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2010 BOND Matriarch, 2004 Cheval Blanc, 2004 Mouton Rothschild, 1996 Dominus, 2016 Yann Durieux Manon…

April 16, 2021

A couple of friends lost a wager between them, the forfeit being having to produce a BOND Estates and a Dominus. And so came about a theme loosely based on the wines favoured by Mr Bond, the suave superspy. Dom Pérignon and Mouton Rothschild are mentioned in Fleming’s original novels as well as the films of Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever (Bond exposing Mr Wint’s ignorance about the ’55 Mouton) and Man With The Golden Gun (Bond correctly identifying a ’34 Mouton served blind by Scaramanga). Bond made a note to buy “several dozens of Taittinger” in the novel Moonraker while smuggling a Cheval Blanc into Shrublands in the film Never Say Never Again.

Venue: Imperial Treasure Fine Cantonese Cuisine, Great World City, Singapore, on 01 April 2021.

2000 Champagne Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut. Lovely golden hue, exuding a deep velvety mature bouquet of floral bloom with a lifted complex. Highly poised and elegant, displaying a rich bright minerally shine with white tones of clear citrus amid a slight pungency, teasing the medium-bodied palate with agile intensity and superb clarity, opening up with a further tertiary glow. Good finish. Probably my best experience with this wine from a half case.

2005 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Russ. Shy but evenly-toned on the medium-bodied palate gently layered with créme, showing fine balance and linearity. Clearly a leaner style compared with 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 though it remains quite engaging with white tones imbued with subtle minerally elements and subdued intensity.

2005 Taittinger Comtes des Champagne Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Kieron. Light golden. Immediately engaging with effusive notes of brioche and teasing floral aromas. Equally generous on the palate where bitter lemon and pomelo dominate with focused intensity and great balance amid traces of green fruits. Excellent.

20210401_202031.jpg2016 Yann Durieux Manon, courtesy of Russ. Yann had worked for many years at Prieure-Roch before starting his own label based in Messanges, Burgundy, working on 40-year-old chardonnay vines. The 2016 displays a forward exuberance of sour plums (I know purists will object but it really is what it is, and Kieron concurred as well) in the most positive sense from a gentle but concentrated depth of fruit that conferred a high-toned mouthfeel with cushioned intensity and excellent refinement. Somewhat unusual but undeniably attractive.

2013 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Le Caillerets 1er, courtesy of Kieron. This wine opens with the distinct Ramonet signature of effusive white tones and fluoride, producing lovely lift with a rich creamy presence. Highly refined and rounded, yielding excellent definition and power though just a tad short. Not to be confused with the domaine’s Chassagne-Montrachet Clos du Caillerets 1er which is a walled monopole within Le Caillerets that was first bottled in 2014.

2014 Le Petit Cheval, courtesy of Ker Wei. Glowing red fruits on the nose with a sense of distant ember accounted for by red plums set backwards on the medium-bodied palate. Open with fleshy presence and fine intensity.

2004 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Russ. Lovely purplish hue, amply imbued with raspberries and currants still carrying a distinct note of vanillin on the fleshy medium-full palate. Beautifully supple and open, generously layered with warm ripe fruit though slightly narrow in dimension, turning brighter over time with emerging red fruits. Highly promising but not quite ready.

2004 Château Mouton Rothschild. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. Deep garnet core. Medium-bodied. Fleshy with fine textural clarity through the layers of predominant red fruits tinged with tobacco leaves, superbly integrated with a relaxed subtle intensity, showing some early maturity. Approaching its peak.

20210401_220734.jpg1996 Dominus, courtesy of Marc. Very deep crimson, exuding a powerful bouquet earthy diesel tones, dark plums and currants. Open and fleshy, displaying a delicious warm ripeness from the supple layers of predominant red fruits that still exert superb freshness, oozing with subdued sweetness. Excellent balance. Quite outstanding.

2010 BOND Matriarch, courtesy of Dolly. Double-decanted for six hours prior. Deep purple. This wine opens with a forward balance of black fruits, violets and dark currants with distinct warm ripe savoury characters amid overtones of sweet vanillin and enamel that sweep the fleshy medium-full palate with tremendous verve and searing intensity with trailing notes of briar and bramble. Settled down after some time, becoming somewhat distant though appreciably more open, revealing very finely detailed crushed fruit. Excellent but far from ready.

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