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FUCK 2020: 2017 Bouchard Chevalier-Mont, 1961 Mouton Rothschild, 1990 Margaux, 1990 & 1982 Lafite Rothschild, 1982 Latour, 1991 Bonneau Martray Corton-Charlemagne, 2009 Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Mont, 1990 Château Pétrus…

December 25, 2020

To end such a screwed-up year where we can neither travel nor host big parties, our small group decided to drink our treasured clarets on 15 December 2020 where only the First Growths of 1982 or 1990 would be befitting although nobody would ever deny a 1961 Mouton Rothschild. The line-up was preceded by a promenade of impressive whites while Shang Palace at the Shangri-la Singapore, as usual, lived up to its lofty reputation as the venue of choice for such a stellar evening. Many thanks, everyone, and may our woes be swept away by better tidings in 2021.

1979 Champagne Drappier Carte D’Or, courtesy of LF. Deep golden lustre. Superb powerful bouquet of aged chalk with reductive yeasty and ferrous elements amid brioche and honeysuckle. Still imbued with some residual fizz though generally dry, layered with excellent crystalline presence and fine acidity, lit with intense bright citrus as it turned a tad more metallic over time though somewhat short.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Pale. Cool gentle icing, light citrus and green elements on the nose. Distinctly feminine, displaying great balance with a glowing intensity of white tones and expressive floral notes. Already quite open and accessible, not showy at all. Developed greater power with more minerally characters over time, yet retaining its lithe agility as it finished with subtle nuances of white pepper and nutmeg. More extroverted compared with Montrachet Grand Cru from the same vintage and producer (tasted just a week earlier), totally consistent with what one would expect of Chevalier-Montrachet. Superb.

1991 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Highly supple, proffering layers of mature fig and jackfruit with a surprising savoury quality. Well-structured with a certain crystalline quality, slightly stern towards the persistent finish but it’s the beautiful feminine suppleness that impressed most.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely golden hue, seducing the senses with a tantalising complex of brioche and chalky minerals tinged with mature apricots. Open with a fabulous ripe golden tone, beautifully structured and layered with fine detail and refined acidity. So absolutely correct in every way. So Leflaive. Superb.

2012 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault, courtesy of LF. Cool crème and icing dominate on the nose whilst a deep core of yellow citrus seduces with teasing intensity, laced with sublime acidity that exude tremendous presence and definition. Almost chiseled with pinpoint precision, yet highly elegant and refined, finishing with great persistence amid traces of smoke and diesel. Superb.

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1961 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Bob. Still showing a deep ruby crimson that belies its fifty-nine years, this wine exudes an outstanding nose of haw and glycerin tinged with incense and a dash of earthiness that evoke a real sense of lush velvetiness. The palate is superbly supple and fleshy, still imbued with very fine acidity and fair power from the concentrated bed of mature red fruits and tangerines, stretching with excellent linearity to a cool relaxed finish. Far from finished. Truly outstanding! I was reminded this estate was still a deuxième cru back in 1961. On the basis of this bottle, I’d say that Mouton really deserved its promotion to premier cru twelve years later. What a privilege!

1990 Château Lafite Rothschild. Deep garnet red. Superb earthy pungency on the nose, most alluring, leading to a well-defined palate of dark fruits tinged with capsicum. Structured with lovely proportions. Still imbued with gentle youthful intensity cushioned with velvety sexy tannins, glowing with an intense core of tangerines towards the end of dinner. Excellent.

1990 Château Margaux, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet red with a crimson rim. Exudes wonderful vibrancy, freshness and intensity that belies its thirty years. Highly supple, imbued with layers of glorious dark fruits and currants with a deep core of tangerines, structured with lovely presence and refined acidity. Utterly seamless. Very naturally balanced, oozing superb charm and elegance. Still has decades ahead. Highly consistent with another bottle tasted just a week ago. Absolutely on song. Truly outstanding.

1982 Château Latour, courtesy of Kieron. Still impressively dark after thirty-eight years. Rather distant and aristocratic in demeanour, showing off its classic Pauillac signature of tobacco snuff and pencil shavings while the palate is wonderfully supple, still imbued with remarkably fresh acidity tinged with capsicum, new leather and cedar without being too involving, structured with understated masculinity. Still has decades ahead. Excellent.

1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of LF. Deep crimson. Seductive glow of mature red fruits and currants along with a lovely floral fragrance underscored by a distinct tone of iron filings. Softly rounded, displaying excellent presence and fine acidity amid a tinge of capsicum, developing wonderful suppleness with a tremendous tone of sur-maturite in the glass. Beautifully proportioned and elegant. Quite the quintessential feminine Lafite, to the extent where some may wonder what the fuss is all about, which is to miss the point that great wines don’t need any attention. Superb.

1990 Château Pétrus, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Evolved crimson, proffering exuberant red fruits, haw and rosy hues on the nose that immediately suggests a wine of impeccable pedigree and distinction. Bright, supple and plush, layered with glorious fruit that impart lovely acidity with understated sweet intensity, that perfumed floral fragrance again marking its presence on a bed of velvety tannins underpinned with subdued iron filings. Glowing finish. We rightly guessed a Right Bank without realising we were tasting one of the very best efforts of Pétrus. A magnum of this same wine tasted back in 2017 was even more profound in depth, dimension and definition but this is still outstanding.

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