1998 Burgundy Grand Cru Dinner (Cheng Hu Tien, Keong Saik Road, Singapore): In a word - superlative. Like the Fourrier Clos St Jacques that preceded it, this was quite clearly Grand Cru quality. In fact, as much as I loved the Fourrier, I found this far stronger – it was every bit as charming, but was a much more complete wine. We had another lovely nose here, with deep wafts of dark cherries and berries and dried flowers laced with lots of fragrant spices, with cloves at the forefront, and then a touch of dried earth – a heady mix of the masculine and feminine, all making for a tremendous bouquet. The palate was very fine indeed. It had amazing finesse, with pure flavours of red cherries and berries and sour plums cloaked with a light layer of super-fine tannins and just pitch perfect balance lent by lovely, bright acidity. Like the nose, there was this beguiling femininity and elegance on the palate wed to a more masculine tones, with a savoury, slightly meaty counterpoint and a great undercurrant of mineral and spice stretching into a strong, super-long finish. Boy this was great. A fantastic wine just starting to show its chops – give it 5 years or so in the bottle, and it will be even better.
Bobs annual wine weekend (New Haven and Guilford): The three Rousseaus ruled in this flight again . The 99 is early, the 98 is very nice, the 97 is a knockout and best to drink tonight. Over time, it will be 99, 97 and 98. They are all complex, ripe and elegant in a way that sets his wines above everyone else and rousseau is the reference standard for CSJ. the wines are dense, balanced, earthy with a wild mix of dark and red fruits and the finish goes on forever.
Ruby to middling garnet - starting to show some obvious maturity. Initially served too warm and nose meaty, beef tea and soy with a faint touch or ice-cream wafer caramel. Cooled down it focused up nicely with purer, red-fruited and more mineral aromas with the odd hint of wet dog. Similar story on the palate - initially very smooth, mellow, quite rich and a little diffuse; when cooled to a proper temp this showed brigher red fruit, reasonable intensity across the mid-palate and a slight 98 bite of tannin on the finish. Not top flight but very enjoyable. ****
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(Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques) Medium red color with clear meniscus; roses, VA and oak nose; tart red fruit, light-medium bodied; medium finish 89+ pts.
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