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April 2020: 1999 Château Lafite Rothschild, 2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc

May 8, 2020

A miserable month of stay-home restrictions and restaurant closures thanks to Covid-19. Popping a bottle at home over dinner isn’t quite the same without friends…

2011 Champagne Pierre Peters Cuvée Speciale Les Chetillons, popped and poured over dinner at Asia Grand, 02 Apr 2020. Pale luminosity. Generous bouquet of green fruits, lime and citrus. Good concentration and presence, fleshing out with broad expanse and supple detail, displaying fine intensity and acidity. More steely and lean after some time, developing even greater intensity with further notes of smoke and pomelo and, finally, the appearance of yeasty tones before it all became way too astringent.

2015 Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 04 Apr 2020. More deeply tinted for pinot. Delicious fragrance of dark cherries, raspberries, rose petals, currants and red plums. Superbly ripe and concentrated, yet fleshy and supple, imbued with exciting tension and acidity on a burnished floor. Finished gently with fine linearity. Excellent potential.

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Lafite commemorates the total solar eclipse of 11 August 1999

1999 Ch Lafite Rothschild, a bottle purchased for SGD283 back in 2004. Decanted for two hours prior at Gunther’s on the occasion of M’s 21st, 06 Apr 2020. Deep ruby. Well developed bouquet of red plums and dark cherries with some bright spots, fairly effusive. Good concentration and fullness of fruit that imparted lovely tensile acidity and mouthfeel, fleshing out with surprisingly good power amid darker undertones of mahogany tinged with mushrooms, truffles and wild berries on a floor of iron filings and earth, its subtle recessed tannins never in the way. Rounded with elegant expanse, finishing with glowing intensity and refinement. Far better than a previous tasting in June 2019 at FICOFI’s Bordeaux promenade.

2017 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, popped and poured at home, 11 Apr 2020. Notes of green pepper and raw nutmeg dominate amid grassy elements, tangy citrus and pomelo. Very good in concentration and presence though a little stern with a certain rusticity. Good transparency but lacking in complexity. Not engaging enough. I’d expected more for 2017.

2010 Yering Station Old Beenak Road Shiraz over pizza at home, 22 Apr 2020. This is a single vineyard bottling that I’d purchased directly from its cellar door in the Yarra Valley back in 2013. Double-decanted for 45 minutes. Quite an abundance of dark cherries and raspberries on the nose marked by an unique accentuated lift of oranges. Medium-bodied. Open enough, fleshy with very good concentration of fruit, developing other notes of mocha and diffused tea leaves underscored by subtle earthy minerals, slightly firm but not a bad thing at all. Good refinement. Just a tad spicy at the gentle finish. Shows remarkable restraint though lacking in ultimate distinction.

20200425_194141.jpg2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, popped and poured over takeaway Ka Soh (bloody expensive!) at home, 25 Apr 2020. Glorious exuberance of rich citrus and minerals that display great freshness, transparency and sublime acidity, imparting superb mouthfeel before settling down to more reserved tones of white flowers, paraffin and raw nutmeg amid overtones of apricot supported by outstanding flinty minerals. Rounded and full without any jarring edges. Superbly integrated and balanced, finishing with a lovely stinging sensation. Exceptional value.

2010 Ch Le Doyenné, double-decanted for almost two hours at home, 29 Apr 2020. Dark. Richly layered with abundant black fruits, dark currants and wild black berries underscored by a certain subtle earthiness and graphite brilliance that’s unmistakably Médoc in character. Shows excellent presence and fullness, the only drawback being that it doesn’t seem able to develop its full potential, appearing to hit some sort of attenuation on the palate that comes across as a sense of toughness though at SGD45 (current price) with ten years of bottle age, there are no grounds for complaint.

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