M+M's Housewarming BBQ (Malvern Springs): From a 375ml. A beautiful wine – this was a great way to end a great night. It had a beautiful nose, a lot more expressive and giving than the 2002 Rotenberg Vendange Tardive that was served together. This soared out of the glass with rich, sweet honey tones and wafts of tropical fruits, with pineapples and lychees, traced with a little chalky mineral. Quite surprisingly though, the palate had such beautiful acidity and balance that it actually came across less sweet than 2002 VT, beautifully juicy notes of mandarin oranges coated with honey and treacle. The flavours were still very primary, but they were carried effortlessly on deep rivers of acidity that were woven into the seams of the wine. Wonderfully elegant, effortless stuff – this will be ageless. Great finish too – long and muscular, with a nice chalky minerality. Just lovely stuff. It has the balance and poise to drink well now, but this is one that will keep growing for decades to come.
TMM Dinner (aka d'Yquem and extras) (Absinthe, Boat Quay): From a 375ml, this was a brilliant wine, easily the match of any of the gems we had on the table, save perhaps for the breathtaking 2001 d'Yquem. It was still much, much too young though - this seemed barely into its adolescence. Rather different from the very developed bottle I had a couple of months back. The nose here was amazing, with rich, treacley smells, tons of dulcet honeyed tones, sweet sultanas, a little toss of earth, then more lifted scents of chamomile and tea leaves. A very complex melange of wonderful aromas. However, the palate still clearly lagged behind in terms of its development. Do not get me wrong though - this was wonderful, with a subtle complexity showing in its gentle flavours of dried figs, apricots and tropical lychees wreathed in wonderful tea-ish notes of oolong and jasmine tea. Really lovely stuff, it had unctuous depth, lovely breadth and great length that clung to every crevice of the backpalate, yet without a smidgen of heaviness - with its absolutely pitch perfect balance and poise, this was about as graceful an SGN as I have ever had. However, for all that, the palate still lacked the wow factor that the breathtaking peacock's tail of a bouquet promised. Complex as it was in the mouth, this was all still very nascent, still giving the feeling that there was so more much that age will unfurl. Great stuff - but it requires patience. It is one of those wines that has the bones to age effrotlessly for just about forever, but give it some 10-12 years more, and it should already be amazing. 94+
Desmond's Birthday Dinner (St Pierre, Singapore): Wow - this was something else. My wine of the night by some distance, and that it saying something given the very decent line-up we had. The nose was just crazy - honeyed figs, sweet grenadine, orange peel, earth, spice, all melded into a lovely, glowingly sweet bouquet. Wow on the palate too. This was thick and rich, with a profound depth to its layers of ripe apples, apricots and tangerines, again orange peel, then lighter notes of orange blossoms; yet such was the fresh acidity that drove the wine all the way from the attack to the finish, that this was so balanced and pure, with all the complex little bits superbly integrated and held together with lovely tension. Such an elegant wine in spite of its strength. Great finish too, drawing away in a little honeyed glow pierced by mineral and spice notes. About as complete a sweet wine as I have had in a long time. Great stuff. Still very primary, so I would have waited a few more years on this wine, but it was nevertheless great on the day. I have a feeling this will be one of those wines that drink well youth all the way to decades into the future. I would love to try it at the next 10 year mark though.
Chris's Birthday at Black by Ezard (Sydney, Australia): Orange gold coloured. A rich nose of pineapple, honey, floral notes and peaches and really shows that unique identity of sweet Alsace Pinot Gris. Fleshy and sweet on the palate but with real brightness and acid balance. Some complexity to it, but it disappeared quickly due to being delicious.
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