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1976 Lafite Rothschild, 1982 Cheval Blanc, 2012 Bouchard Montrachet

September 28, 2019

Dr Ngoi, in one of his generous fits, threw a dinner at Crystal Jade Takashimaya on 12 September 2019 to celebrate the birthdays of SKY and TMH. We were advised not to bring any wine. Of course, nobody heeded but we were truly humbled by the embarrassing riches of food and wine that evening, so much so that only a few select bottles were popped. Many thanks Dr Ngoi, and to SKY and Tony as well for their generous contributions.

Pago de Tharsys Brut Cava, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Lovely lifted bouquet of dense citrus allied with crystalline tones, replete with some characters of toast and yeast. Good presence, layered with green fruits, melons and sour plums though without real distinction nor complexity.

2002 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Tony Chew. Predominance of delicate grapefruit on the nose and palate, imbued with toasty oak amid pungent traces that impart excellent body and presence. Very smooth, lightly textured and transparent with beautifully sublime understated minerality enhanced by the sheen of very fine bubbles. Seamlessly integrated with great linearity throughout its length, glowing with lovely intensity at its persistent finish. Excellent.

20190913_223800.jpg2008 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Served too cold initially, this wine gradually opened up with early complex citrus amid understated chalkiness and crème, revealing great presence and concentration. Took on a waxy sheen with more salinity – almost Puligny-like – as it slipped into a relaxed easy suppleness that carried wonderful verve, vivacity and freshness, finishing with moderate length. Excellent.

2012 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Tony Chew. Obviously too young to be popped but who can resist? This wine opens with a gentle white floral tone laced with cool traces of vanillin and icing, revealing very fine inner detail, proffering fleeting glimpses of nutmeg and exotic white fruits as it exuded gentle intensity. Highly poised with a superb ethereal refined elegance before receding in a demure finish. One experiences the very essence of Montrachet. What a privilege to have had this as 2012 was a very low-yielding vintage.

2010 Axelle de Valandraud. Very dark. Still laced with traces of enamel amidst generous swathes of raspberries, dark fruits and black currants. Well extracted. Very ripe and evenly toned, exuding remarkable intensity and great acidity without being heavy, aided by silky tannins that conferred sleek structure. Still way too young. Wait another ten years, at least. Carried back from Saint-Émilion, this is only the second vintage after the inaugural 2000, a blend of two plots of Château Valandraud totalling just 1.5 ha.

1982 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Tony Chew. Clear vermillion with a deep garnet core. Absolutely beguiling in its effusive deep seductive bouquet of rosy floral fragrance and red cherries. Softly rounded and open with a highly even palatal tone underscored by a very fine earthy base, remarkably fresh, highly understated in its gentle minerally finish. Most delicious and delectable.

1976 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of SKY. Decanted from an imperial bottling! Displaying a deep garnet core in spite of its 43 years, this wine exuded an astounding bouquet of dark berries, mulberries, black cherries and currants with a suggestion of  very fine graphite elements that was most alluring, matched by a lovely feminine suppleness filled with abundant peaches and tangerines on a rich cedary floor. Still laced with gorgeous acidity that has the legs to carry on for many more years, just missing in the last ounce of profundity. This wine was drinking so well that I must have drunk almost a bottle’s worth. Outstanding!


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