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Dec 2018: 1994 Henschke Hill of Grace, 2008 Penfolds Grange, 1989 Olivier Leflaive Clos Saint-Jacques, 1982 Ducru Beaucaillou, 2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome…

January 8, 2019

2015 Maison de Montille Saint-Aubin Sur Gamay 1er, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 01 Dec 2018. Ample in green fruits, lime and clear citrus on the nose. Rather full with sharp intensity, filling the palate with a broad expanse of dry minerality, developing a late floral bloom as it finished with traces of nutmeg and white pepper. Excellent value for money.

2012 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1er, courtesy of Benjamin Ma at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Straw colored. Closed initially, gradually proffering stony minerals that are slightly flinty along with an opague white floral tone. Excellent in concentration, displaying a distinct minerally balance followed by emerging white fruits and nutmeg, fleshing out with lovely oiliness, highly poised and elegant as it finished with notes of white pepper. Excellent.

1989 Olivier Leflaive Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Dr Chua Yang at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Beautifully evolved vermillion, exuding lifted aromas of incense, sweet cherries and ground minerals that carried well on to the palate with a gentle depth of red plums, tangerines and currants on a ferrous earthy floor, still displaying lovely freshness, acidity and complexity with very fine inner definition but will not improve further. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, courtesy of Roger at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Good colour. Bright nose and palate of red fruits, raspberries and cherries with a lovely gentle lift. Medium-bodied, displaying very good presence and purity with gentle acidity underscored by subtle minerals. Full of feminine grace. Excellent.

2014 Chateau de Marsannay Chambertin Grand Cru, at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Glorious color. Intense cherries, red fruits and rose petals on the nose. Medium-bodied. Fleshy and supple, quite rich in tone with fairly transparent textures layered with saline minerals but lacking complexity and character, rather short as well at the finish. Far better on the nose. Perhaps shutting down. Best to lay off for a few years.

2006 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Beautiful vermilion. Effusive in rose petals and red fruits, utterly beguiling. Medium-bodied. Ample in delicious bright fruits and dark currants, underscored by a deeper darker streak with quiet subtle acidity, just a tad short. Still youthful. Made from purchased fruit.

2002 Donnhoff Niedenhauser Hermannscule (375 ml) courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Powerful diesel notes amidst sweet incense, dried apricots and light nectarine with some orange peel, medium-bodied, covering the palate with subtle acidity and burnished tones.

1995 Domaine Robert Ampeau Meursault-Perriere 1er, courtesy of Vic at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Dull golden. There may have been a hint of oxidation as notes of recessed chalky minerals with a bit of musty sheen wafted over. Showing well on the palate though with fine presence and seamless subtle acidity, very smooth, glowing with quiet intensity as it developed broader creamier textures.

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2006 Kistler Stone Flat Vineyard Parmelee Hill Chardonnay, courtesy of Robert Kwok at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Light golden, exuding delicate white citrus and lime amid mild diesel tones, coating the palate with a luxurious sheen of rich creamy tones, rather gentle at first, building up in gradual intensity as it developed greater depth and structure with more earthy nuances and raw nutmeg. Very lovely.

2008 Kistler Somoma Coast Cuvee Elizabeth Bodega Headlands Vineyard, courtesy of Robert Kwok at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Delicious dark cherries and rose petals dominate with a lovely perfumed fragrance, imparting a velvety intensity on the palate.

1995 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Fleshy with matured ripe fruit that exudes tangerines, cedar and glowing dark plums on a backdrop of dried tea leaves, old leather and mushrooms, fleshy with abundant graceful elegance. At its best and will hold for many more years.

1982 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, courtesy of Kieron at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. This wine opens with a superb earthy pungency, still imbued with plenty of youthful vigour and verve from the rich layers of ripe dark fruit amid dryish textures, very correct in its Saint-Julien posturing, still far from drying out. A great classic claret at its very peak.

2010 The Hilt Old Guard Chardonnay Santa Barbara County, courtesy of KP at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Clear luminosity, effusive in dense citrus with a lovely sense of oiliness. Excellent concentration of white fruits with a deep ferrous core, very cleanly focused and precise, displaying sharp acidity amidst rich oily textures that developed growing intensity and some early complexity, finishing in a gentle glow. Excellent.

2002 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er, courtesy of John at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Mature deep earthy tones on the nose, beautifully open with good density of white citrus structured with chiselled chalkiness that imparted a clean, dry austere feel, very lithe and seamless, displaying excellent detail, culminating in a complex lengthy finish. Excellent, but do not hold any further.

2008 Penfolds Grange, courtesy of Hiok at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Deep dark purple. Resplendent bouquet of abundant ripe raspberries, mulberries and dark currants that exude a powerful medicinal glow though the palate, unfortunately, doesn’t quite measure up, rounded and open enough with lovely suppleness and good transparency but, somehow, rather lean and uninvolving, unexpectedly short as well at the finish. I’d expected more.

1994 Henschke Hill of Grace, courtesy of Sea Hing at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. This wine opens with a quiet reticence, revealing dark currants and plummy characters with some ground pepper in the distance, taking on a distinctly mature tone on the palate with more of similar plummy notes, open but lean, finishing with sweet tannins but short as well. Do not keep any further.

2006 Chris Ringland Shiraz, courtesy of Kenny at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrable inky blackness from which arose a great funky earthy pungency, leading to a palate imbued with rich layers of warm ripe Barossa shiraz, open with great suppleness and crisp acidity, revealing good detail and excellent sophistication within its sweet structured velvety tannins without any trace of its 14.6% abv. Excellent.

2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome, courtesy of Jon at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrably dark. Quite effusive in ripe black fruits and black currants that are well replicated with great concentration on the palate. Very warm and ripe, almost pruny, massively proportioned with a forward balance of fruit and exotic spices though rounded with sweet pliant tannins, never ever threatening to overwhelm. Superbly crafted. Excellent.

2002 Shafer Hillside Select at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrably dark. Ample in soft red plums with a minty tone, fleshy and well-layered with great concentration of ripe fruit, raspberries and currants that exude a smooth sheen of velvety intensity from its soft sweet svelte tannins, beautifully open.

1983 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, courtesy of KP at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Evolved dusky red, proffering classic tones of light tangerines and orange peel with further notes of lychees, slightly past its prime as it became more reductive over time.

2004 Peller Ice Wine, courtesy of Hiok at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Dense bouquet of longans. Luscious without being cloying, displaying excellent concentration and linearity with subdued acidity. Not much complexity but very enjoyable.

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2016 Conchy Y Toro Frontera Sauvignon Blanc, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Krisflyer Gold lounge, 08 Dec 2016. Forward in white fruits with a nice floral bloom. Quite full, layered with creamy textures and gentle minerals with fine presence and detail. Convincing.

2004 R Lopez Vina Tondonia Riserva Blanc, from the list of three Michelin-starred ABaC restaurant in Barcelona, 10 Dec 2018. Displaying a clear golden hue, this wine opens with an alluring complex of nectarine, fig and dense white flowers with a hint of sour plums amidst a gentle oxidative tone. Medium-full. Rounded with subtle nuances and peppery traces, exuding an aged feel and elegance through its refined acidity and sublime minerality, finishing with a gentle lifted intensity. Quite excellent.

Fontallada Brut Nature, a Cava courtesy of Hotel Barcelona Catedral, 12 Dec 2018. Dry. Notes of green fruits, melons and intense citrus that impart crisp cutting acidity, underscored by steely minerals with a bit of mint and icing, slightly sweet. Serviceable.

Champagne Charles de Cazanove Blanc de Blancs NV, on board SQ387 BCN-SIN Premium Economy on 14 Dec 2018. Plenty of lovely freshness, proffering whiffs of green fruit, melons and white citrus, appropriately dry with very good levels of ripeness and fullness, developing a clean forward chalkiness by the third pour. Very fine.

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2017 Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at home, 16 Dec 2018. Medium-full. Slightly reserved in fruit, exuding more of peaty tones with a certain earthiness whilst the palate displays a predominance of limestone and saline minerals with overtones of raw nutmeg and white pepper laced with a mild spicy edge, becoming better integrated with further aeration. At SGD25, this is highly serviceable.

1991 Poggio Salvi Villa Brunello di Montalcino, a bottle gifted to me by Don Tay and decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 19 Dec 2018. Opague dull purple, opening with bright plummy tones and sweet dark currants amid a mild herbal trace. Rounded and fleshy, showing distinct ferric traces at the sides on a rich cedary floor, glowing with excellent presence throughout its length before ending in a soft gentle finish. Caught at its best.

2017 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at home, 21 Dec 2018. This wine exudes an amazing bouquet of  rich oily textures amidst dense white floral tones and grassy elements, replete with straw notes and nutmeg. Its slightly peaty palate is dominated by a gravelly minerally floor, bearing fine weight and intensity of fruit, finishing with tangy white pepper and lime. Cloudy Bay’s famous flagship is back to its over-achieving old ways. Excellent.

2015 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. Aromas of white pepper morning dew and grassy elements. Medium-full. Fresh, clean and rounded, showing excellent concentration and presence with peppery characters, finishing with good linearity. Quite excellent.

2017 Antonin Rodet Vire-Cleese L’Epinet, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. Characters of morning dew and dry Asian spices with a dash of white pepper. Medium-bodied, possessing a light delicate feel with transparent textures. Quite fine.

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2016 Ch La Chandelleire, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. This Medoc exudes earthy tones and dark wild berries amidst a vegetal hint with traces of rose petals at the edges, developing a brighter tone of emerging red fruits and currants after some time, structured with pliant tannins but still too straightforward and undistinguished.

2014 Sebastiani Sonoma County Merlot, from the list of Alto in Hong Kong, 23 Dec 2018. Decanted on-site. Generous spread of ripe raspberries, violets and mulberries, displaying excellent concentration and presence with detailed chewy tannins and fine intensity, highly supple and pliant. Quite agreeable.

2006 Ch Malartic Lagraviere, popped and poured at Teochew City, 28 Dec 2018. Softly rounded, mellow and smooth with good transparency, revealing some earthy characters with a deeper streak of ferrous minerals, turning more intense with pruny tones and licorice. Not quite settled.

2007 Tignanello, popped and poured at California Pizza Kitchen, 29 Dec 2018. Dark, dense, stern and acidic, its firm angular tannins imparting a certain toughness that hindered the fruit beneath, which struggled to break through.

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