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Happy birthday Roger!

October 22, 2019

Roger threw a lovely birthday dinner at the newly-renovated Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 October 2019. I’m not really sure why the restaurant bothered with any renovation, since it still appears largely similar to its previous incarnation and the food, whilst excellent, is not necessarily better. As usual within this group of invited friends, Burgundy is the default theme and all wines are blinded. Unless otherwise indicated, all wines were generously provided by Roger himself, aired in bottle for about three hours prior. The line-up was elegant and distinguished without any undue flamboyance, much like the birthday boy himself. We could have drunk more had a Leflaive BBM and a Henri Gouges NSG La Perrieres not turned out to be prematurely oxidised. Thank you and many happy returns, Roger!


White 1. Aged golden hue with, perhaps, the faintest whiff of cork taint before an overwhelming bouquet of apricot, peaches and fig swarmed the senses with lovely aromas. Very fine in acidity and concentration of citrus with a very even high tone, rather minerally though there wasn’t much layering, slipping into recessed chalkiness after some time as it tapered with good linearity to a quiet finish. Undoubtedly a Puligny but Alvin hit the bull’s eye: a 1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er.

White 2. Pale, exuding some faint icing and white floral tones on the nose, slightly flinty. Excellent sharp, clean lift of clear citrus and white fruits on the palate though somewhat narrow in spectrum with a high-toned minerality, displaying fine precision. Clearly a young wine, becoming more distinctly Chassagne later. I was spot on with the producer: a 2013 Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée 1er.

Red 1. Evolved pinot colour. Softly rounded, proffering aromas of delicious red fruits and cherries amid traces of earth. Very open and seamless. Highly supple, showing good acidity and intensity of fruit, structured with very finely-grained tannins as it finished with gentle persistence. Rather bright and distinctly feminine. We were floored when it was revealed to be a 2007 Domaine Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru.

Red 2. Dark pinot tone and colour, proffering a deep bouquet of delicious fruit. Matched up to expectations with an equally deep core of dark cherries, red fruits and currants on the palate, showing excellent concentration and harmony though darker in tonal shading, structured with youthful tannins that confer tight tension and intensity. Yet to open. We were correct about the commune and thought it likely to be a Vogüé, but it was the 2003 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er.

Red 3. Displaying an evolved pinot tone and colour, this wine exuded a delicious floral fragrance of rose petals and red fruits amid traces of enamel. Highly lifted, open and supple, imbued with a trace of earthiness amongst its depth of fruit. Poised with lovely velvety elegance and controlled power. We’re were unanimous about it being from Vosne-Romanée, but we certainly didn’t expect it to be the now-defunct 2001 Domaine Rene Engel Echezeaux Grand Cru. Beautiful.

Red 4. Showing an evolved pinot tint, this wine proffered lifted tones of red fruits with a core of tangerines that danced on the palate with a certain deftness, open with great suppleness. Utterly seamless and harmonious, displaying excellent verve, energy and refinement. Most agreed with me that it was likely to be a Romanée Saint-Vivant, probably from Hudelot-Noellat or even D.R.C. Instead, a 2000 Domaine Dujac Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru. Fabulous!


Red 5. This wine presented with an appreciably darker pinot tint with plenty of depth on the nose, notably of dark fruits, currants and steamed food though the palate seemed somewhat attenuated in spite of the open suppleness, bright with pebbly characters, still coiled with tight racy intensity. Surely a Vogüé – the 2006 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Not ready.

Red 6. Displaying a deep garnet red, this wine proffers excellent depth and concentration of dark cherries and currants, very generously proportioned with fabulous racy intensity and tremendous verve but still tight. Undoubtedly from one of the stalwart vintages. A 1999 Domaine Meo Camuzet Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, courtesy of WCY.

Red 7. Literally popped and poured. Displaying a deep garnet core with some evolution, this wine is big, ripe and sweet, concentrated in dark currants and raspberries on a dense bed of graphite minerals that imparted some brightness, finishing with tight structured intensity. A 2005 Domaine Alain Burquet Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, courtesy of John Ling. Truly one for the long haul.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard Buitenhuis permalink
    October 29, 2019 16:32

    Wow, an elegantly written summary displaying your obvious palate and love of the subject.
    French wines, while stunning, elude me a little because of the lack of continuity of supply to the Australian market.
    An enjoyable read. Many thanks. I’ll keep checking back to see your latest reviews.
    Many thanks indeed.

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