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Burgundy monopoles: 2013 Clos de Tart, 2015 Faiveley Clos des Cortons Faiveley, 2013 Bouchard Chevalier-Mont La Cabotte, 2009 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Ex-Brut, 2016 Chavy-Chouet Clos des Corvées Citeau, 2011 Mugnier NSG Clos de la Marechale, 2015 L’Arlot NSG Clos de L’Arlot

January 31, 2022

Sir K hosted an inspired theme of Burgundy monopoles to go with a delightful dinner helmed by chefs Juliana Ng and Joe Leong from V-ZUG’s Gourmet Academy prepared entirely, of course, on V-ZUG equipment at his bespoke residence on 21 January 2022. In spite of the very best top crus being stratospherically priced out of reach, we still managed to put up an excellent line-up without much forward planning. Thank you, Sir!

2012 Champagne Philipponnat 1522, courtesy of Sir K. Very pale. Wonderfully fresh. Well endowed with pomelo and clear citrus with traces of bitter lemon that impart a slight steeliness, finishing with an attractive austerity.

2009 Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut, courtesy of Sir K. Luminous golden hue, exuding pungent yeasty characters and smoke with a chalky gleam. Open with regal sophistication, displaying superb balance and suppleness. Highly integral. Doesn’t quite possess the same depth and dimension as the 2008, but this is drinking very well. Clos des Goisses is a 5.5 ha walled monopole sited on a very steep slope with a 45-degree incline facing south, planted with both chardonnay and pinot noir in a ratio of about 40:60.

2015 Domaine de L’Arlot Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de L’Arlot 1er monopole, courtesy of Russ. Pale. Lightly toned but deceptively effusive in white floral notes and clear citrus with a welcoming warmth though the palate is initially too cautious with a laid back politeness, fleshing out eventually with full intensity and fine clarity.

2016 Domaine Hubert Chavy-Chouet Meursault Clos des Corvées de Citeau, courtesy of Sir K. From a monopole of 0.96 ha, this wine displays a lovely luminosity with an alluring sweetness of pears and figs. Rather delicate and restrained on the medium-bodied palate, becoming more introspective over time as it developed greater fullness and tension. This wine is all about its fabulous nose at this stage.

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2011 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de la Marechale 1er monopole, courtesy of Russ. Good colour, proffering a rosy fragrance of distant red fruits amid some earthiness. Medium weight. Well integrated with structured supple intensity, displaying the classic sandy Nuits-Saint-Georges character of earthy ferrous minerals. Excellent.

2015 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir K. Deep ruby. Well extracted and full, ample in bright plummy red fruits and dark currants still substantially laced with enamel. More open after some time with rounded supple tannins though still wound with tight intensity. Best to lay down for another decade. At its best, Faiveley’s famous monopole is capable of rivaling Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Corton Grand Cru.

2013 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart Grand Cru monopole. Deep crimson, exuding a delicious swathe of ripe cherries and raspberries. Medium-full. Generously stuffed with ripe darkish fruit and ferrous elements in equal measure, cleanly structured with dryish textures within a condensed narrow spectrum though this vintage misses the fabulous depth and layering of the best Clos de Tart.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir K. Luminous hues. Bouchard’s little-known monopole is effusive in cool white tones with a cool chalky gleam though its austere mid-body is distinctly minerally, structured with fine precision amid a tinge of salinity. Opened up with regal presence to reveal intense white tones with tremendous clarity, superbly balanced with fine vigour. Outstanding.

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2004 Domaine Romanée-Conti Bâtard-Mont 1990 Pichon Baron, 1998 Penfolds Grange, 1934 Murrieta Castillo Ygay Logroño Rioja, 1993 Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beau Monts, 1985 Château Haut-Brion, 1988 Krug Brut

January 25, 2022

The usual suspects kicked off the New Year with a bang at Imperial Treasure Great World on 20 January 2022. “Great Wines” was the theme…

2008 Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Brut. Pale. Rich lifted bouquet of lime, tangy citrus and tropical fruits bathed in  fresh morning dew. Full-bodied, displaying lovely tension and intensity with fine detail tinged with minerally austerity amid overtones of flint and gun smoke. Fleshed out with juicy depth and creamy smoothness after some time, maintaining great precision.

1988 Champagne Krug Brut, courtesy of LF. Distinctly mature on the nose, exuding nutty characters and burnt ends. Almost pungent. Still amazingly fresh and full, gently caressing the palate with refined soft bubbles. Open with quiet intensity, displaying regal presence. One is really drinking its distilled essence.

2019 Shaw & Smith Adelaide Hills M3 Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. Aired for two hours in advance. Tasted blind. Pale. Profusion of cool tones on the nose while the medium-bodied palate is imbued with white fruits and citrus that exude sheer delicate intensity on a velvety bed of white tones with fine tension and superb precision, lingering with a soft glow of nutmeg at the finish. Everyone thought it was either Coche-Dury or Roulot. Shows real class and sophistication.

2004 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Luminous golden hue, proffering a recessed chalkiness with an unusual note of fluoride that lead to a placid expanse of cool tones on the palate. Surprisingly soft, medium weight, fleshing out with ripe tones of yellow fruit before giving way to a full classic Puligny chalkiness underpinned by an unique salinity. Normally available only for tasting within the cellars of D.R.C. (ie. never for sale), Aubert de Villaine had gifted a bottle to Sir Bob. What a privilege!

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1993 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beau Monts 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Lovely colour with a slight crimson rim, exuding a lovely fragrance of crushed red fruits, haw and rose petals. Open and seamlessly structured with superb understated intensity, displaying a rich mid-palate of ferrous elements and minerals tinged with a dash of saline. Caught at its peak and will last for many more years. Outstanding.

1990 Château Pichon Longueville Baron. Deep garnet. Still astonishingly fresh and full with a juicy suppleness though its innate masculinity is evident, imbued with a superb density of black fruits and dark currants that ran deep into its core, yielding fine inner detail though its Pauillac character is less immediately obvious.

1998 Penfolds Grange, courtesy of Kieron. Deep impenetrable purple. Its New World trait is immediately obvious, characterised by forward density of dark currants, black fruits and raspberries still yet to shake off its coat of varnish and enamel. Full-bodied, displaying sweet plummy tones with a juicy velvety suppleness. Powerfully structured with controlled hedonism, yet pliant enough. Quite impeccably proportioned and balanced. Worthy of its reputation but still far from peaking.

1985 Château Haut-Brion, courtesy of Vic. Deep purple, exuding a classic glow of capsicum, haw, herbal elements, currants and dark cherries only possible from a well-aged claret. Equally captivating on the velvety palate where vibrant cool ripe fruit and dark rosy characters dominate with amazing freshness and seamless integration, seemingly younger than its age. I’d thought it to be a ’95. What lovely maturity! At its peak, and will hold.

1934 Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Logroño Especial Rioja, courtesy of LF. Good colour. Clearly aged with a really rustic Old World heaviness but still imbued with a full expanse of warm ripe fruit that is distinctly sweet and pruny, its acidity still unexpectedly robust amid overtones of traditional medicated powder. Into its eighty-eighth year, and still holding on. Amazing!

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2008 Armand Rousseau Chambertin GC, 1998 Château Rayas, 1999 Château Lafleur, 1995 Dom Pérignon Rosé

January 15, 2022

The great SC hosted his traditional New Year’s Eve lunch at Omakase @ Stevens on 31 December 2021 with an outstanding line-up to end the year with a bang. Thank you, Sir!

1995 Champagne Dom Pérignon Rosé. Orange hue, proffering an alluring bouquet of mature grapefruit and tangerines. Slightly leathery on the palate with a strong suggestion of lychees, fullish with subdued dryness, fleshing out with excellent depth and freshness.

2017 Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru Cuvée Madeleine Collignon. Vinified by Joseph Drouhin for Lisa and Henry Tay. Deep rosy tint, exuding a delicious rosy fragrance with rich plummy tones. Medium-full. Highly supple with a lovely warmth and intensity of fruit on a base of subtle earthy elements, superbly balanced. Good finish.

1999 Château Lafleur. Deep ruby. Alluring aromas of deep dark fruits and currants with some bright spots. Surprisingly full and fleshy for the vintage, imbued with a warm abundance of ripe wild berries and capsicum laced with sublime acidity. Seamlessly integrated with moderate complexity. Finished well. Highly successful.

2008 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru. Mature pinot tint. Surprisingly open with lovely orangey tones of mandarins and tangerines amid overtones of summer hay. Structured with rounded pliant tannins that exert exquisite intensity with subtle complexity, laced with very fine acidity. Almost feminine. This is an alluring beauty caught at its prime.

1998 Château Rayas. Light orange hue. Complex effusive bouquet of glycerin, rose petals, tangerines, haw, red fruits and cherries that is highly alluring and seductive, displaying a gentle layered depth of smouldering ember with a savoury trace amid darkish undertones. Open with fine clarity and supple feminine intensity, maintaining its haunting complexity and beauty in the glass. A real seductress. Outstanding!

2004 Château Pétrus, 2004 Château Latour, 1985 Tertre Roteboeuf, 1996 Bollinger R.D. 1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste

January 10, 2022

Messrs Yu père et fils, once again, very kindly organised dinner on 28 December 2021 at Imperial Treasure Paragon, providing an outstanding line-up as well to round off the year. While clarets are best drunk well after twenty years, it appears the 2004s have rounded the corner, entering their peak drinking period. Many thanks and good health to all!

1996 Champagne Bollinger R.D., courtesy of Russ. Slightly dull golden. Fabulous bouquet of glazed mature tones, recalling aged honey with a complex of apricot and light nectarine. Full presence of tight citrus with a recessed chalky gleam, exuding superb freshness with dry intensity, oozing slick acidity at the finish tinged with subtle ferrous elements. Excellent.

1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Mature dull red, proffering a soft rosy fragrance from a fleshy depth of ripe dark berries and black currants caught at peak maturity. Highly supple with a lovely feminine intensity, developing further subtle vegetal elements as it morphed into an elegant seamless entity with superb glow and fragrance, impeccably balanced and proportioned. One is truly drinking the vintage. Outstanding.

1985 Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet. Rather restrained on the nose, proffering some cedary notes. The medium-bodied palate is firm and minerally, gradually fleshing out with a rounded delicious fullness along with distinct savoury characters, displaying fine linearity and length.

2004 Château Pétrus, courtesy of Raymundo. Deep ruby. Superb bouquet of dark cherries and deep rosy characters. Wonderfully pure, displaying an opulent mid-palate of complex dark fruits, ripe black berries and earthy clayey elements that exert supple intensity all through its delicious length. Impeccably proportioned, stamping its class in this classical vintage. Outstanding.

2004 Château Latour, courtesy of Raymundo. Deep ruby. Smooth expanse of delicious dark fruits and ripe berries. Medium weight. Open with surprising feminine supple intensity within a rather condensed narrow body though what comes through is absolutely classical Left Bank, seamlessly layered with understated acidity and structure, displaying early secondary characteristics. Excellent.

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1991 Domaine Leroy Meursault-Perrières, 2010 Comte Lafon Meursault-Perrières, 2012 Dujac Vosne-Romanée Malconsorts, 2014 Arnoux-Lachaux Nuits-St-G Les Proces, 2015 Coquard Loison Fleurot Échézeaux, 2014 Georges Lignier Clos Saint-Denis & 2006 Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche

January 7, 2022

Sir Bob hosted dinner (yet again, but nobody’s complaining) at Imperial Treasure Great World on 22 December 2021 on a theme of ”serious” burgundy, and he doesn’t disappoint. Many thanks, Sir!

2008 Champagne Thienot La Vignes Aux Gamins, courtesy of LF. This blanc de blancs opens with an effusive white floral bloom amid copious overtones of citrus and white fruits, leading to a racy high acidity palate underscored by pomelo and bitter lemon that display tremendous zest with a keen dry intensity.

1996 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc, courtesy of Sir Bob. Luminous cool white tones set against a chalky restraint, displaying understated verve with perfect balance and proportion. Grew in intensity over time, developing a seamless high-toned acidity with even more stunning white tones, still amazingly fresh in spite of its twenty-five years, tapering to a sweetish finish. Such is its impeccable pedigree that what is bourgogne for Leroy is easily grand cru elsewhere. Outstanding!

1991 Domaine Leroy Meursault-Perrières 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Golden hue, showing a restrained presence of lychee and longans with a distinct maturity but still fresh with understated acidity on the medium-full palate. More rounded after some time with gentle complexity and an increasing dominance of paraffin on the nose, just a tad short. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Comte Lafon Meursault-Perrières 1er, courtesy of Sir Bob. Pale golden. Rather quiet and placid with notes of cool icing, light green fruits and citrus tinged with paraffin. Medium-full, showing youthful verve and freshness with lovely tension before settling down with regal elegance and fabulous depth. Destined for true greatness.

1997 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, courtesy of Sir Bob. Light golden, exuding cool white tones with delicate intensity amid a hint of mature chalkiness. Has palpable breed and refinement. A classic Leflaive.

2014 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Proces 1er. Slightly darkish, proffering a superb lift of ripe red fruits and cherries with wonderful purity. Bright and highly supple, imbued with sublime acidity that exert lovely intensity and mouthfeel. Excellent balance.

2012 Domaine Dujac Vosne-Romanée Aux Malconsorts 1er, courtesy of Sir K. Classic pinot tint. Unique effusive bouquet of heated wet gravel and summer hay. Medium-full, structured with supple tannins that display keen precision with a laid back intensity. Became more seamless over time with dryish textures, a tad austere.

Dujac’s Aux Malconsorts 1er lies on Dr Lim’s right. The other side belongs to de Montille.

2006 Domaine Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, courtesy of WCY. Minty lift. Full-bodied, darkish in character, showing good extraction with cool clean tones and lean precision. Fleshed out with more rounded red fruits and tangerines underpinned by ferrous undertones, exerting lovely mouthfeel with superb textural integration.

2014 Domaine Georges Lignier Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru, courtesy of Alvin. Classic pinot tint. Wonderful lift of red fruits with some early complexity. Superbly supple and open, displaying lovely purity. Excellent, from an under-rated producer.

2015 Domaine Coquard Loison Fleurot Échézeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of LF. Quite deeply coloured, its flamboyant racy character on the nose delivering glorious layers of ripe raspberries and dark berries on the full palate. Rounded with good definition. Excellent.

Farewell to Yoshi: 2013 Leflaive Bâtard-M, 2017 Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Charmes, 2012 Grivot Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts, 2012 Hudelot Nöellat V-R Les Beaumonts

January 3, 2022

Russ hosted a superb evening on 20 December 2021 at Yoshi, named after Chef Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara who, sadly, is returning to Japan. Trained as a kaiseki chef at Saitama prefecture, Yoshi-san had been the personal chef to ambassadors based in San Francisco and Singapore before moving to Singapore in 2012. On the eve of his imminent departure, Chef Yoshi-san once again treated us to his exquisitely refined creations done in the true style of Kyo-Ryori cuisine of Kyoto. Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu and all the best, Yoshi-san! We will miss you.

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Photo: The PEAK magazine

2006 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal. Lovely luminosity, effusive in gun smoke with a bright recessed mature chalkiness already imbued with a certain complexity. Beautifully layered with dense yellow citrus and refined acidity that exude cool dry intensity with great clarity, merging well with a greater expanse of chalky elements to exert an austere gleam within a smooth creamy sheen that stretched with lingering persistence. Superb.

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2017 Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er. Pale. Cool icing with subtle traces of vanillin dominate, somewhat understated though eventually the white tones of Chassagne came through with distilled intensity. Became rather placid again, almost closing down before picking up with emergent high-toned acidity. Not ready.

2017 Yves Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Charmes 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Very pale and cool, proffering great clarity amid overtones of lemongrass. Beautifully expressive with a layered depth of nutmeg and exotic characters, displaying superb balance, proportion and precision with rounded intensity. Just a tad short. Excellent.

2013 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Russ. Pale. Rather placid, proffering delicate detail with subtle intensity, its layers of white fruit tightly coiled with stern minerality. Distinctly reluctant. Took a really long time before things snapped into focus with emergent pomelo and bitter lemon, eventually fleshing out with lovely fullness. Gently balanced. A feminine Leflaive. One is truly drinking the vintage.

2012 Domaine Hudelot Nöellat Vosne-Romanée Les Beaumonts 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Classic pinot tint, exuding light raspberries and cherries on the nose with superb purity. Medium weight. Very fresh and cleanly structured with lithe agility and good refinement.

2012 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er, courtesy of Russ. Good colour. Wonderfully fragrant in dense rosy characters on a bed of velvety earthiness, at once sultry, alluring and seductive. Wonderfully supple as well on the palate, imbued with subtle red fruits amid a saline trace, laced with sublime acidity and intensity. This is classic burgundy at its best.

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Dec 2021: 2019 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages, 2010 Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay, 1988 Figeac, 1996 Montrose, 1999 Palmer, 1988 La Conseillante, 2000 Figeac…

December 31, 2021

2016 DeMorgenzon Maestro Red. Popped and poured at Wah Lok, 02 Dec 2021. A cabernet blend from Stellenbosch. Opaque purple, opening with lifted notes of fresh raspberries, blueberries and currants with a slightly dry rasping quality on the palate, displaying bold structured tannins with fine intensity and attack. Settled down after some time into a more seamless whole with further notes of mocha on a base of ferrous elements that confer a certain austerity towards its finish. Plenty of quality here, but not ready. This estate blasts classical music 24/7 over outdoor loudspeakers to its vines.

2017 Domaine Philippe Livera Bourgogne Rouge. Popped and poured on 07 Dec 2021. Slightly more forward in delicious vibrant fruit that recalled raspberries, mulberries and cherries. Fleshy, rounded and well-integrated with a certain masculinity, imbued with ferrous elements that do not distract from the very fine quality. Starting to drink well.

2007 Château Valandraud Blanc. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure GWC, 10 Dec 2021. Luminous golden hue, exuding attractive notes of brioche, nectarine, apricot and cinnamon amidst a white floral bloom though the palate displayed a recessed chalkiness with a chiseled edge. A certain salinity was discernible initially before the wine fleshed out with more presence of white tones and understated acidity, laced with a hint of vanillin oak, showing good clarity as it gained in lithe acidity. Drinking well but yet to peak.

2010 Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Rioja. Popped and poured, 12 Dec 2021. Opaque crimson. Good density of wild berries, currants and smoked meat with early secondary characteristics. Medium weight. Rounded and relaxed with sweet well-managed tannins. Drinking well.

2019 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages. Popped and poured, 15 Dec 2021. Delicate white tones abound, so seamlessly integrated that it is impossible to differentiate between chalk and fruit. Soft and beautifully rounded with understated verve and acidity, so highly elegant and regal even for such a “lowly” wine. What they say is true: buy up all the 2019s that you can.

2016 Les Hauts du Tertre, tasted over 18-19 Dec 2021. This second label of Château du Tertre opens with initial opaque earthy textures that obscure the fruit beneath. It cleared up overnight to reveal quite a stunning depth of delicious dark currants and black berries that tease with fleeting supple intensity, nicely rounded and fleshy. Demands to be taken seriously.

2008 Rockford Black Shiraz. Popped and poured at Asia Grand, 19 Dec 2021. Australia’s top sparkling shiraz proffers deep dark plummy tones from its layered depth with a signature warm ripe Barossa character. Weighty with refined balance, exuding overtones of cordite, licorice and ferrous elements as it glided to a fabulous liquered finish. At its best.

1999 Château Palmer. Decanted on-site at Otto Ristorante, 24 Dec 2021. Deep purple. Lovely lift of early tertiary characters with quite an exuberant plummy glow. Highly supple on the medium-full palate, structured with pliant tannins and understated ferrous elements, displaying excellent freshness and integration. Snapped into tighter focus after some time with emerging notes of cedar and cinnamon, developing an open gentle supple intensity that’s almost feminine. Excellent.

Champagne Roger Coulon L’Hommée 1er. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 27 Dec 2021. Fresh lifted intensity of clear citrus and lime amid burnished tones and white incense. Very well layered with crisp acidity and bright chalky tones that impart great clarity, developing a rich creamy sheen over time. Great value.

1988 Château La Conseillante, courtesy of WCY. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 27 Dec 2021. Mature purplish brown with a distinct crimson rim, proffering a sharp earthy pungency on the nose that contrasted beautifully against the lovely layers of mature dark fruit and subtle ferrous elements on the palate, structured with lean precision and crisp acidity, developing a further rounded note of soy before ending with a trace of austerity. Excellent.

2000 Château Figeac. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 27 Dec 2021. Deep purple. Effusive delicious nose of dark currants and blueberries. Medium weight. Surprisingly open with slightly dryish textures, still imbued with a trace of vanillin. Fleshed out with seamless lovely balance with dense powdery hues, supremely confident and relaxed. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Still yet to peak.

1996 Château Montrose, courtesy of Vic. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 27 Dec 2021. Deep garnet. Classic Left Bank complexity on the nose with a lovely supple tensile presence, showing very fine definition with a deeper vein of tight black fruit. Delicious, darkish and masculine, structured with understated sweet tannins. Superb.

1988 Château Figeac, courtesy of WCY. Popped and poured at Imperial Treasure Great World, 27 Dec 2021. Mature deep crimson, exuding a delicious complex of delicious red fruits and tangerines that carried across the fleshy palate with feminine grace and elegance. Seamlessly integrated with sweet melted tannins, beautifully balanced with highly subtle tertiary characteristics. Still amazingly fresh and youthful. Outstanding!

2017 Maison de Montille Saint Romain. Popped and poured at Eastern House of Seafood, 29 Dec 2021. Pale. Dense effusive aromas of diesel, intense clear citrus and white floral tones, well replicated on the palate with a delicate high-toned acidity. Developed good minerally detail, eventually fanning out with excellent tensile presence. Quite excellent, but worth cellaring further.

2019 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthieres. Popped and poured at Ka Soh, 31 Dec 2021. This wine opens with a great high-toned intensity of clear citrus and pomelo coupled with cutting acidity before settling down with slivery white tones and emergent minerally elements, displaying a hint of longans within its tight layering. Best to lay down for a long while.

FUCK 2021: 2016 Coche-Dury Meursault, 2007 Salon, 2014 Drouhin Criots-Bâtard, 1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard, 1996 Pingus, 1995 Romanée-Conti Grands Échézeaux & Château Haut-Brion 1989

December 24, 2021

The usual suspects gathered on 16 December 2021 with an outstanding line-up to mark the end of another miserable year for wining and dining. Coupled with Chef Joseph Yeo’s culinary refinement created on V-ZUG equipment, all Zalto/Sensory stemware and Sir K’s bespoke residence, some semblance of greatness was restored, bringing hope that 2022 will turn out better. Many thanks to everyone for your generosity, especially to Sir K for your impeccable tastes and hospitality.

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2007 Champagne Salon, courtesy of Sir K. Restrained presence of lime and clear citrus with a tinge of smoke and lemongrass. Equally delicate on the palate where more white tones dominate with fine clarity though the fruit remains rather backward. More effusive over time, culminating in an austere finish. Sandwiched between the opulence of 2006 and 2008, this is an honest representation of the vintage.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune, courtesy of Sir Bob. Hint of enamel and white flowers on the nose, rather restrained, though rounded tones on the palate display very fine tensile presence and clarity. Very cleanly structured with fine precision.

2016 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault Clos des Ambres, courtesy of LF. Pale. Powerful reductive bouquet recalling a freshly struck matchstick, highly attractive. Fleshed out quite rapidly with chiseled clarity and sleek acidity, exuding a little more earthy funkiness along with emerging notes of tropical fruits, finishing with excellent length.

2016 Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault, courtesy of LF. Luminous. Distinct notes of diesel, fairly effusive, with early complexity. Rather sleek in the typical latter-day style of Coche-Dury with a delicate crystalline quality topped with cool icing, though it teases the mid-palate with a fleeting rounded warmth that is another classic hallmark of this domaine, fanning out with superb tangy mouthfeel and high-toned acidity on its way to a fabulous finish. Outstanding.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Luminous tones of delicate tropical fruits with cool icing on the nose, showing a hint of early complexity even though the fruit beneath remains relatively tight with coiled intensity within an understated chalky depth. Fleshed out with fuller presence and lovely acidity, tinged with a slight earthy pungency but it took another day before hitting full stride. Best to lay down for several more years.

2008 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir V. This wine opens with a mild salinity amid gentle tones of warm gravel. Fleshed out with full chromatic tones that is the very hallmark of Chevalier-Montrachet without calling attention to itself, ever self-effacing, displaying great clarity even as it developed more nutty secondary characters. Superb.

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1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Distinct fine powdery minty tones emanate from opaque hues, reminiscent of traditional Chinese pochai pills. The herbal medicinal characters continue to linger with robust presence on the light-medium palate, displaying fine clarity even through its sheen of sherry-like sweetness, just a tad short.

1970 Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Dull opaque crimson. Clearly well-aged though still remarkably robust and fleshy with plenty of heft. Rounded with a distinct note of eucalyptus that exuded sweet minty overtones with a deeper core of tangerines, its mature acidity still cutting through the dense mid-palate. This very wine was amongst the list of ten reds (six Californian and four Bordeaux) tasted blind at the so-called 1976 Judgement of Paris, eventually ranked ninth. We’re drinking history!

2007 Henschke Hill of Roses. Deep ruby. Rather subdued on the nose with vague minty tones though the medium-bodied palate is well-layered with an exotic complex of dark cherries, raspberries and capsicum amid distinct overtones of heated gravel, morphing into a more seamless whole with gritty detail that tapered to an austere ferrous finish of subtle length.

1996 Pingus, courtesy of Vic. Opaque deep garnet. Forward warm velvety tones with a distinct sur-maturite. Full and fleshy, imbued with abundant mature dark fruits with secondary characters of capsicum, spice and licorice that lingered with minty persistence.

1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Sir Bob. Evolved pinot tint. Effusive bouquet of haw and fresh cherries, absolutely delicious. Superbly supple, displaying a deep core of tangerines amid overtones of smoked meat laced with lively acidity. Utterly seamless, settling down fine linearity, length and persistence. Excellent.

1989 Château Haut-Brion, courtesy of Sir K. Deep crimson. Stunning bouquet of complex dark fruits and capsicum, replicated in equal measure on the palate with beautifully rounded supple contours, seamlessly layered with mature dark tones and currants that display superb depth and agility, still imbued with fresh intensity. Compared with its legendary sister the 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion which is a little more exuberant, the 1989 Haut-Brion exudes supreme confidence, utter refinement and elegance without calling attention to itself, finishing with subtle complexity. A complete wine in every sense, caught at its very peak. What a privilege!

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Glenelly Lady May 2015, 2012, 2010, 2008

December 13, 2021

Wine Clique of Singapore generously organised a virtual tasting of the wines of Glenelly on 02 December 2021 with the estate’s brand ambassador Ms Lia Johns Poveda. Those who are familiar would know that this South African estate came about when May-Éliane de Lencquesaing, owner of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, purchased a plot of land in 2003 on the lower slopes of Simonsberg and named it after a fruit farm that had been there back in 1911. The team from Pichon Lalande began work the following year, planting some 60 hectares of vines at a density of 4,666 vines per hectare in north-south orientation which produced the inaugural vintage in 2008. About 24 ha is devoted to cabernet sauvignon while the remainder is split amongst the other Bordeaux grape varietals. Following the tradition of Pichon Lalande, a substantial quantity of petit verdot is planted as well and included within the blend. The Mediterranean climate in that part of Stellenbosch suits the Bordeaux blend perfectly while the steep slopes promote drainage. The estate has utilised organic methods since 2018. The team prefers to pick early in order to control alcohol levels and optimise acidity. Vinification takes place in 100% French oak. Its grand vin is the Lady May (the Estate Reserve Red is not truly a second wine, being blended with syrah). Already setting a high bar with its inaugural 2008, the estate has gone from strength to strength on the evidence of this tasting, producing wines that are consistently elegant, seamlessly layered with subtle detail and understated power. Just like Pichon Lalande, the Glenelly Lady May is made for true connoisseurs, not label drinkers.

2020 Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay. Made from whole bunches of Dijon clones, aged 9 months in 500L French barrels. Luminous, exuding an attractive creamy buttery nose against a chalky backdrop with further notes of brioche, vanillin and white fruits on the medium-bodied palate, exerting superb delicate mouthfeel with lovely tension. Very well-balanced with fine depth and detail of stony minerals, supported by highly-refined acidity, finishing with fine linearity and gentle persistence. Very correct in every way.

2015 Glenelly Estate Reserve Red. Very deep garnet. Bordeaux blend with 15% syrah, the latter clearly evident by the distinct notes of chilli skins and capsicum on the nose as well as spicy tones on the rounded medium-weight palate imbued with abundant wild berries, dark plums and black pepper. Subtly structured with good vigour and understated intensity, though a little nondescript towards the finish.

2015 Glenelly Lady May. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 13% cabernet franc, 11% merlot, and 7% petit verdot. Deep garnet. Capsicum and dark currants dominate amid traces of haw, quickly developing ripe plummy tones on the medium-bodied fleshy palate. Seamlessly integrated with understated acidity, imbued with a deeper vein of subtle black fruits that oozed with a trace of sweetness. Finished well. Highly harmonious. Very successful.

2012 Glenelly Lady May. A blend of 89% cabernet sauvignon, 1% cabernet franc and 10% petit verdot. Very deep crimson, proffering a lovely bouquet of plummy red fruit that hinted at a lush palate though the palate is distinctly earthy and darkish in tone, already evolving with early secondary characteristics. Almost velvety though it avoids any sort of burliness through its dry structured intensity that convey excellent definition and precision with slick acidity, just a little austere towards its finish. Its relative robustness suggests that it may be a little out of place in the line-up but it has real character.

2010 Glenelly Lady May. A blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, and 5% petit verdot. From a dry vintage. Dark brownish red, displaying secondary characteristics of leather, capsicum and ember on the nose. Fleshy and softly rounded, slightly backward on the palate where dark plums dominate with fine attack and intensity amid gamey characters, finishing on a note of austere minerals.

2008 Glenelly Lady May. My first encounter of this inaugural vintage was ten years ago (https://winebyric.com/2011/02/19/notes-in-brief-february-2011-2008-lady-may/) and how wonderful it is to be re-acquainted with it again. Dark brownish-red, this blend of 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% petit verdot proffers a classic cabernet glow with fine complexity on the nose. Medium-full with a relaxed fleshy open feel, seamlessly integrated, showing very good length and balance with fine detail and sleek elegance, proving beyond doubt the longevity of Lady May in bottle. At its peak and will hold.

2016 La Forge de Tart, 2001 Flor de Pingus, 2003 Carruades, 2009 Chapelle d’Ausone, 2018 Egon Müller Le Gallais Kabinett

December 2, 2021

One look and you know this line-up at Imperial Treasure Great World on 30 November 2021 is all about the so-called second wines of prime estates, though there is certainly nothing second-rate about such wines as they often hail from the same vineyard or special parcels, receiving the same viticultural attention and expertise. In fact, they represent great value except, perhaps, for Carruades which costs much more than a Super Second grand vin

20211130_205604.jpg2016 La Forge de Tart 1er. Translucent purple. Forward nose of fresh ripe berries. Medium weight. Good fullness and purity of fruit, delicious with a youthful vibrancy on a base of subtle ferrous elements. Became considerably lighter after some time, distinctly feminine, before fleshing out with a richer body, exuding a rosy perfumed presence. Doesn’t quite possess the depth and finish of the Grand Cru but its proportion and balance is quite impeccable. Made from the re-planting of three subplots of Clos de Tart monopole in 2011, 2005 and 1999 (https://winebyric.com/2017/11/24/understanding-domaine-du-clos-de-tart/) where the vines have not yet reached optimal maturity and, hence, the grapes are declassified.

2009 Chapelle d’Ausone, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Deep purple. Enticing bouquet of haw, dark roses and early cedary characters with sweet overtones. Lovely warm velvety fullness in the mouth, imparting a structured supple intensity. Very well proportioned, just a tad short. On par with classified growths. Excellent.

2001 Flor de Pingus, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Utterly funky with a deep earthy pungency on the nose in stark contrast the juicy succulence of ripe aged plums and tertiary characters on the fleshy medium weight palate, laid on sweet velvety tannins. Excellent.

2003 Carruades de Lafite, courtesy of Vic. Mature crimson. Superb lift of haw, dark plums, complex red fruits and peaches amid an attractive earthiness. Medium weight. Still fresh and fleshy, imbued with delightful lithe agility and warmth on an earthy base, slightly peaty. Impeccably balanced and proportioned. Carries the breed and class of Lafite Rothschild. Excellent.

2018 Egon Müller Le Gallais Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Kabinett, courtesy of LF. Pale. Intoxicating profusion of pungent diesel fumes on the nose, matched by a deep palate of tangy tropical fruits that exude very fine detail with sublime acidity and lush intensity that sweep to a slightly austere finish of stony minerals, its sweetness never in the way. Superb.