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USA: 1997 Phelps Insignia, 2015 Aubert, 2016 Kenzo Rindo, 1997 Mondavi Reserve, 2001 Beringer Private Reserve, Kistler…

March 31, 2020

A few of us gathered at Waterfall, Shangri-La Singapore, on 10 March 2020 for an exclusive Californian theme. All wines were aired or decanted on-site with the exception of the Kenzo Rindo, which had been double-decanted for three hours prior. On this occasion, the whites were outclassed by the reds, all of which were hitting their stride beautifully, particularly those aged beyond twenty years, without even having seemingly peaked. The take-home message: catch the whites in their youth but keep the reds for the next generation. Many thanks, everyone.


2003 Kistler Kistler Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay, courtesy of Bob. Dull golden. Mature aromas of grapefruit and orangey tones shrouded within a dense sheen of paraffin. Rather full and concentrated, rounded with rich acidity. Dead serious in demeanour, resulting in a leaden feel.

2006 Kistler Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of Bob. Dull golden. Shut. More minerally on the palate with overtones of white ash, showing very good concentration, depth, transparency and intensity though a tad stern with subdued acidity.

2001 Kistler Russian River Les Noisetiers Chardonnay, courtesy of Bob. Gentle enticing fresh floral aromas. Excellent in presence, depth and layering amid a hint of paraffin with further emerging notes of apricot and pineapples. Very well integrated with fine acidity, finishing with lasting glow and intensity as it attained a rounded creaminess. Much fresher in feel than the preceding two wines. Excellent.

2015 Aubert Chardonnay, courtesy of K. Light golden-greenish hue, exuding delicious forward aromas of green and tropical fruits that extended well onto the palate with white floral tones, showing great presence and density with sublime acidity, depth and length as it developed a further spicy glow. Excellent.


2007 Kistler Cuvee Elisabeth, courtesy of Bob. Very deep red with a forward bouquet of sweet dark berries and dark currants. Medium-full. Still quite intense at the edges with taut acidity, becoming creamier in texture over time with emerging bright red fruits.

2016 Kenzo Rindo. Made by Heidi Barrett of Screaming Eagle fame, this classic Bordeaux blend from Napa showed a very deep garnet red with an unique lift of mulberries, malt and warm wet gravel on the nose. Very smooth and open with great suppleness on the palate, richly layered with dark cherries and blackberries that sparkle with brilliant graphite, displaying excellent depth and definition on a burnished floor of cedar and eucalyptus. Morphed very well with superb integration, yielding some early complexity. Very classy with superb potential without any hint at all of its 15.2% abv.

2001 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Uncle H. Deep purple with a rim of evolution. Open with characters of sweet dark berries, incense and tobacco that exude a smooth relaxed intensity with sublime acidity, utterly seamless, displaying great balance, subtlety and length. Excellent.

1997 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, courtesy of Uncle H. Deep dark ruby. Superb depth and concentration of dark fruits, blackberries and old leather, open with lovely freshness. Still rather full, displaying great acidity and balance. Clearly hitting its stride now and will hold for many more years. Outstanding.

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia, courtesy of Lars. Brilliant deep ruby, imbued with wonderful depth of ripe black fruits, dark berries and dark cherries that exude superb freshness and balance. Evolved further into some kind of distilled essence, becoming richer, bolder and even deeper with expanding fullness. Outstanding, but it may not even have peaked.


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