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1989 Figeac with the MB&F HM9

September 26, 2018
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Max Busser

I had the good fortune, through Kieron, to be invited to the worldwide launch of MB&F’s Hologerie Machine No.9 (better abbreviated as HM9, just like its other brethren) held at the Straits Clan, Singapore, on the evening of 25 September 2018 in the presence of its founder Max Busser. I hadn’t realised that MB&F stood for “Max Busser & Friends” (really ??), nor the fact that most of the worldwide launches of its various calibre have been held in Singapore because of his longstanding friendship with Mr Michael Tay of The Hour Glass (which had organised this event), who has been steadfast in his support for Max and his out-of-this-world creations since he first began in 2005. The watches of MB&F may seem crazy to most but, in a beautiful presentation, Max revealed that his creations are inspired by themes of space, cars, water and even insects – anything that takes his fancy but brought to the highest level of engineering and re-imagination. With each calibre produced in extremely limited quantities worldwide (way below 100 pieces), I don’t have to tell you how much each will cost you.

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MB&F HM No. 9

The Straits Clan proved to be the perfect setting for the intimate launch and with its sommelier Yang present to look after us very well, we sat down to a specially prepared cuisine of Peranakan-European inspired fusion, matched by the following wines:

Drappier Brut Nature, poured as the aperitif. Quite attractive on the nose, bright and full with overtones of zesty citrus amidst aromas of wet fields, possessing tremendous energy and verve, going on to develop a lovely depth of toasted oak, almonds and chalky minerals, brimming with fabulous intensity. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Jean Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Vaillons 1er. Great earthy pungency, almost peaty in its minerality, that led to a fabulous concentration and intensity of lime and yellow citrus that yielded great definition, aided by dry crisp floral tones. Unusually opulent for a Chablis, displaying superb layering and acidity, finishing with great persistence. Superb. A must-buy!

2014 Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny. Displaying superb colour, concentration and purity, this wine can barely contain its exuberance of intense red fruits, strawberries and rose petals that took its own sweet (literally!) time to unravel with  great linearity and focus, developing further notes of smoky incense over time. This is an over-achiever absolutely worthy of premiere cru status. Excellent.

2007 Ciacci Puccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino, poured from double magnum. Displaying predominant ripe dark plums with a slight forward balance, this wine exudes great warmth amidst overtones of varnish and enamel, rounded and soft with excellent depth of fruit though, on the whole, somewhat lacking in character.

2016 Disznoko Tokaji. A late harvest tokay, this wine is very agreeable but straightforward, lacking in layering and true complexity though it must be said its level of sweetness is just right, neither obstrusive nor cloying.

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And as if these weren’t quite enough, Kieron and I spotted a 1989 Ch Figeac (the restaurant’s final bottle) going for a relative bargain at SGD390 from the restaurant list. Popped and poured, this wine exuded a great lovely earthy pungency with lovely subtle nuances right from the outset, fleshy and dry on a floor of dried mushrooms supported by excellent depth of dark cherries and  blackcurrants, going on to develop a beautiful hallowed glow of a well-preerved claret as the palate revelled in superb velvety tannins that accompanied the fabulous open intensity. Caught at its absolute peak. Superb! Many thanks, Kieron!!

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MB&F Legacy Split Escapement on my wrist

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