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Rhône: Guigal, Chave, Jaboulet-Aine, Beaucastel, Clos des Papes…

March 25, 2020

The Jürade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour met on 05 March 2020 at Rhubarb for an evening of Rhône. All the wines were showing very well though what came across clearly was that Rhône really needs plenty of bottle age, much like Bordeaux, in order to be at its best, preferably approaching thirty years as one may appreciate from the notes below. My thanks to all concerned for the generous contributions.

20200305_202601.jpgChampagne Delamotte NV. Clear bright minerals with good concentration of crisp clear citrus and traces of green fruits, displaying fine transparency. Not too dry.

1996 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Chevalier de Sterimberg. Aged tone and colour. Heavier bouquet of mature creme and caramelised baked apples. Smooth and rounded, rather full. Still imbued with good acidity and concentration, developing a greater expanse of white tones over time with very fine intensity, finishing with lingering persistence and kinearity. Severely under-appreciated, this is one of my favourite Rhône whites.

2007 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. Luminous in color, proffering musky aromas tinged with diesel exhaust and peat. Very good fullness, depth and layering on the palate, fleshing out over time with excellent freshness amid predominant white tones that exude a controlled poised elegance. Excellent.

2001 E Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto, courtesy of Stephen. Dull golden with a weighty effusive glow of mature creme and apples. Considerably lighter on the palate, marked by refined acidity amid traces of glycerin, superbly balanced, evolving with greater weight and power with a dominant plummy tone. Good finish. Excellent.

2005 E Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto, courtesy of Sandy. Dull golden, exuding a controlled glow of white fruits. Medium-bodied. Very smooth on the palate, seemingly more delicate in feel though undoubtedly deeper than the 2001, laced with darkish undertones amid oily textures. Quiet finish. Yet to peak.

2006 Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Châteauneuf-du-Pape, courtesy of Marc. Impenetrably dark with consistent powerful tones of dominant dark plums, currants, dark cherries and tangerines on the nose and palate. Darkly concentrated with focused intensity, structured with sweet tannins oozing with medicinal traces, culminating in a tensile finish. Strictly for afficionados of CdP.

20200305_233116.jpg2001 Château de Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin, courtesy of Russ. Very deep garnet red. Superb freshness of red and dark currants that exude youthful intensity with a very gentle perfumed floral fragrance, displaying wonderful suppleness and open intensity with further notes of early cedar and tobacco. Superb.

2000 E Guigal Château D’Ampuis. Deep crimson with some evolution. Predominance of delicious red fruits that display lovely ripeness, very open with great agility, revealing very fine ferric traces tinged with capsicum, finishing with great acidity and linearity. Distinctly feminine.

1990 E Guigal Hermitage. Mature brownish red with an effusive complex of earthy pungency, Chinese herbs and mushrooms. Medium-bodied. Beautifully open with silky smooth tannins that exude great sophistication and elegance with velvety ripe fruit caught at its optimum. Distinctly feminine. Most lovely.

1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage. Evolved brownish red, exuding gentle rosy hues with a lovely lift. Wonderfully supple and fleshy, laced with superb acidity that confer great excitement, yet highly harmonious and elegant at the same time. Simply glorious.

1995 Château de Fonsalette. Very deep opaque red. Chinese herbs and dried mushrooms dominate on the nose, a perfect counterfoil to the broad expanse of red fruits luxuriously laid on velvety bed of svelte tannins, open with lovely intensity, going on to develop dominant tones of plummy tangerines before finishing with a dry sappy mouthfeel. Superb though not really surprising, for this estate belongs to the stable of Château Rayas.

1997 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle. Dark vermilion. Medicinal characters dominate, underscored by red fruits and dark currants. Rather full and fleshy, open with very fine acidity and intensity, developing a little more of licorice and herbal tones over time. Still quite youthful.

1995 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle. Deep garnet core with some vermilion, seducing the senses with an excellent lift of red fruits and currants that teased the palate in equal measure with wonderful agility and impeccable balance amid further overtones of tobacco. Superbly harmonious.

1991 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, courtesy of Sandy. Deep garnet core with some vermilion, exuding a lovely complex of dark fruits, raspberries, mulberries and currants that extended well onto the open palate with lithe youthful intensity, revealing very fine detail and layering. Very fleshy, finishing with great persistence. Superb.

2006 E Guigal Cote-Rôtie La Landonne, courtesy of Chancellor Melvin. Very deep crimson, displaying a smoky lift that added a further dimension to the superb ripeness of raspberries and dark fruits, exerting excellent tensile mouthfeel with lovely open intensity and proportion. Excellent.

2007 Domaine Paul Jaboulet-Aine Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise Le Chant des Griolles. Pale. Rather effusive and forward with an enticing sweetness, almost bold, displaying very good intensity though underscored by a deep ferrous streak that imparted almost too much of sternness on the palate.

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Feb 2020: 2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, 1993 Leroy Pommard Vignots, 1994 Ausone, 2009 Georges Roumier Clos de la Bussière, Sociando-Mallet 2001 & 2005, 2002 Caymus Special Selection…

March 20, 2020

2003 Ch Pape Clement, popped and poured at Venue by Sebastian, 01 Feb 2020. Deep garnet red, exuding copious dark fruits, blackberries and blackcurrants with distinct overtones of tobacco snuff amid traces of dry earthiness. Excellent in concentration. Silkily structured with very fine acidity that exert lovely tension across the smooth sleek palate, developing a further complex of ferrous elements, light cedary tones, cinnamon and orange peel, finishing with persistent tingling mouthfeel. Quite excellent.

Champagne Ruinart Blancs de Blanc NV, courtesy of Sir Robert at his residence, 06 Feb 2020. Pale greenish. Delicate minerally tones of clear citrus and green fruits that immerse the palate great freshness, clarity and gentle rounded presence. Appropriately dry; just a tad short but excellent.

1991 Maison Leroy Meursault, courtesy of Sir Robert at his residence, 06 Feb 2020. Delicate tones of recessed fruit and citrus that tend to accentuate the sharp acidity within, glowing with raw nutmeg and spice over time in the glass. Medium-bodied. Harmonious but a bit short.

20200519_204733.jpg1991 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert at his residence, 06 Feb 2020. Highly delicate and shy on the nose. Distinctly aged in feel on the palate, displaying a rather full pervasive expanse of white tones and exotic floral overtones amid recessed chalkiness, highly subtle and harmonious. Developed a further gentle complex of spice, green capsicum and white pepper that grew with sharp intensity and character over time. Quite consistent with a similar bottle tasted in December 2019 at Iggy’s, also courtesy of Sir Robert.

1994 Ch Ausone, courtesy of Sir Robert at his residence, 06 Feb 2020. Decanted for three hours prior. Still rather dark with some evolution, exuding a classic glow of mature claret with a very fine peppery quality amid traces of ferrous elements and capsicum. Medium-bodied. Supple with a very relaxed feel, imbued with very good concentration and purity of dark fruits and wild berries with emerging notes of red fruits over time. Delicious. Charming in its own way even though it doesn’t quite possess the layering and opulence of the best vintages.

1993 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots 1er, courtesy of Sir Robert at his residence, 06 Feb 2020. Beautiful deep ruby, exuding a bit of funky earthy pungency that gave way quickly to broad swathes of delicious red fruits and rose petals that was simply quite beguiling. Still rather full and fleshy, subtly structured with excellent definition and detail, laced with ferrous elements that imparted a certain sternness before becoming sweeter over time. Superb.

2005 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge at Zafferano, 08 Feb 2020. Deep purple. Cool raspberries, dark cherries, strawberries and red currants dominate on the nose, superbly ripe. Beautifully supple and rounded. Very well proportioned and harmonious on a bed of velvety tannins, developing fine intensity. Finished with good linearity amid overtones of rye. Excellent.

2005 Ch Sociando-Mallet, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 14 Feb 2020. Deep purple. Richly layered with dark currants and dark cherries, lined with graphite elements that lend trace of austerity. Highly supple, displaying excellent presence with a hint of dryness. Rounder and richer over time with a mouth-puckering intensity along with early notes of cedar. Still not quite ready.

2001 Ch Sociando-Mallet, popped and poured at Venue by Sebastian, 15 Feb 2020. Deep purple. Malt, smoke and mulberries on the nose. Excellent presence of marmite, Chinese herbs, black fruits, dark currants, earth and grape must, exuding lovely ripeness and brilliance. Highly supple and fleshy, imbued with seamless gorgeous acidity. Grew in intensity over time, eventually gelling with a dominant plummy tone. Still youthful. Belongs clearly within the league of classified growths.

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500g Hokkaido beef at Rubicon

2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er, popped over lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 17 Feb 2020. Good color. Excellent concentration with a dense minerally presence though the fruit is rather shy initially, the wine almost austere in demeanour. Developed more of crème and icing over time, displaying good transparency with further notes of delicate peaches amid a mild salinity but it refused to be hurried, requiring plenty of patience in the glass. Best to cellar another 2-3 years.

2002 Caymus Special Selection, courtesy of Kieron, decanted on-site over lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 17 Feb 2020. Deep garnet red. Imbued with abundant dark currants and blackberries, superbly ripe and delicious with some early secondary development and cedary characters. Warm and supple with discrete minty and vegetal undertones, glowing with a slow gentle intensity of dark plums that grew tighter over time with excellent linearity, rounding off beautifully on a bed of sweet velvety tannins. Excellent though it may not have peaked.

2001 Bass Philip au Jardin Les Amis, courtesy of Sir Robert over lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 17 Feb 2020. Tasted blind. This wine displays an evolved red with a delicious rosy fragrance, still reasonably fresh with excellent acidity and adequate fruit on the palate, seamlessly rounded with a deep core of tangerines.

2006 Fontanafredda La Rosa Barolo, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 20 Feb 2020. Crimson at the rim. This wine is highly fleshy and supple, exuding red plummy tones with a certain rounded feminine character, highly harmonious with well-managed tannins. Developed more depth and lift over time with more exciting intensity, yielding more inner detail with some early cedar and cinnamon along with a trace of earthiness. Still youthful.

2015 Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, popped and poured at Yoshi, 21 Feb 2020. Explosive nose of crème and chalk with rich upfront vanillin. Very clean and highly focused on the palate, displaying excellent concentration of white tones on a floor of subtle minerals with a trace of steeliness. Opened up with more tropical fruits and nectarine, rather plump and elegant as it finished in a minty glow with excellent refinement.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 22 Feb 2020. Broad expanse of gleaming white tones tinged with a peppery glow. Medium-full. Layered with very good concentration and transparency with fine inner detail, showing traces of green capsicum and nutmeg with a hint of salinity towards the finish.

2011 Domaine Henri Boillot Pommard, a half-bottle from the list of Gunther’s for SGD65, 24 Feb 2020. Darker tint of pinot, exuding a high toned rosy fragrance with delicious red fruits and cherries. Quite fleshy and full, imparting very fine acidity and tension, developing deeper darker undertones with a bit of charcoal quality before giving way to dominant plummy tones framed within sweet subtly structured tannins. Finished well.

20200228_161933.jpg2009 Peay Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Blinded. Dull golden, appearing older than it actually is. Shaved apples and pears on the nose, rather shy, though fairly robust on the palate with dominant medicinal tones (not unlike the Chinese traditional cough remedy pipagao) and tight reductive fruit. Very fine in acidity, becoming more homogenous over time as it lightened up though neither creamy nor chalky, culminating in a warm fullish finish.

2017 Vincent Dancer Chassagne-Montrachet Tete du Clos 1er, courtesy of Tim over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Pale. Powerful sweet citrus on the nose with a hint of sour plums. Quite full. More forward in fruit and clear citrus without the usual white tones of Chassagne. Opened up after some time to reveal a bit more minerally detail though its balance remained unchanged, exuding a delightful fruity glow as it tapered to a quiet finish.

2014 Domaine Thibert Pere et Fils Pouilly-Fuissé Les Cras, over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Pale. Delicate clear citrus dominate on the nose with a bit of sharp acidity but not overdone, opening up with an expansive even tone on the palate with a light teasing quality. Highly harmonious, maintaining its delicate elegance throughout the afternoon.

2012 Domaine Duroché Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Etelois, courtesy of LF over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Displaying a deep dull red with some early evolution, this village proffers a lifted bouquet of delicious dark fruits, saccharine and dark cherries, developing further complex earthiness over time. Quite fleshy and rounded with distinct saline minerals that confer lovely tensile mouthfeel.

1992 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Blinded. Dull dusty red, exuding an evolved glow of dark fruits and currants. Very fleshy, soft and open, revealing even more red fruits with a mature plummy tone supported by excellent minerality with a trace of salinity. Finished well with good linearity and great subtle acidity, though just a tad short.

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos de La Bussière 1er, courtesy of Kieron over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Very deep dark pinot. Gently delicious. Fleshy and very evenly toned, exuding a highly-refined intensity. Harmonious with lovely detail. Highly elegant. Its impeccable pedigree is evident.

2014 Maison Leroy Chorey-les-Beaune, courtesy of Sir Robert over a long lunch at Alma, 28 Feb 2020. Superb clear ruby but shut at this stage, though the palate is open with a very even tone, layered with lovely acidity.

2005 Ch Barde-Haut, popped and poured at Rubicon, 29 Feb 2020. Deep garnet red, lighting up the palate with rich tones of dark currants, cedar and ripe berries with a brilliant sparkle. Shows excellent concentration of fruit with very fine depth and acidity, turning more savoury over time. Still brimming with youthful intensity. Delicious.

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2003: Pichon Lalande, Lafite Rothschild, Cos D’Estournel, Château de Beaucastel, Leoville Poyferre, La Conseillante…

March 13, 2020

This horizontal of anything 2003 was inspired by memories of our fight at the frontline against SARS back then, a situation as difficult as the current Covid-19. Jade Palace was the venue on 03 March 2020 with all the usual suspects. Surprisingly, the intense heat wave of that vintage didn’t seem to have had any negative impact on the wines tasted, apart from one or two that were betrayed by a tad of shortness at the finish.

20200303_204058.jpgChampagne Larmandier-Bernier Longitude NV, courtesy of LF. This wine opens with a gentle yeasty pungency, almost shy, with overtones of malt. Rounded with full presence, developing a lovely burnished tone that led to a dry gleaming finish though, essentially, it is still wound with tight intensity.

2003 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of CHS. Poured from a pair. Light clear golden. Bit more fruit forward on the nose, displaying green fruits and pomelo while distinct graphite and ferrous elements dominate on the palate, imparting a stern demeanor. Became more open over time, developing more toasty presence with a mild yeasty pungency amid chalky undertones. Good balance, finishing with dry intensity.

2003 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Deep purple. Good lift of dark fruits and currants that dominate on the nose with a hint of capsicum, displaying excellent concentration and suppleness. Fleshed out with more soy and mint amid darkish undertones before opening up with other notes of mulberries tinged with forest green (from the petit verdot, no doubt), considerably softer and rounder. Quiet finish. Delicious. Drinking well.

2003 Domaine Jean Griviot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Poured from magnum. Much darker than usual, proffering sweet currants and dark cherries, displaying excellent fullness with very fine tension and acidity, finishing with dry tannins.

2003 J Rochioli East Block, courtesy of LF. This Russian River pinot noir is equally dark in colour with a bolder tone of haw, cedar and licorice, rather bright with a full concentration of ripe dark fruits and currants, forwardly balanced, structured with sweet rounded tannins.

2003 Château Léoville Poyferré, courtesy of John. Deep garnet red. Gentle lift of dark currants and black fruits, displaying excellent concentration and ripeness with a lovely suppleness and open glowing intensity though it turned more placid over time. Darkly delicious. Drinking superbly.

2003 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet red. Lifted savoury characters. Rather open on the medium-full palate, revealing good definition with subtle acidity that is very well integrated. Very genial in character, imbued with superb balance and freshness. Excellent.

2003 Château de Beaucastel, courtesy of LHF. Wild berries and dense forest characters dominate. Fleshy and concentrated with taut intensity. Gently delicious.

2003 Alain Brumont Château Montus “La Tyre”, courtesy of LF. This interesting wine comes from Madiran in southwest France, comprising mainly of the grape tannat with some other red varietals. Displaying a deep impenetrable black, this wine exudes black pepper, spice and capsicum with a massive presence of dense dark fruits, though supple enough as it opened up with good detail and sweet tannins. Not for the faint-hearted.

2003 Château Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of MH & JL. Poured from magnum Deep garnet red, exuding an gentle hallowed glow with warm smoky tones. Fleshy and open with very fine detail and intensity, developing some early complexity. Highly harmonious. Excellent.

2003 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Grace Ngoi. Deep garnet red. Very deep intense bouquet of black fruits and dark currants. Superbly ripe. Darkly delicious. Open with lovely suppleness, exuding a youthful intensity that carried a certain feminine fullness and warmth with some early secondary characters coming on over time. Highly harmonious, just a tad short which is probably a result of the very hot vintage.

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Weingut Markus Molitor

March 9, 2020

Weingut Markus Molitor has been around for eight generations, the present one since 1984 when Markus took over from his father. With vineyards located amongst some of the steepest slopes in the world in the Mosel region, harvesting has to be done laboriously by hand under difficult conditions. Yields are naturally low. If the tasting at Jade Palace, Singapore, on the evening of 25 February 2020 in the presence of the estate’s Sales Director Daniel Kiowski is anything to go by, it would seem that the wines are lovingly made, displaying great harmony, precision and balance. The bottles are colour coded according to the taste category of the wine. The dry wines have a white cap. The off-dry wines are capped in greyish-green while the naturally sweet and botrytis wines proudly display a gold cap. While the reds are decent, it will be the superb whites that Markus Molitor will be highly sought-after for.

2015 Weingut Markus Molitor Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett Riesling Green Cap. Pale. Fairly dense oily aromatics of diesel exhaust. Medium-bodied. Good inner detail, layered with a gentle deeper streak of tropical fruit amidst some earthiness underscored with a trace of pungent sweetness. Good finish. Grown on soils rich in iron.

20200225_210259.jpg2014 Weingut Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling Gold Cap. Clear golden. Effusive bouquet of petroleum characters. Medium-bodied. Warm expanse of oriental fruit and peaches. Gently proportioned and harmonious, tapering to a smooth quiet finish. From very low-yielding vines aged more than 80 years.

2014 Weingut Markus Molitor Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese** Gold Cap. Lovely luminosity. Fairly dense chiselled aromatics. Medium-bodied but rather plump in the mouth. Rounded with lovely proportions, very seamlessly integrated with excellent controlled sweetness. Exudes a certain feminine quality. Finished with good persistence. From blue and grey slate soils.

2015 Weingut Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Fuder 6 White Cap. Pale luminosity. Exudes even high-toned petroleum and white flowers. Very well replicated on the medium-bodied palate, displaying crisp acidity with clean precision. Quite excellent in clarity, definition and presence. Not too dry. Unlike the preceding three wines, this is a dry white, aged in 1000-litre barrels. Excellent.

2016 Weingut Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese** White Cap. Pale luminosity. Quite an effusive bouquet of distilled white fruits amid traces of smoke with a fair illusion of fizz. Good gentle depth of clear citrus, pomelo and ferrous elements with subdued acidity on the palate, showing good transparency and harmony. Not too dry; actually has a trace of sweetness in its finish.

2014 Weingut Markus Molitor Brauneberger Mandelgraben Pinot Noir*. Cloned from Chambolle-Musigny. Classic pinot tint, proffering haw, charred elements and red fruits tinged with tangerines. Light-medium. Good acidity and suppleness though the fruit isn’t quite expressive. Bit too crisp.

2013 Weingut Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir**. Classic pinot tint. Considerably deeper tone of haw, cherries and strawberries. Medium-bodied and fleshy, showing good concentration and presence with very fine acidity. Good balance. Developed even deeper and darker shades over time. Gentle finish.

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1983 Ch Margaux, 2000 Leoville Las-Cases, 1998 Cos D’Estournel, 2000 Pichon Baron…

February 25, 2020

Covid-19 has certainly disrupted lives and businesses but life must still continue, for we cannot allow ourselves to be paralysed into a downward spiral. Those of us from the Professorial team that had dealt successfully with SARS seventeen years ago gathered again on 18 February 2020 at Jade Palace (good to see the place still teeming with life) to commemorate our inaugural dinner that had taken place back in 2003. The theme was supposedly Bordeaux 2000 but, in the end, nobody really cared.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Lovely luminosity. Glowing gleaming tone, imbued with delicate chalky minerals and faint overtones of crème de la crème. Developed further notes of raw nutmeg and exotic white fruits over time as it grew in intensity with better definition and focus, laced with sleek acidity. Very fine.

1998 Ch Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of CY. Deep crimson. Powerful bouquet of mature red fruits that exude glowing plummy tones with a lovely gentle earthiness amid very fine understated graphite elements. Medium-bodied. Fleshy and rounded with good transparency and suppleness, well layered with dark cherries and ripe wild berries that are neither gruff nor succulent. Drinking well.

2000 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge. Deep crimson, proffering just a subdued earthiness at first, almost shy. Medium-bodied. Sleek but somewhat narrow in spectrum. Rounded with good harmony, balance and proportion. Not showy. Developed some early medicinal characters after some time, eventually finishing with lifted plummy tones. A little underwhelming compared with a previous tasting two months ago.

2000 Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, courtesy of V. Deep garnet with some evolution, exuding a deep velvety plummy glow. Fleshy with very good concentration and complexity, structured with exciting tannins though it was a tad narrow in body. Still youthful.

2000 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, courtesy of the Professor. Deep purple with some evolution. Its impeccable pedigree is immediately apparent at the first whiff where velvety dark fruits and berries abound on the nose, matched by excellent concentration of fruit with a fleshy suppleness on the palate amid traces of varnish and herbs, its quiet intensity and sophisticated tannins imparting a certain aloofness. Almost aristocratic, as if it knows that it belongs amongst the best. Still not quite ready, I feel, for it may need another decade to develop an additional dimension in complexity.

Blinded Red #1. Deep crimson. This wine opened with a hint of capsicum on the nose amid gravelly tones with a faint delicious trace that lit up with exuberant bright red cherries and sweet red plums on the medium-full palate, layered with cedary characters on the floor. It tasted familiar but certainly not quite Bordeaux though I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. No wonder…it turned out to be the 2000 Parker Estate Terra Rossa First Growth, courtesy of Kevin H. What a spoiler.

Blinded Red #2. Deep crimson with vermilion at the rim, delivering soft floral fragrances with understated characters of sweet incense. Fleshy and open with fine definition and inner detail that traverse the palate with excellent linearity, culminating in melted tannins that still conjure tantalising excitement and intensity. We were right in deducing it to be an ’80s Left Bank….a 1983 Ch Margaux, no less, courtesy of Tall Man. Superb.

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The Three Léovilles

February 13, 2020

The Jürade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour kept its promise of bi-monthly meetings with a theme centering on the three Léoville estates of Saint Julien on 15 January 2020 at restaurant Nicolas. Derived originally from a very large piece of land under Domaine de Léoville back in the 18th century, it was eventually divided into three: firstly in 1826 when Hugh Barton purchased a part that became Château Léoville Barton (47 ha, now still within the Barton family), then in 1840 when a family feud caused the remainder to be subdivided into Château Léoville Poyferré (60 ha now under the Cuvelier family) and Château Léoville Las-Cases (97 ha now under the Delon family). The latter, with its vines seamlessly abutting those of Ch Latour, has always clearly been a notch above Barton in the pecking order with the easy-going Poyferré something of a wild card, as exemplified by the 1996 horizontal below. To me, Las-Cases is on par with premier cru and, in the best vintages, it probably offers the best value if one really wishes to get an outstanding claret at a relative bargain. The tasting that evening threw up one lovely surprise, a 1991 Barton that was truly beautiful. Many thanks to Marc for the organisation, and to everyone else for their contributions.

Bordeaux 2008 Ric 130

2014 Domaine Michel Caillot Meursault Clos du Cromin. Essentially shut, proffering just faint glimpses of tropical fruits though the minerally palate is delightfully delicate, imbued with excellent presence of lime and clear citrus, fairly expansive and open with fleeting intensity and superb acidity that traversed with unbroken linearity all the way to its delicate finish. Excellent.

2009 Château Léoville Poyferré. Deep impenetrable purple, still cloaked in enamel on the nose amid savoury hints though it is already quite open with gentle intensity on the palate, displaying great subtlety and acidity with its understated presence. Quiet finish. Still tightly coiled. Best to lay down for another decade.

2002 Château Léoville Poyferré. Dark. Slightly earthy with characters of forest floor on the nose amid ripe wild berries and blackcurrants. Good concentration of fruit that recalled briar and wild berries, softly supple with sharp acidity and intensity but lacking layering and detail.

1991 Château Léoville Barton. Dull purple with some evolution. Lovely earthy glow on the nose amid ripe raspberries while the open palate is generously endowed with succulent red fruits and strawberries. Fleshy with plenty of structure, detail and fine acidity, finishing with a persistent earthy tone. Faded somewhat towards the end of dinner but this wine far exceeds all expectations. Excellent, really.

1998 Château Léoville Barton. Deep impenetrable purple with a rim of crimson. Shut on the nose. The palate is open with excellent presence of black fruits and currants though, surprisingly, it is not yielding much in detail and layering in spite of its age, finishing quietly.

1999 Château Léoville Barton. Dark musty crimson, exuding a gentle glow of herbs and dried mushrooms with good presence and subtle acidity, fleshing out with fine seamless intensity but lacking in charm, detail and layering, which appears to be consistent with all the clarets of 1999 that I’d come across at this point of time. Quiet finish.

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Nicolas

1983 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Evolved mature purple. Open with a soft gentle glow of distilled red fruits and cherries with characters of fresh charcoal and ferrous ore. Sweet and delicious, still imbued with fine presence and intensity though distinctly relaxed in feel.

2004 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Deep crimson. Soft distant glow of red fruits with a lovely faint floral fragrance along with a hint of malt. Delivers well on the palate with fine supple presence and intensity underscored with graphite elements, distinctly understated in structure. Drinking well.

2006 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Deep impenetrable darkness, proffering mocha and chocolate with a hint of dry malt. Classically structured. Quite fleshy, showing good refinement and understated intensity. Perhaps not quite ready.

1996 Château Léoville Poyferré. Deep crimson. Slightly forward with a subtle lift of distilled red fruits and strawberries along with complex earthiness and ferrous elements whilst the soft fleshy palate is imbued with ripe wild berries amid brambly tones and herbs that lent a touch of austerity, not revealing much detail.

1996 Château Léoville Barton. Deep crimson, exuding complex tertiary flavours with a lifted sweetness amid broad swathes of gentle dark fruits, haw, dark currants and earth, most beguiling. Very refined in structure and acidity, seamlessly integrated with great suppleness. Highly elegant, which says a lot for a claret. At its absolute peak. Superb.

1996 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Very deep crimson. This estate stamps its impeccable pedigree with rich warm hues of ripe dark plums and currants that show superb concentration and layering with open dryish textures, displaying excellent intensity and acidity, structured with exciting yet harmonious tannins. Has real sophistication and aristocratic power. Like all 1996 of the Left Bank, this wine has turned the corner and is approaching its peak. Quite outstanding.

2000 Château Léoville Poyferré. Dark crimson. Delicious bouquet of rich dark currants and black fruits. Open with a relaxed suppleness, displaying early secondary characteristics with real sophistication. Appears to have evolved faster than expected.

2000 Château Léoville Barton. Very dark, exuding a complex of complex red and dark fruits and currants still touched with a faint dash of emulsion though the palate seemed strangely detached, rather distant and aloof in spite of abundant cool ripe fruit that is seamlessly integrated.

2016 Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot En Barberon Blanc. This Jura displays great luminosity and purity of fruit, exuding a clear crystalline minerality with gentle white floral notes. Excellent in concentration but rather tight and austere, its minerally balance conferring a dry chiselled quality.

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Jan 2020: 1976 Ausone, 1989 Montrose, 1995 Domaine Louis Jadot Clos Saint-Denis, 1989 Domaine Lambrays Clos des Lambrays, 1990 Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny VV, 2009 Nicolas Rossignol-Trapet Chambertin, 2016 Penfolds Max’s The Promise…

February 8, 2020

2016 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc, popped and poured over dimsum lunch at Asia Grand, 01 Jan 2020. Luminous light golden. Fairly dense minerally nose, displaying a clean chalky profile with sleek acidity whilst the light-medium palate is open with very fine presence and lovely deftness.

2015 Artadi Vinas di Gain Blanco, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Notes of gunmetal cordite and white citrus on the nose though the palate is dry with steely minerality. Bright and open with very good concentration of fruit, developing a mild salinity with time.

Champagne Krug Brut Rosé NV, courtesy of MH at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Magnum. Grapefruit, dates and aged tangerine skins dominate with an orangey bloom. Brightly lit and dry, subtly balanced with good concentration. Grew in sweet intensity over time with further tones of smouldering ember.

2017 Domaine Jean Chartron Saint-Aubin Murgers des Dents de Chien 1er, popped and poured from magnum at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Pale. Emerging notes of tropical fruits, highly attractive. Good open transparency and concentration with a deeper vein of white floral tone, highly subtle throughout as it tapered to a gentle expansive finish.

2014 Château Cos D’Estournel Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Notes of seared icing, vanillin and lychee on the nose with a powerful white floral sheen, displaying bold intensity with a marked salinity on the palate amid diesel overtones. Not ready.

2014 Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of LF at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Superb clear luminosity. Rather full and forward in chalky characters and crème amid traces of salinity. Excellent open intensity, finishing with distinct vanillin and white floral tones.

2008 Champagne Pol Roger cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, courtesy of CJ at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Lifted yeasty earthiness, open with very fine concentration of white fruits and grassy elements, displaying dry intensity though yet to develop true complexity.

1979 Emile Bouley Volnay Santenots, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Magnum. Lifted earthy pungency with mature tones of plums and orangery tangerines while the passage of time has left just enough of recessed red fruits on the palate though its acidity is still intact, still imbued with fair intensity.

1990 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Still rather dark, proffering cedar, cinnamon and old leather on the nose. Deeply intense, fleshy and supple with vibrant plummy tones amid a very slight herbal trace, seamlessly integrated with very fine acidity, showing some early complexity though it still feels somewhat unresolved at the finish. Evolving at a glacial pace. May be a good idea to lay another ten years.

2003 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée Aux Brulées 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Magnum. Dark with some early evolution. Sandy plummy medicinal nose with dryish overtones of malt and rye. Highly supple and fleshy palate, showing concentrated focus with very fine intensity amid earthy traces though a tad short, becoming more astringent with time.

2009 Domaine Nicolas Rossignol-Trapet Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of KG at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Dark with some evolution. Highly refined in delicate currants, mulberries and red fruits with a tangerine core, structured with understated elegant tannins that confer excellent open intensity with subtle feminine grace. Quite superb.

1998 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Deep garnet core. This wine opens with a classic Bordeaux glow, promising maturing red fruits, raspberries, currants and haw that are delivered with excellent fullness on the palate, tinged with traces of graphite and bell pepper, structured with smooth rounded tannins. Still youthful.

1989 Château Suduiraut, courtesy of Dr Natalie Ngoi at Crystal Jade Takashimaya, 04 Jan 2020. Magnum. Clear golden hue. Fine density of apricot, nectarine, smoke and diesel fumes on the nose while the medium-bodied palate has a certain aged feel, showing good transparency and concentration of fruit.

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Champagne Jacques Selosse Initial Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, courtesy of Vic, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Good colour. Dense deep earthy and yeasty characters with a resinous tone. Brightly lit with excellent concentration and intensity, displaying plenty of zest within the sheen of very fine bubbles that teased the palate with infinite sparkle, finishing with a hint of ferrous minerals.

2001 Weingut Beucher Riesling Trocken, courtesy of Vic, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Lovely luminosity. Poised elegant bouquet of complex tropical fruits with a very fine, lithe and supple quality. Good inner clarity in spite of its mild diesel overtones, revealing excellent depth of complex citrus, pomelo and grapefruit that conferred some degree of sternness.

1996 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny, courtesy of Sir Robert, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Still deep ruby in colour, displaying deep dark plummy tones, red currants and cherries. Fleshy and supple, open with very fine intensity and acidity within a slim defined profile, a tad short. Excellent village.

1995 Domaine Louis Jadot Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of LF, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Classic evolved pinot tint, exuding delicious soft aromas of red fruits and currants, highly enticing, matched by an open relaxed tone on the palate, displaying mild intensity and gentle depth with gritty earthy undertones. Excellent.

1989 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Effusive bouquet of mature dark currants and berries. Still imbued with fleshy concentration of fruit and stern complex minerals, displaying fairly tight intensity that gradually opened up over time to reveal soft gentle aromas of sour plums. Caught at its peak. Excellent.

20200108_190659.jpg1989 Château Montrose, decanted on-site at Imperial Treasure Paragon, 08 Jan 2020. Brilliant deep garnet red with a lifted teasing earthy pungency, very lovely. Open and fleshy, displaying supple depth of cool ripe fruit caught at its prime amid overtones of cedar and cinnamon. Utterly seamless. Almost delicate. Excellent.

1976 Château Ausone, courtesy of Kieron, 08 Jan 2020 at Imperial Treasure Paragon. Still deep crimson in colour, proffering a very gentle earthy pungency on the nose with deeper notes of black berries and dark currants. Medium-bodied. Fleshy with good concentration of fruit with a lovely maturity, displaying complex characters amid tertiary tones of capsicum. Finished well with good linearity though it turned slightly dryish.

2002 Château Cos D’Estournel, decanted on-site at Peach Garden, OCBC Centre, 11 Jan 2020. Deep garnet red with some evolution, exuding a deep glowing bouquet of dark plums and mulberries with traces of licorice. Excellent fullness and ripeness, underscored by dryish textures tea leaves, structured with smooth tannins. Very well integrated, turning more plummy over time with more blackcurrants to the fore, developing superb lively acidity that added exciting biting intensity. Quite excellent. Peach Garden now charges SGD30++ for corkage while food is fairly ordinary – not recommended.

2003 Rockford Basket Press Shiraz, decanted on-site at Pasta Brava, 18 Jan 2020. Opaque purple. Effusive in menthol and liquorice with traces of graphite and smoky elements whilst the palate is imbued with dark plummy tones, tangerines, dried mushrooms and ferrous elements, open with fleshy suppleness and intensity on a cedary floor. Still youthful.

2009 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, popped and poured at an early reunion dinner at Mak Hong Kee, 21 Jan 2020. Opaque dark purple, featuring dusty tones, dark wood and bramble. The initial gruffness gave way to a sweeter note after an hour with a greater intensity of emerging ripe fruits, laced with lively acidity. Needs plenty of time.

20200124_135421.jpg2000 Champagne Dom Pérignon P2, popped and poured over Lunar New Year Eve lunch at Otto Ristorante, 24 Jan 2020. Lovely luminosity. Dense aromas of complex citrus, green fruits, melons and pomelo intertwined with a delicate chalkiness and understated crème. Quite full. Rounded and open with fine detail on a base of ferrous undertones. Not the most profound of Dom but this wine is very lively and well balanced, gaining a bit of biting intensity towards the end as it finished with a minerally tinge.

2016 Château Peyrabon Lagravette, popped and poured from magnum (only SGD90!) at home on Lunar New Year, 25 Jan 2020. Red fruits, cherries and mulberries dominate with darkish tones, excellent in ripeness with a supple presence. Rounded with fine intensity and understated acidity amid ferrous undertones, tempered with a trace of minerally glare. Very good value.

2016 Penfolds Max’s The Promise, popped and poured at Dorothy’s place, 26 Jan 2020. Very dark. Excellent ripeness and concentration of blackcurrants and dark fruits tinged with early cedar amid subtle layers of liquorice and medicinal characters, displaying superb depth and lovely supple intensity. Great refinement, sophistication and balance, structured with rounded sweet tannins. Excellent, really.

2003 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, decanted on-site over lunch at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 27 Jan 2020. Deep red with some evolution. Distinctly rosy on the nose though dark fruits, blackberries, briar and wild berries dominate on the palate, its ripeness tempered with stern saline minerals. Opened up with lovely suppleness, developing gentle sweet structured tannins with a minty glow.

La Paulée de Singapour 2020

January 31, 2020

The fourth edition of the La Paulée de Singapour, organised by The Vintage Club, was held on 17 January 2020 at the Grand Hyatt, Singapore. This time, Christophe and his boys have nailed it down quite perfectly: the tasting hall was spacious enough, the ambient temperature was perfectly cool, the excellent Burgundian cuisine was authentic and ample (no need to order extra fried rice) while the participation by winemakers and wine lovers was superb. The only bit of downside was the lack of a proper stage (nobody could see who was leading the ban bourguignon) and a proper sound system (the hotel’s one is poor). It was very good to see Stephen Follin-Arlebet again and, for me personally, to welcome Gregory Gouges, who still recalled my visit to Domaine Henri Gouges two years ago, on his first trip to Singapore. In spite of dinner being pushed back to 2030h, I still could not complete the tasting promenade, a testament to the copious volume and range available. Dinner got off to a riotous start straightaway which is the way it ought to be. As the evening wore on, my note-taking rapidly deteriorated, meaning I have absolutely no recollection of several other wines tasted at dinner. What a glorious orgy. Stick with the Grand Hyatt again for 2021, Christophe. Merci beaucoup!

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Gregory Gouges (R)

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Champs Claude. Pale. Good clarity. Pepper and nutmeg on the nose with overtones of wild flowers. Excellent fullness and concentration, producing superb mouthfeel.

2015 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Blanc. Pale. Great bouquet, an alluring complex of dense summer hay and white flowers. Good transparency and layering on a backdrop of classic Chassagne minerality. Great charm and easy balance. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Vieilles Vignes. Soft glow of delicate rose petals and red fruits with a lovely floral fragrance. Medium-bodied, displaying very fine transparency and sleek acidity. Produced from 70 year-old vines.

20200117_175154.jpg2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Maladiere 1er Rouge. Alluring rose petals and cherries. Medium-bodied. Delicate balance, showing very good refinement and acidity. Has a certain femininity and controlled power. Very fine.

2016 Domaine Lucien Muzard et Fils Santenay Clos de Tavannes Rouge. Red fruits and strawberries dominate with lovely feminine charm, displaying delicate balance and great acidity though less layered.

2017 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault. Full bouquet of white floral tones, imbued with delicate flinty minerals and fine concentration of clear citrus on the palate. Good subtle intensity and transparency.  Quite excellent.

2017 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault-Charmes 1er. Lovely delicate bouquet of wild flowers, grassy elements and nutmeg, all very subtle with understated power. Has a very natural unforced balance. Great refinement. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault-Gouttes d’Or 1er. Pale. Powerful bouquet of complex yellow citrus and chalky minerals. Open with highly transparent textures that confer great delicacy.

2017 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault-Poruzots 1er. Pale. Closed on the nose though the palate is taut with tight intensity of wild grass and complex citrus, showing clear definition and delineation. Good finish.

2017 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Corton Clos des Fietres Grand Cru. Clear and yellow citrus dominate with glowing charm on the nose though the open palate is distinctly more minerally, imbued with sleek acidity and some sweetness at the side. Very fine.

20200117_181629.jpg2014 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Échezeaux Grand Cru. Good colour. Powerful bouquet of cherries, raspberries, red fruits and roses. Open on the palate, beautifully ripe and supple. Gently layered with excellent refinement on a charcoal floor amid traces of earth, structured with highly refined understated tannins. Finished well with fine linearity. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges. Great colour. Effusive bouquet of rose petals and red fruits, showing good purity with subtle power and intensity. Laced with very fine acidity but not overly taut. Open finish. Highly refined.

2018 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges. Effusive nose of rose petals. Considerably tighter and fuller, displaying superb balance and acidity. Structured with supple pliant tannins. Very lively. Persistent finish. Distinctly better than than the 2017. Great potential. Excellent.

2018 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos Des Porrets 1er monopole. Great colour. Powerful exuberance of ripe cherries, red fruits and currants. Excellent presence with sublime acidity. Structured with seamlessly integrated supple tannins, showing very good definition and refinement. Excellent.

2018 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er. Superb glow of delicious rose petals, cherries and strawberries, proffering a lovely perfumed fragrance. Open with refined suppleness, almost velvety, showing excellent depth and intensity of fruit with controlled power. Minerally finish. Excellent.

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The beautiful Aurore Monot-Devillard of Château de Chamirey

2018 Château de Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er. Lifted effusive bouquet of nutmeg, wild grass and complex citrus, very inviting. Softly rounded with an easy charm, showing great clarity and transparency, finishing with traces of white pepper. Consistently good, but the unbeatable 2014 and 2017 score better on the palate.

2014 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Clos du Roi 1er. Dense powerful bouquet of sweet red fruits and glycerine. Medium-bodied, carrying very good concentration and acidity with open transparency and refined elegance.

2015 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Les Cinq 1er. A blend of the best five premier cru sites of Mercurey, hence its name. This wine opens with a sweet nose of glycerine, tightly structured with very good concentration and layering. Not at all overwhelming. Good refinement.

2018 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Les Cinq 1er. Great colour and clarity, exuding rose petals and raspberries with a hint of malt and rye. Imbued with great power though this wine is distinctly more restrained with a controlled intensity compared with the 2015. Highly refined delicate balance, finishing well.

20200117_193046.jpg2017 Domaine de la Ferte Givry. Effusive in red fruits and cherries with a forward easy balance, though somewhat thin on the palate.

2017 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé. Pale. Effusive in grassy elements, morning dew and clear citrus with overtones of raw nutmeg. Remarkably lithe and delicate with fine presence, poised with sleek refinement and great elegance. Good finish. Highly attractive.

2018 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthieres. Great bouquet of complex fruit and lifted floral tones, highly detailed in spite of the dense aromas. Medium-full. Imbued with excellent concentration of fruit that seemed to impart oily textures with a white peppery glowing mouthfeel, very evenly toned with controlled power, displaying great balance and length. As good as the 2016, if not better. Excellent.

2018 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé En Bertilione. Dense full bouquet of white flowers and citrus, imbued with a delicate chalkiness amidst ample concentration of fruit, yielding fine definition and cutting acidity that seemed just a little sharp at the edges.

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The Dean getting a pour from Stephen Follin-Arlebet

2017 Domaine du Château de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes Dessus 1er. Jeroboam. Mint, icing and white pepper dominate with good lift whilst the palate is imbued with a distinct salinity amid excellent presence of raw nutmeg and citrus, imparting great verve with superb racy tension, minerally depth and intensity. Excellent.

2017 Domaine du Château de Meursault Meursault-Perrières 1er. Lovely nose of saline minerals, white flowers and delicate chalk matched with excellent concentration and superb acidity that conferred taut tension and intensity. Highly exuberant and racy, finishing with great persistence. Excellent.

2017 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er. Cool refined aristocratic nose of complex white fruits, tangy citrus and grassy elements with a suggestion of depth, displaying very fine concentration of fruit with a distinct salinity, fullness, layering and depth that add up to a very correct sense of plumpness, revealing fine inner detail and great balance as it tapered to a lasting finish. A wine of impeccable pedigree which is, perhaps, not surprising as Le Cailleret directly abuts Montrachet Grand Cru along the same longitude (just separated by a small lane), and Montille’s plot is sited nearest.

2017 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Chorey-les-Beaune. Red fruits dominate on the nose with a forward balance. Has good concentration, acidity and intensity but still very tightly wound. Not ready.

2017 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Corton Bressandes Grand Cru. Powerful layered bouquet of red fruits and summer hay. Open with intense concentration of fruit on a base of ferrous minerals, structured with pliant tannins.

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2018 Domaine Bruno Clair Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Deep ruby. Open with lovely suppleness, displaying very fine concentration and intensity of fruit with sleek acidity. Slightly forward and exuberant though quite seamlessly integrated. Gentle finish.

2018 Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin Clos-Saint-Jacques 1er. Bright crimson, proffering a distilled essence of red fruits and cherries with superb purity. Open with highly refined concentration and intensity. Poised with supple elegance. Good integration but a tad short.

2018 Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er. Red fruits and dark cherries dominate with fine concentration and taut acidity, brimming with bright intensity as it tapered to a linear finish.

2014 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Kok Hong. Pale. Restrained on the nose but the palate is imbued with fabulous concentration of white fruits and white floral tones, openly layered with excellent depth though rather understated in intensity. Superbly poised with refined elegance. Excellent.

1996 Domaine Robert Ampeau Puligny-Montrachet Les Combottes 1er, courtesy of Vic. Deep golden lustre. Very good concentration of citrus and white fruits, still laced with great acidity that ensured a lithe presence with remarkable freshness, poised with elegant complexity. Superb.

2009 Joseph Drouhin Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of David Tan. Rather full. Great concentration of citrus fruits showing a bit of early maturity that danced across the palate with lovely deftness on a velvety backdrop of chalky crème de la crème, exuding tremendous but controlled power. Still youthful. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault. Closed. Delicate. Great presence of white fruits and chalky minerals poised with delicate balance, displaying great clarity and lift.

20200117_220435.jpg2010 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er. Good colour, showing some early evolution. Great concentration of serious dark fruits and currants that convey wonderful verve and biting intensity against a backdrop of velvety textures, delightfully deft. Excellent.

2006 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Jeroboam. Dark. Great presence of warm dark fruits and currants, showing excellent ripeness and great tension across the palate, yet rather lithe in spite of its fullness. Excellent.

2009 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of David Tan. Dense warm bouquet of delicious red fruits, beautifully ripe with excellent concentration. Rounded and fleshy, imbued with a certain salinity, very seamlessly integrated. Superb.

2011 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint Georges 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely abundance of cool dark fruits, ripe and rounded with excellent fullness and great acidity, deeply layered with subtle saline ferrous elements. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Pierre Damoy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Tamisot, courtesy of Akhil. This over-achieving village exudes a distinct plumminess within an even tone of red fruits tinted with ferrous minerals. Structured but accommodating. Very fine.

1949 Domaine Chanson Beaune Clos des Mouche 1er. Beautiful bouquet, distinctly mature with a refined sweetness, imbued with velvety red fruits. Still amazingly fresh with superb sleek acidity. Receded a little after some time but still astonishingly present and alive, finishing well. Amazing!

20200117_212505.jpg2010 Domaine Meo Camuzet Vosne-Romanée, courtesy of Sanjay. Dark. Effusive in sweet red fruits and cherries on the nose though the fruit is surprisingly backward on the palate within a narrow spectrum, dominated more by sleek acidity and saline minerals.

2012 Domaine Michel Noellat Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er, courtesy of CHS. Dark. Sleek. Effusive in red cherries and mulberries, excellent in concentration with a youthful intensity though not the opulent sort.

1996 Domaine Trapet Père et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert. Dark. Excellent presence of sweet dark currants and tangerines, rounded with lovely depth. Delicious.

1998 Domaine Louis Jadot Corton Grand Cru, courtesy of Sandy. Magnum. General reductive tone of aged tangerines, apples and pears with an overall chalkiness though the fruit has receded far too much. Rustic and somewhat gruff.

2014 Domaine du Château de Meursault Pommard Clos des Epenots 1er. Jeroboam. Dark. Ripe wild berries and dark currants dominate with great concentration and striking acidity, conjuring up a finish of searing intensity. Far from ready.

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2011 Bouchard Chev-Montrachet La Cabotte, 2003 Château Rayas, 1978 Château Latour, 1999 Romanée-Conti Romanée- St-Vivant

January 23, 2020

I had the distinct privilege of being invited by Wendy to dinner on 19 January 2020 at her amazing residence. I thought I had arrived at an Aman resort. No theme was set but the line-up turned out to be quite superlative and, to my surprise, went very well with the exquisite Indonesian cuisine that was never heavy on the palate. All wines were popped on site and aired in bottle, with the exception of the Rayas that Wendy had popped earlier as well as the D.R.C. that required decanting as we thought there wouldn’t be sufficient time for aeration. All wines came courtesy of the wonderful hostess herself, unless otherwise stated. Terima kasih banyak banyak Wendy, and to everyone else for your generous contributions. I can’t wait for the next dinner.

2003 Dom Perignon Rosé. Deeply coloured, proffering deep yeasty tones on the nose amid grapefruit and tangerines that extend to the palate with smooth presence, displaying fine concentration and depth with a bit of minerally shine, finishing well with gentle ferrous undertones.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. This monopole hits the correct notes right from the outset, exuding a gleaming crystalline tone of white flowers and crème de la crème matched by a subtle expanse of refined chalkiness and complex citrus that traverse the palate with superb open sleek acidity, displaying great presence and balance in spite of its understated elegance. Developed a fuller tone over time with further notes of white pepper whilst maintaining its regal poise, supremely confident. Entirely consistent with what one would expect of Chevalier-Montrachet, particularly from the very special 0.21 ha of La Cabotte that, in the old days, was actually classified as part of Montrachet itself. One of the very best efforts of Bouchard. Outstanding.

2003 Château Rayas. Unique lift of tangerines, mature red fruits, plums, cherries and rose petals on the nose, beautifully seductive. Softly rounded and delicious with earthy tones and textures reminiscent of oxide, open with excellent detail, finishing in a mentholic glow amid traces of spice. Distinctly feminine. One drinks the distilled essence of Nature. Outstanding.

1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, courtesy of Trijono. Still darkly coloured. Somewhat restrained initially, proffering just enamel before snapping into focus with a sharp lift of dark currants, raspberries and mulberries, opening up further on the palate with a deep core of supple tangerines (always a hallmark of this estate) amid an even spread of wild berries, maintaining an overall darkish demeanour. Still imbued with excellent concentration and lively acidity, perhaps even yet to really hit its peak, a testimony to the longevity of this stellar vintage.

1978 Château Latour, courtesy of Keith. Still showing an opaque deep garnet core, exuding a distinctly mature nose of green capsicum with a gentle earthiness marked by forest characters and bramble. Open with great suppleness, revealing excellent concentration of delicious red fruits and currants within soft pliant melted tannins, still amazingly fresh with lively acidity. Absolutely harmonious, finishing very well.

1999 Weingut Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese. From a half bottle. Classic characters of diesel and petroleum fumes dominate on the nose. Medium-bodied. Rounded with a subdued presence of apricot and modest nectarine, showing good transparency but missing the density and depth of the best examples of Egon Müller, a tad short as well.

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Dec 2019: 1991 Leflaive Bâtard-Bienvenues, 1979 Veuve Cliquot Rosé, 1969 Vega Sicilia, 1990 Cos D’Estournel, 2004 La Conseillante, 2007 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche VV, 2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc…

January 21, 2020

2004 Ch Latour-a-Pomerol, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 01 Dec 2019. Dark cherries and ripe wild berries dominate with very good concentration and presence against a backdrop of dusty textures, structured with sweet tannins. Darkly delicious, finishing with very fine acidity and intensity.

1991 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Robert at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Tasted blind. Deep dull golden hue. Restrained, almost shut on the nose though there is a fine presence of delicate lithe citrus on the palate amidst dominant graphite minerals, almost stern. Became even more minerally over time as the fruit became more recessed, softening with an emerging white floral tone glow with traces of mint and capsicum, showing fine acidity. I hit the absolute bull’s eye. Perfect to drink up now.

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Iggy’s

1979 Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Rosé, courtesy of Sir Robert at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Very dark orangey hue, proffering burnt toast, aged grapefruit and dried mushrooms amid Chinese medicinal tones and ferrous elements. Still rather full, imbued with excellent concentration of distant red fruits, acidity and dry intensity within a body of very fine bubbles that tapered to a firm confident finish. Still astonishingly youthful. Excellent.

1999 Domaine du Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Aged tint. Reticent in recessed chalk. Equally reserved with distant fruit on the medium-bodied palate, displaying more overtones of green capsicum and white pepper, seamlessly integrated with subtle intensity as it finished with white floral tones.

2001 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, courtesy of Sir Robert at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Tasted blind. Darker shade, delivering delicious ripe dark cherries and currants with a fleshy juicy presence, displaying very fine acidity and intensity, slightly more forwardly balanced, underscored by a deeper streak of dark fruits and glycerol. Just a tad short. Again I guessed it correctly.

1990 Domaine Jacques Prieur Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, courtesy of LF at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Beautiful crimson hue, exuding a gentle earthy pungency. Medium-bodied, displaying very fine fruit quality with some gritty inner detail and subtle acidity but not distinctive enough. Bit short.

2007 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Great colour. Superb presence of red cherries that display great purity and transparency, medium-full, very subtly concentrated and lithe with a bit of smoky intensity, revealing great inner detail though still fairly tight. Absolutely harmonious. Delicious.

1969 Vega Sicilia Unico, courtesy of Vic at Iggy’s, 03 Dec 2019. Glorious deep crimson. Astonishing freshness and purity of red fruits, mulberries and currant. Rounded and fleshy with lovely velvety textures, still imbued with excellent concentration and layering. Open with superb detail, traversing the palate with great linearity to its long persistent finish amid traces of charcoal. Outstanding.

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Labyrinth

De Bortoli Family Selection Semillon Chardonnay, tasted at Changi Airport T3 Gold Lounge, 05 Dec 2019. Generous attractive bouquet of peaches, lime and tropical fruits. Good presence and transparency, underscored by chalky ferrous minerals. Slightly stern. Very decent.

2005 Ch D’Aiguilhe, popped and poured at Asia Grand, 12 Dec 2019. Very deep impenetrable purple. Dense bouquet of dark plums, black currants and liquorice with mild medicinal and menthol tones. Full-bodied, displaying great concentration of black fruits with overtones of bush, briar and bramble on a rich cedary floor, structured with well-managed sweet tannins. Imbued with superb acidity and sleek graphite minerals, developing some early complexity. Finally becoming approachable.

2005 Ch Les Carmes Haut Brion, decanted on-site at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 16 Dec 2019. Deep garnet red. Some initial bottle stink that, thankfully, gave way to glowing dark plums, ember, pine and other savoury characters. Medium-bodied, displaying clean and controlled presence of dark fruits with fine acidity, fairly open and supple with a bit of gentle biting intensity, fleshing out with more Pessac character of earthy forest floor over time although it could not quite totally expel that bit of funkiness that still pervaded. Not quite the most pristine of bottles, I’m afraid.

Champagne Louis Roederer NV, a pair from the list of Labyrinth, 20 Dec 2019. Dense bouquet of smoky characters and yeast. Imbued with excellent concentration of lime and citrus that imparted great intensity, zest and freshness, finishing with notes of pomelo, bitter lemon and firm graphite elements. Very fine.

2008 Domaine Jean & Jean-Louis Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin, popped and poured at Labyrinth, 20 Dec 2019. Evolved orangey crimson that exuded tangerines, soft red fruits and cherries. Medium-bodied. Bright and supple with clean focused acidity, gently layered with ferrous minerals. Good intensity, linearity and finish. Still youthful.

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Limited edition label of 2004 La Conseillante

2004 Ch La Conseillante, a pair from the list of Labyrinth, 20 Dec 2019. Glorious deep garnet red, proffering a luxuriant dark plummy glow with overtones of soy, dark cherries and currants. Great concentration and suppleness, layered with sublime acidity and delicious depth on a floor of subtle ferrous elements, showing some early complexity at the finish. This wine has fleshed out with more presence, depth and character than previous encounters in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Still far from peaking. Excellent.

2017 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc, popped and poured at Gattopardo, 23 Dec 2019. Flinty gentle minerally characters on the nose and palate. Lovely delicate tones, becoming more lifted and brighter over time as it fleshed out with greater intensity of clear citrus. Very good acidity and refinement, fanning out with expansive white floral tone and chalk along with emerging apricot, pineapples and tropical fruits before tapering to a finish of green capsicum, nutmeg and exotic spices. Hard to believe this is just village. Outstanding value.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru, popped and poured over lunch at Otto Ristorante, 24 Dec 2019. Gentle attractive yeasty bouquet. Excellent fullness and concentration, layered with complex citrus and pomelo with an attractive minerally depth, fleshing out with dry intensity.

2011 Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay, popped and poured over lunch at Crab At Bay, 25 Dec 2019. Pale. Good presence of lean citrus, very cleanly delineated with sharp precision on the palate, layered with stony minerals and dry ferrous elements that added further austerity.

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Bak chor-mee by Labyrinth

2008 Reynella Basket Pressed Shiraz, popped and poured over dinner, 25 Dec 2019. Dark impenetrable red. Open, fleshy and supple with a predominance of warm ripe dark plummy fruit, currants and liquorice that impart mild medicinal tones. Grew tighter with greater intensity over time, laced with ripe cedary characters. Not ready.

2002 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er, courtesy of MH at Tang Yun, 27 Dec 2019. Luminous, proffering a hint of old leather and recessed chalk on the nose though open with sweet expanse on the palate, very lively in its sublime acidity with controlled zest that imparted excellent mouth-puckering excitement, mellowing after some time with gentle white floral tones. Lovely.

2012 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de La Maréchale 1er Rouge at Tang Yun, 27 Dec 2019. Dark in colour and tone with characters of taut dark cherries and earthy dusty textures. Open with lovely suppleness though still rather intense, underscored by stern ferrous minerals, relaxing a little over time as it developed a glowing minty finish.

2000 Ch Branaire-Ducru, courtesy of Vic at Tang Yun, 27 Dec 2019. Deep garnet red. Great bouquet of dark red plums. Fleshy with a glowing concentration of fruit amid characters of tea leaves. Well-layered. Very sleek and lithe, not the opulent sort. Caught at its drinking peak. Lovely.

1995 Ch Calon Segur, courtesy of MH at Tang Yun, 27 Dec 2019. Deep garnet red. Rather laconic in feel even as it exudes dense characters of petroleum fumes on the nose. Medium-full. Very good presence of fruit with warm plummy tones. Quite rich, almost succulent, developing a superb earthy pungency amid traces of smoke as it opened up with good tannin detail.

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Labyrinth

1999 Ch Clos L’Eglise, courtesy of Sanjay at Tang Yun, 27 Dec 2019. Dense bouquet of dark fruits with a bit of medicinal characters marked by deeper undertones of soy. Medium-bodied. Highly fleshy and supple. Drinking well.

1986 Ch Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of John Law over lunch at The Vineyard, 29 Dec 2019. Deep crimson core. Darkish in tone, imbued with wild berries, dusty tannins and a distinct earthiness amid oxidative traces. Rather backward in fruit though its acidity is still quite fine. A little gruff. Time to drink up.

1990 Ch Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of John Law over lunch at The Vineyard, 29 Dec 2019. Opaque red with a dusky tinge but don’t let the colour fool you for this wine is drinking superbly, proffering a complex of earth, cedar, dark plums and currants within a sleek seamless body of very good concentration and depth, displaying lively acidity and great balance as it traversed the palate with superb confidence, poise and complexity. This is Cos at its very best. Outstanding.

1995 Ch Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of John Law over lunch at The Vineyard, 29 Dec 2019.  Deep garnet red, exuding a classic glow of mature claret. Still quite richly endowed with fresh vibrant fruit and sleek intense acidity with cedary overtones, structured with svelte tannins. Drinking very well.

2009 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Porrets-St Georges 1er monopole, popped and poured at Mak Hong Kee, 29 Dec 2019. Dull red with some evolution, displaying a full palate of ripe raspberries, dark cherries and currants. Structured with intense acidity though without the plumpness nor succulence of Les Pruliers or Vaucrains. Still far from ready though.

2003 Ch Lagrange, popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew, 30 Dec 2019. Superb supple concentration of dark cherries, currants and raspberries with overtones of tobacco and dry earth, open with fine acidity, lovely intensity and detail, quite seamless. Very harmonious and balanced. Developed richer tones of ripe blackberries over time, cloaked within svelte sophisticated sweet tannins. Highly successful.

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