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1994 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet, 1989 Château Angelus, 1998 La Gomerie, 1961 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, 2002 Masseto

October 28, 2020

Our select group of five met again at Buona Terra, Singapore, on 27 October 2020 to welcome LF back from his onerous duties at a distant sultanate. A Montrachet had been promised while the rest of us dug deep to bring stuff that is less commonly encountered. The line-up turned out to be quite outstanding and with Gabriele Rizzardi and his team on hand to look after us, we were set for a great evening.

20201027_195104.jpg2005 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of LF. Highly aromatic whiffs of perfumed fragrance hinting at pink roses and haw over some earthy darkish tones, possessing a lovely rounded presence with an emerging crystalline quality underscored by minerally intensity of understated depth, finishing with good length. Excellent.

1994 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru, a half bottle courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind but still easily recognisable as the Holy Grail of whites. Luminous gold, exuding a classic restrained nose of white tones and distant minerals with a lovely creamy smoothness, its warm velvety fruit teasing the palate with a rounded fleeting intensity before finishing with superb linearity and lingering length. Supremely confident and refined, utterly seamless in every way even as it went on to develop expansive swathes of white floral tones with wonderful flair and balance. Outstanding.

2018 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Jardin du Calvaire, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Pale. Nutmeg and wet grassy elements on the nose, somewhat reductive, whilst the palate is reminiscent of green fruits and longans tinged with a bit of sweetness, rounded but slightly forward, imbued with very fine acidity but short. Very hard to place; I thought it might even be New World.

1996 Maison Leroy Bourgogne, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Considerably heavier tint that suggested a mature wine, proffering a delicate bouquet of brioche with a hint of earthiness that led to secondary characters with chromatic white tones on the medium-bodied palate, still imbued with very fine acidity though distinctly short at the finish.

2010 Kistler Durell Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Clear golden. Took some time in the glass to put on weight, fleshing out with a classic Puligny-like chalkiness and white tones with excellent acidity and intensity, so much so that I was convinced it was a Puligny-Montrachet.

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2002 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto, courtesy of Vic. Tasted blind. Dark evolved purple. Dark fruits and currants dominate with a hint of vanillin. Medium-bodied. Superbly lush and supple, exuding fine intensity with excellent inner detail, imparting a plush velvety feel that spelt 100% merlot. I nailed it, though I’d thought it to be the 1997. Excellent.

1998 Château La Gomerie. Dark crimson. Pronounced minty tones, dark fruits and earth along with some bell pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied. Highly supple with a distinct minerally tone, still coiled with some tight intensity within its depths though it eventually mellowed in the glass to reveal highly-refined tannins, caressing the palate with a fair degree of lushness. May not actually have peaked. Also a 100% merlot, but there seems to be more structure to it than the Masseto. This is its fourth vintage since the inaugural 1995 but this 2.5 ha plot has since been reabsorbed back into Beau-Séjour Bécot after its final vintage of 2011.

1989 Château Angelus, courtesy of Kieron. Tasted blind. Still rather dark, exuding an attractive earthy pungency amid overtones of green capsicum. Medium-bodied, imbued with abundant dark currants and ripe berries that impart a lovely feminine fleshiness with a highly supple mouthfeel, yielding fine definition with a hint of succulence, becoming more relaxed and understated with a hint of dry medicinal powder as it sat in the glass. Still remarkably fresh. Absolutely on song. Several thought it to be Left Bank though I thought it to be a mature Pomerol.

1961 Château L’Eglise-Clinet, courtesy of LF. Still displaying a deep dark crimson, this wine opens with a certain minty glow of licorice and cedar that recalled pipagao, imbued with good concentration of mature fruit tinged with sweetness that is still amazingly fresh. Rather placid with fine transparency at first before gaining in weight and layering, becoming more port-like but in the best sense. Still has the legs to carry on. Wonderful stuff.

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