Mini-Montrose Vertical - 1973, '85, '94, '95, '96 (Nicolas Restaurant, Teck Lim Street, Singapore): Past its prime, but still really enjoyable. The nose was quite lovely, with soft aromas of dark cherries and back plums alongside gamey, meaty nuances of blood and iron and sous bois at the fore. But there was also sweet tobacco, lovely lifted floral notes and even a little hint of Provencale garrigue at the edges. I liked that nose. The palate was very evolved, even a bit tired, with soft velvety tannins and decent acidity just barely holding on to soft cherry and berry notes with some meaty flavours and salty iodine notes on the midpalate. Any grip that the wine had seemed to be quickly slipping, with a little blush of warm spice and more salted meat accents marking a quiet finish. This was a friendly old charmer with a nice round character to it, but about time to drink up.
Upper shoulder fill, cork fully saturated. Opened and tasted at 6:00 PM, then allowed to breathe slowly in the bottle until 9:00 PM, then decanted and served. Clear dark blood-brick red. Initially, the bouquet was classic aged Bordeaux -- old leather, pencil shavings, tobacco, vestiges of tired tart red berries. I was very pleasantly surprised. But after 3 hours in the bottle, it fell apart, becoming meaty, bloody, rusty, and generally disjointed. 90 points initially; 84 points upon serving. Lesson learned: plan the evening around an old bottle, not the other way around.
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