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Dinner with Pablo Alvarez: 2019 La Tâche, 2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet MdL, 2014 Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet, 2001 Leflaive Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet 2003 Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay

July 30, 2022

It was very good to welcome our old friend Pablo Alvarez of Bodegas Vega-Sicilia back to Singapore on 21 July 2022 at Imperial Treasure Great World with a superb line-up (a magnum of Lamarche Échezeaux, unfortunately, wasn’t on form). Pablo has always been very generous to people around him, offering on this occasion a 2019 D.R.C. La Tâche. We were quite taken aback to drink this great wine so soon after bottling but then I recalled Pablo had also sent us a four-year-old 2012 D.R.C. Richebourg for our wonderful lunch at Extebarri in Spain back in 2016. 20220721_214333.jpgMuchísimas gracias, Pablo, for spending your precious time with us, and the same too to everyone for your generous contributions. We look forward to visiting you at Vega-Sicilia next year.

2005 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Dull golden. Distant fig, peaches and tangerines dominate with cool elegance on the nose. Medium-full, displaying superb concentration of glorious fruit interpolated with a mature chalkiness that teased with fleeting intensity, holding the palate in a lovely velvety grip as it evolved with an unending spectrum of delicate white tones that oozed with a trace of sweetness. Hasn’t quite peaked, but really lovely.

2003 Marcassin “Marcassin Vineyard” Chardonnay, courtesy of CW. Deep golden. Lightly varnished tangerines and orange peel dominate on the nose, giving an impression of a Rhône white. The medium-bodied palate is slightly reductive with a glowing intensity of white tones, deeper and more refined over time along with lovely emerging acidity, eventually revealing its true chardonnay character with a tinge of sweetness. Excellent. From a 8-ha site where only a third is planted with chardonnay.

2006 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, courtesy of MH. Poured from magnum. Pale. Slightly reductive, evoking fig and summer hay with a gentle pungency. Medium-full, yielding a high-toned palate of pale fruits and pears that shone with refined gentle intensity within a soft sheen of very tiny bubbles. Highly integral. Matches Salon every step of the way.

2007 Domaine Marc Sorrel Hermitage Blanc, courtesy of Don Roberto. Deeply coloured. Astounding nose of kerosene and must. Medium-bodied. Seemingly reticent with lean flavours initially, showing good integration and clarity before fleshing out with greater weight and seamless layers. Lovely.

2015 Domaine Hudelot-Nöellat Vosne-Romanée. Aired for three hours in advance. Classic pinot tint, proffering gentle hues of rose petals and raspberries that carried well onto the open palate with a warm ripe supple intensity. Almost feminine.

2015 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Don Roberto. Lovely clear ruby. Slightly forward balance of red fruits and currants. Highly attractive and alluring with a gentle open supple intensity, the usual minerally streak of NSG on the mid-palate surprisingly restrained. Delicious.

IMG-20220721-WA0039.jpg2019 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru, courtesy of Pablo Alvarez. This is the youngest bottle of D.R.C. I’ve had and it is surprisingly accessible even at this infantile stage. Deep purple at its core, this wine exudes deep sweet rosy hues that reflect the wonderful depth of glorious dark fruits and currants at its core. Instead of a tannic monster, the 2019 La Tâche is surprisingly open with supple intensity, just a little tight but it fleshed out convincingly with subtle layers of cool ripe fruit that fan out with lovely dimension, immaculately proportioned and balanced. This is a complete wine in the making.

2012 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Vic. Classic pinot tint. Effusive bouquet of alluring soft rosy hues, leading to an open gentle intensity. Highly supple and integral with a condensed depth. Good length.

2014 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay. Pale. White tones dominate with a restrained cool elegance. Medium-full. Open with a gentle suppleness, seamlessly layered with superb purity of fruit, evolving with a slightly prominent note of salinity over time but it has the poise, balance and correctness only possible through its impeccable pedigree.

2001 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Don Roberto. Luminous gold, proffering lifted white fruits against a recessed chalkiness while white tones dominate on the palate with a refined elegant intensity. Highly integral, displaying a classic Leflaive tone. Still wonderfully fresh with plenty of verve, now at the peak of maturity where its distilled essence evokes a cerebral dimension. Superb.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru, courtesy of Boon. Classic pinot tint, richly imbued with ripe red fruits. Open with feminine character. Gently layered with rosy hues and subdued acidity, exuding a lovely freshness. Superbly integrated. Finished well.

2003 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Boon. Classic pinot tint. Alluring bouquet of red fruits, cherries and currants amid overtones of paraffin. Richly layered. Wonderfully ripe and delicious as it evolved with further notes of haw and secondary characters. Almost hedonistic, but it exerts fabulous control over its proportions. Superbly balanced.

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