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1960 “Y” d’Yquem, 1973 Mouton Rothschild, 1983 Lafite Rothschild, 1996 Cheval Blanc, 1968 Beaulieu Private Reserve, 2004 Latour

April 14, 2023

The usual suspects gathered at Summer Pavillon, Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, on 11 April 2023 to mark LF’s twin-digit milestone with a stellar Bordeaux line-up where it turned out every decade between 1960-2010 was represented. Many happy returns, and many thanks too for dinner and for the generous contributions.

2006 Champagne Pierre Péters L’Esprit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, courtesy of LF. Clear golden. Plenty of yeasty pungency amid characters of burnt toast and walnuts on the nose. Fairly plump and rounded with a full presence of bright clear citrus and pomelo from the blanc de blancs within a sheen of soft bubbles, yielding fine definition and intensity with a trace of sweetness.

1993 Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, courtesy of Sir Bob. Light golden, opening with a pronounced earthiness that quickly blew off to reveal notes of malt and rye with a characteristic powdery texture that I find to be consistent in these blends of sémillon/savignon blanc, replete with distinct tones of mature white fruit on the medium palate. Still fairly fresh with fine clarity, taking on a high-toned acidity over time but it lacks real complexity and layering.


1960 “Y” d’Yquem, courtesy of Sir Bob. Tasted blind. Dull opaque golden hue, proffering a refined nose of cashews and almond with a distinct note of preserved plums amid classic powdery textures that teased with a certain elusiveness. Still holding up with crisp acidity though the fruit has receded somewhat, glowing with mature white tones and distant chalky characters with a signature style and balance that is distinctly d’Yquem. Only its second vintage after the inaugural 1959. What a privilege!

1973 Château Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Displaying a lovely deep ruby with substantial bricking, this seminal vintage of Mouton opens with a most alluring fragrance of rose petals within a glowing complex of mature dark fruits and currants, tinged with a dash of smoke. The medium palate is seamlessly structured and integral with a distinct autumnal character of tangerines and red plums, perfectly balanced with just enough fruit to match the acidity that is still fairly fresh, carrying itself with graceful elegance towards a quiet finish. Certainly worthy of its elevation to premier cru that year though Mouton, indeed, does not change. Thank you!


1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, courtesy of LF. Darkish core, proffering a weighty bouquet of herbal and medicinal characters with overtones of smoky diesel. Clearly mature but still fairly full in ripe red plums and mandarins underpinned by darker tones on a bed of sweet velvety tannins, displaying good verve.

1983 Château Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet, basking in an effusive glow of mature dark berries, capsicum, mushrooms and cigar box with a teasing elusiveness. The medium palate is soft and fleshy, imbued with a supple intensity of plummy tones laced with sleek acidity, receding a little in fruit over time but still holding on with moderate presence before tapering to a quiet finish.

1996 Château Cheval Blanc, courtesy of Vic. Deep crimson, opening with a gentle fragrance of distant red fruits. The medium palate is rounded with soft tannins, rather relaxed and placid with understated detail and minerality. Moderate finish. Distinctly feminine.

2004 Château Latour. Deep garnet. Classic Pauillac nose of soy and tobacco amid a deep dark rosy fragrance. Medium-full, displaying some early complexity within its layers of ripe fruit and subdued minerality that lent a trace of austerity. Very well proportioned, exerting controlled power and sweet subtle intensity through its structured tannins and slick acidity that culminate in a long glowing finish.


Peter Michael Les Pavots & Au Paradis: 2019, 2018 & 2011

April 11, 2023

20230405_153334.jpgSome for reason, Peter Michael Winery would usually not be the first name one thinks of when discussing Californian wines, but everyone seems to agree that its whites and reds belong right up there with the best. Started in 1982 when Sir Peter Michael purchased 255 hectares of volcanic ridges on the western face of Mount Helena in Knights Valley, the winery focuses on chardonnay, pinot noir as well as Bordeaux-inspired blends, sourced entirely from individually-farmed estate-owned vineyards located on steep hillsides at altitudes well above 500 feet. One senses a fastidious streak in the winemaking which is organic (though not biodynamic): triple-sorting of whole clusters during harvesting, the grapes are 100% de-stemmed, the French barrels are only medium-toasted and the wine is unfined and unfiltered. Only 20,000 cases are produced in total annually, accounting for its relative scarcity on the secondary market. For this tasting on 05 April 2023 at the offices of Wine Clique, Singapore, Paul Michael (son of Sir Peter) and Peter Kay (Sales Director) have specially flown in to showcase Les Pavots (its French name refers to the poppies that initially grew on the land first purchased by Sir Peter), the winery’s flagship Bordeaux blend, as well as Au Paradis, made from a more recent acquisition in 2009 in Oakville where the blend comprises at least 75% cabernet sauvignon with cabernet franc making up the rest. I find Les Pavots to be consistently lush and opulent, its exuberance never tipping into uncontrolled hedonism, while Au Paradis is more classically structured with a restrained elegance, drinking better at this point of time whilst the former needs a long runway. Many thanks, Alice and Emerson.

2019 Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots, comprising 60% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Deep garnet. Great abundance of dark plums and red currants beneath the rich creamy nose, developing a further effusive core of tropical fruits. Medium-full. Very luxuriant, ripe and lush, rounded with smooth svelte tannins underscored with sublime acidity. Just a tad forward but nobody really minds when the fruit is so drop-dead gorgeous. Already accessible in spite of its masculine proportions, gelling together very well with juicy succulence. Utterly delicious. This will turn out to be a great Les Pavots, if one has the patience.

2018 Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots, comprising 68% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 19% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot. Deep crimson. Perfumed dark rosy characters amid waxy overtones, displaying pointed definition of red fruits. Medium-bodied. Highly supple with very good density of fruit, quite seamlessly integrated with refined tannins and acidity, imbued with understated minerally elements. Moderate finish. Classically structured and proportioned. Drinking well.

2011 Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots, comprising 73% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot. From a cooler vintage. Deep crimson. Lovely lift of haw, cherries and red currants amid discernible traces of paraffin and marmite, marking its entry on the medium-full palate with a rush of deep rosy characters from a gorgeous core of fruit that is so wonderfully fresh and lively, delivering great verve. A little forward, just like the 2019, but it suits the wine well, already imbued with early complexity on a bed of velvety tannins. Impeccably balanced. Yet to peak, but it is so irresistibly delicious.


2019 Peter Michael Winery Au Paradis, comprising 76% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot and 16% cabernet franc. Deep purple. Highly aromatic with a distinct note of vanillin and paraffin. Good density of ripe plummy tones beneath, fairly lively though it doesn’t really plumb the depths. Appreciably less tannic than Les Pavots, finishing well with pronounced medicinal tones.

2018 Peter Michael Winery Au Paradis, comprising 76% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot and 11% cabernet franc. Deep crimson. Fairly aromatic, where haw and red fruits dominate with a distinct note of vanillin. Almost exuberant, such is its lively acidity and energetic burst on the medium-full palate. Very well integrated with sleek tannins, taking on a sudden and surprising austerity as more ferrous elements emerged to the fore. Good finish.

2011 Peter Michael Winery Au Paradis, comprising 76% cabernet sauvignon and 24% cabernet franc. Deep crimson. Lovely bouquet of complex fruit and capsicum with a teasing elusiveness. Medium-bodied. Highly supple and elegant. Very well-proportioned, displaying very good juicy presence and energy with refined detail. Classically structured and balanced. This has developed very well. Superb.

Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny 2017 2014 2011 2010 2005 & Musigny Blanc 2017

April 4, 2023

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé will, surely, be familiar to all lovers of burgundy as it owns the lion’s share of Musigny Grand Cru (7.2 ha), which already accounts for 57% of the domaine’s total holdings. Still, there is not enough wine to go around, partly because half of the Musigny vines are cordon-trained which results in lower yields of about 25 hectolitres per hectare. Whilst the history of this domaine may be traced as far back as 1450, it officially came under Comte Georges de Vogüé in 1920. Its modern history, though, only took off in 1986 when Francois Millet joined as cellar master (until 2019) while the aptly named Eric Bourgogne came on board a decade later in 1996 to manage the vineyard. Quality has been tremendous during this outstanding period of more than thirty years, and it is certainly a distinct privilege to be able to taste through a vertical of Comte de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru, all made by the legendary Francois Millet, on 30 March 2023 at Sonder, Singapore, kindly organised by Domaine Wines in the presence of Comte de Vogüé’s long-serving Sales Director Jean-Luc Pepin. The Musigny of Vogüé is consistently graceful and elegant even in riper vintages where the wine may be more generously proportioned, never calling attention to itself though it demands absolute patience in the Old World manner. Its vieilles vignes designation implies the wines are made from mature vines, as plantings less than twenty-five years of age are declassified and bottled as Chambolle-Musigny 1er. While approachable, the wines that evening would most certainly show better another decade or two down the road and with plenty of aeration in bottle. It remains to be seen how the wines from 2020 onwards, made by new cellar master Jean Lupatelli, would fare but I suspect it will always be the ever-diminishing supply of pre-2020 vintages of Comte de Vogüé that wine lovers will seek and cherish. Merci beaucoup, Jean-Luc and Alvin, for your friendship.

Champagne Ruinart Brut NV, courtesy of Sir Bob. A bottle from 1985 but only popped now. Luminous golden hue, proffering a generous bouquet of walnuts, almonds and yeasty overtones. Still very fresh, full and vibrant, coating the palate with luxurious soft bubbles underpinned by a deeper sweet gentle intensity. Excellent.

2017 Bachelet-Monnot Chassagne-Montrachet, courtesy of LF. Beautiful clear luminosity, exuding highly elegant tones of distant chalk and yellow citrus where its subtle powdery white tones and restraint sing unmistakably of Chassagne, particularly as it rounds off the palate with a lovely teasing intensity already imbued with some early complexity. Wonderfully precise. Very classy.


2017 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. Coming after the frosty vintage of 2016 where the generous bud burst had necessitated active green pruning. Translucent deep purplish hue, proffering mulberries and cranberries on the nose. The medium-full palate features ferrous elements and dark cherries in equal measure, its highly refined acidity imparting a degree of freshness to the measured intensity of red fruits. Very finely balanced, finishing with subtle glowing length though, somehow, it comes across as being somewhat underwhelming, missing in layering. 13% abv.

2011 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. Purplish core with some bricking. Highly reticent on the nose, just hinting at warm pebbles against a backdrop of distant red fruits. Rather full and bright, the fruit appreciably lighter and more delicate, imbued with undertones of dried mushrooms. Seamlessly integrated though without much weight, tapering to a moderate finish marked by a dash of spice. Distinctly feminine. Only 12% abv.

2010 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. Deep ruby. Gentle fragrance of rose petals and raspberries. Quite full and fleshy, displaying good purity of fruit with refined intensity and controlled verve, underscored by a subtle minerally vein. Very elegant and unassuming. Moderate finish. Rather understated on the whole. 13% abv.

2014 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. Fairly deep garnet red. Quite effusive in raspberries and mulberries, tinged with an elusive herbal character amid a certain earthiness from what seems to be early secondary characters. Bright and cheerful, lit by vivacious red fruits and ripe cherries that impart great energy and controlled exuberance whilst maintaining its refined balance and purity, turning a little more minerally over time. Highly successful from a vintage of weather extremes.

2005 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. Clear deep ruby. Gentle aromas red fruits and currants amid some haw. More masculine and fleshy, cleanly structured with excellent presence of cool ripe fruit that exert lovely svelte intensity. Highly harmonious and impeccably balanced, underpinned by a deeper vein of fruit though less minerally than expected. Moderate finish. 13% abv

2017 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Blanc Grand Cru. Pale. Generous allure of floral aromas in full bloom along with attractive white tones, bananas and cinnamon, all very beautifully matched with indescribable complexity in spite of its youth. Only medium-bodied but all the better, allowing its layers of fresh elegant fruit to shine with relaxed charm and utter refinement, immaculately proportioned all the way to its confident but restraint finish. Already fabulous in its infancy, this will turn out to be truly legendary, worthy of a place amongst the pantheon of the greatest whites. Whereas only previously bottled as Bourgogne Blanc (from 1994 to 2014) even though the chardonnay comes from a 0.66 ha plot in Musigny, the vines have come of age since the 2015 vintage, hence its rightful classification now as Musigny Blanc Grand Cru.



Mar 2023: 2015 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2006 Meo Camuzet NSG Aux Boudots 1er, 2006 Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-St-Georges, 2008 Potinet-Ampeau Volnay Clos Chênes, 2005 Comte de Vogüé Les Amoureuses 1er, 1996 Château Lynch-Bages

March 31, 2023

2017 Gran Moraine Chardonnay, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Mar 2023. Luminous. Notes of delicate citrus with distant minerally tones, developing more detail of tropical fruits with a teasing quality underscored by a controlled but intense cutting acidity. Good fullness, but a tad short.

2012 Château Haut-Marbuzet, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 02 Mar 2023. Deep garnet. Forest characters, capsicum, bell hoppers and dark plums on the nose, marking its entry on the palate with a sharp attack. Still very tight with rustic intensity, somewhat constricted as well.

2019 Jean-Luc Colombo Les Petites Abeilles Blanc from the list of Chapter 1, 08 Mar 2023. Comprising 80% clairette with 20% roussanne, this Rhône white exudes delicate green fruits and floral characters that explode with excellent inner detail of capsicum, spice and nutmeg on the full, chiseled palate, displaying good weight and density with a crisp freshness, turning more introverted with greater intensity of its Rhône character over time, settling with cool glacial tones that lent a touch of austerity. Very good value.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV, by the glass at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, on 13 Mar 2023. Pale light golden hue, proffering bitter lemon, wildflowers and green melons on the nose with mild yeasty tones. Shows good definition and fullness with a cultured intensity, not too dry.


2016 Château Perron, at £78 off the list of The English Grill at The Rubens at The Palace, London, on 16 March 2023. Deep crimson, opening with aromatic red fruits and rose petals with some early secondary development, displaying very fine presence of fruit and acidity on the medium-full palate, shaping up with silky intensity and attack. Structured with refined tannins that yield chewy gritty detail with a deeper vein of blueberries and currants, tapering to a spicy finish with traces of shiny ferrous minerals.

Arcobello Prosecco Brut NV, by the glass at the Krisflyer Lounge, Heathrow Airport, 17 Mar 2023. Very pale. Attractive nose of green fruits and melons with a very clean presence, showing good balance and dry intensity, just a little minerally as it finished on a note of bitter lemon.

2020 Château Le Roc, by the glass at the Krisflyer Lounge, Heathrow Airport, 17 Mar 2023. Light medium, fleshing out with raspberries and wild berries but the fruit is set too far backward with a greater prominence of tensile acidity.

Champagne Charles de Cazanove Brut NV, on board SQ317 from LHR-SIN, 17 Mar 2023. Full presence of clear citrus and lime with a splash of ferrous elements, oozing with a trace of sweetness amidst the dry intensity. Drinking well.

2021 Oyster Bay Chardonnay, at the wedding of Jensen & Bea at JW Marriott, Singapore, on 18 Mar 2023. Pale, proffering morning dew and grassy elements with a distinct chalkiness that imparted a bit of glare on the medium palate, imbued with saline minerals.

2019 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet, at the wedding of Jensen & Bea at JW Marriott, Singapore, on 18 Mar 2023. Deep garnet. Delicious sweet dark plums and currants dominate, underpinned by bold acidity. Easy forward balance, its potential heaviness offset by silky smooth tannins.

2009 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er, courtesy of Vic at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Classic pinot tint. Subdued nose, more minerally with ferrous elements. Good presence of cool raspberries on the medium palate, well integrated with subtle acidity but lacking real depth. Moderate finish. I’d expected more.

2015 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Pale. Very lovely bouquet of perfumed floral fragrance along with early notes of cedar and tropical fruit. The medium palate is highly refined and beautifully integrated with excellent clarity and precision, boasting elegant aromatic white tones and nutmeg that linger with controlled intensity, tinged with traces of salinity. One of the very best examples of this wine. Superb.

2017 Hospices de Beaune Beaune cuvée Maurice Drouhin, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Good colour. Rosy fragrance of red fruits and summer hay on the nose, though the fruit is decidedly backward on the medium palate, resulting in some reticence not helped by its dryish tannins. Fleshed out with greater fullness and lovely balance after a couple of hours with a distinct note of mocha.

2015 Domaine Francois Lamarche Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Good colour. Raspberries and dark rose petals on the nose with a dash of incense. Medium-bodied. Surprisingly backward, though the unobtrusive tannins add up to good refinement and delineation. But it really can do with more fruit.

2008 Domaine Potinet-Ampeau Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Classic pinot tint. Good lift of perfumed rosy fragrance tinged with cedar and cinnamon, while haw and plummy red fruits dominate amidst a high-toned acidity on the medium palate, displaying excellent freshness and refined detail. Distinctly feminine.

2006 Domaine Meo Camuzet Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots 1er, courtesy of Boon at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Classic pinot tint. Lifted in red fruits, plums and haw that came from a medium-full presence of cool ripe fruit imbued with velvety warmth. Wonderfully, whole, displaying lovely elegance and balance all the way to its gentle lingering finish. Very classy.

20230322_214533.jpg2003 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Perrières 1er, courtesy of Boon at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Classic pinot tint. Haw and ferrous elements on the nose whilst red fruits dominate on the medium palate with gentle intensity and supple freshness, missing real depth and complexity as it drew up to a short finish though there is no sign of heat stress.

2006 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Nuits-Saint-Georges, courtesy of Boon at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Classic pinot tint, proffering a rosy fragrance that took on greater aromatic lift over time, leading to a medium palate imbued with cool ripe fruit that exude a wonderfully controlled intensity and freshness, structured with excellent refinement and precision. Moderate finish. Very lovely.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Good colour. Subdued rosy fragrance. Quite fleshy, structured with good refinement and clean definition though the fruit is far too backward for a grand cru, rather narrow as well, lacking depth and dimension. Developed a little more presence after some time but it remained short.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Great colour. Effusive floral fragrance with fine intensity of fruit on the medium palate, though lacking true depth and layering, invariably short as well. A far cry from its 2009 and 2010.

1996 Château Lynch-Bages, courtesy of MH at Imperial Treasure Great World, 22 Mar 2023. Deep crimson. Effusive complex of capsicum, blueberries, violets and black currants amid an attractive barnyard pungency, exerting supple intensity on a fleshy medium palate imbued with sleek velvety tannins and refined power. Impeccably proportioned with lovely elusive charm. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Thoroughly superb, caught at its absolute peak.

2005 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of John after hours, 24 Mar 2023. Deeper pinot tint. Powerful bouquet of plummy tones, red fruits and menthol with an early note of sur-maturite. Medium-bodied. Highly supple and fleshy, structured with very refined tannins and sleek acidity, softly contoured with good inner detail. Doesn’t really plumb the depths but the balance is quite impeccable, consistent with its subdued intensity that adds to its feminine stance. Quiet finish. Approaching its peak.

2019 Nicole Lamarche Bourgogne Rouge. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes prior to dinner at Sin Chao Garden, 24 Mar 2023. My second bottle in as many months. Purplish hue. Faint fragrance of roses, cherries and raspberries. Softly contoured. A tad too relaxed and laidback at first before gaining traction as it warmed up with an attractive intensity of mulberries and currants, showing fine detail and purity with unobtrusive tannins. Distinctly feminine. Demands plenty of time and proper stemware.

2016 Château Carbonnieux Blanc, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 25 Mar 2023. Light greenish. Keen bouquet of complex citrus with a perfumed floral fragrance from a dense body of fruit, displaying excellent fullness and acidity with a teasing intensity, yielding good detail and precision before giving way to an emerging austere minerality, basking in a glowing lingering persistence. Good stuff.

2015 Château Nenin, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 25 Mar 2023. Deep garnet. Attractive nose of cocoa, mocha, dark currants and sweet black berries. Surprisingly supple, structured with soft but tightly knit tannins that exert lovely biting intensity with understated acidity on the darkish palate, finishing with refined length and linearity. Approachable though best to lay down for another 8-10 years.

2019 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne Blanc. Aired in bottle for ninety minutes prior to dinner at home, 29 Mar 2023. Pale greenish hue. Soft floral characters and morning dew on the nose while frangipani and clear citrus dominate on the palate with a warm rounded fullness, coloured with buttery créme de la créme in the background that exude gentle sweetness, very beautifully integrated with lovely freshness and acidity. Drinks well above its classification.

My lunch with Laurent

March 24, 2023

Monsieur Laurent Ponsot very kindly accepted my offer to host him to lunch at Imperial Treasure Great World, Singapore, on 09 March 2023, almost four years to the date when I’d last met him in Singapore (click here). It seems neither age nor the pandemic has affected him one single bit, for he still appears exactly the same as I’d remembered, picking up his charm and persona where he’d left off. Laurent has made full use of his time, for he’d just completed writing a book about his personal endeavours into the infamous Rudy Kurniawan affair that promises to lay bare about the entire fraudulent wine business. Laurent wouldn’t reveal anything more (“read the book!”) though it’s clear that, even till now, the latter has no place at all in his heart. When I mentioned that Rudy himself had been in this very same private room only four nights ago, Laurent, his eyes twinkling, said he already knew as someone had sent him a photo. Well, well…Laurent is certainly very well-informed about things and he is not afraid to express his opinion. He does not use new oak at all, believing that it is even more permeable to micro-oxygenation, something that he attributes to the high rate of premox encountered in the wines of Domaine Leflaive. Laurent is on a mission to raise the image of negociants, unfairly looked upon as being second-rate to actual domaines, for Domaine Ponsot previously had also run a negociant business, as is Laurent Ponsot’s own line now (established 2017) which is entirely that. He has expanded to more than 20 different wines, each of which is supplied by 5-8 growers which he then blends to produce a representative cuvée. His wines certainly do speak of their individual terroir in full but elegant terms, always very tastefully balanced without resorting to gimmickry even though his labels sport that Star Wars type of font (I personally like it very much). We drank on a theme of Morey-Saint-Denis for the reds to pay hommage to Laurent’s origins; by sheer coincidence, there was a trio of Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, no less. In spite of global warming, Laurent remains highly optimistic that climate change will not adversely affect the quality of wines in the long run, as he points out that climate change has always been a regular phenomenon since the start of time. Well, we must certainly hope that he’s also correct on this, just as he has been on a whole range of issues about winemaking to be who he is today. Merci beaucoup, Laurent, for spending your precious time with us, and we look forward to visiting you in Burgundy soon.


Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007, courtesy of Russ. Dull golden. Distinct note of grapefruit on the nose, leading to quite a full palate of delicate citrus, pomelo and bitter lemon with a pronounced tone of austere minerals cushioned by a refined density of soft bubbles, oozing with sweet intensity at the finish after some time.

2018 Laurent Ponsot Meursault Charmes Cuvée de la Centaurée, courtesy of Alice. Dull golden. Excellent fullness and density of clear citrus and lemon, structured with clean definition and clarity. Very lively and fresh, displaying good balance between the fruit and its deeper vein of ferrous minerals, stoking the palate with a tinge of sweetness.

2005 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets. Darkish opaque golden hue, proffering a weighty nose of peaches and caramel. Still rather full and agile in spite of its distinct maturity, the fruit approaching that of grapefruit overlaid with fresh frangipani in full bloom against a backdrop of cool chalky tones. Still holding on but I wouldn’t keep any longer.

2012 Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis, courtesy of Russ. Classic pinot tint, exuding a mild rosy fragrance touched with some salinity. Its pedigree is evident throughout the medium palate where its savoury darkish fruit is impeccably balanced against the sleek acidity giving the impression of charred elements, eventually settling down with refined purity.

2020 Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Tim. Very deep crimson. Warm density of ripe red fruits, raspberries and currants on the nose. Bold presence of fruit and slick acidity in equal measure touched with a splash of oak on the full palate. Very well integrated at first, proffering fine gritty inner detail and excellent precision before it developed into a monolithic tannic presence, becoming way too angular.

2018 Laurent Ponsot Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Alice. This wine opens with a rich dark rosy fragrance, superbly lifted. The palate is medium-full, layered with a fleshy abundance of bright red fruit that exude a warm ripeness, not overly extracted. Highly refined and beautifully balanced, finishing with good length.

1998 Domaine Dujac Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Russ. Mature pinot tint, proffering an alluring warm fragrance of red fruits and mandarins from fruit that is beautifully mature yet tremendously lively and agile, still imbued with fine intensity, yielding layers of enticing flavours from melted sweet tannins. Marries real charm, elegance and understated power. Outstanding.


With Marielle Cazaux: La Conseillante 2005, 2006, 2010 & 2015

March 18, 2023

20230304_192534.jpgThe great Dr Ngoi hosted Mme. Marielle Cazaux, winemaker of Château La Conseillante since 2015, to dinner at Imperial Treasure Great World, Singapore, on 04 March 2023 in an all-Pomerol line-up that included a mini-vertical of La Conseillante (a 2004 was unfortunately corked). It was very good to meet Marielle again who still recalled our visit to her château in 2016, as well as our lunch at Shinzo in 2019. The 12 hectares of vines at La Conseillante, average age about 40 years, are split into 18 sub-plots, planted with 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc on soil that is 60% grey clay and 40% sandy gravel. Interestingly, Marielle told us that 30% of vines actually sit within the Saint-Émilion soils of neighbouring Château Cheval Blanc. Planting density is cropped at 7000 vines per ha. The juice from each sub-plot is individually fermented in concrete vats and subsequently aged in 70% new oak for up to 18 months. Fining with egg white is utilized, as is racking every quarterly. About 10% of pressed wine is added to the final blend for additional flavouring, colour and intensity. The line-up that evening showed La Conseillante to be drinking beautifully according to the characteristics of each vintage, while Marielle’s maiden effort of 2015 tastes exactly as I’d remembered it to be when she’d served us barrel samples at the château. Merci beaucoup Dr Ngoi and Marielle!

2020 Samuel Billaud Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Pale golden. Fresh morning dew and clear citrus on the nose with a warm floral fragrance. Good density and intensity of fruit with a hint of longans, imbued with good energy, becoming a little minerally over time. Delicious.

2000 Pensées de Lafleur, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Cool ripe darkish tones on the nose, leading to a medium-full density of raspberries and black berries that display delicate refined depth, structured with finely grained tannins and superb acidity that linger wit glowing intensity.

2009 Château Clinet, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Deep garnet. Warm distant fragrance of dark roses and currants, delivering an intense palate of dark plums and ripe berries. Big, tight and densely structured with masculine power. Still largely primal, loosening up a little to reveal characters of soy laced with an understated sweetness, becoming more seamless and velvety over time. Excellent.

2004 Vieux Château Certan, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Deep crimson. Shy on the nose though the fleshy medium-bodied palate is layered with silky smooth tannins imbued with some vegetal elements, displaying high-toned acidity and lithe intensity that taper to a fine glowing finish with a splash of spice.

2005 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Aired in bottle. Deep crimson. Dark fruits, plums and red currants dominate with cool ripeness and sleek velvety power on the darkish palate, boasting great balance and seamless integration with great supple intensity and sublime acidity, tinged with a dash of capsicum. On par with the very best of 2005.

20230304_203939.jpg2006 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of Dr Ngoi. Aired in bottle. Dark tones of raspberries and wild berries, packed with medium fruit that traverse the palate with relaxed charm and good transparency. Gelled together with warm ripeness and sleek acidity. One is really drinking the vintage.

2010 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of Marielle Cazaux. Decanted on-site. Deep purple. Beautifully defined bouquet of dark rose petals, currants, black cherries, earth and cedar, just beginning to exude early complexity while the ultra-silky palate boasts lovely sophistication and finesse underscored by sexy sublime acidity. Utterly seamless and impeccably proportioned with unobtrusive tannins. Not showy at all, simply brimming with quiet energy and regal elegance in the glass. It has that indescribable elusive presence and certain correctness that defines a complete wine. Truly outstanding.

2015 Château La Conseillante. The maiden vintage of Marielle Cazaux. Aired in bottle for two hours prior followed by further decanting on-site. Purplish crimson. A little shy at first before blossoming with an effusive floral presence of rose petals, dark cherries, raspberries and currants that exude a delicious darkish fragrance. Seamlessly integrated with lovely tensile presence and great balance on the palate, its fruit gloriously ripe and vibrant (perhaps a little too ripe), structured with sweet, sophisticated tannins that pack velvety power. Highly successful, in my opinion. Certainly neither jammy nor over-extracted although it doesn’t quite possess that silky sexy elegance of the outstanding 2010, perhaps confirming Marielle’s view that she ought to have followed her instinct and harvested earlier rather than allowing the fruit to hang for too long.

1999 Salon, 2017 Bernard-Bonin Meursault, 2011 Francois Lamarche Aux Malconsorts, 2015 Pousse d’Or Chambolle Amoureuses, 2017 Michel Noëllat Vos-Romanée Suchots

March 14, 2023

Free-for-all promenade of whites, followed by Premier Cru that would give Grand Cru a run for its money at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Singapore, 03 March 2023. All tasted blind, except for the champagne. Many thanks, Mr Harry Fok and Mr Britt Ng, for the brilliant service and organisation.

1999 Champagne Salon, courtesy of Sir Bob. Superb lift, proffering clear citrus, pomelo and raw nutmeg in chiseled high definition. Still very fresh and full with youthful vigour, superbly balanced with a minerally predominance in its dry intensity, imbued with just the right level of acidity. As invigorating as it is delicious. This is an immortal Salon for the ages.

2017 Domaine Bernard-Bonin Meursault Vieilles Vignes, courtesy of LF. Pale. Quiet nose of distant icing with a most unusual palate of grapefruit, olives and preserved fruit that exert a sharp high-toned delicate presence. Somewhat narrow at first though it changed quite rapidly in the glass, snapping into focus with a rounder agile body tinged with distinct nutmeg, just a little short.

2017 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of LF. Pale luminosity. Shy. Misty fruit on the nose, becoming more reductive with a distinct minerally presence. Layered with refined density and good weight. More rounded and agile over time, lightly chalked, finishing with good length.

2019 Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Puligny-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er, courtesy of Vic. Pale with icy tones. Quite delicate and open with a somewhat flinty presence of clear citrus, becoming more rounded and seamless in the glass though its high-toned character remained, imparting great freshness.

2019 Pierre-Yves-Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin Hommage à Marguerite 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Pale. Effusive bouquet of distant green capsicum with emerging whitish tones, distinctly reductive with a dash of nutmeg. Very fresh, displaying good clarity and excellent definition with lithe agility amid a pronounced tension, laced with a trace of vanillin.

2018 Kuheiji Chassagne-Montrachet, courtesy of Britt Ng. Pale. Weighty bouquet of white tones with a splash of oak, well replicated on the palate with voluptuous fullness and velvety textures supported by subdued acidity. Drinking well.


2011 Domaine Francois Lamarche Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely pinot tint, exuding a delicious effusive rosy fragrance. Well-structured, slightly forward in balance with supple freshness and intensity though its density of fruit may come across as being a little gruff, a tad short as well.

1998 Domaine Comte Armand Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er, courtesy of LF. Opaque brownish red, exuding bold mature tones of mulberries, raspberries and fresh currants. Medium-full, structured with velvety intensity and slick acidity, displaying fine complexity with a dash of pungent earthiness.

2015 Domaine de la Pousse d’Or Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 1er, courtesy of Vic. Deep crimson. Good lift of red fruits imbued with some austere minerality amid overtones of enamel. Rather full and velvety, displaying good verve and sleek acidity though there is no way one would have ventured a guess at Amoureuses, such is its masculinity and power.

2006 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Brownish red. Lovely lift of red fruits leading to a bright full palate, richly layered with mature ripe fruit that is still beautifully fresh and delicious, revealing secondary characters of tangerines on a bed of sweet tannins.

2017 Domaine Michel Noëllat Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 1er. Good colour with some early crimson. Good lift of haw and red fruits. Subtly structured with good intensity, the fruit beautifully fresh and ripe. Well-integrated, revealing subtle inner detail. Quite voluptuous and succulent without being over-extracted. Delicious.


2011 La Confession, 2015 Clos de la Cure, 2015 Fonplegade, 2017 Château Soutard, 1998 La Gomerie, 2005 Château La Dominic, 2018 Château de la Grenière cuv’ Chartreuse

March 9, 2023

The Jürade de Saint-Émilion du Singapour met for a formal dinner on 01 March 2023 at Tunglok Signatures, featuring a line-up of estates less commonly known from Saint-Émilion. With only eighty-five estates being classified as Grand Cru Classé or higher (in the 2022 revision) out of more than a thousand growers and producers spread over the commune and its satellite districts, it is tough for most of those at the lower tiers of Grand Cru or below to get a shout in the commercial market although, with greater know-how and sophistication, the gap in quality has narrowed tremendously between the top and bottom tiers. This was easily seen in the line-up that evening, generously supplied by the Wine Council of Saint-Émilion, where it would have been really difficult to tell, if blinded, that we were drinking from lower tier estates. It is best to approach Saint-Émilion with an open mind and NOT be swayed by labels.

2018 Ch de la Grenière Cuvée de la Chartreuse. From Lussac Saint-Émilion. Deep crimson. Attractive warm ripe plummy tones on the nose, displaying excellent density of fruit that’s almost succulent, structured with fine precision and subtle intensity. Very well integrated and refined, finishing with good length. This wine is unclassified, but it’s really excellent by any standard.

2015 Clos de la Cure. Grand Cru. Purplish crimson, proffering distant ripe mulberries on the nose. Excellent presence of fruit though not quite as dense as the preceding wine, displaying lovely suppleness and intensity with fine acidity and a sense of delicate warmth. Very fine.

2011 Château La Confession. Grand Cru. Deep purple, exuding dryish hues with a softly contoured medium-full palate imbued with a supple depth of dark fruits, still tinged with a splash of vanillin and varnish. Very agile with fine clarity and structured intensity though its acidity is a tad too prominent. Didn’t quite really gel as well as I’d hope it would as with the 2012.

2017 Château Soutard. Grand Cru. Deep inky purple. Quite highly aromatic, boasting broad swathes of dark currants and sweet black berries matched by a structured medium-full palate imbued with excellent vigour and firm high-toned acidity, fleshing out with greater fullness and better integration of finely grained tannins though it is still quite tightly wound.

2015 Château Fonplegade. Grand Cru Classé. Deep garnet. Surprisingly beguiling on the nose, beautifully deep and elegant with early cedary characters. Very fleshy and agile, layered with ripe dark fruits and currants that impart supple intensity, lit with some bright spots within. Drinking way above its classification. A real gem, if you can find it.

2005 Château La Dominic, courtesy of Calvin. Grand Cru Classé. Deep garnet. Dark fruits and currants dominate with rich overtones of cedar and ripe plums. Medium-full, well layered with sleek acidity and velvety warmth, oozing with a trace of sweetness from well-mannered tannins.

1998 Château La Gomerie. Grand Cru. Deep garnet. Distant forest characters and mahogany on the nose. Well-integrated with supple intensity and refined acidity though the fruit is just a tad backward, displaying cool raspberries and ripe wild berries with some rustic hint.

Cillario & Marazzi Cassis 1880, courtesy of Sandy. Marked dominance of blackcurrants, ginger and ginseng that exude sweetish overtones, exerting powerful intensity on the dark richly layered palate. Almost unctuous and port-like, though it certainly isn’t. Not for the faint-hearted. The perfect end to a lovely evening.


Feb 2023: 2014 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, 2018 Florent Garaudet Monthelie Taupine, Pierre Péters Cuvée Réserve Blanc de Blancs 2017 Bouchard Corton-Charlemagne

March 5, 2023

2019 Domaine Vincent Bouzereau Meursault. Popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 02 Feb 2023. Pale golden. Distant morning dew on the nose, slightly chalky. The medium-bodied palate is generously endowed with subtle minerally layers amid overtones of cool icing, displaying refined balance and understated verve. Very fine.

Champagne Pierre Péters Cuvée de Réserve Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV. Popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 02 Feb 2023. Open white tones dominate, its very soft refined bubbles surfing up the palate with tremendous agility and excellent linearity. Possesses great verve and balance, underpinned by a deep but understated yeasty intensity, finishing with sweet intensity. Very close in character to Les Chetillons. Superb.

2010 Château Chasse-Spleen. Popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 02 Feb 2023. Dark purple. Restrained earth, bark, raspberries and mulberries, structured with refined tannins. Displays a very smooth even presence with excellent seamless integration, yielding good complexity with further detail of crushed fruit. Drinking very well.

2017 Meerlust Rubicon. Popped and poured at the in-laws, 05 Feb 2023. Deep purple. Dark fruits, currants and ripe wild berries dominate with forward presence on a dryish floor of wood shavings and bramble. Well-structured with good refinement and acidity.

2019 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Cote d’Or Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes, drunk at home between 5-9 Feb 2023. Light greenish hue, promising green fruits and citrus amid fresh morning dew. Somewhat tight and reductive at first. A lot better after three days (!!), more open with excellent fullness and acidity that imparted a high-toned vibrancy underpinned by an understated chalky minerality.

2005 Hestan Chardonnay, courtesy of CHS at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Dull golden, allied with weighty mature tones on the nose with some early apricot and cinnamon. Medium-full, proffering fine fleeting intensity and acidity before settling down with a recessed chalky glow, eventually fleshing out with smooth creamy textures. At its best.

2014 Kistler Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay, courtesy of Sir Bob at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Light luminosity. Resolutely shut on the nose though the palate is generously imbued with delicate citrus basking in a glow of distant vanillin and glacial tones, well-layered with a tight controlled intensity.

2015 Domaine Georges Nöellat Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots 1er at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Purplish tint. Soft fragrant lift of raspberries and dark cherries. Softly contoured and fleshy. Very well integrated with some early development but rather unassuming and understated on the whole with a distinctly feminine stance.

1994 Pahlmeyer Merlot, courtesy of LF at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Opaque dull red. Medium-bodied. Quite fleshy with darkish fruit, slightly velvety on a floor of earthy tannins. Developed further overtones of spice and mahogany, eventually blossoming with a superb lift ripe plums and dark roses that finished in an effusive glow. Nearing peak maturity.

2017 Château de Meursault Meursault Les Charmes Dessus 1er, courtesy of Sanjay at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Restrained on the nose though it has a very attractive cultured mouthfeel of ripe white fruits and chalk, seamlessly integrated with controlled intensity and great refinement, fanning out with some bite.

20230207_213431.jpg2014 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, courtesy of Vic at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Dull golden. This wine opens with a laidback restraint though the palate is quite full and weighty, generously endowed with dense citrus structured with clean controlled intensity and good power. Still primal.

2007 Château Suduiraut, a half-bottle at Crab At Bay, 07 Feb 2023. Deeply coloured. Dense apricot and cinnamon dominate with aged honeyed tones that impart velvety textures with moderate sweetness, not too luscious. Still imbued with fine acidity, finishing with residual tones of ash and ember.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, over lunch at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 11 Feb 2023. Greenish hue. Lovely clean lift of morning freshness and floral bloom with a bit of chalky hint. More effusive over time, developing quite an intense minerally presence. Highly harmonious with a very fine floral inner essence, underpinned by just the right degree of acidity. Thoroughly elegant, almost ethereal. Far from peaking but it’s simply quite irresistible.

2018 Domaine Florent Garaudet Monthelie 1er “La Taupine”, over lunch at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 11 Feb 2023. Darkish pinot tint, proffering dark plums and currants. Quite richly layered with a deeper vein of fresh black fruits dressed in svelte sexy tannins. Rounded and seamlessly integrated, exuding a lovely rosy fragrance with quiet intensity. Manages to combine velvety power with refined elegance. Confirms my initial impression from a glass tasted a month ago. A real gem.

2018 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, by the carafe over lunch at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, 11 Feb 2023. Marked profusion of earthy petroleum fumes which I like very much, matched by a luscious density of deft tropical fruit characters. Not cloying at all, showing great balance, clarity and refinement.

2019 Domaine Ballot-Millot Meursault, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 13 Feb 2023. Dull golden-greenish. Delicate lift of tight citrus, white flowers and chalk, displaying slick fullness with lovely freshness and oily density, underpinned by sublime understated acidity. Beautifully layered with fine precision and structure, yet so subtly detailed, turning a shade sterner as it became more minerally in the glass. Excellent.

2019 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chê the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 13 Feb 2023. Effusive warm ripe tones with a deep intensity of dark roses at its core though the sleek rounded medium-bodied palate could do with greater presence of fruit. Fleshed out better after some time with shrubbery characters and Asian spices.

2012 Champagne Pol Roger Rosé. Popped and poured at Corner Grill, 14 Feb 2023. Orangey hues. Nose of grapefruit and pomegranate with a mild yeasty pungency, brightly lit with tight dry intensity. Loosened up a little after some time, becoming more introspective and minerally with a cool balance before evolving with further notes of orange peel and inner raspberries.

2019 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Popped and poured at Eastern House of Seafood, 18 Feb 2023. Clear golden luminosity. Rich white tones and chalky creaminess dominate with excellent fullness, clarity and precision. Turned tighter after some time, almost steely with a bit of stern austerity developing from the mid-palate of ferrous minerals.

2016 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Saint-Véran Champ Rond. Aired in bottle for well over an hour prior to dinner, 20 Feb 2023. Fairly deep yellowish hues, proffering an exciting bouquet of frangipani in full bloom, yellow citrus as well as delightful tropical fruits that, interesting, became more distant as the medium-bodied palate loosened up in the glass, developing a laidback character with unprecedented clarity and brightness with the white tones and chalky elements set rather backward. Became more minerally over time, distinctly austere and steely.

2019 Nicole Lamarche Bourgogne Rouge. Tasted at home, 21-22 Feb 2023. Rose-tinted hues dominate throughout the nose and palate, softly contoured with laidback charm and feminine elegance, showcasing fine purity of raspberries and dark cherries amid traces of incense with tannins well out of the way. Drinks very well though, perhaps, just a tad too polite.

2020 Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron Côtes de Nuits-Villages La Montagne, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 24 Feb 2023. Greenish hue. Attractive aromatic bouquet. High-toned tensile presence of white fruits and yellow citrus with an after note of lychees on the rounded but narrow body that impart a bright intensity, eventually settling down with a more open even presence.

2018 Kuheiji Pommard Les Arvelets 1er, by the glass at 67 Pall Mall, Singapore, on 24 Feb 2023. Clean nose of tangerines, red fruits and currants. Medium-full. Well layered with refined acidity, displaying fine tension and suppleness with an attractive freshness. Vibrant fruit within its understated tannin structure, just a tad darkish. Good balance and intensity.

Troplong Mondot: 2019, 2009, 2005, 1998, 1990, 1988 & 1955

February 25, 2023

One of the real gems of Saint-Émilion is Château Troplong Mondot, not that it isn’t unheard of but, rather, people who have drunk Troplong Mondot would not have realised its unique qualities. Founded in 1745 by Raymond de Sèze, the estate passed to a certain Raymond Troplong in 1850 who combined his name with that of the land (Mondot), hence its name. Subsequently, the Thienpont negociant family came into possession before selling on to the Valette family, which ran the estate from 1936 till 2017, and it was during this stretch that the château finally achieved its full potential under the stewardship of Christine Valette who produced the wines from 1980 until her untimely passing in 2014. Till this day, the triumvirate of 1988-1990 is still spoken of in the same breath as other exalted estates, as is the 1998 and most of the vintages from 2000 onwards. Key to Troplong Mondot’s success lie in its terroir, sited on a gentle mound 110 metres above sea-level where there is a substantial deposit of clay covering the usual limestone. This elevation facilitates even drainage during wet months while the clay helps to retain moisture during the hot months, preventing heat stress. The harder clay also forces the roots of the vines to dig deeper, resulting in greater power and complexity to the wine. This kind of terroir is found nowhere else in Saint-Émilion, reminding me very much of the same kind of land that Château Pétrus sits on in Pomerol.


Planted nowadays with 73% merlot, 16% cabernet franc and 11% cabernet sauvignon (average age close to 30 years), the winemaking is minimalist and lesser new oak is used, allowing its natural qualities and power to shine. And it was certainly a wonderful privilege to glimpse the château’s development through a generous tasting of several vintages spanning six decades at an exclusive “Home Away From Home” event dedicated to Château Troplong Mondot at Chapter 1, Singapore, on 23 February 2023, very kindly hosted by Hervé Aymond of Corndale Consultants, where the entire restaurant had been transformed into a Troplong Mondot residency. CEO and winemaker Aymeric de Gironde (he says the river had been named after his family) was present and he’d brought along Michelin-star chef David Charrier from the estate’s restaurant Les Belles Perdrix too, as well as several other staff members, to prepare dinner. One is struck by how well the wines are made, each reflecting its terroir and respective vintage without any glossy excesses. The post-2000s are quite exceptional whilst the earlier ones are simply beautiful, a testament to the talent of Christine Valette. Even the 1955, neither a standout vintage nor a time when Bordeaux was great, is still showing well. Merci beaucoup Hervé, Aymeric, David and all for a superb evening.


2011 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. Pale luminosity. Effusive in toast and yeasty tones amid a dominant earthy pungency. Concentrated in dense yellow citrus that impart explosive power whilst its soft luxurious bubbles caress the palate with delicate open intensity.

2019 Château Troplong Mondot. Deep ruby. Highly aromatic in perfumed characters of dark rose petals and currants with a trace of vanillin. Highly supple and rounded, beautifully integrated with smooth sophisticated tannins. Impeccably proportioned and balanced, imbued with sublime acidity and juicy succulence, developing subtle glowing power in the glass. Already elegant and accessible at such an infantile stage. Clearly destined for greatness. The third vintage of Aymeric de Gironde since joining from Château Cos D’Estournel in 2017.

2009 Château Troplong Mondot. Poured from double magnum. Impenetrable deep garnet red, proffering a delicious bouquet of dark currants and black cherries that light up the slick palate with considerable power and lithe intensity, yet displaying great harmony and cohesion, finishing with superb length. Still barely evolved but will be outstanding in time to come.

2005 Château Troplong Mondot. Deep garnet, proffering powerful swathes of deep dark fruits and currants that exude a teasing lifted fragrance. Very smoothly delineated with excellent density of cool ripe fruit, showing early secondary characters. Highly integral between the fruit and refined acidity and svelte tannins, taking its time to reveal its layers with considerable power and great finesse, finishing with lasting persistence. One is truly drinking the vintage.

1998 Château Troplong Mondot. Deep garnet with just a trace of bricking at the rim. Somewhat earthy with forest characters though the presence of copious dark fruits beneath is clearly evident even on the nose. Highly supple and fleshy with a bit of medicinal warmth tinged with capsicum, showing good harmony and detail with understated power. Very lovely and elegant indeed. A true reflection of that outstanding Right Bank vintage.

IMG-20230223-WA0028.jpg1990 Château Troplong Mondot. Tasted blind. Sporting an intense deep crimson (pictured here), this wine is still so incredibly youthful, wonderfully full and vibrant, still laced with traces of enamel and vanillin. Highly integral, seamlessly combining its exuberant power with absolute harmony in a delicious complex of red fruits and currants and unobtrusive tannins that danced with great agility. Feels like less than 10 years! This legendary 1990 will be truly immortal. Simply incredulous.

1988 Château Troplong Mondot. Poured from magnum. Deep crimson. Refreshing lift of darkish fruit tinged with some capsicum, gently delicious. Fleshy and very well layered, not drying out, wielding excellent power with crisp articulation and freshness. Still as good as my last encounter in 2012 at Eleven Madison Park, New York. Highly successful.

1955 Château Troplong Mondot. Tasted blind. Brilliant color. Quietly intense on the nose, marked by herbal characters, dried mushrooms and old leather. The medium-full palate is still, amazingly, quite fresh with slick acidity, boasting a very fine presence of darkish fruit set just a little backward with a distant sur-maturite, imbued with a trace of medicinal powder. Considering that the estate wasn’t in the best shape back then, this 1955 is truly astonishing. What a privilege to have tasted it!