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2003 BOND Melbury, 2009 Araujo Eisele, 1996 Phelps Insignia, 1997 & 2007 Opus One, 1995 Viader, 2007 Shafer Hillside Select, 2012 Marcassin Pinot Noir

April 9, 2021

Members of the Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour met again at OSO Ristorante on 18 March 2021 to enjoy the camaraderie with an all-American line-up. While such wines are more likely than not to display outsized proportions, they were all showing very well that evening such that I was able to function normally the next day without any fuzziness. Many thanks, everyone, for your generous contributions.

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Rosé Brut NV. Bold dry chalky intensity marked by intense yellow citrus, mandarins and ripe grapefruit with overtones of white fumes, structured within a chiseled chalkiness.

1995 Viader, courtesy of Marc. A blend of 45% cabernet franc with 55% cabernet sauvignon. Dark with an earthy funkiness on the nose, matching well the excellent cabernet character on the palate. Possesses good levels of ripeness amid a herbaceous trace not unlike a true Médoc, softly rounded but hefty enough, evolving further overtones of ferrous elements and medicinal powder within pliant tannins that oozed with understated sweetness. Drinking well.

2012 Marcassin Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, courtesy of KC. Raspberries and dark cherries dominate with a rounded fleshiness, revealing soft inner detail beneath a ripe expanse of cool red fruits that exert fine tension, showing good balance and sophistication with a controlled elegance. Unlikely to be mistaken for burgundy, but truly excellent.

1996 Joseph Phelps Insignia, courtesy of Stephen. Deep garnet core. Lifted in ripe cabernet fruit with a hint of licorice and savoury character that leapt out of the glass. Medium-full. Expectedly weighty but well-integrated with controlled proportions, still imbued with blazing intensity across the palate though without much inner detail. Good length.

1997 Opus One. Deep garnet red with some crimson at the rim, lifted in red plums and crushed red fruits with a trace of sur-maturite that hinted at velvety depth. Highly elegant, still very fresh and cleanly-defined with rich succulent detail that imparted very fine open fleeting intensity and linearity, tapering to a controlled finish with understated excitement within pliant tannins.

2003 BOND Melbury, courtesy of Mel. Deep garnet core. Lush luxuriant nose of ripe red fruits, sweet dark currants and bramble, complemented by a perfumed summer bloom amid overtones of saddle. Medium-full. Surprisingly supple and pliant even though its  rich creamy smooth tannins still carry traces of vanillin with exciting intensity and verve.

2009 Araujo Eisele Vineyard, courtesy of Russ. Deep garnet core with some early evolution. Very Bordeaux-like on the nose where black fruits and dark currants dominate with splashes of red. Highly sleek and supple, seamlessly structured with exciting tannins, displaying immaculate proportions with great sophistication but still rather tightly coiled. Destined for greatness.

2007 Shafer Hillside Select, courtesy of Kieron. Very dark and surprisingly restrained on the nose though there is obviously plenty lurking beneath. Massively structured, richly layered with glowing black fruits that exude that unique dash of sweetness and overtones of eucalyptus that is almost a signature of Napa cabernet. Almost hedonistic though its tannins are relatively understated. Still tight.

2007 Opus One, courtesy of Sandy. Dark. Full intense aromas of black fruits, sweet anise and cassis. Equally intense as well on the palate, richly layered with tightly coiled dark fruits and currants. Generously proportioned though the tannins are well managed, oozing with some attractive sweetness to counter the distinct alcoholic heat. A tad austere. Best to lay down for another decade, at least.


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