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Aug 2021: 2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauv, 2008 Reynella Basket-Pressed Shiraz, Ornellaia 2003, Rockford Basket Press 2001

September 12, 2021

2008 Reynella Basket Presssed Shiraz. Decanted for 90 minutes prior, 01 Aug 2021. Very dark crimson. Layered with abundant depth of black fruits, dark plums, currants and licorice that held the palate in a controlled velvety grip, displaying distinct secondary characters of cedar and cinnamon with vibrant acidity. Very well-balanced, structured with very fine tannins that, compared with a previous tasting in 2014, are no longer angular, just tinged with a rustic hint of McLaren Vale. Excellent.

2018 DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay, 03 Aug 2021. In spite of extended aeration for two hours in bottle, this wine was still tightly coiled, displaying an intense presence of clear citrus and bitter lemon underscored by sharp acidity with nary a glimpse of crème nor perfumed floral characters promised on the nose when the bottle was first popped. Deserves more time in bottle. If you have the chance to visit this beautiful estate, you’ll be greeted by serious classical music being played to the vines over outdoor loudspeakers.

2005 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasted after a brief aeration in bottle, 06 Aug 2021. Deep garnet with some crimson, this wine has now turned the corner, proffering a predominance of red fruits, dark cherries and currants on the nose while ripe red plums dominate on the palate amid darkish undertones with supple fleshy detail and rounded intensity, very well-balanced and lively. Probably at its best but will hold for many years.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, drunk over 8-9 Aug 2021. Concentrated presence of lime and clear citrus laced with darker tones of ferrous elements, supported by terse acidity that cut through the palate with crisp intensity, not yielding much detail. Another bottle tasted over 16-17 Aug 2021 showed very good concentration of clear citrus, white fruits and chalky minerals that produced a high-toned density, laced with a trace of steeliness and lively acidity that traversed the palate with fine linearity and decent length. I must have quaffed close to a case of this.

2003 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia “Ornellaia”, aired in bottle for two hours prior to dinner at Otto Ristorante, 10 Aug 2021. Bright cherries, red fruits and raspberries dominate with characters of cedar and mocha amid savoury tones, layering the palate with supple tension and agile intensity, revealing succulent velvety detail on a base of ferrous elements that imparted some austerity at its long minty finish. Excellent though still not quite at its absolute peak.

2016 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs, aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior to dinner at Ka Soh, 15 Aug 2021. Opaque purple. Clearly well-extracted, proffering ample presence of dark cherries, raspberries and wild berries that display excellent levels of ripeness, somewhat heavy without being sappy. Lightened up with a little suppleness over time but it remained generally darkish and narrow in dimension at this stage. Needs plenty of cellaring.

2001 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. Decanted on-site at Jade Palace, 20 Aug 2021. Bold glossy characters of licorice, raisins and cedar, layered with the unique Barossa warmth and spice with a hint of burnt. Settled down with cooler darker tones with sleek supple intensity, displaying a lifted glow of orange peel that is the signature of mature shiraz. Very well-integrated and balanced, never at all monolithic in spite of its generous proportions. Excellent.

2013 Devil Proof, 1999 Ridge Monte Bello, 2007 Beringer Single Vineyard Cabernet, 2006 Dominus & 2016 Kenzo Rindo

September 6, 2021

All-American at Morton’s, The Steakhouse, on 25 August 2021 at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore…

2016 Kenzo Rindo. Bright deep purple. Superb lift of raspberries, currants and sweet dark cherries with a darkish tinge of capsicum, exuding lovely glow. Medium-full. Superbly rounded with sleek acidity and supple intensity, imbued with traces of licorice, saddle and roast. Weighty but skillfully balanced, showing great sophistication throughout. Already highly accessible. Excellent.

2006 Dominus, courtesy of The Boss. Deep garnet red, proffering an equally deep fragrance of ripe blueberries, raspberries and cherries. Hugely effusive. Somewhat narrow at first on the medium-bodied palate, eventually opening up with dried fruits, cedar and cinnamon amid a high-toned acidity, fleshing out beautifully with supple complexity and early tertiary development.

2007 Beringer Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Marc. Lovely bouquet of ripe red fruits set against warm gravel. Open with generous swathes of raspberries that exert supple intensity with a menthol lift, displaying great seamless integration. Drinking beautifully.

20210825_204240.jpg1999 Ridge Monte Bello, courtesy of Russ. Deep garnet. Wafts of wet gravel with a hint of gunmetal on the nose. Medium-full. Beautifully supple and open, softly rounded with a deeper core of tangerines and subtle tertiary characters that gelled very well with its understated tannin structure. Outstanding.

2013 Devil Proof Vineyards, courtesy of KC. Impenetrable black. This cult 100% Californian malbec from a 1.2 ha plot in the northern Sonoma County by Jesse Katz seduces with an intoxicating bouquet of eucalyptus, enamel and varnish, very generously endowed on the medium-full palate with a glowing sweet supple intensity of crushed fruit amid ripe savoury tones on an earthy base, finishing with spicy length. Absolutely enticing without going overboard. Superb!

2012 Corton-Charlemagne: PYCM & BdM, 1979 Heitz Wine Cellar Martha’s Vineyard, Château Mouton Rothschild 1975, 1985, 1996 Château Haut-Brion 2001…

August 27, 2021

The usual suspects met again on 23 August 2021 after the second Prohibition of the year on dining-in (totally unnecessary and ineffective, in my opinion) had been lifted. Shang Palace at the Shangri-la is our usual venue of choice for such top-flight line-ups and it lived up to all expectations: the food was outstanding, the wine service exemplary. Most of the bottles were blinded while the trio of Mouton Rothschild was totally unexpected. Many thanks, everyone, for your generous contributions.

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2012 Champagne Roger Coulon Blanc de Noirs. Displaying a lovely luminosity, this wine proffers toasted oak, flint and intense citrus on the nose with a hint of sweet vanillin. Quite excellent in depth and definition with an open dry intensity, very well-balanced with a chiseled chalkiness laced with refreshing acidity.

2012 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Lightly colored. Distinctly reductive on the nose, opening with a gentle earthiness amid diesel characters. Rather firm with a minerally fullness that imparted a certain austerity with some oily density, fleshing out with sleek white tones and nutmeg that exude lovely seamless detail, finishing with outstanding length and acidity.

2012 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Lightly colored. Effusive in cool tones, paraffin and icing with rounded floral characters, wonderfully luxuriant. Medium-full. Distinctly minerally, layered with lovely opulence and early complexity, displaying superb lift and agility throughout its length. This is the Bonneau du Martray that we know and love.

2004 Domaine Vincent Girardin Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Tasted blind. Deep golden hue. Rather restrained, dominated initially by a recessed mature chalkiness that suggested this wine may have past its prime though the Puligny signature remained intact. It finally did open up after ninety minutes with full chromatic tones of white fruits, apricots and ripe peaches underscored by fine acidity, distinctly brighter and fresher.

1979 Heitz Wine Cellar Martha’s Vineyard, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Clearly a well-aged wine by color but still fairly dark at its core, proffering a lifted fragrance of tangerines, red fruits, strawberries and haw.  Still fairly vibrant with supple intensity, laced with lively acidity that is beautifully integrated with understated ferrous elements at its core, yielding subtle detail. Half the table thought it to be a claret (I’d quietly harbored thoughts of a mature Cheval Blanc) until it turned sweeter over time, finally unfurling its New World roots with further notes of varnish and eucalyptus, seemingly more youthful as it gained greater intensity in the glass. Superb!

1975 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Kieron. Tasted blind. Clearly mature by color, a slightly faded opaque red. The slender medium-bodied palate is set with evolved red fruits, raspberries and currants amid shades of cinnamon, mocha and licorice, appropriately soft and velvety but still wonderfully fresh and engaging. Very beautifully balanced, appearing to have the legs to last for many more years. It doesn’t quite possess that Pauillac signature but who cares when it is so good?

1996 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Vic. Tasted blind. Deep mature crimson. Effusive in blackberries and dark currants. Generously endowed, structured with highly supple tannins underscored by a deeper vein of rich black fruits with a tinge of smoke. Wonderfully balanced, brimming with youthful exuberance though it turned more placid and laid back after some time, becoming seemingly nonchalant. Probably needs much more time in the glass to express itself fully. I’d thought it was the 1986. Caught at its peak.

1985 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Still impressively deep in color, proffering a lovely rounded floral fragrance amidst some hint of savoury tones. Still wonderfully fresh and fleshy, imbued with succulent dark fruits with a deep core of ferrous elements. Absolutely slick and seamless. It doesn’t quite hide its years, but this still has the legs to last many more years.

2001 Château Haut-Brion. Deep garnet. Good lift of black fruits and currants, darkly delicious. Rather full, packed with abundant ripe wild berries amid briar and brambly characters that imparted some degree of sternness. Distinctly sweeter after some time as it fleshed out with lithe acidity and intensity, revealing very fine subtle detail with a vibrant open tone. Lovely, but still far from peaking.

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Champagne David Léclapart Aphrodisiaque, 2004 Dom Pérignon Rosé, 2015 Roagna Pira 2011 Henri Boillot Criots-Batard-Montrachet 2014 Francois Lamarche Échezeaux…

August 24, 2021

Dr Ngoi threw a lovely poolside party for a small group on 21 August 2021 where he had specially curated a selection of wines to match Grace’s exquisite home-cooked cuisine. Thank you !!

Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Extra Brut NV. Lightly colored. Delicate pale citrus dominate amidst the freshness of morning dew. Cleanly-focused with lovely glow and fine clarity, but straightforward.

Champagne David Léclapart L’Aphrodisiaque NV. Comprises 80% pinot noir and 20% chardonnay harvested from premier cru vines in Trépail. Deeper hues of golden-yellow, proffering honeyed toast on the nose topped with crème and a dash of chalkiness, showing excellent presence and balance with further notes of wafer and cashews. May really stoke one’s sexual desires if enough of it is drunk.

Champagne Veuve Fourny et Fils Blanc de Blancs NV. Lovely nose of rounded tropical fruits and warm peaches, cutting through the palate with fine precision and dry intensity. Generously endowed with an excellent depth of clear citrus and bitter lemon, oozing traces of sweet throughout its length. Excellent.

20210821_194125.jpg2004 Champagne Dom Pérignon Rosé. Deeply colored. Effusive in tangerines and grapefruit that exude an irresistible rose-scented fragrance, leading to a gentle depth of cherries and red fruits on the medium-full palate, impeccably balanced with dry intensity. Distinctly feminine. Very lovely.

2010 Domaine Henri Boillot Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Displaying a deep luminosity, this wine was rather restrained on the nose though the medium-full palate showed a distinct minerally depth that imparted a certain austerity brought into sharp relief by a top layer of crème de la crème, developing some sharp attack and intensity as it warmed up in the glass. Would have been better if tasted under ideal conditions.

2006 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin Clos de Béze Grand Cru. Mature pinot tint. Delicious bouquet of dark cherries and currants. Well-delineated with clean supple intensity on the medium-bodied palate, showing good balance but surprisingly short.

2014 Domaine Francois Lamarche Échezeaux Grand Cru. Darkish in tone, imbued with supple red fruits with some early secondary development that exude delicious lift with a velvety presence, revealing charred inner detail with fair intensity and power as it finished with good length. Quite excellent.

2015 Roagna Pira Barolo. Utterly seductive nose of haw and red fruits, highly effusive and delicious. Medium-full, amply layered with supple detail and lovely sophistication.

2011 Hétszölö Tokaji Furmint. Lightly colored, displaying excellent presence of pears, clear citrus and white fruits on a dry open palate with fine intensity and subtle minerality, underscored by a controlled sweetness. Excellent.

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1995 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, 1996 Robert Ampeau Meursault-Charmes, 1996 Cte G de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er

August 13, 2021

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau et Fils Meursault-Charmes 1er. Aired in bottle for 150 minutes prior at Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 Aug 2021. Displaying a fairly deep golden hue, this wine is still amazingly full and intense, opening with delicate floral notes and enticing green fruits against a backdrop of gentle mature chalk and fresh acidity, gaining a bit of austere depth as it fleshed out with great agility, balance and integration even though it remained somewhat on the lean side. Excellent.

2004 Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 Aug 2021. Mature deep ruby, proffering shades of black cherries that exuded a lovely delicious fragrance. Still rather full and intense, displaying lively acidity and fleshy density as it opened up with charred earthy detail though the finish is distinctly short for a grand cru, fading off somewhat towards the end of dinner.

2014 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 Aug 2021. Deep garnet red. Rather restrained at first, displaying warm gravel tinged with earth and tangerines on the nose. The palate is appropriately dense with youthful intensity yet still yielding fine clarity, revealing some earthy detail amid a savoury hint though the finish is short.

1995 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, courtesy of Sir Bob at Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 Aug 2021. Displaying a dense pinot tint, this wine impressed right away with its impeccable poise, balance and dimension, exuding bright cherries, red fruits, wild berries and wet vegetation with a dash of burnt sugar. Still wonderfully fresh and fleshy, imbued with a highly subtle minerally vein that added further dimension to its supple tannin structure, conveying fine intensity. It may only be a village, but Leroy’s pedigree and sense of correctness shines through every sip. Superb.

1996 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er, courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Great World on 12 Aug 2021. Evolved red. Sweet profusion of red fruits, tangerines and peaches on the nose, highly perfumed and alluring, leading to fine presence of mature fruit (from declassified younger vines of Musigny Grand Cru, first bottled in 1995) that shone with good purity and linearity all the way to its lifted finish, underpinned by sleek tension and acidity.

Thank you all for your generosity!

July 2021: 2017 Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, 2005 J P Belle-Terroir, 2019 Schloss Lieser Thomas Haag Bernkasteler Doctor Spätlese

July 31, 2021

2011 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Bourgogne, courtesy of Yang at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Tasted blind. Dusky appearance. Gentle fragrance of red fruits and cherries but rather restrained. Medium-bodied. Slightly darkish in tone though well-delineated with clean understated intensity on a bed of firm tannins cushioned by sleek acidity, not overtly structured. Drinking well with an overall sense of feminine restraint.

2007 Domaine Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin Clos de la Chateniere 1er, courtesy of Yvonne at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Tasted blind. Luminous glow of exotic white fruits, white flowers and intense citrus. Rather high-strung on the medium-full palate, displaying excellent tension and fine acidity that still managed to convey a sense of delicate transparency. This has barely evolved. Still far from ready.

2009 Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot Chambolle-Musigny Derrière La Grange 1er, courtesy of Alvin at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Tasted blind. Evolved brownish red. Rounded bouquet of red fruits and briar of fair intensity, exuding lovely fragrance with very fine concentration and intensity of fruit, showing clean definition. Still highly primal.

2014 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny Les Chatelots 1er, courtesy of WCY at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Tasted blind. Lovely pinot tint. Open with an attractive fragrance. Medium-full. Very fine rounded presence, structured with refined silky tannins that impart a clean feel. Carries good weight with supple clarity, just a tad short.

2009 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Porrets St-Georges 1er at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Aired in advance for three hours. Good color. This monopole exudes a restrained fragrance of red fruits with darkish undertones, marking its entry with a controlled gentle intensity that proffered fleeting glimpses of layered darkish fruit. Very well-integrated and structured with an understated forwardness, just a tad short. Drinking well.

IMG-20210729-WA0007.jpg2019 Weingüt Schloss Lieser Thomas Haag Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese, courtesy of Jonny at Mid-View City, 04 July 2021. Rounded tones of cool icing emanate from its pale hues with a controlled sweetness, leading to a lovely velvety palate of crystalline textures and ripe tropical fruits laced with lively acidity at just the right degree of fullness. Thoroughly seamless and open and beautifully balanced throughout its length, taking its time to unravel its delights with a dash of aloofness. Absolutely superb but rare, available only at auction.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc. Popped and poured at Wah Lok, 10 July 2021. White floral bloom with fairly dense chalky aromas and textures. Medium-bodied, displaying predominant white tones with fine acidity and dense minerally detail amid a slight hint of rye, developing further notes of morning dew and cool icing over time. Truly excellent in its own right. Superb value.

2005 Winemaker’s Collection No.1 (Michel Rolland). Aired in bottle for two hours prior on 11 July 2021. Dark cherries and currants dominate amid a certain darkish earthiness with a tarry quality, the fruit somewhat subdued within soft fleshy textures. A tad too austere and seemingly past its prime although another bottle popped on 25 July 2021 and aired for 90 minutes prior was drinking very well with some attractive intensity, quite generously layered with rounded velvety dark plums and cherries with cedary characters. But I wouldn’t keep any longer. The cork of every single bottle that I’d popped from this case, save one, had disintegrated badly.

2017 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé. Popped and poured at Asia Grand, 14 July 2021. Luminous glow of light citrus, lemons and pomelo. Superbly concentrated and tight with an oily density on the mid-palate, lit by a minerally polish that conferred good transparency with a sense of delicacy. Distinctly different from the chardonnay of Côte de Beaune. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but, given the outrageous pricing of Meursault and Puligny nowadays, one must start exploring the Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise.

2014 Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 18 July 2021. Delightful nose of crème, nutmeg and frangipani with chalky overtones laced with traces of sweet vanillin, leading to an excellent concentration of white fruits and clear citrus that exert superb tension and intensity. Opened up with good tangy detail, clarity and layering, displaying superb balance between its agile acidity and delicate elegance. Highly irresistible.

2009 Château Sociando-Mallet. Popped and poured over lunch at Corner Grill, 20 July 2021. Impenetrable deep purple, proffering attractive aromas of abundant ripe black berries, cassis and dark currants matched by lovely swathes of exciting fruit on the palate that display great density and detail with some early suppleness, structured with subtle ferrous elements and chewy tannins that confer a dash of austerity. Quite excellent but best to cellar another 5-6 years.

2005 J P Belle-Terroir. Popped and poured, 23 July 2021. Displaying an impenetrable garnet red with a unique nose of toasted oak, this Chris Ringland wine is layered with superb density of ripe Barossa shiraz characterised by savoury red fruits, currants and dark berries amid shades of cinnamon and plums that splashed the palate with intense deep velvety textures, structured with ultra-smooth sophisticated tannins laced with sublime acidity. Very sleek and slick. Drinking superbly and not at all hedonistic. Perfect with barbie.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, drunk over 24-25 July 2021. Good concentration of clear citrus supported by lively acidity, producing a tense high-toned palate that reminded me of a Pouilly-Fuissé, not yielding much detail, turning more austere over time.

2018 Meerlust Chardonnay. Popped and poured, 31 July 2021. Tangy citrus, olives and spicy nutmeg dominate with good definition and clarity on a bed of subtle earthy minerals, displaying plenty of presence and vigour with pointed acidity.

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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.

1982 Pichon Lalande, 1990 Montelena Estate 1990 Léoville Las-Cases, 1994 Araujo Eisele, 2012 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Échezeaux, 1994 Ridge Monte Bello…

July 18, 2021

Bordeaux wines, and Bordeaux blends in general, truly need a generation of bottle maturity in order to be at their best, exemplified by this outstanding tasting of several reds aged between 27-39 years on 13 July 2021 where it was very good, once again, to see all the usual familiar faces at Imperial Treasure Great World after five weeks of nation-wide dining-in prohibition (in my opinion, totally unnecessary and ineffective). Given the outrageous pricing nowadays for Burgundy and new-release Bordeaux, it makes far better sense to spend on pristine OWCs of mature claret. Many thanks as usual, everyone, for your generosity and company. Except for the champagne, all wines were blinded.

2000 Champagne Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut. Deep yeasty pungency on the nose with gun smoke and nutty tones. Somewhat alarming at first as the fruit appeared to be rather backward along with bubbles that dissipated rather quickly, dominated by arid ferrous minerals that conferred a certain austerity. It re-bounded after an hour, fleshing out with a fuller and more evenly-toned palate of pomelo and bitter lemon that exuded good clarity with greater density on the nose. But I wouldn’t keep any longer.

20210713_195516.jpg2014 Kistler Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay, courtesy of Bob. Good color. Dense bouquet of wet morning dew and summer hay, glowing with delicate citrus while white tones dominate on the open medium-full palate that showed some age, characterised initially by a laid-back chalkiness that eventually grew in sharp chiseled intensity with a lingering persistence. Very Puligny-like, only betrayed by a trace of sweetness that seems to be characteristic of Kistler. Excellent.

2017 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. Pale. Very fresh and lively with a great lift of cool icing and white floral bloom. Medium-bodied. Filled with white tones that exert mild intensity with good clarity and definition though slightly narrow in spectrum, opening up well with a certain teasing quality. I thought it was a Meursault. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée 1er, courtesy of Vic. Pale. Light tropical fruit on the nose coupled with elegant cool tones that led to a palate of gentle intensity, imbued with understated ferrous elements.

2012 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Glorious deep ruby, proffering red fruits and currants with a tinge of sweetness. Open with a fleshy suppleness that displayed glorious depth and dimension, just a tad forward, conveying superb freshness of fruit with fine subtle intensity though not revealing much inner detail. Still highly youthful. Distinctly feminine, which is the style of the exciting Charles Lachaux. Quite excellent.

1990 Château Montelena Estate, courtesy of Sir Bob. Superb deep ruby with a bare rim of crimson, exuding a lovely perfumed fragrance. Fully mature, yet the fruit is still superbly ripe with a wonderful suppleness and balance. Supremely confident, utterly Bordeaux-like in character. This is truly an outstanding wine caught at its absolute peak.

1982 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep crimson. This wine opens with a whiff of wild grass, snuff and malt amid distinct notes of green capsicum, captivating the senses with a wonderful lift of velvety red fruits within a fleshy mature rounded complex. Beautifully balanced, displaying supple intensity as it stretched to a lovely glowing finish. Very classy, on par with a First Growth. Absolutely outstanding.

1994 Ridge Monte Bello, courtesy of LF. Deep ruby. Excellent presence of dark currants, violets and blueberries tinged with chocolate. Beautifully balanced. Still impressively fresh and full in spite of its obvious maturity, structured with subtle tannins that oozed with a dash of sweetness. Very Old World in character. Superb.

1994 Araujo Eisele Vineyard, courtesy of LF. Deep ruby. Intense darkish characters of black fruits, dark roses and black currants with a tarry quality. Structured with evolved tannins that still exert a slight abrasiveness amid a certain earthiness and leathery tone, enveloped by a distinct New World sweetness. Highly introspective. Still needs time.

1990 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Mature crimson. Fully developed complex of velvety red fruits, dry charcoal and green capsicum with a herbaceous trace. Beautifully balanced and fleshy. Still displaying youthful vibrancy with a gentle intensity, this wine is structured with such precision and typicity that everyone was spot-on in declaring it a Las-Cases. Excellent.

2006 Château La Fleur-Pétrus, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet with a hint of crimson. Rather creamy on the nose, leading to a lush full palate still tinged with enamel, imbued with abundant layers of masculine dark fruit that produce buoyant verve and exuberance. Not quite ready yet.

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1989 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

July 5, 2021

20210630_210546.jpgThis is my first-ever experience of this legendary wine, often spoken of in the same breath as its illustrious sister of the same vintage across the road, the 1989 Château Haut-Brion. Carefully uncorked (still in pristine condition) and decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante on 30 June 2021 to go with an outstanding 600g wagyu ribeye, this wine is beautifully deep purple with just a trace of translucency at the rim, proffering a gentle delicious fragrance of mature plums, raspberries, mulberries and dark currants with a whiff of wood dust. Gliding with cool elegance across the medium-full palate, the 1989 Château La Mission Haut-Brion is still incredibly fresh, imbued with layers of fruit within its silky smooth tannins at just the right degree of ripeness and purity that teased with subtle vigour and elegant intensity, wonderfully integral throughout its superb length. It may not quite plumb the depths but this simply adds to its impeccable balance, brimming with a sense of quiet confidence amid a suggestion of smouldering ember as it sat in the glass, exuding sheer sophistication. Barely hinting at its thirty-two years, this has the legs to outlast another generation, truly befitting of its exalted reputation. Fabulous! Thanks, John!!

Jun 2021: 1998 Domaine du Pegau Réservée, 2018 Domaine Roc Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé, 2014 Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc, 2005 Mount Mary Quintet…

June 30, 2021

2018 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé, tasted 1-2 June 2021. Displaying bright luminous hues, this wine opens with a profusion of clear citrus, lime and distant green fruits, marking its entry onto the palate with a minerally warmth that never threatened to overwhelm the classic delicate poise of a Pouilly-Fuissé, growing in fullness and intensity that culminated in powerful yet transparent glowing tones. Excellent.

2012 Champagne Roger Coulon Blanc de Noirs. Tasted on 03 June 2021. Gentle attractive lift of green fruits, lime and yellow citrus tinged with earth, cedar and elements of dark berries. Fleshed out with excellent rounded presence, displaying good clarity and definition amid some dry intensity. Another bottle tasted on 30 June 2021 at Otto Ristorante was appreciably more effusive in toasted oak and yeasty pungency, imbued with brilliant concentration of intense citrus but the 2012 doesn’t quite possess the same mesmerizing depth and complexity of its most memorable 2008.

2009 Rockford Black Shiraz, tasted over 05 June 2021. Deep purple. At eleven years, this wine is still imbued with vibrant ripe Barossa shiraz, layering the palate with lovely shades of raspberries, black currants, licorice and ferrous elements tinged with a trace of liquered sweetness towards the finish, subtly structured with very fine gentle intensity within its luxurious sheen of soft bubbles. Absolutely delightful. At its best.

1998 Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Réservée. Tasted after a brief aeration on 07 June 2021. Opaque dull crimson. The nose is wonderfully beguiling in its lifted fragrant plummy tone along with other notes of haw, dried fruits and cinnamon, matched by a soft fully mature palate that is still fresh, carrying subtle intensity and verve. Absolutely feminine. This has none of that gruff herbaceous character that CdP may, at times, impart. At its drinking best. Very very lovely.

2014 Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc. Popped and poured, 08 June 2021. This wine opens with an excellent controlled intensity of pears, peaches and clear citrus. Very evenly toned. Mellowed after some time to reveal some minerally elements in the mid-body, morphing into a seamless whole with good weight and refined chalky detail. Finished well with superb linearity amidst a glowing intensity of lime. My second bottle in as many months. A real steal at SGD45.

2000 Château Prieuré-Lichine. Popped and poured, 09 June 2021. Dull crimson, proffering dark plummy tones and currants with a distinct mentholic note on the nose. Medium-bodied. Subtly structured with a relaxed composure, the fruit is somewhat backward and undistinctive amid overtones of dried mushrooms, snuff and bramble. It took another three hours of aeration to flesh out seamlessly with quite a superb presence of fresh red plums and ripe wild berries, fuller and more evenly toned. At its best but make sure it has had plenty of aeration.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs. Popped and poured for our anniversary dinner, 11 June 2021. Luminous hues. Brilliant attack of yellow citrus, pomelo and grapefruit infused with chalky minerals that saturate the palate with ripe intensity and fine detail, dry and structured but beautifully balanced with a sense of velvety fullness, lingering with a trace of sweetness long after leaving the palate. Whereas I’d previously found this wine to be too acerbic, it appears to have snapped together after a few years of cellaring.

2005 Winemaker’s Collection No.1 (Michel Rolland). Tasted after an hour’s aeration, 14 June 2021. Quite promising on the nose, opening with swathes of fragrant dark fruits, currants and raspberries that led to a medium-full supple presence on the palate. However, it receded quite quickly thereafter, giving way to stern ferrous minerals that impart a certain austerity against a backdrop of dusty tannins amid overtones of wild vegetation, refusing to budge even after another three hours. Rather sullen compared with a previous bottle from the same case tasted last month.

2018 Coldstream Hills Chardonnay. Popped at home on 20 June 2021. This wine opens with a sustained intensity of clear citrus, green fruits and bitter lemon on a delicate chalky base that imparted a sense of lightness in spite of its bold presence. Remarkably similar in character to a Pouilly-Fuissé.

2007 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches 1er Rouge. Popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 21 June 2021. Evolved dusky red, proffering a gently perfumed nose of camphor, red fruits and herbaceous elements while mature ripe plummy tones tinged with mandarins dominate on the medium-bodied palate, still imbued with good freshness and acidity, turning darker as it developed a certain ferric earthiness amid effusive overtones of haw, incense and mint.

2009 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva. Aired in bottle for two hours prior to dinner at Corner Grill, 22 June 2021. Fairly deep in color. Generously layered with well extracted dark currants and black fruits on the nose and palate. Medium-full. Still pretty tight and intense but harmonious, structured with pliant tannins and sleek acidity on a minerally floor that conferred a certain austerity before gaining in power and supple intensity after another ninety minutes, developing notes of red currants with plummy tones. Yet to peak but that’s my last bottle.

2017 Meerlust Rubicon. Aired in bottle for 90 minutes prior to dinner at Ka Soh, 26 June 2021. Deep garnet. Good lift of mulberries, dark plums and black currants that is faintly delicious, still tinged with enamel. Full presence in the mouth, displaying rounded supple intensity with excellent weight, balance and refined acidity. Very much in character with a classic Médoc. Quite excellent. Likely to flesh out more in bottle over time.

2005 Mount Mary Quintet. Decanted at home for three hours prior to dinner, 27 June 2021. Deep garnet red, exuding delicious currants and dark fruits with a feminine grace. Superbly rounded and supple but surprisingly only medium weight, rather brightly lit with a predominance of red fruits that enhanced its delicate demeanour, imbued with very finely-grained ferrous elements. Probably at its drinking best.

2005 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge. Aired in bottle for an hour prior to dinner on 29 June 2021. In spite of its lifted deep purple with fresh raspberries and dark currants on the nose, this wine is only medium-bodied on the palate, surprisingly polite with fruit that is too recessed and understated in acidity and intensity, robbing it of its Pessac character. Took quite some time to flesh out with increasing power and seamless integration, developing subtle detail of haw and finely-grained dark cherries without abandoning its gentle guise. A feminine chevalier (if ever there is one) but do allow plenty of time and space.