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International Vivino Chapter Day 1!
6 March 2015
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant
What’s Vivino? Vivino is a mobile application social network all about wines. You can download and read through what people are drinking and their reviews and ratings on almost any wine around the world. For example, below is a screenshot of the application. I’m very active in this wine network, as I treat it as a hobby more than a profession when it comes to wine! You can see that I have posted 1,151 tasting notes, I have got almost 3,000 followers around the world, and I am ranked number 1 in Singapore.
So the idea of a Vivino gathering here is to have all the great wine connoisseurs gather together and taste wines. Johan P., a very enthusiastic wine lover, helped organize this tasting. We managed to invite some overseas wine enthusiasts as well! Christian van N. flew in from Switzerland to attend, and we have Jack Madrid and Burgnut flew in from Manila, Philippines. Other participants are residing in Singapore: Chin G, Wine Affairs, Olivier G., Gary Ong, Ed Tan. You can see their profiles below:

The theme was set as no lesser than a super second Bordeaux or equivalent. All wines are served double blind (i.e. all wrapped up in aluminum foil so that we don’t know the label nor vintage, just to be fair). The serving order is randomized as well. Below you’ll find my tasting notes.
Line up:
Gantenbein 2007
Dom Perignon 2003
Remoissenet Grands Echezeaux 85
Anne Gros Richebourg 89
Clinet 89
Pichon Lalande 86
Pichon Lalande 83
Vietti Barolo 85
Sassicaia 88
Leoville Las Cases 86
Ducru Beaucaillou 85
Cod d’Estournel 89
Montrose 89
Dom Perignon 2003
4 stars
This bottle was not served blind. Unfortunately this Dom Perignon was not singing. Even though the nose was clean with fresh forest floor, the palette disappointed somehow, major fault lies with the precision of the body, i.e. not sharp nor crisp enough to be a top grade champagne. Finishing was short too. Lots of leftovers in the bottle sadly. I once drank the Dom Perignon 2002 alongside the 2003 and it was a huge contrast, as if they’re not being produced by the same maker! 2003 was known to be a poor champagne vintage, for top grade champagne houses like Louis Roederer Cristal, they didn’t release any 2003 vintage (same for Le Pin 2003 in Pomerol, Bordeaux, as they felt that it was a poor vintage, they’d rather uphold their brand than to make consumers cough on their wines!). Shame on LVMH’s Dom Perignon, could not hold up their pride for not making money, yet went ahead and release a poor vintage. Well, I guess it was a champagne for the brand recognition more than a bubble for wine connoisseur, so this vintage probably flooded all the DFS stores in the airport.
Gantenbein 2007
5 stars
We started off slowly with a white. As usual, served double blind, and I was thoroughly enjoying this white. I got every notes correctly except for the label! Lemon, classic oak, very oily at later stage, refined wood (excellent oak nose, I was told they use the same oak supplier as Domaine de la Romanee Conti (DRC), the producer of perhaps the most expensive Montrachet in the world. To be precise, Johan told me Gantenbein uses Troncais oak sourced from Francois Freres, the same supplier used by DRC), and very Bordeaux blanc character, these are only the notes for the nose! The body was great with lemony, rich, flavorful, very intense. However it got a bit lean towards the end. So, it was a grand cru nose and a premier cru body. I couldn’t get the answer right as I never had this wine before, thus I completely have no reference! I was shocked that it was a Chardonnay made in Switzerland! Great wine, what a way to kick off the tasting! Thanks to Johan who contributed this difficult to get white wine!
Chateau Clinet – Pomerol 1989
4.5 stars

The nose was screaming Nebbiolo grapes, even the palette didn’t taste like a Bordeaux. You should see my expression when Christian van N who brought this bottle all the way from Zurich to Singapore, 14 hours flight and immediately got into the restaurant without a break, told me this was a Bordeaux ex-chateau bottle, and it was a Clinet 89! I had many of this label in the past, nothing similar to last night. Flight shock? Bottle shock? Flight woke the wine up?

I do not agree with Robert Parker that this wine deserves a 100 point, in fact, far from it! I do not know what Parker’s rating criteria was, if I were to award on a 100 point scale, 92-94 would have been my best score. As this wine came direct from the chateau, I have every reason to believe that it is in pristine conditions without the concern of provenance. Christian van N. brought this bottle in a violin case all the way from Switzerland!

Pichon Lalande 1986
4.5 Stars

A Lady’s Wine. Pichon Lalande is the female version of Pauillac, contrasting it to Pichon Baron who is the male chauvinist. It’s one of my all time favorite Bordeaux label, having tasted it as far back as 1925 and 1945. This 86 vintage was a bit shy of my expectations; very intense vanilla and elegant nose. Palette is infused with hefty vanilla (or wood), but body was light, which leads to slight imbalance. It’s also very woody and a bit flat.

This style didn’t fool me at all. After my disappointing performance on the Clinet 89, I was finally back on form and correctly pinpoint this double blind wine as Pichon Lalande 86! The primary reason I was spot on was that I just had the exact same bottle just a few weeks ago, and my palette memory was still fresh! Others thought it was a St Julien, but I was the one sticking my neck out and say it was a Lalande 86. Can’t be this lucky to be able to guess the label and the vintage 100% correct! Jack Madrid who brought this bottle, gave it to me to unwrap, and at that point, I knew I was correct!

Remoissenet Grands Echezeaux 1985
5 Stars
Can you imagine 12 chaps from Vivino Singapore chapter gathered (including 2 from Philippines and 1 from Switzerland), all wine connoisseurs. All of us unanimously voted this bottle as Wine of the Night! Awesome burgundy, very intense nose, very cherry like. The body is amazing, great balance, slightly feminine, but most importantly, it’s absolutely at the right drinking window! Gary Ong brought a really fantastic bottle! I wish I can find some bottles and stock up! Frankly, Remoissenet was an awesome label back in the 80s and early 90s. I have had a bottle of Remoissenet Grands Echezeaux 1990 next to many other Grands Echezeaux, including a DRC Grands Echezeaux 1995, and Remoissenet tasted a lot better than the DRC!
Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 1989
4 stars
Again, served double blind, we all agreed it was burgundy. Big, chunky cherry, and slightly floral on the nose. Palette disappointed me slightly with tinge of lean and harsh fruits, soil, earthy, unresolved tannins. However the saving grace was that it took time to open up, and after 30 mins later it turned out to be much softer and the red fruits were more prominent. Thanks to Olivier for his generous contribution.
Chateau Pichon Lalande 1983
4.5 stars
Lalande has a character that’s very un-Pauillac like. Today I got heavy loads of coffee on the nose (which is normally a St Julien nose), slightly smokey, got some grape stems and herbaceous notes. The sweetness on the palette gave away as a merlot-based wine. My guess tends towards a Palmer or Lalande but the strong coffee nose fooled me and changed my answer to St Julien. Lesson learned, must analyze both nose and palette to get a good derived answer.
Vietti Barolo 1985
4.5 stars
My first time trying a Vietti, served double blind, quite interesting. The extremely strong bretty nose attacked me and I thought I am in a clinic! Along with the band aid nose, there are some burned wood and charred character, pretty funky nose. The deep dark core fruits, along with sweetness and moderately tannic body and some spices should have given away as a Piedmont wine, but I have absolutely no clue where this came from! Thanks to Burgnut for sharing this gem with us!
Leoville Las Cases 1986
5 Stars

Another stunner. This Saint-Julien jewel has everything you could ask for from a classic Bordeaux. Aromas of wet earth, dark berries, tobacco and leather. On the palate, fresh and full-bodied yet supple with ultra-soft tannins. Restrained yet intense and powerful all the way through a lengthy finish. Drinking beautifully now with lots of life left. Delicious. Thank you Sophie for sharing this beautiful bottle with us. It was an evening of camaraderie and laughter. Good times!
Ducru Beaucaillou 1985
5 Stars
EX-CHATEAU PROVENANCE ROCKS. As usual, it was served double blind. As like all other St Juliens, this one also had a lot of intense coffee on the nose, plus slight earthiness. The palette is extremely fresh (like the label), very rich, coupled with leathery character, very clean. I knew it was St Julien wine but could not guess it was the bottle I brought. Anyway, it was an unbiased judgment from me as it was served double blind. I can’t stress more about provenance. Good provenance like ex-chateau makes the wine tasts fresher and younger as it was stored in the chateau under same condition over the years.
Chateau Cos d’Estournel 1989
4.5 Stars
Served double blind, but this bottle made me proud, I managed to get the label correctly based on my observation, except that I was off with the vintage. Nose was really muted initially but opened up slowly thereafter with tea leaves and milk chocolate. At this point I was pretty sure it was Cos! Double confirmed on the palette with bright red fruits, too young and most important character- chocolate. Of course we get chocolate in Margaux as well but the nose of tea leaves was the giveaway as St. Estephe 🙂
Montrose 1989
4.5 Stars
Served double blind as usual, but this was the last of the 13 bottles we drank that night, I was numb on the senses already, but was still sober on my note taking. Funky, fishy, salty, strong smoke and strong vanilla on the nose. Even though the palette was rich, strong vanilla and I can sense it was from a hot year, but the bottle appeared to be very tired, probably due to provenance issue. I gave up guessing at this point.
We concluded the night with a toast from everybody!
What a great evening to be able to drink with so many great wine connoisseurs, share our passion and knowledge! And special thanks to Gary for bringing the Wine of the Night Remoissenet Grands Echezeaux 1985.
More awesome, fantastic wines…
to be continued the next day!
International Vivino Chapter Day 2!
Like there is no tomorrow!7 March 2015 Afternoon
Kingsmead House (I am hosting)
Today I am playing host, to continue last night’s crazy drinking session. Today will be even more crazy, with the theme of “Best of The Best, First Growth or equivalent only”.
This was our afternoon line ups:
Dom Perignon 85
Pierre Morey Montrachet 82
Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachets 92
Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachets 59
Chapoutier Ermitage 89
JL Chave Hermitage 78
Ausone 06
Haut Brion 85
Mouton Rothschild 79
Mouton Rothschild 79 83
Cheval Blanc 85
Pichon Lalande 82
La Conseillante 55
d’Yquem 90
Dom Perignon 1985
5 Stars
NAUGHTY JOHAN. A few days ago, Johan discreetly asked his secretary to buy a bottle of this Dom Perignon 1985 champagne from me, and brought it to this afternoon tasting; of course, he wrapped it with 10 layers of aluminum foil.So I tasted, wow, great stuff! Aged yeast, honeycomb on the nose. The palette was very pleasurable, aged, very intense, rich, great depth. Ed asked me how much I will pay? I said around $600-$700. Ed said I was fairly accurate with the price (we sell it for $570). Should be early 80s, but clueless on the label. I was absolutely shocked.when I found out that this bottle of Dom Perignon 1985 came from our company! Thanks to Johan and gang’s generosity, as it is their way of expressing gratitude for me hosting the afternoon event. I was truly touched (and also sweat – imagine what if the bottle was in bad shape? I’ll be so embarrassed right? Wait, I need to have faith with my wine’s provenance!)
Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru
Marquis de Laguiche 1992
5 Stars
Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Grand Cru
Marquis de Laguiche 1959
4.5 Stars
My previous post was the same wine from 1992, fast backwards 33 years ago to 1959, my sponsored bottle. While it didn’t possess the young flamboyant character of the 92, it was still an experience to drink a white burgundy of 66 years old. Rich, aged nose with loads of honeycomb, coupled with sherry and chrysanthemums on the nose. Palette is still extremely rich, extremely honeycomb and drinking like a concentrated double boiled barley (Chinese style).
Pierre Morey Montrachet 1982
5 Stars
Served in a flight of 3 Montrachets. I had the Pierre Morey Montrachet 1996 a couple of months ago and it was totally not ready to drink. But this 82, at it’s prime time to drink! On the nose, very oaky, honey and toast. The beauty lies on the palette, high acidity, mellow, honey, very gentle and slowly caresses my palette. Great gem! Big thank you to Christian van N for sharing his grandfather’s one and only bottle collection! I wish I have a father who started me on these wines so early!

M. Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite 1989
4 Stars
I’m not a Hermitage fan, especially young ones. But later in the day I drank a hermitage that blew all the best Bordeaux off the table. This one was choking, sharp, matured and smells like blood on the nose. Very meaty, beefy, good acidity and loads of red fruits. Would love to see how it develops in another decade or two after it has toned down in the heavy style like the JL Chave Hermitage 78 that blows me off completely.
Chateau Ausone
Saint Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe A 2006
4.5 Stars
First time I had a young Ausone, of course served blind. Before the label is revealed, I swear by it as a Spanish wine, most likely Pingus, a very young one, coz the nose was so Spanish, coffee, loads of jumbo dark fruits, very inky and an overdose of vanilla. As expected the palette is extremely big and tannic, very high in acidity, and made in a very modern style. I surely think it’ll get 5 stars in 2 decades time, for now, avoid drinking these young wines, no fun!
Domaine Jean Louis Chave Hermitage 1978
5 Stars
This wine shocked my palette when it was served blind, as I have drank so many good wines in my life, but this one is probably going to rewrite history! The nose was nothing unique, just woody and very CDP like. But the palette, my oh my, extremely beautiful balance, extremely soft with many layers, yet it’s so complex. I have never thought Syrah can produce such good quality wines. Now my world is completely changed! Wine of the Day for me, and thanks to Christian van N for this eye opening bottle! It’s a sad day for Bordeaux fans, as I have to declare this bottle one of the very best in 2015 I had so far, maybe a little bit too early to declare as Wine of The Year, but who knows! Just for your information, my Wine of the Year for 2014 was Latour 1955.
Chateau Haut Brion 1985
5 Stars
This bottle was blinded, my notes for it was sparsely scribbled. It’s one of my favorite when I drink it standalone, but this bottle didn’t quite perform up to my expectations, frankly it’s very borderline 5 stars. I got a Pauillac nose (abnormal for a Graves wine) and a load of raspberry. Palette is very rich and fruity. Based on these characters it obviously shocked me to be a Haut Brion!
Chateau Pichon Lalande 1982
5 Stars
I contributed this bottle but of course served blind so that I have totally no idea it was from me. I have drank this in at least 3-4 blind tasting, and it was always my #1 or #2 wine of the day. This one was no difference, #2 just behind JL Chave Hermitage 82. Very fragrance albeit slightly stemmy on the nose. Extremely rich and extremely beautiful palette. Lalande 82 again proved itself to be a worthy heavyweight Bordeaux wine. I love this a lot!
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1979
4 Stars
Served blind. Nose shows very woody, very minty and herbaceous characters. Decent fruits on the palette, but a bit lean, thus I guess it has to be from a weak vintage. Was not surprised to find that it’s a 79 Mouton Rothschild. Mouton on a weak vintage always show its weakness. I was totally disappointed that someone has fielded this as a great vintage. More of an onion of the day!
La Conseillante 1955
5 Stars
We had 2 blind bottles of this wine, and both same label and same vintage! But they tasted drastically different. First bottle was old, dirty, pungent, soiled and smokey on the nose, while palette was sweet, dirty and very dry. The second bottle was singing, with extreme fragrance on the nose. Very sweet and elegant on the palette. Of course wine this old that went through 6 decades really hard to tell the outcome but I was really pleased to have it drank side by side. Its all about provenance and some luck to have a good bottle of a 60 year old wine!
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1985
5 Stars
Served blind. Nose was slightly herbaceous, but a sip and I was turned on: extremely fabulous wine, even though I used the word “fat”, it’s not so plummy, rich, a great amount of lush and pure fruits, powerful yet elegant, what a beautiful wine! Thanks to Olivier for his contribution. I can drink this forever! This is my all time favorite 1985 wine, consistently good and performs above par!
International Vivino Chapter Day 2 Dinner!
Pierre Morey Montrachet 1982
5 Stars
“Second bottle of last Saturday International Vivino gathering, and I was already in love with the gwines being served. I had the 96 a few months ago and totally not ready. But this 82, at it’s prime time to drink! On the nose, very oaky, honey and toast. The beauty lies on the palette, high acidity, mellow, honey, very gentle and slowly caresses my palette. Great gem. Big thank you to Christian van N for sharing this great bottle!
Vincent Dauvissat
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2002
5 Stars
EASILY THE BEST CHABLIS… This Chablis was probably one of the best I ever had. Almost like a white burgundy grand cru complexity. Even though the nose was slightly oxidized, it didn’t bother me, coupled with oil and some oyster smell. The palette was a killer, extremely rich, very intense, very mineral and still full of acidity, certainly can age for another decade. Thanks to Johan for this unique and special bottle!
Leroy Corton Grand Cru 1976
5 Stars
LEROY in the 70s This Domaine Leroy in the 70s was not tendered by Lalou Bize-Leroy, and thus not as famous as the current Domaine. But its still good to have a taste of history, the bottle is really difficult to get hold of. Sous Bois, forest floor and extremely perfumed nose. The key here on the mouth is the extreme velvety character, coupled with very good sweetness, lovely! This wine can still go on for a decade or more, rich but smooth and easy drinking. That’s what good wines are for!
Domaine Grivelet 
Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes 1978
5 Stars
A 78 DEFUNCT LABEL Grievelet does not exist anymore. They didn’t expect themselves to produce one of the greatest Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru back in 78. When I opened this precious collection on numerous ocassions, it has never failed to impress wine connoisseurs. A lot of characters on the nose: iron, rust, copper, very perfumed and extreme roses. I loved to drink this great burg, gorgeous, pleasant, soft, smooth and extremely velvety. Drink to believe, no word can describe this beauty!
Daniel Bocquenet
Echezeaux Grand Cru 1997
4.5 Stars
INTERESTING ECHEZEAUX This is the first time I ever heard of a maker Bocquenet in burgundy. Having been skeptical of any unknown burgundy maker, I have poor expectations. Man, I was wrong! This is a borderline 5 stars! Very strong aroma on the nose, reflecting a lot of deep dark cherries. Palette reveals that its a big wine, solid structure, multiple layers, very rich and extremely complex, and abundance of fruits. Good to find surprises, particularly red burgundies!
Domaine Armand Rousseau
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques 2000
4.5 Stars
BIG ARMAND ROUSSEAU! Clos St Jacques is one of my favorite red burg, particularly from Rousseau. Never had this 2000 before, so I was shocked to find that its still at its adolescence stage! Too young to be consumed, requires another decade to tame down! The nose is already revealing big fruits, very cherry and very pure. A sip and I was shocked with very rich, bright fruits, but balance is great, and a very clean wine. Lovely, will be upgraded to 5 stars when it is ready to drink!
Case Basse
Soldera Brunello di Montalcino 1986
5 Stars
BEST BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO!!! Before I typed my note, I noticed Parker only gave it an 89, utter rubbish scores! In my years of drinking wines, its really not easy to impress my palette, and I must admit I was completely sold by this label, that blew the whole table of wines away, including Ch Margaux 82 tonight. The nose was very BdM, more like 97 or 99. But the palette, man oh man, extreme purity, extremely clean taste. Extremely difficult to replicate such great wines elsewhere. This is a great gem!
Paolo Scavino
Rocche Dell Annunziata Barolo Riserva 2001
4.2 Stars
BAROLO NEEDS 30 YEARS When I had a glimpse of the label, I know it’ll be totally not ready to drink! Barolo, unless the cheaper labels, will require at least 2-3 decades of cellaring to be drinkable. Otherwise the tannins cut my tongue! As in this case! Huge amount of tannins, extremely rich and heavily oaked, heavy alcohol, these are both from the nose and the palette. Unless your tongue is cut proof, avoid young Barolos, otherwise easier to eat grapes than to drink these tannic wines!
2er Cru Classe Saint-Estephe 1975
4 Stars
36TH WINE OF THE DAY We have drank 36 bottles of wines by now, but I still managed to scribble down all the TNs. I wasn’t so impressed this Montrose, despite a decent nose of deep, dark core fruits. The wine was still tannic, but slightly diluted (strange), lacks fruits and flavor, and somehow overwhelmed by the bottle next to it — Gruaud Larose 82. I have to state that it maybe a personal preference that I hardly have great Montrose, exceptions are 59 and 70 only (no, the 90 which is a RP100 disappoints)
Chateau Gruaud-Larose
Saint-Julien Grand Cru Classé 1982
5 Stars
GRUAUD LAROSE 82 IS GREAT! This is one of my all time favorite labels in the 70s and 80s, usually far exceeded my expectations despite depressed prices. Along with 79, 81, 85, 86, 82 is one of the best Gruaud Larose ever produced. This bottle is pristine as I just had a magnum a few weeks ago (magnums always drink better), so I can relate the vegetal, smokey and creamy nose, plus the extremely rich and plush fruits on the palette. Truly enjoyable Bordeaux!
Dom Perignon
Vintage Millesime 2000
POST 2000 DOM PERIGNON… seems to have changed style a bit compared to its older siblings like 96 or 98, or perhaps it’s my illusion? Maybe we shall have a vertical of Dom Perignon to find out. For this 2000, it possesses a strong yeasty nose, quite atypical of DP 2000. Bubbly, good precision, good fruit intensity and rich. Lately I drank too many DP, this bottle (or vintage) didn’t strike me well enough.
Mouton Rothschild
JUMBO MOUTON ROTHSCHILD This 86 is a huge wine, it was so huge it’ll take another 2-3 decades of aging to mellow down and ready to be drank.We decanted it for 2-3 hours, and it was like fresh out of the bottle! Very opulent nose, extremely smokey and a huge nose overwhelm most wines on the table. Its a fruit bomb on the mouth, still hugely tannic and overwhelming amount of fruits. I would like to revisit this bottle in 20 years time!
Chateau Margaux

82 NOT READY!!! It is really upset to drink a Ch Margaux 82 and then declared not ready for decades to come! I have been drinking a bottle a year or so, and keeping track of the progress, it’s always not ready, especially a great condition bottle! Nose only reveals some faint floral notes, but palette is telling me its too young, even though sweet and elegant. The tannins are huge, not dissolved yet, other characters are inky, iodine. This wine was decanted for 2 hours! Someone share my frustration?

Ok, guys I hope you enjoyed my wine sharing! I got to detox my liver now haha!

An awesome session with my friends!
Wish to host more such outings.

That said, with my unbiased, truthful and no-nonsense wine rating, you see immediately what’s my take on any wine – does it meet/excel my expectation?I am also proud to announce we are the FIRST Fine Wine Merchant in Singapore (and very possibly in large part of the world!) to test drink our wines before we sell to public if you buy from us. You will never see any local wine merchant invested so much money, time and effort just to test drink for you. Have you?  Afterall, why should they since they don’t care if it’s worth your purchase.

Follow me in Vivino for more regular, updated wine rating! 
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