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2012 Roumier Morey-St-Denis Boussiere, 1997 Armand Rousseau Clos St-Jacques, 2007 Armand Rousseau Lavaux St-Jacques, 2009 Cecile Tremblay Vosne-R Beaumonts, 1995 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne, 2014 Henri Germain Meursault-Charmes, 2014 Ch Chamirey Mercurey La Mission, 2010 H Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Pruliers, 1990 Adrien Belland Chambertin

September 4, 2019

The Jurade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour gathered again on 29 August 2019 to indulge in another evening of great camaraderie, excellent food and fine wines. Yoshi was the venue, helmed by the man himself Mr Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara whose omakase creations reflect great skill and refinement. The actual surprise was the wine theme: nothing of Bordeaux, but of Burgundy 1er. We don’t necessarily need to confine ourselves to Saint-Emilion just because we’re the Jurade. A couple of bottles fell out of theme but who can decline any Chambertin Grand Cru or Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru? Many thanks, everyone, for your generous contributions, particularly to Russ for the great organisation.

2008 Dom Perignon, courtesy of Russell. Lovely luminosity but it appeared to be somewhat reticent, proffering fleeting glimpses of ferrous minerals and clear citrus with some chalkiness. Slightly more expressive on the palate where I thought it may blossom but it simply receded into a shell, coiled tightly with stern ferrous elements, bitter lemon and grapefruit, not helped at all by its crisp dryness that proved unyielding. Shutting down, not unlike the 2008 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses that I popped couple of months back. Best to lay down all your 2008 champagne while you drink up the other odd years that are lighter (2007, 2009, 2011).

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2014 Ch Chamirey Mercurey La Mission 1er, courtesy of Kieron. This over-achieving monopole is still stunning in every way, exuding a cool sheen of icing and vanillin on the nose with a white floral tone that is, at once, already imbued lovely gentle complexity. The palate lived up to expectation, excellent in concentration and presence of clear citrus and delicate minerals without being too overtly dense, displaying fine transparency with superb depth and expanse. Very correct in its poise and balance. Outstanding.

2014 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassage-Montrachet Clos du Caillerets 1er, courtesy of Kieron. The inaugural vintage of this superb monopole is absolutely mesmerising on the nose, seducing the senses with enticing detailed floral tones that matched perfectly with a minerally palate, highly understated in its subtle complex of gravel, saline minerals, ferrous elements and graphite, softly focused with very fine inner definition, finishing gently even as it grew in stature over time. Outstanding.

2014 Domaine Henri Germain et Fils Meursault-Charmes 1er, courtesy of Sandy. Deep peculiar nose of fluoride and menthol, rather open and enticing, subtly layered with saline minerals on the medium-bodied palate, displaying delicate clear tones that persisted well into the finish. Very fine.

2015 Domaine Bernard-Bonin Meursault Les Genevieres 1er, courtesy of Melvin. Don’t let its paleness deceive, for this wine proffers an effusive deep floral fragrance layered with an attractive dense chalkiness, displaying even concentration and linearity even as it turned more minerally over time, tapering to a cool waxy finish.

1995 Domaine Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, courtesy of Irene and Shuang Bai. Poured from magnum. Darker hue than usual. Served too cold initially where it was shut, proffering just some apricot. However, it snapped into great focus when it warmed up to correct temperature, displaying very fine concentration of white fruits and yellow citrus with very refined intensity and verve, supported by a bed of restrained saline minerals along with a recessed chalkiness. Louis Latour has seldom been as convincing as this. Excellent.

20190829_211531.jpg1990 Adrien Belland Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Christie. Great colour. Absolutely superb on the nose, an effusive glow of complex red fruits, mint and minerals that is simply indescribable. Medium-bodied and fleshy, layered with lovely velvety textures that confer subtle intensity, utterly seamless throughout its length, finishing with lasting persistence. Caught at its peak. Excellent.

2009 Domaine Cecile Tremblay Vosne-Romanee Les Beaumonts 1er, courtesy of Russell. Deeply colored. This wine impressed immediately with its effusive glow of complex dark plums and black currants splashed with gloss and varnish, delivering on its delicious promise with superb suppleness, presence and feminine textures underscored by some dominant salinity. Showed good linearity and persistence but it seemed to lose some of its focus and shine later when lined up against the classic purity of old style pinot expression.

2010 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er. Very lovely effusive earthy pungency on the nose, matched by a classic old style pinot expression on the palate. Softly rounded and fleshy, imbued with superb purity of evolved red fruits that exude great feminine elegance and superb balance, just a tad short which is to be expected of a 1er. Stood its ground even when drunk alongside the Armand Rousseau below. Outstanding value.

1997 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Stephen. Dusty red, but the nose is absolutely beguiling with a generous fragrance of evolved red fruits and tangerines, well replicated on the palate with a touch of gentle earthiness. Medium-bodied. A tad acidic, pitching the palate at a higher tone but really lovely and delicious.

2007 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Andrew. Right on the heels of the preceding Clos-Saint-Jacques, this younger sibling also sports a good spread of gentle red fruits and tangerines, distinctly feminine in its softly-rounded youthful suppleness without the structured masculinity of Gevrey-Chambertin, imbued with very fine acidity and earthy minerals. Open with fine intensity, just a tad short. We tasted it blind, where I thought it might have been Volnay.

2012 Domaine Georges Roumier Morey-Saint-Denis Les Boussiere 1er, courtesy of KC. Darker in colour, dominated by an ample expanse of roses and cherries on the nose. Superbly supple, beautifully nuanced with some charred elements, softly rounded. Again a little short, but still undeniably gorgeous.

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1969 Ch Pichon Baron & 1969 Ch d’Yquem…

August 31, 2019

It was Vic’s turn to celebrate his big round number with a fine dinner at Shang Palace, Shangri-la Singapore, on 09 July 2019. Quite unusually, the number of wines drunk that evening was considerably less than usual but what mattered most was quality, the birthday boy himself springing a pleasant surprise with a couple of 1969s, no less. Nobody minds pushing the boat out for Vic’s special occasion. Many happy returns!!

20190709_212137.jpg2008 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut, poured from magnum. Smooth, dry but reticent. Full-bodied yet exuding a feminine feel in its delicate fleeting concentration of citrus, pomelo and melons, replete with mild toasty characters amid yeasty overtones. Developed a deeper tone over time with further depth but without any significant complexity. I felt this champagne wasn’t quite as exuberant as a magnum tasted last year at a FICOFI event. May be shutting down a little. Perhaps best to lay down for a few more years.

1999 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er, courtesy of MH. Poured from magnum. Somewhat reserved on the nose though complex white floral characters are clearly discernible, but this wine fans out very beautifully on the palate with a gentle glowing intensity of pears, nutmeg and aged chalk, imbued with a lovely delicate density amid traces of earthy pungency. Still fresh and youthful, layered with subtle nuances as it took on a elegant sheen of creme de la crème over time, becoming almost ethereal. Very close in character to a Montrachet Grand Cru, which isn’t surprising at all as de Montille’s plot of Le Cailleret is immediately closest to that Holy Grail of whites on exactly the same north-south line. This is where the smart money should be.

2003 Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, courtesy of Sanjay. Bright vermillion. This wine exudes a deep aromatic bouquet of red and dark plums and red cherries that promised tremendous verve on the palate, tautly drawn with exciting acidity and tension, highly supple, amply layered with ripe fruit amid traces of earth as it finished on a note of ferrous ore. Excellent.

20190709_220814.jpg1997 Ch Margaux, courtesy of CJ. Deep garnet core with vermillion at the rim, proffering a delicious deep fragrance of violets, blueberries and dark currants. Medium-bodied. Softly rounded, displaying superb suppleness, transparency and complexity with a distinct limestone lift amid a dominant plummy tone, developing further notes of snuff and tea leaves although it seemed to lose a bit of linearity towards the finish.

1969 Ch Pichon Baron Longueville, courtesy of Vic. Poured from magnum. Recorked in 2002. Deeply colored. Medium-bodied. Still imbued with excellent freshness, proffering gentle medicinal aromas with a mild earthy pungency that led to a palate of dark fruits, mulberries and soy. Highly supple, showing good concentration and intensity with acidity that’s still remarkably fresh. Quite excellent.

1969 Ch d’Yquem, courtesy of Vic. Deeply coloured, exuding a rich bouquet of apricot and honey meringue of great complexity amid gentle medicinal tones whilst the fruit is distinctly laid above a tarry base of graphite minerals, still imbued with enough freshness and acidity. Not drying out. What a privilege!

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Tertre Roteboeuf 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998 & 2005 Roc de Cambes

August 28, 2019

This tasting was inspired by our recent visit to Tertre Roteboeuf in June this year where we had spent a most captivating afternoon with its founder and proprietor Francois Mitjavile. It so happened that my half-case of 2005 Roc de Cambes had just arrived from Bordeaux Index London (bought for only £30 per bottle about six years ago…can you believe that?!) and, with that masterclass of masterclasses still vividly fresh in our minds, it was only logical that we organised a dinner based on the wines of Francois Mitjavile. Mr Ho had us set up nicely in a private room at Jade Palace on 23 August 2019 with the restaurant’s signature cold Alaskan crab to match some excellent whites as a preamble. The actual line-up for the Tertre Roteboeuf turned out to be most enticing, a consecutive trio of 1993-95 topped by a stunning 1998. Best of all, they all hailed from the last century, meaning we’d be catching the wines at their peak. Many thanks, everyone, for your generous contributions.

2007 Valandraud Blanc. Aired in bottle for an hour prior. Straw coloured. Waxy aromas with overtones of green melons and toasty notes, quite intense and effusive. Took on a well-developed deeper chromatic tone supported by subtle chalkiness, imbued with very fine concentration of white citrus amid traces of nutmeg and sweet incense that imparted a relaxed open feel before tapering to a spicy glowing finish. Quite excellent.

1999 Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of Russ. Superb on the nose, boasting of toast, complex citrus, honeysuckle and fig. Still imbued with wonderful freshness on the palate, displaying excellent dry intensity, definition and linearity with inner crystalline tones that conferred great brilliance, finishing with glowing persistence. Still very youthful. Superb!

2010 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Closed at first with a bit of bottle stink that eventually blew off, revealing good concentration of delicate citrus with overtones of preserved tangerines on an open palate though still rather placid and reserved, not helped at all by the recessed chalkiness. Gained some subtle intensity but still not giving away much. One has to put up with considerable bottle variation often associated with this estate.

2005 Roc de Cambes, aired in bottle for two hours prior. Deep inky purple. Good lift of ripe black berries, blueberries and dark currants, highly delicious with a touch of snuff amid savoury traces. Beautifully layered on the palate with attractive intensity where that note of savoury sweet meat is more pronounced and unmistakable, in turn giving way to robust fruit, gloriously ripe with subtle structured tannins that exude fabulous intensity and acidity, superbly integrated with lively balance. Quite outstanding but still youthful.

1993 Ch Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of D. Deep purple. Highly lifted, again with that signature savoury character of barbequed meat that continued with superb linearity onto the palate. Delicious, savoury and concentrated with very good fruit quality, very smooth and evenly layered, imbued with very fine acidity and intensity. Almost delicate, finishing well, hanging on for about three hours before it began to fade a little. Unbelievable for a 1993. Excellent.

1994 Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Tim. This wine opened with a whiff of bottle stink that persisted although it wasn’t enough to obscure the abundance of dark fruit and plummy characters beneath, displaying excellent presence with open supple intensity but somewhat opaque, missing inner detail and complexity. Quite emphatically upstaged by the 1993. Interestingly, the word “Château” has been omitted from the label from this vintage onwards.

1995 Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Kieron. Some vermillion at rim, proffering a gentle lift of heated gravel amidst heaps of dark fruit and currants. Still rather tightly coiled with a deep core of ripe berries, exuding seamless intensity as it finished with fine linearity and persistence. At its best and will hold for many more years.

1998 Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Russ. Saving the best for last, the 1998 exceeded all expectations. Displaying an evolved purple with open lifted tones of dark currants, roast, tea leaves and soy, this wine has developed some early tertiary complexity, exuding fabulous intensity from its glorious depth of fruit, fleshy and beautifully rounded with svelte tannins and graphite minerals that added immeasurable excitement. Brilliant!

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1996 Bordeaux: A blinded trio

August 14, 2019

These are notes from a small blinded tasting organized by Benjamin after hours at his office on 04 July 2019. The theme was 1996 Bordeaux. Each of us, of course, knew what we’d brought but after the bottles were covered with identical socks and shuffled, we became none the wiser.  It was supposed to be a quartet but a 1996 Ch Palmer was unfortunately corked, leaving us with a trio that still provided plenty of intrigue and fun. Many thanks, everyone, for your contributions, especially to Benjamin for the immaculate preparation.

2017 Domaine Faiveley Batard-Bienvenues-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Benjamin. Cask sample, popped and poured. Effusive in delicate chalkiness underscored by a light creamy presence with  clear citrus some grassy elements, already good early complexity with excellent presence, transparency and definition on a base of graphite minerals. Very well-layered balanced, finishing well. Excellent but way too young.

Red #1. Darkly coloured. Distant aromas of sweet red fruits and currants, displaying an even richness on the medium-bodied palate. Fleshed out with attractive acidity and smoked characters with a tinge of dryness and burnt coal, just a tad short as it finished with ground minerals. A 1996 Clos du Marquis, courtesy of Benoit.

Red #2. Deeply coloured and savoury with a dominance of delicious dark currants and mocha on the nose, highly inviting. Quite full and fleshy, more minerally at first before giving way to dark plums and dark cherries with a bit of racy intensity, distinctly savoury and meaty amid traces of bellpepper though rather understated in acidity and finish. I thought a Saint-Emilion – perhaps a Tertre Roteboeuf – when, in fact, it was the 1996 Château Pontet-Canet that I’d brought. Most unusual, as I could not discern any of the expected Pauillac dryness.

Red #3. Raspberries, dark and red currants dominate on the nose with sweet delicious overtones. The palate was tinged with a touch of dryness amidst an abundance of earthy ferrous minerals that recalled cordite, concentrated in dark fruits with a certain sternness, turning more velvety with some lovely juicy sweetness as it gained further depth and intensity. Utterly delicious. Clearly not from the Left Bank. Kind of difficult to place, perhaps Pomerol. I thought it was La Conseillante. Instead, it was a 1996 Château Ausone….what a surprise! Merci Damien!

After the Bordeaux trio had been unblinded, Benjamin threw in a mystery red, tasted blind. The bottle shape gave it away as a Burgundy. Popped and poured, exuding a distinct earthy pungency on the nose, not unlike egg yolk. Some evolution has taken place, the wine delectably open, fleshy and highly supple with delicious red fruits and cherries that exude wonderful freshness and lift, very subtly structured with a deep core of tangerines that oozed with lovely sweetness. Carried great vigour and optimism all through to its minerally finish. All of us got it correctly: a 1996 Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge 1er. Excellent.

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July 2019: 1986 Chateau Leoville Las-Cases, 1998 Cheval Blanc, 1996 Mouton Rothschild

August 13, 2019

2016 Jim Barry Cover Drive, from the list of Wooloomooloo 05 Jul 2019. Clear purple. Fruit forward with good concentration of dark berries and raspberries, highly supple. Well balanced and lively. Opened up with good even intensity on a minerally floor, finishing on a slightly earthy spicy trace.

2016 Penfolds Bin 407, courtesy of Mr Thu at Restoran Public, Kota Tinggi, on 07 Jul 2019. Dense dark fruits and currants dominate amid traces of forest floor and dusty tannins, quite even in concentration. Finished with fine intensity of blackcurrants.

20190712_184452.jpg2015 Domaine Bruno Clair Chambolle-Musigny Les Veroilles, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 12 Jul 2019. Lovely deep pinot tint. Ample expanse of rose petals, red cherries, camphor and haw flakes on the nose and palate. Quite plump and fleshy, displaying good intensity and extraction with excellent ripeness. Highly supple. Snapped into focus after 30 minutes, becoming rounder and warmer and more seamless, layered with a deeper vein of fruit amid traces of saline minerals, finishing with a bit of coiled tension. Very fine. Great value.

2000 Champagne Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 13 Jul 2019. Deep lustre with a deep yeasty pungency. Medium-bodied, fleshy and dry. Lightly layered with crisp clear citrus, lime and green melons. Better developed with more presence and depth but this is never the most profound of champagne.

2014 Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 13 Jul 2019. Superbly layered with chalky creaminess, not apparent at first but it gradually opened up to reveal some early complexity amidst a light minerally tone, developing further depth and richness with a lovely transparency and roundedness, finishing with wonderful length.

1986 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 13 Jul 2019. Deep garnet red. Powerful developed bouquet of Chinese tea leaves, deep currants and violets. Highly supple with great sublime acidity, still imbued with superb presence and layering that exuded great precision with a fabulous controlled intensity, developing a sweet velvety tannin structure over time as it finished with a wonderful hallowed glow amid traces of mint. At its peak but still amazingly youthful, this wine can easily last another few more decades.

1996 Ch Mouton Rothschild, courtesy of Meng, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 13 Jul 2019. Deep garnet core with a trace of vermilion at the rim. Highly supple, fleshy and open. Deeply layered with cool ripe fruit and dark currants amid overtones of dried mushrooms and tea leaves that underscores its terroir. Understated in complexity, it displayed great linearity as it finished with growing power in that unmistakable Pauillac signature tone.

1998 Ch Cheval Blanc, courtesy of WKW, popped and poured at Jade Palace, 13 Jul 2019. Deep crimson. Imbued with slightly darker shades dark plums and soy that caressed the palate with a lovely velvety richness. Open and highly supple, fleshing out with further notes of tea leaves as it exuded a lovely youthfulness that lasted the whole night. However, knowing the potential greatness of mature cabernet franc, I’d say this wine is still far from peaking.

2000 Ch D’Aiguilhe, popped and poured at Tunglok Signatures, 15 Jul 2019. Deep purple, exuding powerful aromas of dark currants, cherries and dark plums on the nose and palate with great concentration. Still tannic with taut tension underscored by ferrous undertones, culminating in a spicy lengthy finish.

Veuve Cliquot Brut, popped and poured at Tunglok Signatures, 15 Jul 2019. Dense bouquet of green citrus with a gentle yeasty pungency, dry and bright with good concentration lime and pomelo that imparted a slightly stern minerally tone.

Veuve Fourny et Fils Oertus Premier Cru Brut, popped and poured at Tunglok Signatures, 15 Jul 2019. Toasty yeasty characters dominate amid layers of fig, pine, green melons and lime, displaying excellent depth and concentration. Excellent.

2009 Ch Le Doyenne, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 21 Jul 2019. Early evolution, proffering dense aromas of blueberries and violets with excellent fullness, presence and layering on the palate, slightly dryish. Developed a persistent sandy earthy tone over time, rather unlike the graphite intensity previously encountered with this wine, fleshing out very well with an almost Pauillac-like character with a lovely biting open intensity that conferred superb mouthfeel.

2017 Domaine Chanson Bourgogne Rouge, from the list of Taratata Brasserie, 26 Jul 2019. Rosy hues, dark cherries and wild berries dominate on the nose beneath a sheen of paraffin. The palate is marked by prominent salinity and dry crisp acidity, showing good concentration of dark plummy fruit, developing some biting intensity over time but still generally undistinguished.

2003 Ch Lagrange, popped and poured, 28 Jul 2019. Clear purple, exuding notes of capsicum and austere green elements on the nose. Good intensity of ripe wild berries, mulberries and currants on the palate, grippy with tight acidity. Opened up very well to reveal a great fleshy presence with a delicious core. Perennially under-rated but this Saint-Julien is good value if you can find it below SGD100.

2009 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva, popped and poured at Crab At Bay, 31 Jul 2019. Deep garnet red. Shy, not revealing much on the nose though the palate is concentrated with ripe dark berries and dark plums amid ferrous elements, open with supple intensity. Still youthful.

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1969 Ch Lafite Rothschild

August 8, 2019

20190718_202307.jpgAnother casual dinner on 18 July 2019 threw up a wonderful line-up given that no theme had been set. The Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck at Paragon Singapore is truly an outstanding venue for refined Cantonese cuisine. Try ordering some off-the-menu items (very nicely arranged for this occasion by LF): glutinous duck rice, salted fish tofu in claypot, and the razor clam cooked side-table in superior broth (pictured left).

2005 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets. Light golden lustre. Rather shy, proffering only white fruits and floral mint with some mild salinity. Rapidly gained depth and body as it warmed up, developing lightly peppery tones with traces of nutmeg as it gradually blossomed with fine detail and delicate intensity, taking on a more distinct saline minerality whilst maintaining its subtle richness as it tapered to an open minerally finish. This is Meursault at its finest, amazingly from a village.

2014 Peter Michael Belle Cote, courtesy of Kieron. Lovely luminosity. There is an attractive hint of oiliness on the nose matched by lifted tones of bell pepper and dense morning dew from the solid concentration and depth of fruit, revealing excellent sophistication and detail as it stretched over time to an extended chalky finish before receding beneath a waxy sheen. Excellent.

20190718_195834.jpg2014 DuMOL Finn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF. Deep ruby. There is a faint trace of paraffin amid the delicious expanse of red cherries on the nose. The palate is rounded and open, revealing a deep intense core of ripe fruit that exuded lovely charm and elegance with excellent linearity. Very well-balanced and integrated, finishing with youthful vigour and richness.

2009 Domaine Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Glowing irresistibly with glorious red fruits, rosy hues and ripe strawberries, this wine is superbly open with great inner definition, revealing shades of gravelly minerals and sweet structured tannins that impart great feminine charm with fine subtle intensity, fleshing out very well with great roundedness and sophistication. Excellent.

1969 Ch Lafite Rothschild, courtesy of Vic. Displaying an almost pinot tint, this Lafite is still imbued with excellent fullness in spite of its rounded mellowed softness, yielding a lovely lifted pungency from its core of aged plummy fruit and sweet melted tannins. What a wonderful surprise for a casual dinner! One cannot ask for more from this wine nor from its generous owner.

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1990 Ch Montelena Estate, 1982 Ch Talbot, 1982 Ch Cos D’Estournel, 2000 “Y” Ygrec, 2005 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, 2004 Clinet

August 5, 2019

August kicked off with a wonderful dinner organised by K at Origin Grill, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, on 01 August 2019 where Sir Robert was in a particularly generous mood, especially given that no specific wine theme had been set. Head sommelier Britt Ng saw to it that we were properly looked after with fresh stemware for each wine. I was particularly impressed by the Montelena Estate, given that I just had the 1991 just two months earlier. The 1990 here was equally stunning. When properly blinded, there was nothing to give it away as a Napa. Many thanks guys, for your friendship and generosity.

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2000 Ch d’Yquem “Y” Ygrec, courtesy of Robert Kwok. Light luminous golden hue. Reticent at first, only proffering traces of icing, vanilla and paraffin. Much more forthcoming on the palate where tropical fruits and notes of honeysuckle dominate with very fine body and layering, laced with understated acidity. It took on a gentle rounded complexity over time, developing further tones of eau de cologne, slightly minty, never at all heavy as it tapered to a gentle glowing finish. Excellent.

2005 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, a bottle personally autographed by proprietor Olivier Bernard in Singapore many years ago. Very shy on the nose. Very delicate and lightly shaded with a bright minerally shine, revealing great clarity and transparency as it developed lovely acidity and rounded intensity against a backdrop of understated minerals. Superb refined elegance.

1982 Ch Talbot, courtesy of Robert Kwok. Tasted blind. Deep garnet red, exuding a great deep earthy pungency that immediately called to mind the terroir of Pessac-Leognan. Medium-bodied. Softly rounded, fleshy and open, filled with an ample expanse of mature red fruits and cherries, beautifully integrated with understated depth and intensity. Gained lovely purity as the initial pungency receded after some time but, still, there’s no way one would have imagined this to be a Saint-Julien. Excellent.

1990 Ch Montelena Estate, courtesy of Robert Kwok. Tasted blind. Still amazingly dark and youthful. I thought this showed a classic Saint-Julien nose of heated gravel with delicate graphite tones amid a superb deep fragrance of cool ripe blueberries and dark currants. Open with great suppleness and quiet intensity, very subtly structured. Can easily last another couple of decades. Superb.

1982 Ch Cos D’Estournel, courtesy of Kieron. Gentle but pronounced earthy pungency on the nose. The palate is slightly austere with a predominance of very fine graphite elements within mature tones of dark berries, violets and blueberries. Beautifully rounded, developing a rich complex of cedary notes, cinnamon, plums and tangerines at its core. Quite glorious, at its absolute best.

2004 Ch Clinet, courtesy of Vic. Violets and blueberries dominate with a lovely fragrance, fairly dense and deep, quite full but not overwhelming, opening up well  with a fleshy biting intensity before settling into a more gentle seductive tone on an understated graphite base.

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