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FICOFI: Burgundy on board the Lady E

January 29, 2019

FICOFI kicked off the new year in style with a generous promenade of Burgundy on board one of the very best superyachts of the world, the Lady E, moored at One°15, Sentosa Cove Singapore, on the afternoon of 26 January 2019. Stretching 69 metres and capable of a top speed of 18 knots (12 knots at cruising), the Lady E exudes absolute class and sophistication throughout its five floors of sheer luxury, looked after with extreme care by its full-time crew of 19 who travel far and wide across the seven seas wherever the Lady E may sail. It may be yours too for a week if you fancy splurging close to USD500,000. On that day though, we only had the privilege of stepping on board to taste through a good range of older vintages of Burgundy as well as some 2017s which had only just been recently bottled, graced by the presence of Mr & Mrs Bruno Clair and Stéphane Follin-Arbelet. In spite of the balmy afternoon heat, the sommeliers have done a great job in ensuring that the wines were properly chilled. The 2017 whites again are superlative while the reds, particularly from the Cote de Nuits, are proving to be quite irresistible too.

1995 Champagne Henriot Enchanteleur. Jeroboam. Lovely luminosity. Unusual bouquet of sweet ripe berries with an attractive perfumed depth that I’ve not encountered before in champagne. Slightly backward on the palate, allowing some graphite minerals to dominate without being too dry, displaying excellent presence, acidity and balance, finishing with traces of sweet.

2015 Louis Jadot Beaune Greves Le Clos Blanc. Jeroboam. Perfumed glow of sweet white fruit and frangipani, showing good acidity and gentle concentration. Not plump, finishing with glowing length.

2015 Chateau de Puligny Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Jeroboam. Shut, revealing only glimpses of wild flowers. Excellent in acidity, tension and fullness though there isn’t much detail. Good finish.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Jeroboam. Lovely lift of creamy chalky tones. Excellent mouthful of tangy acidity with understated fleeting intensity of fruit, very successfully integrated, revealing good definition but not too exuberant.

2014 Chateau de Meursault Meursault-Perrieres 1er. Magnum. Wonderful delicate lift of gentle chalkiness that extended to the medium-bodied palate, displaying lovely gentle intensity of fruit, quite fleshy and plump with good transparency, finishing well.

2013 Chateau de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes-Dessus 1er. Methuselah. Effusive bouquet of green fruits and fresh morning dew with a lovely fullness. Softly rounded, poised and elegant, imbued with predominant characters of white citrus with good subtle acidity but not much detail. Bit short.

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2004 Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er. Magnum. Highly aromatic with intoxicating notes of ripe red fruits and emulsion, layered with plenty of secondary nuances, rather bold. Medium-full. Open, softly rounded with highly supple tannins, rathher brightly lit, conveying tremendous energy amid minty overtones. Excellent.

2011 Domaine Bruno Clair Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Quite extroverted with an unmistakable immediacy, exuding a dense bouquet of intense ripe raspberries and varnish from an abundant spread of fruit contained with pliant supple tannin structures laced with a certain spiciness though not quite as weighty as one would expect of a Bonnes-Mares. Still infantile.

1993 Domaine Bruno Clair Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Jeroboam. Lovely aromatic lift of delicious red fruits, rounded and fleshy with well-integrated acidity and understated intensity, exuding great verve with fine power and elegance. Very well proportioned. Still youthful.

2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules 1er. Jeroboam. Great color. Good extraction and purity. Well structured, slightly more forward with fine intensity and good integration without the burliness of Beaune. Yet to develop.

1999 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Rouge. Methuselah. Wonderful freshness and lift of ripe red plums and cherries, imbued with excellent fullness and acidity, displaying great linearity throughout its lasting length. Excellent.

2009 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Rouge. More forwardly balanced, exuding a rich smooth intensity of red fruits and dark cherries, displaying great concentration and refined precision. Still infantile. A younger incarnation of the 1999. Will be outstanding.

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2017 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Proces 1er. Deep ruby. Forward nose of ripe raspberries, ripe wild berries and mulberries that carried well onto the medium-full palate. Quite fleshy with a lovely warm intensity of fruit amid traces of earthy undergrowth, displaying wonderful acidity, integration and great precision throughout its supple length. Excellent. Normally bottled as part of its Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er output, this vintage marks the very first time that this domaine is bottling its three parcels of Les Proces 1er separately.

2017 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves L’Enfant Jesus 1er. Good lift of ripe cherries and rose petals, exuding excellent purity and freshness with gentle intensity. Very well proportioned with seamless integration of tannins. Excellent.

2017 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles 1er. Lovely glow of rose petals amid tangerines. Fleshy and rounded with a superb supple intensity that created some gentle tension across the palate, underscored by mild earthy elements. Bit short.

2017 Domaine de Montille Volnay En Champan 1er. Great color. Lovely glow of ripe raspberries, displaying lovely acidity, intensity and succulence, quite seamlessly integrated with excellent linearity.

2017 Chateau de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes-Dessus 1er. Distinct grassy tones and green fruits, quite lifted. The palate is imbued with clear crystalline minerals that impart good vigour and ultra-fine precision, showing good detail without the plumpness, finishing well.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Gentle floral lift. Excellent palate, imbued with very good density of nutmeg and white flowers without any overt heaviness, aided by deft handling of chalky minerals. Distinctly feminine. Really good.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Les Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 1er. Forward tone of ripe dark berries and currants, undeniably delicious and aromatic in its smooth concentration and rich presence, showing good intensity and linearity.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault-Genevieres 1er. Grassy elements dominate with white floral tones with a lovely fullness and attack of sharp acidity amidst a notable background chalkiness that conferred a more minerally balance.

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FICOFI: Bouchard, Drouhin & Prieure-Roch

January 22, 2019

These are notes from a generous promenade-cum-dinner featuring Bouchard Pere et Fils, Joseph Drouhin and Prieure-Roch organised by FICOFI in Singapore, 12 April 2018, in the presence of their respective representatives Luc Bouchard, Jean-Paul Dumond (Sales Director of Drouhin) and Yannick Champ (co-geriant of Prieure-Roch). With three stations each overflowing with so much wonderful stuff, 60 minutes simply weren’t enough to savour and appreciate the efforts of the winemakers. Regretfully, I missed a couple of wines but whatever I had below all performed very well.  Bouchard and Drouhin showed off mostly their 2016s, fabulous for reds while the whites are plummy, whilst Prieure-Roch féted us with mostly 2009s, another great vintage. Interestingly, Bouchard now sports a brand new look on their labels with effect from the 2016 vintage.

2016 Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault-Perrieres 1er. Lifted bouquet of fresh morning dew and grassy elements, whilst the palate is imbued with delicate yellow citrus, very fine in acidity and presence. Lovely.

2016 Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault-Genevieres 1er. Fat. Delicate perfumed floral tones. Quite opulent on the palate, ample in lovely concentration of fruit and ferrous minerals in equal measure, turning just a tad stern towards its finish. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Rich, full and succulent, filled with an abundance of white floral characters tinged with white peppery tones along with some spiciness at the sides, underscored with complex minerals that confer sharp inner detail and definition. Yet rounded and gentle, superbly balanced. Wonderful.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Some early complexity is discernible, overshadowed by such superb mouthfeel from the fabulous intensity of nutmeg and other exotic nuances along with traces of white pepper that impart a distilled complex of great definition and detail. Bold, massive yet wonderfully elegant. Outstanding.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Considerably less extroverted than the 2014, proffering a quiet minerally bouquet with overtones of nutmeg. Less dense as well on the medium-bodied palate, imbued with lovely delicacy of cool ripe fruit though missing the ultra high definition of 2014, finishing with mild intensity.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Discernible early complexity on the full bouquet, exuding toffee, coconut and dense petroleum. Smooth and placid, poised with delicate cool refinement but somewhat reticent at this stage though its natural balance is absolutely impeccable. Will be slow to develop but it could turn out to be one of the great Montrachets of this century.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Deep bouquet, boasting a complex of white flowers and dense minerals but somewhat introverted, lagging behind a more involving palate that held great concentration of fruit, richly layered in crème de la crème and splashes of exotic spice throughout its considerable length. Excellent, and likely to develop faster than the 2014.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 1er. Generous tone of fresh raspberries and dark berries with traces of green and spice within a slender understated structure, underscored with good acidity.

2014 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Fresh floral lift on a rounded palate scored with abundant raspberries with a light delicate touch, displaying good balance. Lovely but not quite truly distinctive.

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2011 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Beautiful liquid gold. Some lovely opulence on the nose though somewhat reserved, revealing some early complexity on a palate of dense minerals and delicate crème de la crème, quite seamlessly integrated with a fair abundance of white fruits that exude dry intensity, very well balanced. Still rather taut on the whole.

2008 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Good lift of spice and raw nutmeg on the nose, yielding some early complexity on a palate dominated by characters of exotic fruit and bananas, rounded with delicate minerals, displaying great verve, intensity and vivid detail with excellent linearity.

2016 Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. This wine opens with Asian spices and earth on the nose, striking a delicate balance on the minerally palate laced with excellent depth of white fruits amid great acidity, generating an immediacy that imparted superb mouthfeel throughout its wonderful length. Superb.

2016 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. This wine exudes immense purity on the nose with a glorious lift of ripe red fruits and cherries, displaying real power, concentration and intensity with a lovely openness though still primal, yet to develop the sensual regal elegance that one expects from Amoureuses but it already feels so right. Will be outstanding.

2016 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Rouge. Generous expanse of raspberries and dark cherries, covering the palate with tremendous vigour and intensity, structured with tightly-knit velvety tannins that reveal lovely detail. A great over-achiever.

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Yannick Champ (L) with Jean-Paul Dumond

2009 Domaine Prieure-Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Argillieres 1er. Deep glow of medicinal and earthy tones. Tight with fleshy dark fruits on the palate, dotted with black pepper, slightly stemmy.

2009 Domaine Prieure-Roch Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots 1er. Glowing eminence, boasting ripe dark berries and dark plums. Quite fleshy, displaying good depth amidst dark earthy tones, imbued with lovely freshness and acidity.

2008 Domaine Prieure-Roch Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. The bouquet offers a lovely complexity of heated gravel and red dates with a perfumed fragrance, greatly lifted with open detail, rather fleshy and rounded with superb integration and great acidity. A wine of great individuality. Highly successful.

2009 Domaine Prieure-Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Corvees 1er monopole. Quite full on the nose and palate, filled with ample dark fruits, currants, exotic spice and earth, rather dark in tone. Rounded with smooth tannins and very well-balanced, finishing with good acidity.

2009 Domaine Prieure-Roch Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Double decanted for four hours prior. Fully open, highly effusive in rich dark berries that carried well onto the palate with sublime acidity, filled with layers of deep glorious fruit on a bed of smooth velvety tannins that still held so much in reserve. Outstanding.

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M. Luc Bouchard (R)

And for dinner…

2005 Champagne Henriot Cuvee Hemera. Yeasty lift with a rich creamy tone. Crisp but not overtly dry. Highly supple, yielding good transparency and open intensity, layered with great subtley, finishing well.

2012 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Blanc. This wine opens with a deceptively gentle tone of peaches allied with mild grassy elements and nutmeg before blazing away with fine open intensity of creme de la creme and dense overt chalkiness, displaying good linearity but slightly short.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Morning dew, wild flowers and white pepper dominate on the nose while the palate is distinctly more minerally, excellent in concentration with a quiet intensity.

2010 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. This wine proffers a deep open bouquet of complex minerals with an attractive white floral fragrance, matched by a rich wonderful depth of fruit on the palate sprinkled with white pepper, exotic spice and traces of vanillin, producing fabulous mouthfeel and length. Combines the power and richness of Chevalier with the delicate finesse of Montrachet. Not surprising, as those who know will understand that the 0.21 ha La Cabotte actually sits within Montrachet itself at its western boundary and was once considered part of Montrachet Grand Cru. Outstanding.

1999 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus 1er. Richly layered in dark cherries with a lovely depth of perfumed cider, displaying great purity of fruit and expression, superbly balanced against the fine acidity and understated tannins. Very complete in itself. Outstanding.

2002 Domaine Prieure-Roch Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Corvees 1er monopole. Complex bouquet of red fruits and dark currants. Rather firm with a high-toned salinity on the palate, very focused with good linearity.

2005 Ch d’Yquem, put on specially for Jean-Paul Dumond who simply cannot do without this Sauternes which did not disappoint with its rich dense layers of nectarine, ripe apricot and cinnamon with overtones of sweet incense underscored by fresh sublime acidity, still absolutely infantile at 12 years. Outstanding.

 

FICOFI: Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

January 19, 2019

Some short notes from a FICOFI tasting on 24 May 2018 at the Four Seasons, Singapore, focusing on the largest and most-maligned of all Burgundy grand cru. Occupied by over eighty producers and stretching all the way downslope right to the D974 highway, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru has often been criticised, not without reason, as second division. In most cases, the wine may seem quite inviting on its own but its shortcomings are clear when lined up against the stalwarts of Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanee, between which it is sandwiched, commonly lacking in that extra dimension and distinction. Nevertheless, some gems can be found at the correct places within such a large plot and FICOFI, on that evening, had put on some convincing examples that might make you change your mind. Just make sure you choose wisely. As always, it’s the producer that matters most, followed by vintage. Chateau de La Tour in particular, with the largest holdings and which I had the privilege of visiting last fall, makes an exceptionally fine Clos Vougeot Grand Cru in its vieille vignes bottling.

2015 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Darker in tone, marked by dark cherries and dark currants with occasional bright spots, exuding lovely aromas with overtones of light incense and smoke, cleanly delineated with good focus on the palate though without the opulence that one may expect from such a good vintage, structured with some spicy edge.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Gentle notes of dark roses and camphor on the nose and palate, opening up with lean clean precision amid gravel and minerally tones that impart a certain sternness.

2013 Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru. Feminine rosy tones, quite alluring, matched by a fleshy open palate that yielded subtle subdued intensity of fruit with good detail, showing great refinement but short.

2012 Chateau de La Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru VV de plus de 100 ans. Special bottling from vines more than a hundred years old. This wine opens with a deep bouquet of blueberries, violets and dark currants, highly effusive, while the open palate proffers excellent concentration of fruit with superb intensity and seamless detail. Very fleshy, rounded and subtly structured. Highly refined and elegant. Outstanding.

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2009 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Rich in bright red fruits, gently layered with earthy tones that conjured vibrant intensity on the fleshy, satiny smooth palate. Still highly youthful, appearing seemingly slow to evolve, probably a reflection of that remarkable vintage.

2007 Domaine Prieure-Roch Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. There’s a great deal of earthiness here as one may expect from this estate, though the wine is nicely open at this stage with lovely notes of rose petals and red fruits, suitably delicate on a bed of velvety intensity with plenty of concealed power, its wonderful acidity delivering sharp detail and precision, finishing in a glorious blaze of ripe after notes. Superb.

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The Clos Vougeot vines of Meo Camuzet right in front of the Chateau du Clos Vougeot

Les Amoureuses: 2008 & 1996 G de Vogüé, 2013 Bertheau, 2001 Jadot, 2011 Drouhin, 2011 de la Pousse d’Or, 2005 Amiot-Servelle, 2009 Robert Groffier, 1989 Antonin Rodet & 2007 J-F Mugnier

January 14, 2019

There is a certain romance about Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er that sets the pulse racing: the mystigue surrounding its very name, the outrageous prices that some of the bottlings fetch, its relative scarcity…and yet people are still buying without hesitation. Wherein, exactly, lies its allure? Much has been said about its sensuousness, its feminine grace and its delicate beauty, much of which actually abound on the nose rather than the palate. Second only to Musigny Grand Cru in pricing within the Chambolle-Musigny appellation and consistently more expensive than Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru (partly explained by supply-and-demand economics: Les Amoureuses is only a third the size of 15.0 ha Bonnes-Mares), it is no wonder that many have opined that Les Amoureuses should be regarded as grand cru. Does it?

Situated at an altitude of 250-280 metres, the plot of Les Amoureuses slopes down eastwards from the Route des Grand Grus at a gradient of eight degrees in a series of stepped terraces. A small portion actually lies on the other side of this road just abutting the northern boundary of Musigny Grand Cru (one of Joseph Drouhin’s three separate plots is most adjacent, which is really fascinating). Les Amoureuses lies on Comblanchien limestone (extremely dense ancient bedrock formed by marine sediment 170 million years ago after the sea had receded) with a topsoil of ferrous clay, especially at the parts closest to its eastern boundary. Fourteen growers occupy this hallowed 5.4 hectare plot, divided as such:

  • R Groffier (1.09 ha)
  • J Drouhin (0.59)
  • G de Vogüé (0.56)
  • J-F Mugnier (0.53)
  • C Amiot-Servelle (0.45)
  • G Roumier (0.40)
  • B Serveau (0.35)
  • Bertagna (0.34) but seemingly unplanted
  • F Bertheau (0.32)
  • G Peirazeau (0.25)
  • Pousse d’Or (0.196)
  • P Rion (0.16)
  • M Zibetti (0.12), formerly Domaine Chazans
  • L Jadot (0.12)

Nobody really knows how the name came about. If it is a place for lovers to gather, there are plenty of other lovely (and better) spots throughout the Cote d’Or for that purpose. A more prosaic explanation is that it’s a metaphor for the mud sticking really close to the boots of vineyard workers but, then again, that happens in every plot everywhere! With so much intrigue to be delved into, KG organised a Les Amoureuses dinner at the delectable one-Michelin starred Summer Pavillon, Ritz-Carlton Singapore, on 08 Jan 2019 featuring ten bottles from a good spread of nine producers, representing examples from the largest (Groffier) as well as the tiniest (Jadot) holdings, from plots across the road (Drouhin, Pousse d’Or, Mugnier, Bertheau) and from lesser-known producers. And as if these weren’t enough, the line-up was bookended by three different Montrachet Grand Cru and a superb d’Yquem.

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2002 Piper Heidsieck Rare Millesime, courtesy of KG. Lovely nuanced bouquet of yeast and earthy tones, proffering lime, citrus and green melons on the palate with an after note of gunmetal, displaying lovely body and presence, turning sharper in acidity over time.

1976 Bollinger Brut, courtesy of LF. Dark golden hue, all its fizz having dissipated totally after 43 years, distinctly mature on the nose with a superb complex of yeasty tones amidst a little mustiness, dried mushrooms and steely minerals. Still remarkably fresh on the palate with very good concentration and acidity but dry, layered with intense yellow citrus that left a lasting impression.

2007 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Rather reluctant on the nose, proffering just some waxiness with traces of oxidation. Got better over time as more of lime, yellow citrus and stony minerals began developing with fair intensity on the palate, revealing great detail along with some graphite elements as it broadened with greater expanse and depth, utterly seamless in transition and linearity though the legendary ethereal elegance of Bouchard’s Montrachet eluded us that evening. Needs far more time in the glass than we gave it.

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2013 Domaine Francois Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er. Good colour. Very gentle rosy fragrance on the nose, especially floral and delicate on an open palate strewn with light cherries and strawberries. Distinctly feminine. Rather understated in power and minerality, exuding very fine gentle intensity. Very lovely, a wine that would be easily under-rated.

2011 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Grace. Slightly deeper in colour and more aromatic, yet gentle. Very correct in its poise of rose petals and light raspberries, proportioned with just the right degree of concentration that yielded good detail with a feminine feel, gently structured, finishing with traces of earthy minerals.

2011 Domaine de la La Pousse d’Or Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of John. Good colour. Shut on the nose, though the palate is imbued with a distinct firm tone of ferrous minerals, graphite and earth on a backdrop of light red fruits, gradually opening up with more orangey tangerines with a rounded feminine suppleness. Quite lovely actually, though it remained absolutely unyielding on the nose.

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2005 Domaine Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er

2009 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of C J. Already evolving to vermillion. Highly effusive with a great bouquet of deep dark roses, dark currants and red cherries. Rather full, exuding excellent presence with a firm minerally streak right across the palate that imparted lovely intensity and great sensation at the finish. Superb.

2008 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Vic. More darkly tinted, which is quite usual from this estate. This wine opens on a slightly minty note with an unique chalky medicinal aroma that reminded me of Gaviscon (really!). The palate displays supple ripe berries, currants and tangerines that are gorgeously sublime in concentration and acidity, conferring superb mouthfeel. Highly distinctive but still a tad short. Quite wonderful.

2001 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of LF. The aromatics here are simply sensational, stroking the senses with a gentle depth of red cherries and bright rose petals, heightening the anticipation of a plush velvety bed of gorgeous fruit  that oozed with great suppleness and freshness, very correctly poised and proportioned with excellent linearity throughout its lovely length. It may have come from the tiniest holdings but this wine is an absolute delight.

20190108_230549.jpg2005 Domaine Christian Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of KG. Dark red. Evidently more extracted, resulting in more power along with medicinal tones on the nose whilst the palate displays excellent depth and structure of fruit with darker tones, imbued with fine acidity, lovely verve and weight but still a bit short at the finish. A masculine Amoureuses, for a change.

2007 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of LF. Fabulous bouquet, intriguingly complex in its intricate mix of delicate  cherries and gloriously ripe raspberries that exude a highly enticing floral fragrance, absolutely superb in definition and depth with a distinctly feminine intensity on the palate, enhanced by sublime seamless acidity that streamed through its entire length with great linearity and gentle sweetness. Absolutely outstanding!

1996 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of CHS. Slightly darkish though the bouquet is beautifully delicate in definition with delicious tertiary characteristics, softly rounded with bright tangerines and red plums that impart lovely intensity and great suppleness, flowing with good linearity amid faint but distinct graphite minerality that added a touch of sternness, finishing with sensational mouthfeel. Very correct in every way. Outstanding.

1989 Domaine Antonin Rodet Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of KG. Opague dull red, exuding a lovely earthy glow, slightly sweet, appearing to hold with good acidity and concentration of tangerines but it began fading after about an hour.

2006 Domaine Moret-Nomine Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Still shut in spite of aeration in bottle for almost three hours. The palate has a certain aged feel of recessed fruit and minerals, further shrouded by a sheen of paraffin that imparted a veiled character, rather closed as well though a bit of white fruits did emerge after much persuasive coaxing.

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1995 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay. Aired in bottle for three hours. Most unfortunate that this bottle was distinctly oxidized, preventing the mature citrus from shining through as the palate displayed mainly chalky tones of mild intensity that produced quite a bit of hard minerally glare.

1989 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Sanjay. Very dark in colour for Sauternes with a deep burnished tone, exuding a fabulous bouquet of exotic fruit (including overtones of durians!) and varnish, delivering an abundance of intense aged nectarines on the full palate, still imbued with fine acidity, finishing well.

So, is Les Amoureuses deserving of grand cru status? I belong firmly to the camp that says things should remain status quo. Yes, the nose is truly extraordinary but the palate tends to fall just a little short in depth, detail, dimension and finish in comparison with Musigny Grand Cru. No doubt the offerings from Mugnier, de Vogüé, Groffier and Jadot are outstanding, but I feel the quality isn’t quite uniform across Les Amoureuses. Nevertheless, to each his own. I shall always remain indebted for any opportunity to drink such lovely wines. A big thank you to everyone for their immense generousity.

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Dec 2018: 1994 Henschke Hill of Grace, 2008 Penfolds Grange, 1989 Olivier Leflaive Clos Saint-Jacques, 1982 Ducru Beaucaillou, 2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome…

January 8, 2019

2015 Maison de Montille Saint-Aubin Sur Gamay 1er, popped and poured at Wah Lok, 01 Dec 2018. Ample in green fruits, lime and clear citrus on the nose. Rather full with sharp intensity, filling the palate with a broad expanse of dry minerality, developing a late floral bloom as it finished with traces of nutmeg and white pepper. Excellent value for money.

2012 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1er, courtesy of Benjamin Ma at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Straw colored. Closed initially, gradually proffering stony minerals that are slightly flinty along with an opague white floral tone. Excellent in concentration, displaying a distinct minerally balance followed by emerging white fruits and nutmeg, fleshing out with lovely oiliness, highly poised and elegant as it finished with notes of white pepper. Excellent.

1989 Olivier Leflaive Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Dr Chua Yang at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Beautifully evolved vermillion, exuding lifted aromas of incense, sweet cherries and ground minerals that carried well on to the palate with a gentle depth of red plums, tangerines and currants on a ferrous earthy floor, still displaying lovely freshness, acidity and complexity with very fine inner definition but will not improve further. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Gevrey-Chambertin 1er, courtesy of Roger at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Good colour. Bright nose and palate of red fruits, raspberries and cherries with a lovely gentle lift. Medium-bodied, displaying very good presence and purity with gentle acidity underscored by subtle minerals. Full of feminine grace. Excellent.

2014 Chateau de Marsannay Chambertin Grand Cru, at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Glorious color. Intense cherries, red fruits and rose petals on the nose. Medium-bodied. Fleshy and supple, quite rich in tone with fairly transparent textures layered with saline minerals but lacking complexity and character, rather short as well at the finish. Far better on the nose. Perhaps shutting down. Best to lay off for a few years.

2006 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Beautiful vermilion. Effusive in rose petals and red fruits, utterly beguiling. Medium-bodied. Ample in delicious bright fruits and dark currants, underscored by a deeper darker streak with quiet subtle acidity, just a tad short. Still youthful. Made from purchased fruit.

2002 Donnhoff Niedenhauser Hermannscule (375 ml) courtesy of Alvin at Imperial Treasure Asia Square, 02 Dec 2018. Powerful diesel notes amidst sweet incense, dried apricots and light nectarine with some orange peel, medium-bodied, covering the palate with subtle acidity and burnished tones.

1995 Domaine Robert Ampeau Meursault-Perriere 1er, courtesy of Vic at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Dull golden. There may have been a hint of oxidation as notes of recessed chalky minerals with a bit of musty sheen wafted over. Showing well on the palate though with fine presence and seamless subtle acidity, very smooth, glowing with quiet intensity as it developed broader creamier textures.

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2006 Kistler Stone Flat Vineyard Parmelee Hill Chardonnay, courtesy of Robert Kwok at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Light golden, exuding delicate white citrus and lime amid mild diesel tones, coating the palate with a luxurious sheen of rich creamy tones, rather gentle at first, building up in gradual intensity as it developed greater depth and structure with more earthy nuances and raw nutmeg. Very lovely.

2008 Kistler Somoma Coast Cuvee Elizabeth Bodega Headlands Vineyard, courtesy of Robert Kwok at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Delicious dark cherries and rose petals dominate with a lovely perfumed fragrance, imparting a velvety intensity on the palate.

1995 Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. Fleshy with matured ripe fruit that exudes tangerines, cedar and glowing dark plums on a backdrop of dried tea leaves, old leather and mushrooms, fleshy with abundant graceful elegance. At its best and will hold for many more years.

1982 Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, courtesy of Kieron at the Tanglin Club, 4 Dec 2018. This wine opens with a superb earthy pungency, still imbued with plenty of youthful vigour and verve from the rich layers of ripe dark fruit amid dryish textures, very correct in its Saint-Julien posturing, still far from drying out. A great classic claret at its very peak.

2010 The Hilt Old Guard Chardonnay Santa Barbara County, courtesy of KP at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Clear luminosity, effusive in dense citrus with a lovely sense of oiliness. Excellent concentration of white fruits with a deep ferrous core, very cleanly focused and precise, displaying sharp acidity amidst rich oily textures that developed growing intensity and some early complexity, finishing in a gentle glow. Excellent.

2002 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er, courtesy of John at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Mature deep earthy tones on the nose, beautifully open with good density of white citrus structured with chiselled chalkiness that imparted a clean, dry austere feel, very lithe and seamless, displaying excellent detail, culminating in a complex lengthy finish. Excellent, but do not hold any further.

2008 Penfolds Grange, courtesy of Hiok at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Deep dark purple. Resplendent bouquet of abundant ripe raspberries, mulberries and dark currants that exude a powerful medicinal glow though the palate, unfortunately, doesn’t quite measure up, rounded and open enough with lovely suppleness and good transparency but, somehow, rather lean and uninvolving, unexpectedly short as well at the finish. I’d expected more.

1994 Henschke Hill of Grace, courtesy of Sea Hing at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. This wine opens with a quiet reticence, revealing dark currants and plummy characters with some ground pepper in the distance, taking on a distinctly mature tone on the palate with more of similar plummy notes, open but lean, finishing with sweet tannins but short as well. Do not keep any further.

2006 Chris Ringland Shiraz, courtesy of Kenny at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrable inky blackness from which arose a great funky earthy pungency, leading to a palate imbued with rich layers of warm ripe Barossa shiraz, open with great suppleness and crisp acidity, revealing good detail and excellent sophistication within its sweet structured velvety tannins without any trace of its 14.6% abv. Excellent.

2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome, courtesy of Jon at Il Den, 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrably dark. Quite effusive in ripe black fruits and black currants that are well replicated with great concentration on the palate. Very warm and ripe, almost pruny, massively proportioned with a forward balance of fruit and exotic spices though rounded with sweet pliant tannins, never ever threatening to overwhelm. Superbly crafted. Excellent.

2002 Shafer Hillside Select at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Impenetrably dark. Ample in soft red plums with a minty tone, fleshy and well-layered with great concentration of ripe fruit, raspberries and currants that exude a smooth sheen of velvety intensity from its soft sweet svelte tannins, beautifully open.

1983 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, courtesy of KP at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Evolved dusky red, proffering classic tones of light tangerines and orange peel with further notes of lychees, slightly past its prime as it became more reductive over time.

2004 Peller Ice Wine, courtesy of Hiok at Il Den 05 Dec 2018. Dense bouquet of longans. Luscious without being cloying, displaying excellent concentration and linearity with subdued acidity. Not much complexity but very enjoyable.

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2016 Conchy Y Toro Frontera Sauvignon Blanc, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Krisflyer Gold lounge, 08 Dec 2016. Forward in white fruits with a nice floral bloom. Quite full, layered with creamy textures and gentle minerals with fine presence and detail. Convincing.

2004 R Lopez Vina Tondonia Riserva Blanc, from the list of three Michelin-starred ABaC restaurant in Barcelona, 10 Dec 2018. Displaying a clear golden hue, this wine opens with an alluring complex of nectarine, fig and dense white flowers with a hint of sour plums amidst a gentle oxidative tone. Medium-full. Rounded with subtle nuances and peppery traces, exuding an aged feel and elegance through its refined acidity and sublime minerality, finishing with a gentle lifted intensity. Quite excellent.

Fontallada Brut Nature, a Cava courtesy of Hotel Barcelona Catedral, 12 Dec 2018. Dry. Notes of green fruits, melons and intense citrus that impart crisp cutting acidity, underscored by steely minerals with a bit of mint and icing, slightly sweet. Serviceable.

Champagne Charles de Cazanove Blanc de Blancs NV, on board SQ387 BCN-SIN Premium Economy on 14 Dec 2018. Plenty of lovely freshness, proffering whiffs of green fruit, melons and white citrus, appropriately dry with very good levels of ripeness and fullness, developing a clean forward chalkiness by the third pour. Very fine.

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2017 Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at home, 16 Dec 2018. Medium-full. Slightly reserved in fruit, exuding more of peaty tones with a certain earthiness whilst the palate displays a predominance of limestone and saline minerals with overtones of raw nutmeg and white pepper laced with a mild spicy edge, becoming better integrated with further aeration. At SGD25, this is highly serviceable.

1991 Poggio Salvi Villa Brunello di Montalcino, a bottle gifted to me by Don Tay and decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 19 Dec 2018. Opague dull purple, opening with bright plummy tones and sweet dark currants amid a mild herbal trace. Rounded and fleshy, showing distinct ferric traces at the sides on a rich cedary floor, glowing with excellent presence throughout its length before ending in a soft gentle finish. Caught at its best.

2017 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, popped and poured at home, 21 Dec 2018. This wine exudes an amazing bouquet of  rich oily textures amidst dense white floral tones and grassy elements, replete with straw notes and nutmeg. Its slightly peaty palate is dominated by a gravelly minerally floor, bearing fine weight and intensity of fruit, finishing with tangy white pepper and lime. Cloudy Bay’s famous flagship is back to its over-achieving old ways. Excellent.

2015 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. Aromas of white pepper morning dew and grassy elements. Medium-full. Fresh, clean and rounded, showing excellent concentration and presence with peppery characters, finishing with good linearity. Quite excellent.

2017 Antonin Rodet Vire-Cleese L’Epinet, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. Characters of morning dew and dry Asian spices with a dash of white pepper. Medium-bodied, possessing a light delicate feel with transparent textures. Quite fine.

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2016 Ch La Chandelleire, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Silver Kris lounge, 22 Dec 2018. This Medoc exudes earthy tones and dark wild berries amidst a vegetal hint with traces of rose petals at the edges, developing a brighter tone of emerging red fruits and currants after some time, structured with pliant tannins but still too straightforward and undistinguished.

2014 Sebastiani Sonoma County Merlot, from the list of Alto in Hong Kong, 23 Dec 2018. Decanted on-site. Generous spread of ripe raspberries, violets and mulberries, displaying excellent concentration and presence with detailed chewy tannins and fine intensity, highly supple and pliant. Quite agreeable.

2006 Ch Malartic Lagraviere, popped and poured at Teochew City, 28 Dec 2018. Softly rounded, mellow and smooth with good transparency, revealing some earthy characters with a deeper streak of ferrous minerals, turning more intense with pruny tones and licorice. Not quite settled.

2007 Tignanello, popped and poured at California Pizza Kitchen, 29 Dec 2018. Dark, dense, stern and acidic, its firm angular tannins imparting a certain toughness that hindered the fruit beneath, which struggled to break through.

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Slow Lunch with Dr Ngoi

January 2, 2019

These are notes from a slow lunch hosted by Dr S S Ngoi at his residence on 17 Nov 2018 to celebrate the completion of renovation works done to his wine cellar. We were invited on condition that we were forbidden to bring any of our own wines. Instead, each of us present was supposed to delve into his cellar and bring out a bottle that we fancy with the guarantee that it would be popped. Knowing the great man, I don’t have to spell out the treasures that abound within the cold walls. Nevertheless, we thought that we’d better still behave ourselves; there is no room for greed even within the bonds of great friendship. Javier Low of Il Den, who is fast becoming a home-grown celebrity chef in his own right, was called upon to mastermind the slow lunch which surpassed all expectations. We began at 1230h and did not end till after 2030h, by which time we’d all been properly hammered. Thank you very much, Dr Ngoi, for your kind generosity and friendship.

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1983 Dom Perignon. Deeply coloured, proffering a highly complex bouquet of pineapples dried apricot, honeyed toast and roasted almonds that led to a lovely depth and expanse of citrus fruit on the palate that, in spite of its distinctly mature signature, is still wonderfully fresh and vibrant with fine acidity, imparting a lovely firm steely minerally shine. Superb.

Krug Rosé Brut. Grapefruit and orangey citrus dominate amid dryish textures. Medium-full. Rounded and plump, displaying lovely intensity and linearity throughout its length.

2009 Domaine Roulot Meursault-Charmes. Shut on the nose. The palate is softly rounded, very gently layered with white floral tones and recessed chalky minerals and fruit. Took a long time to develop more of the limestone minerality of Meursault along with some floral aromas but still shy. Distinctly feminine.

2014 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Closed on the nose while white fruits dominate on the palate with white floral tones amidst a minerally shine, taking it’s time to develop further detail and intensity of wild flowers with mild chalky elements. Highly promising but going through an awkward phase now.

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1962 Vega Sicilia Unico. Still alive, exuding a gentle rosy fragrance amid overtones of paraffin and camphor with a predominance of red fruits and cherries on the palate, still so fresh and lively, finishing with lovely biting intensity. Excellent. What a privilege!

2011 Domaine Louis Jadot Saint-Aubin Les Murgers Dent des Chien 1er. Shy on the nose whilst the medium-bodied palate is imbued with cool ripe fruit with a hint of nutmeg and wild flowers, finishing with traces of white pepper and paraffin. Rather cautious and introverted.

2008 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vosne-Romanee 1er Cuvee Duvault-Blochet. Evolved colour, exuding an effusive easy charm of red cherries and tangerines on both nose and palate, enhanced by smooth silky tannins and sublime acidity with lovely depth and feminine suppleness, gaining further weight and gentle intensity as it took on a subtle gunmetal minerality over time. Not the usual brooding dark intensity of Vosne-Romanee. Excellent.

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2007 Domaine Prieure-Roch Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. Dusky opague brownish red with an enticing fragrance of red fruits. Medium-bodied, softly rounded with a gentle fullness, displaying excellent presence with a deeper intensity of dark fruits over time.

1989 Ch Palmer. Evolved in colour with a vermillion rim, exuding a great earthy pungency. The palate is still rather fullish, open and fleshy with superb transparent textures amidst sublime acidity and intensity on a finely-grained dryish earthy floor. Still has an age ahead. Outstanding.

2016 Yamhill Pinot Noir. Deep purple. Closed on the nose though the palate is saturated with excellent concentration of ripe dark cherries with overtones of enamel and vanilla, very well-balanced.

2010 Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Impenetrably dark, exuding smoky incense on a well-extracted palate rich in glorious ripe raspberries and dark currants on a cedary floor but neither jammy nor pruny.

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2006 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny. Fabulous bouquet of intense red fruits and red currants, highly aromatic. Medium-full. Rounded with earthy tones and evolved dark currants on the palate, displaying good linearity throughout its length.

2004 Ch Lascombes, poured from magnum. Dark with excellent concentration and dryish textures, fresh but somewhat reticent with subdued acidity although there is certainly some early development.

2015 Littorai Cerise Vineyard. Shut, with a darkish palatal tone of ripe raspberries and dark bitter cherries, showing good presence with understated acidity.

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2012 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Beze Les Ouvrees Rodin Grand Cru. Forward balance of red and dark fruits, displaying an unusual complexity of toffee, mocha, bitter dark chocolate and black cherries on the nose and palate, imbued with brooding deep intense fullness cushioned by sophisticated silky velvety tannins, mellowing a little as it sat in the glass but this is far from ready.

2009 Domaine d’Arlot Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru. Lovely deep colour. Great attack of delicious dark fruits and currants with razor-sharp definition on the medium-full palate, appropriately darkish in tone with open intensity underscored by a deep ferrous streak. Still fresh and youthful. Very fine.

2011 The Mascot. Dark smooth sheen of dark currants, black fruits, cedar and cinnamon, superb in concentration and intensity yet open with excellent transparency and detail, structured with highly supple tannins. Great potential here. Made from the younger vines of BOND, Promontory and Harlan Estate, all of which are holdings belonging to Will Harlan, its inaugural vintage being the 2008.

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Nov 2018: 1996 Lynch Bages, 2000 Palmer, 1982 Pierre Damoy Chambertin Clos de Beze, 2014 Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons

December 29, 2018

Champagne Nicolas Feuillate, on board SQ345 ZRH-SIN Premium Economy, 02 Nov 2018. Dry expanse of dense yellow citrus and chalky minerals, displaying excellent depth, intensity of fruit and acidity, finishing with bitter lemon and pomelo. Excellent.

2013 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, popped and poured at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 05 Nov 2018. Ample in red plums and dark cherries within a slim defined profile with a deep vein of ripe dark delicious berries, structured with smooth silky svelte tannins, developing more of plummy tangerines over time with plenty of refinement and fine intensity. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Saint-Aubin Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Rather shut on the nose, whilst proffering only glimpses of slivery white citrus on the palate dominated by sharp stern minerally glare with a bare hint of paraffin. Took a very long time to open with gentle white floral fragrance, gradually evolving to produce deeper intensity of fruit, finishing with good persistence. Best to lay down further.

2008 Vincent Girardin Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of CJ at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018.  Shut on the nose whilst displaying a firm minerally tone with an evolving rich creamy tone on the palate, imbued with subtly intense citrus that exuded a gentle glowing intensity. I’d expected more.

2007 Domaine Pierre-Yves Colin Morey Meursault Les Genevrieres 1er, courtesy of LF at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Lovely luminosity but shut on the nose, though it exudes fine presence on the palate, slightly more minerally in balance with overtones of pomelo, its initial sternness turning into recessed chalky tones over time as its fruit became more introspective, probably a reflection of the vintage.

2007 Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchiere 1er, courtesy of Sanjay at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Closed, proffering just a glimpse of complex white fruits and citrus though the palate is defined by sharp delicate citrus with gentle tones of honeysuckle and fig, layered with excellent depth of light tropical fruits and jack fruit.

2014 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru monopole, at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Good colour. Enticing nose of ripe raspberries, rose petals and red cherries. Medium-bodied, surprisingly open with great suppleness and acidity, becoming more plummy with greater intensity over time, exuding lovely charm before tapering with excellent linearity to a glowing finish. Excellent.

1998 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Winfred at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Poured from magnum. Dark crimson. Lovely earthy pungency on the nose with a delicious soft rosy fragrance. Ample in dark fruits and black currants on the palate that impart characters of soy and mint, revealing good inner detail with lovely acidity amid further notes of light tangerines. Excellent.

1976 Domaine Robert Ampeau Volnay-Santenots, courtesy of LF at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Evolved in colour with a distinct aged plummy tone tinged with licorice. Rounded, seamless and fleshy on the medium-bodied palate, showing excellent lift of orangey tangerines, still retaining good acidity, tapering to a minty finish.

2000 Ch Palmer, courtesy of CW at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Deep purple, exuding a lovely deep plummy glow of black fruits and dark currants. Highly seamless and supple in its fabulous integration and nuanced acidity, displaying tremendous charm and ease. Excellent.

1994 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, courtesy of Vic at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Deep purple. Effusive in delicious wild berries and dark currants. Medium-bodied. Good concentration. Charming enough but lacks opulence.

2003 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, courtesy of Hsiang Sui at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Very deep crimson. Laden with abundant black fruits and black currants on the nose with ash and incense that led to an open sweet cedary floor layered with lovely acidity, structured with svelte tannins that finished with lingering intensity. Quite excellent.

2010 Ch Rieussec, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World on the visit of Pablo Alvarez, 07 Nov 2018. Light golden hue, displaying a firm tone of apricot, nectarines and fig with notes of sweet incense and smouldering ember, yet to developed any significant complexity.

2017 Orangeraie Pays d’Oc from the list of Merci Marcel, 16 Nov 2018. Light grassy elements with traces of mint on the nose. Medium-bodied, imbued with minerally elements and green fruits. Quite lively and refreshing, turning more subdued after some time with overtones of toast and burnt cider. Serviceable.

2015 Pascal Jolivet Le Roc Sancerre, at the launch of Montblanc’s new range of tourbillon timepieces at 28 Wilkie, 19 Nov 2018. Suprisingly effusive in white floral bloom with longans amidst light grassy elements, quite racy in character, whilst dried pineapples and apricot dominate on the palate along with mild chalky tones and nutmeg, displaying excellent concentration, presence and balance, finishing with a dryish note of paraffin. Very good.

20181126_202520.jpg2014 Ch de Puligny-Montrachet Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er, poured from magnum at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. This wine displays a lovely rounded tone and depth, cloaked within a nutty creamy chalkiness that teased the senses with its gentle exquisite intensity of white fruits, turning brighter and more minerally over time with further notes of dry malt and rye and pineapples before suddenly shutting down in the middle of the meal. I’ve observed that the 2014 whites and reds are going through an awkward phase now. Best to refrain from popping these for the next few years.

1982 Domaine Pierre Damoy Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, courtesy of Peter Tan at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Murky brown, exuding an excellent lift of gentle medicinal glow with truffles and complex tertiary notes of ripe cherries and currants on the palate from a superb deep tangerine core, highly supple and sumptuous. Excellent.

1998 Rossignol Trapet Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Stephen Tan at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Surprisingly closed on the nose though the medium-bodied palate is showing well with very fine old fruit that’s still very much alive, quite fleshy and savoury, still imbued with clean crisp acidity, finishing with a complex of tanned wood and camphor. Very fine.

2003 Ch Cos D’Estournel at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Deep garnet red. Classic glow of dark currants and dark fruits charged with dense cinnamon and soy. Medium-full. Open with lovely concentration and glow of a classic claret without any trace of the dreaded heat stress of 2003, confirming the superiority of the St-Estephe terroir in difficult vintages.

2011 Etude Carneros Chardonnay, courtesy of Sanjay at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Shut initially, this wine took its time to open with tangy citrus, white citrus and chalk amidst some  crème de la crème, glowing with after tones of nutmeg on the cool palate, becoming more nutty and backward after some time. Yet to develop

2015 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroir at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Great colour. Open and highly supple with an abundance of red fruits, currants and raspberries, warm and beautifully ripe, cloaked within pliant tannins and superb acidity. Very lovely. We should drink more of these.

2010 E Guigal Hermitage, courtesy of Sanjay at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Deep colour. Ample in warm ripe fruit with classic characters of orange peel, well structured with deep velvety tannins and crisp acidity amidst some green elements.

Ulysses Collin Rose de Saignee Les Taillons Extra Brut,  at Jade Palace, 22 Nov 2018. Lovely golden hue, proffering tangerines, orangey citrus and grapefruit with crisp acidity and dry intensity.

2015 Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, popped and poured at Ming Kee Live Seafood, 24 Nov 2018. Deep impenetrable inky red, exuding sweet dark currants, dark cherries and black berries on the nose but the palate is a tad too harsh at this stage, full in bitter dark chocolate, structured with firm tannins that impart great biting intensity. Not ready, but this calling card of Wynns rewards long patience. At SGD45, it’s price has not moved in the last 10-15 years. Aficionados of cool Coonawarra cabernet need not hesitate but be prepared to wait.

2011 Ch Angelus, at a pre-Saint Emilion Jurade tasting, 26 Nov 2018. Dark. Open, soft and highly supple. Ample in dark currants, dark chocolate and mahogany amidst ash and ember cushioned within pliant velvety tannins. Fleshy and rounded, tapering with excellent linearity to a deep minty glowing finish. Drinking very well.

2001 Domaine Paul Aine Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 26 Nov 2018. Dusty reddish brown. Dense concentration of red plums and tangerines with gentle medicinal tones, structured with firm tannins that are slightly angular and unyielding. Not ready.

1998 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of Kieron at Jade Palace, 26 Nov 2018. Impenetrable dark inky red. Still unbelievably dense and tight after 20 years, this iconic wine exudes generous aromas of eucalyptus, licorice, dark chocolate and mint whilst the palate is amply layered with cool ripe black berries and wild berries that impart a warm alcoholic trace. When will it ever be ready?

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, courtesy of Mr WB Tay at Hua Ting, 28 Nov 2018. Dry, firm. Full presence of pomelo, bitter lemon and white citrus, slightly sweet, revealing attractive depth, finishing with a burnished tone.

2001 Ch Montrose, courtesy of Mr WB Tay at Hua Ting, 28 Nov 2018. Dark crimson, exuding a mild earthy pungency with secondary characters of cedar and soy. Open with sweet supple tannins with a rich plummy tone, revealing good depth and acidity, finishing with dryish intensity. A classic claret.

2014 Bernard Moreau Chassage-Montrachet, at Hua Ting, 28 Nov 2018. Good lift of dense white floral tones and minerals, displaying good early complexity on the medium-full palate along with some gentle chalkiness, showing good detail and layering with very subtle acidity. Very fine.

1996 Ch Lynch Bages, at Hua Ting, 28 Nov 2018. This wine opens with a highly agile bouquet of great complexity, evoking pungent earthiness with an abundance of dark currants and black berries, revealing a superb expanse of mature ripe dark fruits from its deep layers, exuding very fine intensity and acidity with a rich hallowed glow characteristic of a great claret caught at its peak. Wonderful.

2014 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Kabinett, courtesy of Vic at Hua Ting, 28 Nov 2018. Dense bouquet of petroleum characters, fig and honeysuckle with distant notes of pineapples and tropical fruits on the palate, dryish with a slightly sweet edge.