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October 2020: 1992 Henschke Hill of Grace, 2018 Meerlust Chardonnay, 2007 Lokoya, 2010 Martelet de Cherisey Blagny Genelotte, 1998 Penley Cab Sauv, 2011 Clos de Tart, 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou

November 2, 2020

2005 Renato Corino Barolo, popped and poured at the in-laws on 01 Oct 2020. Deep brownish red. Generous deep plummy tones on the nose while the palate, structured with pliant tannins, is almost cabernet in character with notes of truffles and dried leaves amid dusty textures, becoming slightly sweeter and medicinal over time.

2003 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, popped and poured over dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World, 08 Oct 2020. Opaque crimson with a fairly effusive glow of dark plums, red fruits and capsicum. Quite full. Softly rounded. Structured with supple tannins and refined acidity that yielded fine inner detail of cordite and incense with understated intensity, just a tad stern at its refreshing minty finish. Very fine though somewhat unsettled, lacking the opulence of the best years.

2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, tasted over 10-11 Oct 2020. Still incredibly dark. Barely evolved at all after 15 years, imbued with a highly intense sheen of ripe dark cherries and currants on a full palate that is still tight and rather unyielding, underscored by fresh acidity that imparted a very clinical feel. Half the bottle was kept overnight and re-tasted again after 24 hours, coming across much better this time with softer supple tannins without losing detail and freshness, loosening up with discernible notes of mocha and chocolate, becoming more Bordeaux-like.

2019 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at the in-laws, 15 Oct 2020. This wine opens with a highly attractive profusion of morning dew, dry grassy elements, nutmeg and olives that explodes with full presence on the palate, exuding a bit of rusticity with its stony intensity and solid acidity. Excellent value.

2008 Rockford Black Shiraz. Popped and poured at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Effusive nose of classic Barossa shiraz amid overtones of smoke, incense and characters of medicinal powder. Layered with excellent concentration of rich dark plummy fruit and currants, displaying lovely depth and freshness with that classic liquored trail that oozed with sweet undertones. Not too dry. Drinking well.

2012 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Hiok at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Very dark, exuding a powerful highly unusual nose of intense glycerin that obscured everything else. Quite smoothly rounded, imbued with full presence of dark cherries and currants that tapered with fine linearity to a long minty finish though I found its distinct alcoholic underpinning to be distracting.

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2007 Lokoya Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Vernon Lee at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Deep garnet red. Shy at first, though there is a distinct sweetness on the nose. Fleshy with rounded suppleness, displaying very good concentration and weighty detail. Quite seamlessly integrated, forward with a dash of mocha amid layers of black fruits and currants but very well balanced, finishing with gentle minty length.

1992 Henschke Hill of Grace, courtesy of John at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Decanted on-site. Displaying evolved purplish hues, this wine was highly reductive on the nose, exuding a marked earthy pungency that led to broad swathes of black fruits and currants amid overtones of soy with a trace of dusty tannins on the floor. Developed further notes of plums, licorice and camphor as it fleshed out with lovely succulence, becoming beautifully integrated and wonderfully intense as it finished with minty length. Superb.

2001 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Jeremy at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. Decanted on-site. Impenetrable red. Full presence of warm ripe fruit and dark currants imbued with a tinge of green capsicum that reminded me of Pichon Lalande. Very well balanced and layered, evolving further notes of sweet plums. Lovely length. Drinking very well.

1998 Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a bottle I’d bought directly from the estate back in 2016. Aired in bottle for two hours prior at OSO Ristorante, 16 Oct 2020. This wine evokes a gentle earthiness that recalls the terroir of Pessac-Leognan with a hint of diesel and toffee. Still remarkably full, richly layered with lovely ripe fruit and dark currants that exude bright plummy tones with exciting intensity, beautifully integrated with smooth tannins as it finished with excellent linearity and refinement. Caught at its peak and likely to hold for many more years. Superb.

20201018_182226.jpg2018 Meerlust Chardonnay, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 18 Oct 2020. Light golden. Very good concentration and density of clear citrus with distinct minerally chalky hues seamlessly integrated with white tones and exotic spices. Shows excellent inner definition with great acidity, verve and refined intensity. Even better than a previous tasting at the estate’s cellar door in December 2019. I’d have thought it to be a Meursault if blinded. Thoroughly excellent. Superb value at SGD49. Ignore South African wines at your own peril.

Champagne Leon Launois Cuvée Réservée Brut NV, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 20 Oct 2020. Effusive nose of dense floral aromas that led to a very fine concentration of light yellow citrus on the palate with plenty of presence with an understated chalkiness. Grew in weight over time, becoming more forward with a stony dryness. Good value.

2010 Domaine Martelet de Cherisey Meursault-Blagny 1er La Genelotte, courtesy of Dr Beng at Otto Ristorante, 20 Oct 2020. Tasted blind. Some age is clearly evident by its colour, proffering a highly enticing rounded bouquet of cinnamon, caramel and cool icing. Distinctly feminine in its delicate body of floral tones presented with a placid aloofness, gaining greater presence and intensity even as it remained poised with elegant refinement, finishing with excellent length. I thought it was a Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. Superb.

Champagne Oudinot NV, courtesy of Chris Chong at his residence, 22 Oct 2020. Green fruits dominate amidst darkish undertones in this medium-bodied blend, veering towards some sweetness and a hint of agar.

20201024_151357.jpg2014 Antoine Jobard Meursault Poruzots 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 24 Oct 2020. Luminous gold. Subtle chalkiness, crème and white fruits dominate on the nose, hinting at a luscious wine though it was far more understated and delicate on the palate with a clear presence, displaying fair intensity with sleek acidity. Took another ninety minutes for it to open up with greater intensity of fruit and limestone characters, finishing well. Not ready but would be excellent in time to come.

2005 Château La Tour Haut-Brion, double decanted in advance at Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore, on 24 Oct 2020. Dark purple. Shy reticence at first, displaying a clean palate of supple dark fruits, mulberries and delicious currants with surprisingly mellow feminine proportions for a claret. Fleshed out after some time with greater weight, intensity and detail though it never really plumbed the depths, staying in balance with understated tannin structure. Very fine. This is the final vintage of this now-defunct estate, its 4.9 hectares having been reabsorbed back into Château La Mission Haut-Brion.

2015 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Veran Champ Rond. Aired in bottle for 3-4 hours prior at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Delicate white tones on the nose with a distinct feminine fragrance while the highly refined palate is packed with cool white fruit that exude a dense minerality that is almost oily in quality, oozing with juicy clear citrus. Took its time to unwind, loosening its grip to yield greater depth with a relaxed intensity. Excellent.

1996 Champagne De Venoge Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Sandy at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. This wine opens with a clean lifted bouquet of dense yellow citrus, rather dry and forward at first before going on to develop complex overtones of burnt toast, white tones and dense minerals with very fine acidity, fleshing out with robust intensity and vigour with even greater minerally intensity. Still youthful.

2009 Domaine Marquis D’Angerville Volnay Champans 1er, courtesy of Kieron at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Beautiful clear ruby. Lovely bouquet of red fruits, incense, camphor and heated gravel while the palate is imbued with excellent ripeness and purity of red fruits and rose petals that exert a gentle rounded warmth, very well integrated and balanced, finishing with good length amid subtle notes of smoldering ember. Excellent.

2006 Ramey Wine Cellars Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Melvin at Horses’ Mouth, 29 Oct 2020. Deep garnet red. Surprisingly open, revealing excellent presence of red fruits and currants amid overtones of smoke and savoury sweet meat with very good detail and agility. Very well balanced, neither monolithic nor overwhelming, developing further intensity with a deeper core of tangerines. Excellent.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission monopole 1er, 31 Oct 2020. Cool icing, white tones and distant chalkiness dominate on nose. Layered with excellent concentration, yet agile and delicate with a highly refined smooth rounded intensity, yielding greater detail with further notes of jackfruit and pineapples. Excellent. One of the best buys ever. (M).

20201031_181307.jpg2011 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru, 31 Oct 2020. Darkish. Mulberries, raspberries and minty hues dominate with lovely lift, matched by a warm fleshy fullness that exuded a delicate soft rosy intensity from the fine acidity and ripeness of fruit, finishing well with excellent mouthfeel. Still youthful.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots 1er, 31 Oct 2020. Rather opaque and shy though one discerns good volume of dark fruits beneath. Medium-bodied. Rather acidic at first before fleshing out with greater presence of fruit and better balance with a bit of gritty intensity. Drinking well and I don’t think it ought to be cellared further.

2000 Château Ducru Beaucaillou, 31 Oct 2020. Deep garnet core, exuding a classic earthy plummy glow. Rather full, displaying very fine depth of ripe black berries and currants tinged with a dash of earth and leafy characters that added to the developing complexity, caressing the palate with lovely suppleness and smooth rounded tannins. Excellent. (M).

1987 Vega Sicilia Unico, 31 Oct 2020. Dark. Deeply aromatic, effusive in deep plummy tones with a suggestion of smoke and medicinal powder. Supple concentration and intensity, imbued with tangerines and mocha at the core, structured with rounded tannins. Doesn’t quite possess that special dimension of the best Unicos but this is certainly drinking well, and still relatively youthful.

1989 Château Suduiraut, 31 Oct 2020. Deep golden lustre. Great lift of luscious dense fruit laden with diesel characters though the medium-bodied palate is open with notes of caramelised fruit, apricot and nectarines, still laced with very fine acidity. Excellent. (M).

2002 Domaine Follin Arbelet Corton Grand Cru, 31 Oct 2020. Deep ruby, proffering a smooth gentle fragrance, layered with red fruits and darkish characters that impart excellent concentration and presence with detailed biting tannins though it is all subtle enough without any of the burliness occasional encountered from this grand cru. (M).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. unclesoh permalink
    November 12, 2020 12:36

    Hi Ric, would you be able to advise on where I might be able to get the Meerlust in SG please? Thanks in advance!

    • Ric permalink*
      November 12, 2020 13:57

      Hi unclesoh…many thanks for visiting my blog. You can order it from the website of Wine Exchange Asia (www.wineexchangeasia.com). Ric.

      • unclesoh permalink
        November 12, 2020 14:08

        Many thanks!

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