The 1996 Engel Clos Vougeot was surprisingly accessible, and really quite expressive on the nose and palate. The bouquet is quite lifted, with a touch of volatile acidity (a trait common to the 1996 Engel wines), and an appealing melange of wild plum, roast game, herbs and some hints of oak vanillin. On the palate the wine is fresh and seamless, with quite a broad, expansive attack but without all that much concentration or structure at the core. A second bottle was corked.
Melvyn's 50th Birthday Bash (Hua Ting, Orchard Hotel): Second flawed bottle. Corked. The nose stank of wet cardboard and iodine alongside notes of dark cherries, spice and earth. I think this would have been quite good if not for the TCA. The palate was similarly marked by a cardboardy over-layer, but beneath that, it felt full and complete, with still rather deep flavours of dark-fruited black cherries, blackberries and lots of smoky spice underscored by bright 1996 acidity. Finish was just a bit flat, petering out with some orange peel notes and a little trail of minerality. That may have just been the effect of the flaw though. Pity.
After 18 years of long wait, finally this wine is ready. Bright acidity level of this vintage means lots of frustration over the years. But wait no more. Sweet and smooth on entry, slightly dry mid-palate, long with a touch of warmth at finish. Just enter its prime drinking window and should last for a while. Still rustic in nature though.
Domaine René Engel Dinner (Fleur de Sel, Tras Street): Sadly corked. I have a feeling this would have been really ncie otherwise. The nose was quite infected by cardboard notes, but the palate had a lovely purity, balance and structure to it, with Vosne spice and mineral aplenty. Unfortunately, the fruit had been thinned out rather severely by the TCA.
Professional reviews have copyrights and you can view them here for your personal use only as private content. To view pro reviews you must either subscribe to a pre-integrated publication or manually enter reviews below. Learn more.