Richebourg and Romanee St Vivant Dinner (Summer Pavilion, Ritz Carlton, Singapore): Excellent. I thought this lacked a little charm on first pour, but it really opened up beautifully with just a little time in the glass. The nose was quite tight at first, showing little notes of earth and wood and dark berries, but as the wine took on air, sweeter notes of cooked cherries and red berries came to the fore alongside pretty accents of dried flowers and fragrant spice. By the time we were finishing, the nose had opened up into a lifted, perfumed mélange of spice and flowers. Lovely. Like the nose, the palate started out a bit tight, showing a bit thin, even astringent. It never took on the scale you would expect of a top-end 1999 Grand Cru, but when it hit its stride, it was quite a delight to drink. It shared the same juicy purity of the Girardin RSV that preceded it, with a lovely clarity sounding through ample flavours of red cherries and berries infused with a wonderful spiciness. However, I thought there was a greater sense of structure and depth to this wine as well, with what grew to become a full, generous attack and midpalate undergirded fine, firm tannins that provided a nice, chewy grip to the wine. This had both power and grace and quite a bit of deliciousness to boot. Great finish too, with more toasty Christmas spices mingling with notes of black cherry, orange peel and dried flowers. Wonderfully complex and actually drinking really well for a 1999. A great end to the evening.
The colour is showing some brown; the nose is open and forward; the palate is quite full. There is bitter cherry fruit, and the wine is well rounded and quite long. Although this is a concentrated wine, I was a bit disappointed by the rather bitter edge to the fruit, which I think suggests the wine is becoming elderly and should be drunk.
What a disappointment. The nose smelled quite off putting, at first I thought it was corked, then I thought the nose blew off yet the palate was flat and boring. Another at the table insisted it was corked, two others weren't sure. The only thing we all agreed upon is this is not up to par. I sure hope it was just an off bottle, but I can't point to any specific flaw so I think maybe someone just screwed up a fantastic vintage and vineyard.
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