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May/June 2018: 2012 Montelena Estate, 2002 Gracia, 2014 Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet, 1998 Penley Estate

August 15, 2018

Veuve Clicquot Rose Brut, drunk over dimsum lunch at Asia Grand, 01 May 2018. Deep orangey hue, displaying overtones of grapefruit, tangerines and mandarins with good concentration, freshness and zest on a dense minerally base. Finished with dry blazing intensity.

2008 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured at  Otto Ristorante, 08 May 2018. Exuding effusive tones of rich dark plums and black cherries layered with strong overtones of mocha and licorice, this is a beautiful example of Black Shiraz at its best, displaying excellent concentration of ripe dark Barossa shiraz with great linearity and definition underscored by a deep liquered presence, thoroughly open and engaging with some emerging complexity, finishing with seductive sweetness and intoxicating sophistication. Outstanding

2005 Mount Mary Quintet, popped and poured at  Otto Ristorante, 08 May 2018, courtesy of John Law. Malt, rye and hot stones on the nose that was rather reticent at the start, though the palate oozes with dry subtle sweet tannins coming from an excellent depth of dark fruits and black currants, developing some bright spots with velvety textures and supple acidity. Drinking well. Excellent.

1998 Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 11 May 2018. Deep garnet red. Powerful bouquet of ripe dark berries, raspberries and blackcurrants amidst earthy tones, cedar and roasted coffee. Still amazingly tight, developing further notes of black fruits tinged with licorice and dark plums. Well extracted. Mellowed quite quickly, opening up with good detail and transparency with mild sandy textures and crisp acidity, turning more expansive and minty at its finish. Excellent, though still seemingly far from its peak.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Krisflyer lounge, 26 May 2018. Gentle yeasty and crystalline tones amidst an ample spread of yellow citrus, displaying clear definition, its very fine soft bubbles offering excellent presence and depth on a bed of distinct ferrous minerals. Very fine.

2015 Albert Bichot Saint-Veran, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Krisflyer lounge, 26 May 2018. Distinct grassy elements with traces of nutmeg, medium-bodied. Rather placid though well-rounded with good presence of understated white fruits, chalky tones and acidity, tapering to a gentle finish. Very serviceable.

2009 Ch Le Doyenne, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 29 May 2018. Dark purple. Quite generous in dark fruits violets and blueberries on the nose though this sleeper of a wine is now less flattering on the palate compared with previous tastings. Good concentration, acidity and suppleness but missing in opulence, a little nondescript this time.

2004 Domaine Paul Aine Jaboulet Le Chevalier de Sterimberg, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 30 May 2018. A luxurious sheen of creme and vanillin flavours dominate on the nose and palate, displaying good complexity with an aged stony glow of caramelized paraffin amidst aromas of glutinous leaves, replete with an opulent mid-body. The best bottle of this wine I’ve ever had. Excellent.

2007 Clos du Marquis, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 30 May 2018 (courtesy of Ben). Deep purple, displaying excellent depth of blackcurrants, dark cherries and strawberries, highly supple, imbued with graphite minerals that shone with fine detail. Surprisingly good for the vintage.

2015 Maison de Montille Saint Romain, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 03 June 2018. Ample in green fruits and green melons with traces of icing on a delicate chalky base, very well balanced and open with  transparent textures, showing plenty of verve though it is generally rather understated, finishing with a minerally trail. Great value at SGD59.

1986 Ch Leoville Poyferre, popped and poured at  Otto Ristorante, 04 June 2018. This wine opened with quite a bit of bottle stink, distinctly medium-bodied, proffering aged rosy notes, light cherries and raspberries with traces of wood, still possessing intense acidity that imparted some lovely tension across the earthy minerally palate, finishing won a stern note of iron filings. Slightly past its prime.

2006 E Guigal Chateau D’Ampuis, courtesy of Sanjay at  Otto Ristorante, 04 June 2018. Bright with an exuberance of red fruits and cherries that exude a rosy feminine fragrance, medium-bodied, gentle on the palate with detailed tannin structure amidst great suppleness, developing a lighter tone of bright citrus over time. Very lovely.

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2002 Ch Gracia, courtesy of Vic at  Otto Ristorante, 04 June 2018. Endowed with an abundance of dark roses on the nose and palate, exuding a lovely feminine fragrance with great purity of fruit, soft and rounded, layered with excellent depth of dark fruit that grew in intensity over time.

2005 Ch Lynch Bages, courtesy of MH at  Otto Ristorante, 04 June 2018. Rather backward at this stage, exuding an understated bouquet of dark roses, dark cherries and blackcurrants though there’s undoubtedly a generous abundance of fruit beneath the rounded sheen of ash and earthy pungency, very open and gently layered. Unexpectedly feminine. Could do with a bit more focus at its finish. Not ready.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve NV, on board Singapore Airlines premium economy SQ32 SIN-SFO, 10 Jun 2018. Forward balance of light yellow citrus and clear fruits encased within a lovely glow of chalk and yeasty tones. Open with subtle dry intensity, displaying excellent fullness and presence, finishing well. Surprisingly good.

2016 Vina Borgia, on board Singapore Airlines premium economy SQ32 SIN-SFO, 10 Jun 2018. Earthy tones, wild berries, twigs and forest floor dominate with an abundance of dark plums and dark cherries, slightly forward. Agreeable but nondescript.

20180611_190422.jpg2014 Domaine Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet, a half bottle from the list of Michael Mina, San Francisco, on 11 June 2018 to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. Displaying a beautiful luminous glow, this wine produced quite an arresting bouquet of creme de la creme and chalky minerals matched by a glorious presence of dense white fruits and floral characters on the palate. Utterly refined, rich and elegant, developing some early complexity as it tapered towards a long glowing finish. You simply can’t go wrong with 2014 burgundy white from any producer. Superb.

2012 Ch Montelena Estate, a half bottle from the list of Michael Mina, San Francisco, on 11 June 2018. Violets, dark cherries, exotic spice and a dash of bell pepper dominate on the nose while the palate is richly layered with dark cherries, raspberries and mulberries that conferred great ripeness, detail and lovely intensity, structured by pliant chewy tannins. Highly supple though rather understated in acidity, becoming more dry and earthy over time, finishing on a note of ground pepper and spice. Excellent.

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2016 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, a half bottle at Fish Hopper’s, Monterey Bay, 16 June 2018. Good presence of green fruits, zesty lime and citrus, its crisp acidity a fresh clean feel, developing further notes of white flowers and vanillin later with pronounced grainy minerals. Not bad at all.

2016 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, a half bottle from the list of John’s Grill, San Francisco, 16 June 2018. This wine offer a good concentration of ripe raspberries and dark cherries, forward in fruit balance with a touch of earthiness amidst its dry intensity, developing further nuances of cedar and sweet incense over time though it never got any further. Serviceable.

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