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2008 Bouchard Corton-Charlemagne G.C. 2008 Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne G.C. 2014 Louis Jadot Puligny-Mont Pucelles 1er, 2007 Arnoux-Lachaux V-R Aux Reignots 1er, 2011 Hudelot-Noëllat Richebourg Grand Cru 2001 Cheval Blanc, 2004 Mouton Rothschild

July 27, 2021

A small group of us were the lucky beneficiaries of a dinner hosted by Dr Ngoi at his residence on 19 July 2021 where the line-up had been specially curated by the great man, paired with a modern Japanese-Euro cuisine supervised by Grace herself. There had been some concern that the Bouchard may be slightly corked, hence an impromptu comparison with Faiveley of the same vintage but I believed the former had been perfectly fine all along. All the better, as there was even more to drink. Many thanks, Sir!

Champagne David Léclapart L’Apôtre NV. This blanc de blancs opens with a smoky perfumed fragrance followed by pomelo and bitter lemon on the palate, displaying good density and depth within a sheen of soft dry open bubbles. Finished well. Very fine.

2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er. Effusive wild grassy elements and white floral characters matched by a rich expanse of chalk, vanilla and fig with an oily density, displaying glowing white tones that swept the palate with tremendous verve and agility that culminated in a finish of great opulence. Outstanding.

2008 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Luminous with a significantly deep colour and tone, rather earthy and reductive with a character of mature chalkiness. Very controlled on the palate, showing elegant restraint with excellent clarity, definition and precision, fleshing out further with sleek acidity and intensity before turning more minerally.

2008 Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Lovely luminosity. As equally restrained as Bouchard of the same vintage, opening with a laid-back chalkiness though the intense citrus certainly imparts greater freshness and vibrancy, eventually fleshing out with a weighty chalky density amid some early secondary development, culminating in a rich chromatic tone laced with regal acidity. Excellent.

2007 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots 1er. Good color. Distinctive notes of mocha, dark chocolate, dark rose petals and black cherries dominate. Medium-full, carrying good weight with plenty of depth and layering on a ferric base, touched with a dash of earthy acidity. Yet to really develop. Finished subtly, displaying delightful freshness and purity. Truly knocking on the door of grand cru.

2011 Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat Richebourg Grand Cru. Classic pinot tint. Effusive in rose petals that shone with lovely purity. Medium-bodied. Very evenly-toned and agile, tinged with darker shades of cherries and raspberries that teased with superb tension and intensity, finishing with sophisticated sweet silky tannins. Excellent.

2001 Château Cheval Blanc. This wine opens with a velvety depth of dark roses and cherries wrapped within a luxurious sheen of silky smooth tannins. Still rather full at this stage with a youthful vibrancy, showing good sophistication with a herbaceous trace. Drinking well but best to cellar another ten years to allow its cabernet franc to bloom.

2004 Château Mouton Rothschild. Deep garnet. Its shyness – just a subtle sense of heated gravel – belies a rich concentrated palate of dark fruits, currants and blackberries with a bare trace of capsicum that is just beginning to enter secondary development, producing superb lift and intensity with lovely freshness and harmonious integration. Excellent but a waste to pop now.

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