William & Gina's Wedding (Park Palace, Grand Park Hotel): From a 1.5 litre. After a great experience with another magnum a year back, this was a great disappointment. Served blind, I thought this was a decently good Burg, but would never have placed this as a Grand Cru, let alone one of the quality of Romanée St. Vivant. It seemed really advanced. The nose certainly smelt like something a lot more mature, with a wildness to its herb and meat and sous bois notes along with prettier notes of dark cherries, wild berries and some violet flowers. It was far from unpleasant, but this was nowhere near the aromatic fireworks that I recalled from the nose of the last bottle. It was the palate where this was a real let down though. There was nothing quite wrong with the wine - it was very clean, almost a bit lean, with fresh acidity and rather ripe tones of dark cherries and blackberries held in fine but firm tannins that seemed to be just on the verge of softening. Not a bad drink at all, but it was just that everything seemed a bit ho-hum, with not much complexity or even much interest to go around. While the finish had good length, with a little bit of earth and mineral and spice, it also seemed a bit light-weight, a little soft for an RSV. All in all, a decently good wine, but a bit boring. I am not sure whether it was shut down or whether this was an odd bottle. Whatever the case, the last bottle we was so much better that this seemed to be a different wine altogether.
Meet the man - Nicolas Potel (Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck @ Paragon): Sweet, almost caramelize but yet there is this freshness to prevent it from being over the top. Exotic spices, seductive floral tone, dried rose petal, savory herbs and sweet dark fruits, autumn leaves all bind into a lovely musical melody. Medium bodied, still a bit backward with fine, ripe tannin supported the lush dark fruits, cloves, cinnamon, autumn leaves as well as smoke meat, capture in an absolutely perfume, velvety mouth feel. I especially like the lovely acidity in it. Stunning length that's goes on and on. Again, this may not possesses top notch finesse or purity, it is still utterly delicious.
2010 Maison Roche de Bellene / Nicolas Potel Dinner (Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Paragon): An entrancing wine. The RSV vineyard always seems throw out wines with stunning aromatics - Chambolle in Vosne if you will - and this wine was a brilliant example with its deep, complex bouquet of wood spice and angelica root with pats of wet earth and funky undergrowth, all lovely savoury aromas winding their way along a deeper core of dark cherry and berry aromas, with sweet molasses glistening in the background. Incredible stuff. The palate was perhaps not quite as stunning as the nose, but it was nevertheless really nice. There was a melting balance and velvety tannins, making it rather softer than the edgy 2001 Clos de Beze on the same flight, and savoury flavours of sour plum and meat and earth, then black cherries and mulberries on the midpalate, all lined with a wonderfully integrated rush of of Vosne spice and herb. The finish seemed a bit more reserved at first, showing a touch of citrussy orange peel alongside more sour plum and dark fruited notes, but there was clearly lovely Grand Cru depth throughout. In fact, the wine, while clearly feminine, still packed quite a bit of oomph. It kept growing with time in the glass too, taking on more warm spices and darkly floral accents at the back-end. I really liked this. It was only a touch of leanness at the edges that seems to afflict some 2001s as they pass their first decade that prevented it from being a great wine in my book. But that is nitpicking - this was an entrancing RSV. From a magnum, this came across as a beautiful wine that was just about ready to drink.
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(Nicolas Potel Romanée St. Vivant) Dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, talc, raspberry nose; tasty, pastille, tart cherry, mineral, raspberry palate with medium acidity; could use 3 more years; long finish 93+ points
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