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July 2020: 2016 Château Valandraud Blanc, 1999 Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin, 2004 Pichon Longueville Comtesse Lalande, 1996 Robert Ampeau Meursault-Charmes, 2012 Drouhin Folatières, 2018 Clos Tillet, 1982 Nenin, 1961 Chasse-Spleen…

August 1, 2020

2017 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes, popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 01 July 2020, and again at Yoshi on 16 July 2020. Pale luminosity. Medium-bodied at first, displaying moderate intensity of citrus, lime and jackfruit, highly harmonious with delicate transparency. Gained increasing intensity and acidity with emerging notes of raw nutmeg amid bold chalky tones, eventually fleshing out with great body and inner detail as it finished with excellent length and linearity. Very well-endowed for a bourgogne and could easily have passed off as premier cru given enough aeration and class-leading stemware.

2016 Château Valandraud Blanc, popped and poured after hours on 02 July 2020. Pale. Rather unyielding at first, tightly coiled with white fruits, pears and fig that eventually fleshed out with layers of fruit and white floral tones on a subdued chalky base, traversing the palate with lovely density and subtle acidity as it opened up further in a blaze of stunning detail amid overtones of raw nutmeg. Excellent but cannot be hurried.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras, courtesy of Vic. Popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 04 July 2020. Pale. Good intensity of citrus and lime, quite richly layered with fine concentration of fruit on a backdrop of subdued chalkiness that soothed the palate with an easy smoothness, transparency and agility, developing more body and velvety depth over time. Quite excellent though I feel the 2014 still holds sway.

2012 Rockford Black Shiraz, popped and poured over dimsum at Asia Grand, 04 July 2020. Australia’s top sparkling shiraz shines again with beautifully ripe luxuriant Barossa fruit that recalls sweet dark berries and currants tinged with ferrous earthy elements and mild medicinal tones amid faint overtones of cordite, highly harmonious and elegant even as it grew in gentle intensity and complexity over time towards the character of Rockford’s Basket Press Shiraz upon which it is based. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladière 1er Blanc, tasted at home after two hours of aeration in bottle, 05 July 2020. My third bottle in as many months. Displaying a pale greenish hue, this grossly under-rated wine displays a powerful bouquet of pomelo, lime and raw nutmeg with a bit of early complexity. Medium-full, superbly integrated with understated intensity and sublime acidity as it finished with fine linearity. Great value.

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Gaig

2018 Domaine A-F Gros Bourgogne, popped and poured at Mak Hon Kee, 09 July 2020. Gentle sweet fragrance of dark cherries and ripe wild berries with a trace of earthiness. Quite full and creamy smooth on the palate, showing good density with very well-managed tannins, subtle acidity and ground minerals, developing greater open intensity as it finished with good linearity amid savoury characters and sweet incense. Lots going on here for a bourgogne. Good value at SGD58.

2018 Sierra Cantabria Tinto Seleccion, at SGD72++ from the restaurant list of Gaig, 10 July 2020. Popped and poured. Fairly deep in colour, exuding a slightly forward balance of red plums and tangerines. Rounded with lovely suppleness and fullness, displaying good definition and refined acidity, structured with very fine exciting tannins against a backdrop of sweet cedary characters. Finished well with a bit of spiciness.

Champagne Leon Launois Brut Reserve NV, popped and poured over dimsum at Jade Palace, 11 July 2020. Gentle notes of brioche, honeysuckle and yeast on the nose, leading to a full palate of dense citrus supported by bright graphite minerals that imparted excellent acidity and intensity without being too dry. Excellent value at SGD39. Gives the usual maisons a good run for the money.

2006 Fontanafredda Barolo La Rosa, aired in bottle for three hours prior at home, 12 July 2020. Notes of dark plums and black currants dominate, tinged with licorice. 20200719_171903.jpgRather full and rounded, supple enough with a medicinal trace though it is a tad too heavy, rather unyielding as it grew bolder in tone over time.

1999 Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Russ at Yoshi, 16 July 2020. Popped and poured. Lifted bouquet of red fruits and cherries. Clearly a big wine, still tight and slightly acidic at first. Turned more supple over time, exuding darkish tones with a rich body of austere minerals, becoming sweeter and more lifted as more of evolving red fruits imbued with a deep  core of tangerines came into focus, opening up with lovely depth, definition and acidity. Still yet to peak. Excellent.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Meursault-Charmes 1er, popped and poured at Yoshi, 16 July 2020. Controlled glow of apricot, mandarins and honeysuckle matched by delicate citrus that exude gentle intensity of fruit, displaying excellent focus, agility and freshness with a lovely velvety presence. Distinctly feminine. Quite superb, and may not even have peaked.

2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, decanted on-site at Gattopardo, 21 July 2020. Deep inky purple. Generous nose of cedar, cinnamon, bananas with some earthy pungency, displaying a lithe highly agile medium-bodied palate laced with supple sexy tannins that exerted superb mouthfeel with an open intensity, turning more sharply accentuated after some time with a discernible tinge of petit verdot green, finishing well. Distinctly feminine, yet to peak. Quite excellent. Do note that Gattopardo has shifted its BYO to Wednesday; otherwise it’s a hefty corkage of SGD80++.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Folatières 1er, popped and poured over lunch at Otto Ristorante, 23 July 2020. Generous lift of delicate yellow citrus and sorbet that exuded an exciting acute intensity, opening up rapidly with fine tension and superb concentration. More rounded over time as it settled with an emerging hint of wild flowers and nutmeg against a backdrop of chiseled chalky minerals, displaying great balance and purity with lovely length and linearity as it transformed into an elegant beauty. Far more expressive than a bottle from the same case tasted earlier this year. Excellent.

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2018 Château Clos Tillet, aired in bottle for 2-3 hours prior over dinner at home, 26 July 2020. This bright purple Saint-Émilion exudes a forward balance of ripe raspberries, cherries and currants, fresh and vibrant on the medium-full palate, carrying good weight with subtle detail within an understated tannin structure that’s almost silky smooth. Highly harmonious and balanced. Excellent quality for only SGD29. Ought to flesh out further with another 3-4 years of cellaring.

2000 Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Clear luminous gold. Pine, fig and walnuts on the nose. Medium-bodied, displaying a lovely expanse of fresh citrus supported by subtle chalkiness and ferrous minerals within a sheen of smooth bubbles though missing in real detail and complexity expected of a Winston Churchill. Rather placid.

1961 Château Chasse-Spleen, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Though the cork has degenerated completely, this wine is still showing quite well, exuding a mild earthy funkiness from its dark opaque recesses, still imbued with good presence of mature dark plums and raspberries that exert fine acidity and intensity with further overtones of warm gravel and marmite. Still reasonably fresh but clearly past its best.

2008 J L Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. This wine opens with a gentle bouquet of vanilla, white flowers and high-toned crème de la crème that led to a rich oily density, laced with great acidity and intensity of white tones that is almost icy, revealing lovely detail and developing complexity as it traversed the palate with controlled linearity to a persistent finish. Distinctly not chardonnay and would have been very hard to place if blinded. Truly lovely, proving that it’s the producer that matters most.

2000 La Petite Eglise, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Second label of Château L’Eglise-Clinet. There is a lovely earthiness on the nose amid gentle aromas of dark cherries and plums with a lingering trace of sweet currants. Medium-bodied. Open with understated intensity, finely balanced with a hint of ember at the finish. Drinking well.

1982 Château Nenin, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Still rather dark, proffering earthy tones with a dash of medicinal powder. Soft, slightly velvety, imbued with a core of tangerines amid dark currants and fine acidity, developing better definition and layering with further notes of cedar and white smoke. Very fine.

2014 Domaine Fourrier Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert, 28 July 2020. Deep subtle dark cherries, tangerines and plums on the nose. Still tightly wound with unresolved tannins, rather firm and acerbic, slightly austere as it developed a certain tarry quality on the floor that is a classic characteristic of that vintage. Excellent potential but needs many more years of cellaring.

1996 Château Léoville Poyferré, popped and poured at Putien Kitchener Rd, 31 July 2020. Deep garnet red. Supremely open with a superb lift of red currants, cedar, mahogany and plums amid a hint of dried mushrooms. Medium-bodied. Rounded and utterly seamless with very fine acidity and transparent tannins. Distinctly feminine. Drinking very well, just lacking in real depth and that extra dimension of complexity that’s easily present in a Las-Cases.

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