Skip to content

FICOFI: Louis Jadot 2015, 2014 & 2005

June 21, 2019

20190530_183807.jpgThibault Gagey (son of owner Pierre-Henry) of Louis Jadot held a masterclass under the auspices of FICOFI at The Straits Clan, Singapore, on 30 May 2019 that focused on three of its principal reds – Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru and Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru – each featuring the same vintages of 2015, 2014 and 2005.

I arrived on time to find Thibault in great spirits even though he had spent the week through a whirlwind East Asian tour. As we chatted, the 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Beaune Greves Le Clos Blanc 1er was being poured liberally from jeroboam. A blend of two plots totaling 1.1 ha, this wine proffers an effusive sweet floral bouquet cloaked within a solid sheen of creme de la creme, exuding a delicate perfumed fragrance that imparted a distinct feminine presence, further enhanced by its fine balance, gentle acidity and transparent minerality. Most lovely.

Before we sat down at the long table, Kok Hong (the preferred sommelier of FICOFI) quickly poured me another pair of whites that was non other than the domaine’s 1.8 ha Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (another 1.0 ha of their Corton is planted with pinot noir), vinified in whole bunches in 228-litre barrels for 15 months with one-third new oak. The 2017 Domaine Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru exudes a distinct bouquet of grassy elements and fresh morning dew, imbued with sublime acidity that conferred taut tension across the palate, displaying great concentration, balance and proportion, seamlessly integrated. When a wine such as this has everything in place right from the outset, it’s potential cannot be over-estimated. In contrast, the 2011 Domaine Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru proffers cool white fruit amidst floral signatures, medium-bodied, beautifully rounded with an even tone, displaying wonderfully transparent textures with a soft easy charm. Most understated, it took on a more prominent note of menthol over time as it fleshed out with greater fullness, finishing well.

Starting the tasting proper, we began first with the  famous 6.7 ha Clos Saint-Jacques 1er of which Louis Jadot owns 1.0 ha, purchased in 1985. There are only four other owners of this hallowed plot (Armand Rousseau with the lion’s share at 2.2 ha, Sylvie Esmonin (1.6 ha), Bruno Clair (1.0 ha) and Fourrier (0.89 ha)). The 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er gave off distant hues of rose petals, rather reserved on the nose while the palate is equally placid with a quiet intensity in spite of the excellent fullness and purity of fruit, taut with sleek acidity and linearity. great potential here but clearly in need of further cellaring. Next to it, the 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er displayed a good pinot tint with a hint of burnt toast on the nose amid recessed red fruits, fleshy and well-structured with sandy minerally textures that appear to be highly characteristic of the vintage, imbued with very fine acidity that tapered to a lasting finish. The full potential of this vineyard was revealed in the 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er.

20190530_192820.jpg

Thibault Gagey

Notably richer on the nose with a lovely burnished tone, this wine displayed excellent presence and intensity with a fleshy roundedness, exuding delicious juicy succulence with very well-integrated acidity, very lovely in its transparent textures. Very sleek and well-balanced, finishing with a lengthy sweet  glowing persistence. Excellent.

The tasting moved on to Chapelle-Chambertin where Jadot’s lot is grown from American Woodstock. The 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru displayed a most enticing nose of red fruits and cherries with rosy hues, richly layered with red fruits and raspberries that exude a fabulous controlled intensity that matched very well with the superb ripeness, acidity and fullness. Superbly balanced without any jarring parts. Excellent. The 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru was well-developed on the bouquet of violets, blueberries and raspberries, already showing some early complexity, while the open and fleshy palate was slightly more earthy and minerally, entirely consistent with the vintage as noted with the Clos Saint-Jacques above. Very fine, just missing the opulence of the 2015. The 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru was surprisingly reserved in spite of the significant bottle age, almost aloof. Although it was quite fleshy, open and approachable in its medium-bodied proposition, it wasn’t the most profound of wines, well balanced though a bit more minerally on the whole.

Finally, we come to Jadot’s 0.42 ha Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, comprising largely old vines from American Woodstock first planted in 1922-23. Bold, rounded and dark, the 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru was surprisingly open at this stage with highly supple textures, generously layered with dark currants and cherries, very lively and sophisticated and subtly structured with fine intensity, finishing with great persistence. Excellent. The 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, brighter in tone and colour, was imbued with a predominance of red cherries and currants that exude a lovely controlled fragrance though it is tipped towards a more minerally balance on the palate, highly supple but somewhat reserved in demeanour, a little short as well. In contrast, the 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru.is a glorious example of Chambertin at its prime: highly effusive in raspberries and dark currants on the nose, very lovely in ripeness and depth, equally stunning as well on the palate where its suppleness, sublime acidity and subtle intensity of dark currants, red cherries and raspberries evoke excellent presence underscored by complex graphite minerals, all very well balanced with youthful intensity. Brilliant! A fitting piece de resistance to a wonderful lineup.

FICOFI: 1970 Cos D’ Estournel, 1988 Palmer, 1982 Canon-la-Gaffeliere, 1997 Figeac

June 16, 2019

These tasting notes stem from a fairly extensive Bordeaux promenade organized by FICOFI at Empress, Singapore, on 08 June 2019. All the wines were showing well, each reflecting very well the individual vintage characteristics. For once, the Right Bank appeared to have outshone the Left Bank in character and potential. The highlight of the line-up, for me, must be the 1997 Figeac, perennially under-rated but here, its natural beauty and elegance is perfectly caught. Many thanks, Philippe and Chee Wee, for a lovely afternoon.

2016 Pavillon Blanc du Ch Margaux. Fresh grassy elements dominate with a delightful glow of delicate morning dew on the nose, matched by a lovely oily density on the medium-full palate amid white floral tones, displaying superb acidity and integration, finishing with glowing tones of nutmeg and Asian spices. Excellent.

2016 Y d’Yquem. Not much on the nose, proffering only glimpses of clear morning dew and citrus before it grew in confidence, more gently seductive as it revealed layers of enticing tropical fruits with subdued sweetness at the sides, only to lapse into a quiet linear finish. Don’t waste it.

20190608_140228.jpg

2001 Ch Margaux. Smoky tones of sweet incense and dark currants dominate on the nose along with characters of bramble and briar. Medium-bodied and classically structured with cool dark fruits, showing good acidity and integration but it is rather underwhelming.

1999 Ch Lafite Rothschild. Good colour, exuding a gentle glow of red plums. Medium-bodied and fleshy with pointed acidity that conferred lovely freshness, but this still cannot disguise its relative lack of the quintessential Lafite charm and  velvetiness, a tad short as well. Underwhelming.

2004 Ch Latour. Good colour, stuffed with a generous expanse of mulberries, dark fruits, raspberries and early cedar with a mahogany glow. Warm, rounded and seamless, showing great integration and subtlety in its structure and acidity although there seemed to be a lingering  trace of woodiness. A classic claret though without that extra dimension that comes with the best vintages.

2009 Ch Mouton Rothschild. There’s obviously plenty of stuffing beneath but this wine is resolutely shut on the nose, though open enough on the palate with fine transparency,  well-layered with ripe dark fruits and red currants amid overtones of camphor and haw flakes, laced with very fine acidity, finishing quietly. A very well-behaved aristocrat that will need many more years to come around.

1988 Ch Palmer, poured from magnum. Displaying an evolved vermilion, this wine is absolutely radiant in its wonderful bouquet of bright orangey tangerines and red fruits, still imbued with remarkably fresh acidity in its rounded fleshiness, highly seamless, carrying tremendous verve and energy all the way through to its lengthy persistence. Simply outstanding.

1995 Ch Clerc Milon, poured from double magnum. Well evolved in tone and colour. Rather full and velvety, caressing the palate with a broad expanse of warm supple fruit, very lovely in its ripeness, superb integration and acidity. Just a tad short at the finish, but this wine exceeds all expectations by a broad margin. Truly excellent.

1995 Ch Leoville Las-Cases. Deep garnet red. Effusive in smoky dusty aromas, beautifully structured with taut tension that added infinite definition to the gorgeous complex of complex dark fruits and currants within, exuding alluring opulence and charm without the plumpness. Excellent.

1970 Ch Cos D’Estournel. Dark garnet red, imbued with broad swathes of warm ripe fruit, dark plums and black currants within its layers, still remarkably excellent in concentration, fullness and acidity, far from drying out. A second bottle was even more delicate in inner detail, open and brightly lit. Has the legs to carry on for many more years. Excellent.

20190608_140327.jpg

2011 Ch L’Evangile. Deep purple, proffering a lovely complex on the bouquet that delivered a superb concentration of dark plums, red fruits and dark currants on the palate, very well integrated with taut acidity that conferred plenty of verve and vigour even though the spectrum of flavours is rather narrow at this stage, finishing with great excitement. Already drinking very well but it deserves further cellaring in order to flesh out more. Excellent.

2005 Ch La Conseillante, poured from double magnum. Impenetrably dark, exuding an effusive deep glow of delicious dark currants and black fruits amid overtones of fresh leather. Amply endowed with glorious ripe fruit with a distinct note of soy that impart taut acidity and tension, beautifully open with velvety textures, revealing a bit of gritty detail as it tapered to a glowing minty finish amid traces of sweet. Outstanding.

2005 Ch La Mondotte. Deep garnet red. Wonderful depth of dark plums, red currants and dark berries bathed in glowing varnish. Full-bodied and expansive, tight with superb acidity and warmth without being overwhelming. Excellent.

2004 Ch Cheval Blanc, poured from magnum. Very dark, from the depths of which arose a great glowing perfumed fragrance. Medium-full and quite brightly lit on the palate, rounded with smooth absolute linearity and layered with delicious presence, finishing well. Yet to differentiate at this stage. Do not waste.

2006 Vieux Chateau Certan. Displaying some early evolution, this wine is essentially shut, although the palate is imbued with excellent density and fullness with a glossy sheen of emulsion, richly layered with an immense depth of dark currants and dark plums, superbly ripe with wonderful acidity, still tight but opening up with some fine inner detail, finishing with great linearity. Great potential.

1982 Ch Canon-la-Gaffeliere. Evolved clear vermillon, exuding a gently perfumed tertiary glow. Open and rounded, softly layered with good depth of delicious red fruits on a velvety bed, still imbued with great acidity and amazing freshness, finishing well. Most remarkable. Quite superb.

1997 Ch Figeac. Showing some evolution at the rim, this wine exudes the classic glow of an aged claret, distinctly feminine in its abundance of red fruits and tangerines. Softly textured, open and highly supple, laced with very fine acidity that still excites the senses, flowing with a very natural unforced elegance right through to its delicious finish. This is why Figeac is held in such high esteem by those who appreciate. Marvellous.

2003 Ch Coutet Madame Cuvee. Highly enticing in its deep golden lustre, delivering an intense concentrated expanse of nectarine and apricot with controlled sweetness and high-toned intensity. Yet to develop true complexity, this is a Barsac for the ages.

20190608_140735.jpg

May 2019: 2014 Antikythera, 2015 d’Yquem, 2012 Solaia Annata Diversa, 1996 Esmonin Clos Saint-Jacques

June 3, 2019

2005 Sociando Mallet, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 01 May, 2019. Delicious depth of black currants and dark ripe berries, layered with characters of soy and refined minerals that impart slightly dryish textures. Undeniably rich with very fine subtle acidity though missing in outright opulence. Still youthful. Very fine.

2011 Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay, popped and poured over dinner at home, 05 May 2019. This Yarra Valley white (James Halliday’s flagship) exudes dense oily textures with a smooth creaminess, richly imbued with earthy minerals that confer a certain chiselled stoniness, yet displaying fine transparency amid gentle overtones of raw nutmeg, finishing with a trace of sternness. Still youthful.

Moet et Chandon Imperial Brut NV, popped and poured over dimsum lunch at Asia Grand, 11 May 2019. Deep toasty characters allied with crisp citrus and pomelo, gently aromatic with a firm dry graphite tone, creamier in tone over time.

2015 Domaine Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er, popped and poured over dinner at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 13 May 2019. Gentle grassy elements, morning dew and delicate flinty minerals dominate, opening up over time with further notes of cinnamon and tropical fruits laced with sleek understated acidity that teased the palate with very finely-knit intensity, revealing lovely inner detail but just a tad short. Quite excellent.

20190513_204714.jpg1996 Domaine Esmonin Michel et Fille Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, courtesy of Sanjay at Bedrock Bar & Grill, 13 May 2019. Popped and poured. Lovely gentle fragrance of violets and raspberries with a certain salinity in its seamless balance, displaying very fine presence and concentration with a feminine grace at its soft tangerine core, finishing with svelte velvety tannins. Quite excellent, caught at its best.

2014 “Y” d’Yquem, tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. Closed, gradually opening up with a gentle lift of icing, pears and light apricot, displaying good presence and quiet elegance.

2014 Otazu Bond, decanted for five hours prior from magnum at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. This wine is really gelling together now, proffering characters of smoke, licorice and bramble with a dash of Asian spices and herbs. Structured with good concentration, refined tannins and understated acidity, revealing some gritty inner detail over time on a cedary floor.

2015 Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Monts Luisants 1er  tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. Closed on the nose, though the palate is suffused with dense earthy minerals, intense bright cherries and red fruits with overtones of rye, held together with sleek controlled acidity, forwardly balanced with excellent presence.

2016 Laurent Ponsot Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes Cuvee du Tilleul, tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. Notes of earthy forest floor and dark currants dominate on the nose and palate, interspersed with splashes of bright cherries. Full, fleshy and forwardly balanced.

2014 Alter Ego de Palmer, tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. Cool dark fruits and currants dominate, rounded with good even tone and concentration, rather genteel in character but it felt rather nondescript, lacking the distinction of the 2010.

2001 Artadi Pagos Viejos, tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. This wine is deeply layered with vibrant dark currants beneath a sheen of delicate vanillin, caressing the palate with very fine inner definition and velvety intensity. Quite excellent.

2015 Ch d’Yquem, tasted at a GEH party, 17 May 2019. Effusive in characters of rye, dense nectarine and honey. Surprisingly open with transparent intensity and fine acidity, coating the palate with easy charm.

2014 Ch Haut-Gaussens, aired in bottle for three hours prior over a home-cooked dinner, 20 May 2019. Enticing bouquet of dark currants, violets and raspberries, showing good concentration and depth of dark plums on the palate with good levels of ripeness and detail amid some earthiness, turning more acutely intense and structured as it sat in the glass. Very fine for a Medoc.

Forget-Brimont Premier Cru Brut, 23 May 2019 at Four Seasons, Singapore. Full tight presence of dense green fruits and citrus, dry and forwardly balanced against a broad expanse of stony minerals. Rather sharply-accented but the palate soon adjusts to it.

2018 Pinical Estate Family Reserve Chardonnay, tasted at the Silver Kris lounge, Bangkok International Airport, 26 May 2019. Very clean and precise presence of raw nutmeg and grassy elements, rather full with a slightly sharp but refined acidity.

2017 St Martin Reserve Pays D’Oc Rouge, tasted at the Silver Kris lounge, Bangkok International Airport, 26 May 2019. Notes of earthy forest floor, vegetal elements and wild berries dominate. Full but undistinguished.

2009 Ch Fontenil, popped and poured at Ka Soh, 26 May 2019. Deep purple, saturated with dense blueberries and blackcurrants with an abundance of graphite minerals. Rather intense and stern without much secondary development at this stage. Still very youthful.

2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. White floral tones and delicate grassy elements dominate on the effusive nose with a lovely creaminess on the palate, its sleek subtle acidity and early complexity evoking wonderful tension and mouthfeel. Quite superb.

2010 E Guigal Ex Voto Ermitage, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Heavier dull golden hue, laden with characters of gasoline, ginger and herbal aromas, rather exotic, replete with waxy overtones amidst warm floral tones, finishing on a racy spicy glow with a tad of sternness. Might appeal more to afficionados of Rhone whites.

Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru, courtesy of Ooi CJ at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Delicate tones of light green melons amid very fine graphite elements, complemented with very fine bubbles amid dryish textures, finishing with a toasty glow.

2014 Domaine Thibert Pouilly-Fuisse Les Cras, popped and poured at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Glow of morning dew with lime and clear citrus, its taut acidity and concentration imparting sleek intensity with delicate precision. Still too young to be popped.

2009 Maison Leroy Vosne-Romanee, courtesy of Sanjay at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Murky opaque red, exuding a lovely glow of dense raspberries, dark plums and red fruits. Open with lovely acidity, intensity and suppleness. Caught at its best. Excellent.

20190528_203304.jpg2014 Antikythera Point Noir, courtesy of CHS at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Generous expanse of red fruits and currants, excellent in concentration and purity. Open with superb presence and suppleness. Excellent.

2002 William’s Selyem Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Darker in tone and color. More racy than usual with powerful overtones of tangerines, camphor and haw flakes on an earthy floor, giving off an illusion of fizz with more than a hint of peat. Quite excellent, if you don’t mind big-boned pinot.

2013 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Broad swathes of violets, blueberries and raspberries dominate with lovely ripeness, rather full, still imbued with traces of vanillin. A tad more forward and more brightly lit. Excellent.

1993 Ch Latour, courtesy of Dr Ngoi at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. Had to be decanted on-site as its friable cork disintegrated on opening. This premier cru exudes an enticing earthy pungency amid dark fruits and blackcurrants, medium-bodied and supple with fine transparency on the palate though the spectrum of flavours is rather narrow, lacking in true opulence and layering.

2012 Solaia Annata Diversa, courtesy of Vic at Kai Garden, 28 May 2019. An unusual bottling. Normally a blend of various cabernet with 20% sangiovese, the words annata diversa will appear in vintages where sangiovese has been omitted. This youthful Solaia is generously imbued with glorious ripe black fruits and currants that evoke characters of mocha, dark plums and dark chocolate. Still predictably full and tight at this stage, structured with pliant tannins and sleek acidity. Should develop well.

20190528_214645.jpg

An Italian affair

May 19, 2019

The Italian wine journalist Riccardo Gabriele of PR VINO was kind enough to invite me for dinner at Buona Terra on May 6th 2019 during a short stopover in Singapore. With the exception of the Carpineto and the Tommasi, all wines were supplied by Riccardo. I must admit I’ve yet to really come to grips with Italian wines. Most people tend to gravitate towards the usual established big names, but the fact is Italian wines offer far greater diversity in geographical locations and grape varieties than most other regions so much so that it demands the same degree of dedication as one would for Burgundy if one is to fully understand Italian wines. All wines were popped and poured on-site with the exception of the Tommasi and Carpineto. They all surprised me with their excellent craftsmanship, refinement and sophistication. Many thanks, Riccardo, for an excellent evening. Till we meet again, happy drinking.

20190506_202720.jpg2018 Fattoria Fibbiano Fonte delle Donne. An equal blend of colombana and vermentino planted in the Pisa hills of Tuscany, this lovely white exudes lifted tones of cool morning dew, light green fruits, grassy elements and icing, highly effusive. Fresh and supple, very well-layered with excellent presence and concentration of crisp citrus and white flowers with very well-defined acidity, developing a more pronounced dry salinity before finishing with a great minty persistence. Quite excellent.

2017 Assuli Lorlando Nero D’Avola. From 100% Sicilian nero d’avola vinified for early drinking but you wouldn’t have guessed at all by its brilliant deep ruby that revealed a forward balance of wild berries and raspberries with a deep fragrance of dark currants amid some earthiness, seamlessly structured with supple ripeness and fine acidity as it tapered to a gentle finish amid gentle overtones of spice and black pepper. In spite of its unassuming origins, this is wine of great refinement and craftsmanship. Excellent.

2017 Abrigo Giovanni Dolcetto Di Diano D’Alba Superiore “Garabei”. Comprising 100% dolcetto from a single vineyard planted in 1968, this wine proffers a powerful lift of raw red fruits, quite brightly lit on the full palate with broad swathes of warm fruit and ripe wild berries laced with mild vegetal traces. Excellent in concentration and fullness, displaying clean precision on a bed of ferrous minerals though a tad too acidic initially, developing softer inner detail over time. Very fine.

2016 Abrigo Giovanni Barbera D’Alba “Marminela”. Deep garnet red. Shut on the nose though the full palate is brightly lit with a predominance of red fruits, quite fleshy with good acidity and integration with a warm alcoholic trail amidst characters of bramble and briar. Made from 100% barbera derived from two vineyards (in Grinzane Cavour and Diano d’Alba) sited 230 metres altitude and aged for nine months in concrete vats.

2016 Carlo Baccheschi Berti Poggio del Sasso “Merah”. Made of 100% sangiovese from the region of Montalcino, this deeply colored wine exudes a warm glow of gravel and red fruits with shades of vanillin. Full, fleshy and delicious but still a tad congested in spite of its attractive acidity, finishing with good linearity amidst a bit of dry minerally glare without betraying its 15% abv.

20190506_195339.jpg2013 Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, courtesy of Simone Marghieri, decanted on-site. Blend of four grapes, mostly corvina, from two plots by the lake. The grapes are air-dried on bamboo racks in temperature-controlled facility for 100 days, losing 40% of grapes in the process and matured in old oak barrels aged 5-8 years for three years. Displaying a deep garnet red, this flagship of Tommasi opens with enticing aromas of sweet incense and ripe dark plums, rather full as expected but open, massively proportioned with a lovely rich intensity yet classically balanced, structured with velvety tannins that oozed with highly refined gorgeous sweetness.

2004 Carpineto Vigneto Poggio Sant’ Enrico Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, decanted on-site. Deep purple, beautifully nuanced and lifted in its deep bouquet that found full expression on the palate, highly generous in violets, blueberries, red plums and dark currants with some early secondary characters framed within a supple finely-detailed tannin structure that stretched out with a rich luxurious elegance. Excellent in concentration, ripeness and balance, tapering to a long spicy finish with a lovely biting intensity. This is really a wine of great sophistication but still far from its peak. A single vineyard bottling released only in exceptional vintages, this is truly outstanding. Antonio Zaccheo can be very proud of his work at Carpineto since 1967.

2009 Ca’ D’Gal Vite Vecchia Moscato D’Asti. Luminous light golden hue. Beautifully lifted in its unique bouquet, a complex kaleidoscope of perfumed citrus, lemongrass, dense incense, mint and menthol with an illusion of fizz, gently concentrated with further notes of pears and fig. Highly alluring and effortless, almost ethereal in its gentle sweetness. Most lovely.

20190519_104853.jpg

20190506_213540.jpg

R.W.J. Tenth Anniversary blast

May 8, 2019

Time flies, really. It has been ten years since RWJ first went online in April 2009. This would not have been sustainable without the enthusiasm of friends and anyone around the world with any interest in wine who have been peeping at these pages from time to time, and I thank each of you for your continuing support. These same people had kindly gathered at Jade Palace on 23 Apr 2019 to celebrate this milestone with a “special occasions” wine theme. And what a fabulous line-up it turned out to be!! I’ll let the wines speak for themselves. Thank you all once again and may we get to enjoy several more fabulous decades ahead.

20190423_225111.jpg

2008 Louis Roederer Cristal, courtesy of Vic. Lovely dense plume of pomelo and morning dew with a hint of earthy pungency. Full presence, openly supple with traces of ash and ferrous minerals, displaying very fine inner detail. Highly integral.

2012 Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault, courtesy of LF. Closed initially, gradually yielding gentle tones of icing and vanillin on the nose with a very even tone of white floral notes on the palate, imbued with a very fine gentle chalkiness set within crisp defined acidity. Developed more creamy richness over time, layered with emerging complexity and lovely intensity, trailed by mild minty tones. Very correctly proportioned and elegant. Excellent.

2012 Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault, courtesy of LF. Closed as well, though the palate is layered with a full creamy elegance against a rather laid back chalkiness suffused with warm gentle saline minerals. Utterly seamless, showing great subtle acidity that conferred good energy and definition, turning a bit more plump with time. Very fine.

2013 Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay, courtesy of LF. This wine opens with some nutmeg and teasing chalky minerals, quite racy on an open palate dominated by exotic layers of morning dew, lemongrass and deep dark minerally tones, taut with fine acidity, finishing well with lasting persistence of white pepper. Excellent.

2011 Marcassin Sonoma County Chardonnay, courtesy of LF. Displaying an exuberance of white floral tones and dense chalky textures that imparted a lovely textured mouthfeel, this wine is a little more upfront, opening up very quickly with recessed overtones of fruit and minerals although its distinct New World flamboyance is unmistakable. Excellent.

1987 Domaine L H Magnien Vosne-Romanee, courtesy of KP. Fully evolved. Still showing very well a feminine glow of soft red fruits that delivered a medium-bodied palate of delicate sweetness and fine acidity, not drying out at all, finishing with very fine lasting presence. Excellent!

2001 Domaine Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 1er, courtesy of Andre. Good colour, exuding a lovely glow of dark plums and red fruits. Nicely open and rounded, displaying good presence and warmth. Highly seamless and supple, quietly poised with a mild minerally finish. Excellent.

20190423_184122.jpg1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru, poured from magnum. Deep garnet core with a vermillion rim, opening with an effusive deep tertiary glow of red plums, dark cherries, currants, ash wood, tobacco and mulberries. Still rather full and supple, imbued with very fine acidity that conferred great freshness, precision and linearity with breath-taking lush splendour, finishing with glowing persistence. Still fresh with the legs to continue another couple of decades. Outstanding.

2000 Ch Pichon Baron Longueville, courtesy of David Tan. Deep garnet red. Effusive glow of dark fruits and black currants, highly supple and fleshy with very deep layers of gorgeous fruit, evolving a hint of snuff and mushrooms after some time though without the classic dryish Pauillac textures. Still youthful.

1996 Ch Margaux, courtesy of Pipin. This wine exudes an attractive feminine earthiness and rosy fragrance with a lovely expanse of gentle red fruits amidst warm dryish textures, its juicy succulence further enhanced by sweet supple melted tannins, just a tad short. Excellent.

2001 Ch Latour, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet red, exuding a powerful warm hallowed glow of early tertiary characters. Firm but fleshy, displaying very fine depth of black fruits and dark currants imbued with highly subtle ferrous and minerally elements, finishing with traces of soy, again just a little short. Excellent.

1995 Ch Latour, courtesy of David Ong. This wine is imbued with deep layers of supple black fruits and dark currants within its impenetrable darkness on a firm minerally bed, very finely detailed, highly poised and elegant with excellent linearity, almost aloof in its quiet demeanour as it developed further complexity with overtones of ash and incense. Excellent.

20190423_221715.jpg1988 Ch Latour, courtesy of Vic. Decanted on-site from magnum. Deep garnet red, proffering an effortless bouquet of tobacco snuff with a fabulous earthy pungency that led to a generously layered palate of dark fruits imbued with very fine graphite minerals, rendered taut with superb tension by acidity that is still remarkably fresh. Superb.

2007 Ch Climens, courtesy of Hiok. Beautiful deep luminous glow, revealing superb depth and sweet complexity of nectarines and apricot against a delicate chalky backdrop, highly impressive in its transparency in spite of such immense breadth and layering, exuding great fragrance from its deep core of orangey tangerines. A refreshing change from d’Yquem. Outstanding.

IMG-20190423-WA0028.jpg

The best bunch of guys

IMG-20190423-WA0029.jpg

Ric savouring some 1988 Ch Latour

 

Apr 2019: 1999 L’Evangile, 1999 Margaux, 2005 Philippe Foreau Vouvray Moelleux, 2013 Aubert “Lauren”

May 6, 2019

Prosecco Riondo, from the list of Lucca, 04 April 2019. Generous tones of cream soda, green fruits, pears and light citrus. Fine easy presence with some dry intensity. Serviceable.

20190405_192807.jpg1999 Ch L’Evangile, popped and poured at Otto Ristorante, 05 April 2019 to mark M’s twentieth. Effusive in tertiary shades of dark roses, dark cherries and cassis amid some earthy pungency with a hint of ferrous minerals. Medium-full with a firm concentration of ripe dark fruits that traverse the palate with great verve and expanse, lovely in depth with a distinct salinity, structured with pliant supple tannins, tapering to a glowing minty finish with a trace of sweetness. Still youthful. Has more charm and character than most 1999s. Excellent.

2005 Ch D’Aiguilhe, popped and poured at home over dinner, 07 Apr 2019. Unfolds with dense layers of dark wild berries, blackcurrants, mocha and chocolate, showing gorgeous depth, concentration and layering, structured with a bit of dry tannins on a cedary floor. Less angular than before. Just beginning to develop. Yet to peak. Quite excellent if you don’t mind its modern style.

Pago de Tharsys, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Agreeable bouquet of yeasty tones and smoke. Dry with good weight and a bright minerally shine. Short.

2015 Bodega Otazu Merlot Rosado, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Translucent ruby. Good presence of lightly-skinned red fruits. Slightly earthy with a minerally shine, imbued with fine acidity.

2006 Ch Latour-a-Pomerol, popped and poured from magnum, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Bright red cherries and raspberries dominate amid overtones of soy with a hint of paraffin. Medium-bodied. Fleshy, rounded and well-layered, imbued with finely nuanced acidity. Absolutely mellow, finishing with traces of tobacco. Very fine.

2009 Peay Sonoma County Chardonnay, courtesy of LF, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Deep bouquet, somewhat peaty with overtones of recessed chalk and peaches, rounded with very fine acidity.

2008 Bodega Otazu Otazu Premium Cuvée, courtesy of Dr Ngoi, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Deep purple. Generously layered with dark berries and black currants that exude gentle aromas, still laced with oaky vanilla. Rather full but placid with a well-defined profile, teasing the palate with its fleeting intensity and very fine acidity, just ever so slightly forward in balance.

2015 Domaine Mungeard Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of MH, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Lovely pinot character. Surprisingly open with detailed velvety red fruits that exude smooth sophisticated refinement with a lovely lift of rose petals and haw flakes, finishing with excellent linearity. Excellent.

20190412_211659.jpg

2002 Dehlinger Octagon Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Lovely gentle lift of red plums, rose petals and cherries amidst some gentle salinity. Beautifully open and nuanced, displaying excellent presence and linearity as it finished with deep ferrous elements. Excellent.

2010 Chateau d’Ampuis, courtesy of CHS, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. Great lift of dark cherries and mulberries, amply proportioned and structured, glowing with deep layers of gorgeously ripe fruit amid overtones of tobacco. Excellent.

2005 Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux, courtesy of LF, 12 April 2019, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew. This wine from the Loire exudes a very refined gentle sweetness with characters of nectarine and sweet incense, its excellent presence and gentle viscosity imparting superb smoothness with delightful deftness and linearity, beautifully layered with lovely feminine complexity and intensity, finishing with traces of ember. Outstanding.

1993 Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Beng TL at Club 1880, 15 Apr 2019. Sharp nose of evolved tangerines. Clearly past its prime, lacking real fruit and presence. Just an acidic shell.

1994 Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Grand Cru, courtesy of Dr Beng TL at Club 1880, 15 Apr 2019. This monopole has faded badly, left with only an acidic spine on a sandy floor marked by undistinguished fruit, lacking depth and presence. A far cry from the Corton Clos des Cortons of nowadays.

2012 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Goulots 1er VV, courtesy of Dr Beng TL at Club 1880, 15 Apr 2019. This wine took a really long time to come around, displaying good purity of fruit with characters of rose petals, dark cherries and earth. Medium-bodied, just somewhat reticent at first with a predominance of dull earthy textures and jagged acidity before finally turning the corner, developing very fine seamless intensity and depth.

2011 Domaine Leflaive Meursault Sous Le Dos D’Ane 1er, popped and poured at Club 1880, 15 Apr 2019. Delicate tones of flinty minerals, clear citrus and white flowers, displaying fine presence and acidity with understated intensity, becoming more minerally over time against a backdrop of caramel and walnuts. Very fine.

2005 Domaine des Monts Luisants “Les Monts Luisants” Morey-Saint-Denis 1er, popped and poured at Club 1880, 15 Apr 2019. Dark cherries and mulberries on the earthy nose, though the palate is dominated by bright red fruits, very fine in concentration and acidity with a firm core of tangerines, highly seamless, developing an overwhelming salinity as the evening wore on. Probably at its drinking best.

Louis Roederer Premier Brut NV, a half bottle from Jade Palace, 16 Apr 2019 to celebrate M’s great success. Very correct in its deep yeasty pungency and depth of yellow citrus, lime and pomelo, appropriately dry with toasty characters and fresh acidity. Drinking well.

1999 Ch Margaux, decanted on-site at Jade Palace, 16 Apr 2019 to celebrate M’s great success. Exciting bouquet, displaying deep complex tertiary characters of dark berries, ripe wild berries, mulberries and violets that exude delicious aromas. Medium-full. Fleshy and supple, imbued with deep layers of gorgeous fruit and detailed graphite minerals amidst sublime acidity, glowing with wonderful verve and persistence. Very lovely. Caught at its absolute peak and should hold for many more years. Superb.

2009 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino, popped and poured over buffet lunch at Carousel, 17 Apr 2019. Forward balance of bright red fruits and plums, turning darker in tone later, layered with detailed gritty tannins on a cedary floor. Quite agreeable.

Castellblanc Brut Cava, from the list of Antoinette, 18 Apr 2019. High-toned concentration of lime and white citrus, forwardly balanced, bone-dry with razor sharp acidity.

20190430_214721.jpg

Superb wagyu beef at restaurant Ibid

1995 Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, aired in bottle for two hours prior at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. Lovely hallowed glow of wild berries, cool raspberries and licorice underscored by gentle dark currants and violets. Firm with distinct ferrous elements, somewhat stern and uninvolving at first before developing greater warmth and depth of fruit as its mellowed tannins gained some lovely intensity of aged fruit and mushrooms over time along with a bit Pauillac dryness, finishing with decent length.

2013 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, courtesy of CHS at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. Rather reticent, taking its time to develop gentle tones of light citrus although its mid-body is quite seamlessly layered with chalky minerals and white floral tones laced with crisp acidity, turning more dry and minerally over time as it grew with gradual intensity. Still rather awkward and reluctant on the whole, partly a reflection of the vintage and partly because the wine may just be shutting down.

2013 Aubert “Lauren Vineyard” Chardonnay, courtesy of LF at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. More delicately expressive than the preceding Etienne Sauzet, more forward and generous in clear citrus and green fruits laced with a hint of lychee, structured with crisp acidity. Imbued with fine depth and lively intensity, exuding an eventual lovely chalky glow as it sat in the glass. Excellent.

2014 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir, courtesy of LF at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. Deep clear purple. Not much on the nose but the palate is overflowing with very well-defined dark fruit and raspberries with tannins that are seamlessly integrated, oozing with delicious gentle sweetness amidst smooth dry intensity. Excellent.

2000 Ch Latour-a-Pomerol, courtesy of Vic at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. Richly layered with blackcurrants and dark fruits, very vibrant and fleshy. Still youthful, yet to shed its alcoholic tinge. Needs lots of aeration.

2001 Ch Guiraud, a half bottle courtesy of CHS at restaurant Ibid, 30 Apr 2019. Deeply evolved in colour. Openly layered with deep tones of aged apricot, honey, dense minerals and medicinal notes marked by striking acidity, finishing well. A testament to the superb vintage for Sauternes.

20190430_231111.jpg

20190430_211906.jpg

Gorgeous roast duck at restaurant Ibid

Jurade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour: Chateau Angelus 2000-2010 & 1982

April 29, 2019

The Jurade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour forged ahead in its inaugural year with a vertical of Chateau Angelus at Origin, Shangri-La Singapore, on 25 April 2019, organised by Chancellor Melvin Choo and Dr Kieron Lim. Familiar to every wine lover, Ch Angelus (the article L’ was dropped in 1989) derives its name from the three church bells at the chapel of Mazerat within the commune. Planted with almost equal portions of merlot and cabernet franc across its 23 hectares, Ch Angelus has been eponymous with Hubert Boüard de Laforest since he took over the reins in 1976 upon completing his oenology studies with the venerated Emile Peynaud. Hubert, also himself Commandeur of the Jurade de Saint-Emilion, has been very successful in promoting the estate, gaining Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) in 1996 (from grand cru classé) and then Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) in 2012. While the 1989 and 1990 have both gained legendary status, Angelus has upped the game further since the new millennium, making wines that are consistently rich, sophisticated and naturally balanced, accessible as well to those who cannot wait to reap the rewards of patience. For this dinner, all wines (except the 1982) were decanted on site while the 2006 had been double-decanted for six hours prior. They are described according to the sequence drunk as recommended by Britt Ng, Head Sommelier of Shangri-La, and he had been absolutely correct. The 2010 is a brilliant reincarnation of the 2000 while the 1982, never truly outstanding on record, is still very good. A big thank-you to everyone for their contributions, and especially to Britt for the impeccable arrangements.

2007 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque, a magnum from the restaurant list. Popped and poured. This champagne boasts a dense bouquet of clear citrus and delicate minerals with gentle yeasty tones, notably lighter in texture, imbued with good concentration of pomelo and ferrous elements topped with very fine bubbles, showing good depth without the profundity of 2008, just a little short.

20190425_195803.jpg1982 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Sandy. Popped and poured after about 30 minutes of aeration in bottle. Showing an evolved rusty red, this wine is still well and live, proffering an alluring soft complex of mulberries, red fruits, mandarins and grassy elements on the nose, not at all reductive. Quite fleshy on the palate with surprising lush succulence and fine inner detail, producing good grip in spite of its subtle intensity and understated structure, finishing with glowing persistence before beginning to fade after three hours. Can easily be mistaken for a Left Bank if tasted blind. Not at all dry. What a privilege!

2007 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Sean. Lifted expanse of bright red fruits, red currants and raspberries on the nose with overtones of wet heated gravel, showing excellent presence and acidity, oozing sweet gentle tannins with superb linearity, ripeness and layering before settling down with a genteel presence, just a tad short. Very well crafted in spite of the vintage difficulties. Quite excellent on its own, caught at its ideal drinking window.

2003 Ch Angelus, courtesy of KC. Violets, mulberries and raspberries dominate on the effusive bouquet, adding a bit of a herbal plume over time. Fleshy and open with good inner detail and lovely fragrance, utterly seamless, traversing the palate with fine intensity and linearity. Again just a bit short, consistent with other 2003s.

2001 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet red with an early vermillion rim. Surprisingly reticent, taking a long time to develop aromas of old dew, bell hoppers and capsicum. The palate, though, is quite succulent from the outset, soft and fleshy with graphite minerals that are very well integrated, classically structured with sweet gentle tannins that imparted deep delicious tones. Excellent. Keen observers will note that the label no longer showed the image of church cloisters with effect from this vintage, a highly controversial move as the proprietor’s family is strictly Catholic.

2006 Ch Angelus. Deep inky red, effusive in very fine minerals, dark cherries and mahogany with traces of vanillin. Fleshy full presence, open with a quiet exuberance, layered with ripe dark berries cloaked in very fine tightly-knit tannins amid overtones of mushrooms that conferred an illusion of dryness, finishing with decent length and quiet intensity. Quite excellent, perhaps just missing in outright opulence.

2004 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Russell. Deep garnet red, proffering dense aromas of dark berries with a peppery hint. Medium-bodied and fleshy. Darkish in tone. Classically structured with good presence, exuding lovely charm in spite of some vegetal traces, again just missing in depth and opulence. Very fine.

2000 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Melvin. Deep dark inky red, exuding a wonderful expanse and depth of gorgeous red fruits and dark currants on the full palate, solidly layered with great warmth, presence and ease, transitioning seamlessly to a glowing lengthy finish. Superbly balanced. Still highly youthful. Fabulous. The estate began embossing the word “ANGELUS” on the bottles beginning from this vintage.

2010 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Dennis. Very deep dark impenetrable red, ingrained with bottomless layers of dense gorgeous ripe blackberries, blueberries and dark currants on both nose and palate, yet to shed its thin veil of vanillin completely. Full with taut tension and sublime acidity, structured with sexy silky tannins with further emergence of mocha and dark chocolate over time. Massively proportioned with controlled sophistication. This must be the younger equivalent of the 2000, perhaps even better. Time will tell but still far from ready.

20190425_231344.jpg