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Corton-Charlemagne: 2017 Joseph Drouhin, 2002 & 2015 Bonneau du Martray; Amoureuses: 2010/16 Groffier, 2006 Jadot; 2015 Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares GC, 1995 Leroy Chambolle-Musigny Fremières, 1997 Lafite Rothschild

September 20, 2022

The usual suspects gathered at Summer Pavillion, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, on 15 September 2022 for an evening of Corton-Charlemagne followed by an array of Chambolle reds, all blinded. All the wines were singing, while Leroy is simply Leroy. There was also an open-label Lafite Rothschild thrown into the mix but who would complain? Many thanks, gentlemen.

2017 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Gleaming white tones and chalky hues dominate amidst a lovely floral fragrance, positively glowing with full presence. Subtly layered, fleshing out with suave intensity, still laced with a dash of creamy vanillin. Very correctly nuanced, as always with the whites of Drouhin.

2015 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Rather bold and unusual on the nose with distinct notes of glycerin and crème de la crème though some fig and peaches are discernible; one could almost be certain this is New World chardonnay. Equally full on the palate where nutmeg and clear citrus dominate with excellent concentration and intensity, evolving with a further expanse of frangipani and white flowers. Ample, rich and powerful. Very unlike the usual style of Bonnneau du Martray, perhaps due to the hot vintage.

2002 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic. Dull golden. Distinct mature tones on the nose and palate, characterised by a recessed stoniness with overtones of rye though there is no question about its freshness on the palate, still quite full with a placid elegance and regal intensity that tapered to a modest finish. At its best though I wouldn’t keep any longer.

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2016 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Vic. Purplish pinot tint, proffering fresh raspberries and cherries with a subtle floral fragrance, carrying a gentle youthful intensity with ample fruit amid minerally elements within its medium-full density. Highly graceful and elegant throughout its moderate length.

2010 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely pinot tint, exuding a superb rosy fragrance with supple glowing intensity on the medium-full palate. Very seamlessly layered with subtle detail, displaying lovely charm and ease with a certain sur-maurite that makes it seem more mature than it really is. Really delicious. I’d thought it to be a mature Musigny Grand Cru. Outstanding.

2006 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of LF. Deeper, darker tint of pinot, delivering ample depth of ripe dark fruits and currants that still carry youthful intensity, imparting a lovely lift of dark roses and black cherries amid cedar and other sweet secondary characteristics with a chamfered quality on the palate, finishing well.

2015 Domaine Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Aired in bottle for three hours prior. This wine opens with a lovely lift of fragrant rosy hues that carry well onto a highly harmonious palate, seamlessly layered with ripe strawberries and cherries that veer towards understatement, perfectly balanced with refined tannins and good length. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Hard to imagine that this producer will still remain affordable for long.

1995 Domaine Leroy Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremières, courtesy of Sir Bob. Mature pinot tint. Highly enticing on the nose with a beguiling floral complex whilst the medium-bodied palate is wonderfully supple and open, structured with melted sweetish tannins that yield subtle detail of chewy red fruits and tangerines. Perfectly proportioned and balanced, still retaining that all-important freshness that makes up for the modest finish. Outstanding! Only 580 bottles produced, of which we drank number 210.

1997 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Bob. Decanted on-site. Deep purplish core, exuding a wonderful deep dark rosy fragrance with a trace of funkiness matched by a lovely rounded warmth on the mature palate, revealing very fine inner detail with subtle glowing intensity. It softened considerably after some time, perfectly balanced as it morphed into the quintessential feminine elegance so characteristic of Lafite even in this so-called “off” year, finishing with modest length. Excellent.

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