order, he had also sponsored the entire line-up of top flight wines. Only God knows the raison d’tre for the occasion but the lucky ones like me who were invited were definitely not complaining. We began with not one, but two champagnes. The 1982 Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royale Brut, poured from magnum, displayed a lovely depth of citrus, lime and pomelo, firm and well-delineated with overtones of smoke, gentle yeasty tones and a delicate trace of ember, still amazingly crisp and fresh with a wonderful deftness and transparency, finishing well on a note of bitter lemon amidst dry intensity. Superb. In contrast, the 2004 Champagne Salon Cuvee S, undoubtedly younger, is a different sort of creature, exuding a light luminous glow on the nose that led to darker savoury tones on the earthy palate tinged with yeast and wild flowers, appropriately dry in its intensity of fruit, fleshing out with excellent detail.


We moved on to a glorious pair of whites. I initially thought the 2001 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru may have been tinged with traces of oxidation, but this disappeared  after some time to yield light grassy tones on the nose coupled with excellent depth of delicate lime and clear citrus with traces of nutmeg supported by deeper green elements, very cleanly focused, finishing with lovely glowing intensity. The 2002 Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru was shy at first, taking its time to open up with a deep complex of crème de la crème and chalk laced with elements of glycerine and agar, all the while restrained and backward, eventually developing silky intensity with glowing plummy tones on a base of distinct saline minerals, finishing with exotic spice and white flowers. Rather ethereal in its elegance and poise, very much the Holy Grail of all whites. Outstanding, but still far from its peak.


The pair of reds that followed was equally outstanding. The 2001 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, as usual, displayed a deeper tone of ruby, exuding a lovely perfumed fragrance of predominant red fruits, rose petals and red currants, distinctly feminine in its grace and subtle poise, structured with fine acidity, mellowing beautifully in the glass. The 2000 Ch Pichon Longuevlle Baron, poured from magnum, revealed a magnificent abundance of dark cherries and blackcurrants within its glorious depth, producing a lifted deep fragrance whilst the palate is defined by a highly detailed intensity of fruit along with dense minerals and heated stones, rounded with great succulence, finesse and balance just as it was beginning to develop some early secondary nuances, eventually smoothening out with just the distilled essence of dried tea leaves, glowing in a trail of gun smoke long after it’d left the palate. Wonderful stuff.


2001 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

We rounded off the long afternoon with the obligatory 1989 Ch d’Yquem, a wine that was very good to return to, displaying honeyed tones of dense apricot and aged nectarine, surprisingly light with open textures amidst traces of ember and sweet incense that got better and better with each sip, finishing with a lovely complex glow. Many thanks, Sanjay. This is one great unforgettable afternoon.



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