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FUCK 2021: 2016 Coche-Dury Meursault, 2007 Salon, 2014 Drouhin Criots-Bâtard, 1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard, 1996 Pingus, 1995 Romanée-Conti Grands Échézeaux & Château Haut-Brion 1989

December 24, 2021

The usual suspects gathered on 16 December 2021 with an outstanding line-up to mark the end of another miserable year for wining and dining. Coupled with Chef Joseph Yeo’s culinary refinement created on V-ZUG equipment, all Zalto/Sensory stemware and Sir K’s bespoke residence, some semblance of greatness was restored, bringing hope that 2022 will turn out better. Many thanks to everyone for your generosity, especially to Sir K for your impeccable tastes and hospitality.

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2007 Champagne Salon, courtesy of Sir K. Restrained presence of lime and clear citrus with a tinge of smoke and lemongrass. Equally delicate on the palate where more white tones dominate with fine clarity though the fruit remains rather backward. More effusive over time, culminating in an austere finish. Sandwiched between the opulence of 2006 and 2008, this is an honest representation of the vintage.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune, courtesy of Sir Bob. Hint of enamel and white flowers on the nose, rather restrained, though rounded tones on the palate display very fine tensile presence and clarity. Very cleanly structured with fine precision.

2016 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres, courtesy of LF. Pale. Powerful reductive bouquet recalling a freshly struck matchstick, highly attractive. Fleshed out quite rapidly with chiseled clarity and sleek acidity, exuding a little more earthy funkiness along with emerging notes of tropical fruits, finishing with excellent length.

2016 Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault, courtesy of LF. Luminous. Distinct notes of diesel, fairly effusive, with early complexity. Rather sleek in the typical latter-day style of Coche-Dury with a delicate crystalline quality topped with cool icing, though it teases the mid-palate with a fleeting rounded warmth that is another classic hallmark of this domaine, fanning out with superb tangy mouthfeel and high-toned acidity on its way to a fabulous finish. Outstanding.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Luminous tones of delicate tropical fruits with cool icing on the nose, showing a hint of early complexity even though the fruit beneath remains relatively tight with coiled intensity within an understated chalky depth. Fleshed out with fuller presence and lovely acidity, tinged with a slight earthy pungency but it took another day before hitting full stride. Best to lay down for several more years.

2008 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir V. This wine opens with a mild salinity amid gentle tones of warm gravel. Fleshed out with full chromatic tones that is the very hallmark of Chevalier-Montrachet without calling attention to itself, ever self-effacing, displaying great clarity even as it developed more nutty secondary characters. Superb.

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1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Distinct fine powdery minty tones emanate from opaque hues, reminiscent of traditional Chinese pochai pills. The herbal medicinal characters continue to linger with robust presence on the light-medium palate, displaying fine clarity even through its sheen of sherry-like sweetness, just a tad short.

1970 Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Dull opaque crimson. Clearly well-aged though still remarkably robust and fleshy with plenty of heft. Rounded with a distinct note of eucalyptus that exuded sweet minty overtones with a deeper core of tangerines, its mature acidity still cutting through the dense mid-palate. This very wine was amongst the list of ten reds (six Californian and four Bordeaux) tasted blind at the so-called 1976 Judgement of Paris, eventually ranked ninth. We’re drinking history!

2007 Henschke Hill of Roses. Deep ruby. Rather subdued on the nose with vague minty tones though the medium-bodied palate is well-layered with an exotic complex of dark cherries, raspberries and capsicum amid distinct overtones of heated gravel, morphing into a more seamless whole with gritty detail that tapered to an austere ferrous finish of subtle length.

1996 Pingus, courtesy of Vic. Opaque deep garnet. Forward warm velvety tones with a distinct sur-maturite. Full and fleshy, imbued with abundant mature dark fruits with secondary characters of capsicum, spice and licorice that lingered with minty persistence.

1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Evolved pinot tint. Effusive bouquet of haw and fresh cherries, absolutely delicious. Superbly supple, displaying a deep core of tangerines amid overtones of smoked meat laced with lively acidity. Utterly seamless, settling down fine linearity, length and persistence. Excellent.

1989 Château Haut-Brion, courtesy of Sir K. Deep crimson. Stunning bouquet of complex dark fruits and capsicum, replicated in equal measure on the palate with beautifully rounded supple contours, seamlessly layered with mature dark tones and currants that display superb depth and agility, still imbued with fresh intensity. Compared with its legendary sister the 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion which is a little more exuberant, the 1989 Haut-Brion exudes supreme confidence, utter refinement and elegance without calling attention to itself, finishing with subtle complexity. A complete wine in every sense, caught at its very peak. What a privilege!

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