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June 2020: 2009 Rockford Black Shiraz, 1996 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 1999 Palmer…

July 6, 2020

2008 Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs. Popped and poured, 01 June 2020. Faint greenish hue. Reticent, proffering just distant notes of green fruits, lime and clear citrus though the palate is brightly lit with great concentration and intensity of fruit amid overtones of almonds and walnuts supported by firm minerally elements. Crisp but a shade austere. Not ready.

2005 Château Malartic-Lagravière Rouge, decanted for 120 minutes prior on 03 June 2020. Darkly coloured, delivering its promise of dark fruits and ripe wild berries laced with some vegetal trace. Still tight with great concentration and intensity, taking its time to slowly unravel, revealing gentle sweet dark currants underscored by firm but well integrated acidity. Very fine but it really needs 3-4 hours of coaxing at this stage.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, aired in bottle for 90 minutes on 05 June 2020. Excellent concentration of clear and yellow citrus, exuding overtones of brioche and honeysuckle. Superbly integrated with sublime acidity and stony minerals, displaying lovely expanse and intensity with crisp definition, finishing with good length and verve. Very confidently poised. Hard to believe it is just village. Runs its bigger sibling, the Mercurey La Mission monopole, very close. Incredible value.

20200620_191506.jpg2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Véran Champ Rond, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior on 08 June 2020. Superb concentration of pomelo and clear citrus with bit of lift, open with lovely intensity and well-integrated acidity on a base of distinct ferrous minerals that imparted darker tones, yielding good detail and subtle power in spite of the density of fruit, never at all heavy. Settled down with more transparency and focus, turning a little more austere with more dominant minerals even as it finished with juicy intensity. Still not quite ready. Keep.

1999 Château Palmer, decanted for 30 minutes prior on our Anniversary, 11 June 2020. Deep garnet red, exuding notes of gentle toast, taking its time to develop a deep plummy glow with a certain sur-maturité. Highly supple and open with very good concentration and fine intensity of darker fruits and currants, yielding fine detail aided by fully-resolved tannins as it finished with refined elegance amid traces of soy and earthy elements. Absolutely harmonious. A feminine Palmer, rather than one with outright power. Still remarkably fresh. At its peak.

2005 Mount Mary Quintet. Decanted for five hours prior on 13 June 2020 to go with a juicy home-cooked steak. Subdued tones of black fruits and currants on the nose though there is no doubting the excellent concentration of fruit on the palate that shone with brilliant intensity, revealing good definition with a firm graphite spine but still somewhat tight and reluctant, neither plump nor opulent. Still not ready?

2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Rouge, 14 June 2020. In spite of advanced aeration of more than two hours in bottle, this wine was still rather tight, stuffed with abundant dark cherries, raspberries and mulberries that exuded whiffs of delicious fragrance with a plush rounded mouthfeel, though its depth appeared to be attenuated by a certain minerally brightness. The wine did finally open up after another ninety minutes with very fine velvety detail and juicy intensity, literally at the last pour, a case of too little too late. One for the long haul, I guess.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Blanc, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 19 June 2020. Attractive bouquet of fresh white floral tones, vanillin, icing and crème. Medium-full. Very well layered with transparent textures that yielded good clarity just beneath the faintest sheen of paraffin. Shut down a little after some time before re-emerging with further intensity of clear citrus and bitter lemon. Deserves more time in bottle for secondary development.

1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 20 June 2020. Deep garnet core with a crimson rim. Exudes a lovely earthy glow of a mature claret with a soft delicious fragrance of ripe red fruits and currants. Still rather fullish, imbued with very fine concentration of fruit with early tertiary characters of sweet cedar, haw and camphor. Open with supple intensity and gorgeous acidity on a bed of subtle earthy minerals, developing a masculine spine over time as it commanded great presence with an exciting mouthfeel. Caught at its peak. Excellent.

2019 Giant Steps Chardonnay, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior on 23 June 2020. Attractive bouquet of morning dew, olives, grassy elements and raw nutmeg that conjured some rusticity. Medium-full. Layered with good concentration of lemon and clear citrus that yielded good presence and fine inner definition, its sleek acidity imparting energetic freshness. Good value.

2009 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 27 June 2020. Unmistakable warm ripe velvety Barossa shiraz tinged with licorice on the nose and palate, rounded with lovely fullness, depth and measured intensity. Lively with very well-integrated acidity, developing a broader sweet velvety expanse coated with very fine bubbles as it finished on a subtle liqueured note with good complexity without any pretension, Excellent.

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