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Jan 2022: 2000 Château Sociando-Mallet, 2008 Thibert Pouilly-Fuissé Ménétrières, 2017 Philippe Livera Gev-Cham En Champs, 2018 Le Petit Cheval Blanc, 1990 d’Yquem, 2010 La Gibryotte Charmes-Chambertin, 2019 de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly, SAS Rouget Crémant de Bourgogne

February 8, 2022

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV. Popped and poured at Asia Grand, 01 Jan 2022. Sharp lift of intense yellow citrus amid gleaming chalky tones. Settled down with cool clear crystalline quality, yielding a light yeasty pungency before picking up in dry intensity, tightly structured with fine acidity.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 02 Jan 2022. Opaque dull purple. This village monopole exudes dark rosy hues and red fruits on the nose with a tinge of tobacco. Medium weight. Fleshy with supple intensity, laced with a trace of salinity. Well extracted. Developed further notes of dark cherries and bramble as it grew tighter with structured dusty tannins. Still not quite ready.

2005 Château Barde-Haut. Aired for almost an hour in bottle prior on 04 Jan 2022. Attractive red fruits and dark currants on the nose, seemingly delicious, though the medium-full palate has a certain powdery medicinal quality laced with tight high-toned acidity that rendered a somewhat disjointed angular mouthfeel, not helped at all by fruit that is a tad distant. Disappointing.

2004 Joseph Drouhin Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru. Popped and poured at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Classic pinot tint. Restrained rosy fragrance. Softly contoured, imbued with dark fruits and earthy tones. Structured with fine precision and acidity but somewhat nondescript.

2014 The Otazu Bond at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Comprises 60% cabernet sauvignon, 25% tempranillo and 15% merlot, blended by yours truly at Bodega Otazu and bottled in 150 magnums. Deep garnet, exuding delicious dark currants and early cedar with some bright spots. Medium-full, layered with abundant fruit still tinged with vanillin. Structured with supple intensity, developing softer contours after a couple of hours but still tightly coiled, turning a little austere towards the finish. Still not ready.

Champagne Krug Rosé NV, courtesy of MH at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Popped and poured. Lifted earthy tones and grapefruit dominate with a rosy fragrance, exuding a fresh bright supple presence supported by subtle ferrous elements with emergent notes of sweet pomelo. (M).

2007 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny, at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Classic pinot tint. Effusive nose of cherries and rose petals. Medium weight. Good presence and structure though somewhat firm and squarish, finishing with good linearity.

1998 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Ornellaia, courtesy of John at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Deep garnet. Cedar and dark fruits dominate with a tinge of vanillin and capsicum. Medium weight. Full and sleek, open with structured intensity, displaying excellent linearity with a cool minty persistence.

2018 Le Petit Cheval Blanc. Popped and poured at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Very pale. Sweaty aromas amidst clear fruits. Rather light and delicate at first, fleshing out with some early tropical fruit whilst maintaining its highly subtle feminine intensity. Not truly distinctive at this stage though another bottle tasted on 28 Jan 2022 is more characterful, deliciously understated in petroleum vapour and orchard fruit with a highly refined controlled intensity of delicate white tones, not too dry, developing a distinct salinity while the fruit remains largely recessed. Still in its shell but this has the makings of a great Bordeaux white.

2006 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of Dato’. Decanted on-site at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Deep purple. Classic Bordeaux glow of dark fruits, gravel, capsicum and complex herbal elements. Medium-full. Open with rounded soft contours. Layered fleshiness, quite seamlessly integrated with fine acidity and cool characters. But probably best to wait another five years.

2008 Domaine Thibert Pouilly-Fuissé Les Ménétrières, courtesy of Vic at Spring Court, 07 Jan 2022. Popped and poured. Clear golden. White tones and vanillin dominate with cool open presence. Subtly structured with recessed minerality, displaying fine clarity with a chiseled complexity that gave way to a lovely warmth of lifted mandarins. (M).

2019 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay. Popped and poured at Liang Kee, 09 Jan 2022. Pale. Quiet bouquet of cool ripe tropical fruits. Rather restrained at first on the palate before fleshing out with a subtle supple intensity of peaches, green fruits and tropical fruits, structured with cool precision and sublime acidity. Reminded me very much of a Roulot. Excellent, but it really deserves plenty of time and serious pairing.

2000 Château Sociando-Mallet. Aired in bottle for an hour prior at Ka Soh, 15 Jan 2022. Dark. Rather restrained on the nose, not revealing much. Full-bodied. Cleanly structured but rather terse, imbued with overtones of cedar and dry wood shavings on a backdrop of austere dusty tannins. Took another hour to develop more supple textures, eventually fleshing out with suave intensity and refined acidity. Still remarkably youthful, far from peaking. Clearly belongs at the same table as classified growths.

2014 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc. Popped and poured at home to go with Beluga caviar, 16 Jan 2022. Pale greenish hue. Ample in tangy citrus and white fruits amid chalky undertones, developing further notes of brioche and glazed honeysuckle. Very correctly proportioned and seamlessly integrated with refined acidity without really calling attention to itself. One is really drinking the vintage.

2017 Domaine Philippe Livera Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs. Popped and poured at Burlamacco (East Coast), 25 Jan 2022. Quite darkly coloured. Good extraction of cool ripe fruit, revealing excellent supple presence of dark roses, black cherries, raspberries and currants with refined acidity and underrated intensity. Very subtly structured, evolving with a certain feminine grace and restraint towards its true pinot character with a trace of salinity, displaying lovely purity. A village, no doubt, but it commands respect.

2018 Domaine Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin La Princée, courtesy of Dato’ at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Light golden hue. Fresh clean notes of crème de la crème and white tones. Subtly layered with delicate intensity, tapering with fine linearity to a glowing finish of white pepper.

20220127_192552(0).jpgSAS Rouget Père et Fils Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, courtesy of Dato’ at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. This sparkling wine exudes a lovely nose of melons and green fruits with mild yeasty tones. Somewhat lean but cleanly structured, caressing the palate with soft smooth bubbles, displaying good refinement and clarity with a tinge of austere minerals and a discernible hint of darker fruit, more rounded with time. From the négociant arm of Emmanuel Rouget; probably the only thing from Rouget that’s affordable.

2010 La Gibryotte Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, aired in bottle at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Darkish bouquet, promising a well-extracted palate of warm ripe berries, dark plums, currants and bramble that exert supple intensity, structured with succulent tannins. Developed drier textures of medicinal herbal elements tinged with spice box over time. Still rather infantile. From the négociant arm of Claude Dugat.

2002 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Vic at Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Deep dull golden tint. Appropriately mellow with a relaxed feel of apricot, apples and grapefruit on a bed of mature chalkiness. Still wonderfully fresh and full, its sheen of very fine bubbles ensuring a soft layered intensity over a subtle deeper vein of fruit, displaying excellent definition with bright clear chromatic tones.

1990 Château d’Yquem, a half bottle courtesy of Dato’ off the list of Praelum, 27 Jan 2022. Amazing deep orangey hue, crystal clear, proffering deep luscious nectar, chromatic tones, aged honey, ember and mandarins of tremendous purity that radiate bold brilliance with a lifted burnished quality, evolving further oriental medicinal elements with a tinge of ash as it tapered with fine linearity to a quiet finish. Superb.

2000 Champagne Krug Brut, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Restrained chalkiness, proffering green fruits with good intensity of lime and citrus amid gentle yeasty tones. Surprisingly delicate. Doesn’t have the depth and extension of the best vintages. Austere minerally finish. Drink up.

2013 “Y” d’Yquem, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Gentle crème de la crème and vanillin dominate with a soft exuberance. Medium-bodied, imbued with expansive white tones and floral characters with controlled intensity and refinement, revealing excellent inner definition with cool teasing depth. Excellent.

2016 Cos d’Estournel Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. White tones with traces of vanillin, showing good textural clarity largely because its fruit is far too backward at this stage. Considerably restrained and shut. Not ready.

2018 Blanc de Lynch-Bages, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. White tones and floral elements dominate with fairly dense minerals in equal measure, resulting in considerable austerity.

2013 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Predominant white tones, largely those of sweet vanillin oak. Medium weight. Subtly layered with rounded intensity, displaying fine attack but it seems unsettled.

2014 Domaine Charly Nicolle Chablis Mont-de-Milieu 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 28 Jan 2022. Soft floral expanse, underpinned by a distinct salinity. Brightly lit though attenuated in depth and intensity, short as well.

2019 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 31 Jan 2022. Beautiful rounded bouquet of crème de la crème amid a broad expanse of white fruits and floral notes. Very sleek. Richly layered with subtle intensity, revealing superb inner detail of brioche, honeysuckle and pineapples with a glorious deep vein of distilled essence. Very beautifully contoured and controlled, settling down with a bit more minerally chalky presence. Excellent. Truly, the whites of 2019 are every bit on par with 2014 and 2017.

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