William's Bachelor's Party (Tonny Restaurant, Geylang Lor 3, Singapore): On a night where many older wines from the 60s' to the 80s' were stunningly youthful, this was paradoxically over-advanced and tired - a far cry from the last two experiences I have had with the same wine (the last coming just a few months back). The nose had a prematurely old feel to it, with lots of gamey, meaty, sous bois tones, with dried leaves and wilted flowers sprinkled amidst some lovely red cherry aromas, followed by sterner drifts of briar and bramble and spice. I liked that nose, but it got us guessing that this was a wine from the late 1970s or early 1980s instead. The palate still had some fresh, lively acidity. However, the tannins seemed to have completely resolved into a soft, mellow feel, so that one got a sense of a noble structure slowly crumbling into dust. Flavours were very mature too, with soft, sappy, sur-mature notes of black cherries and dark berries tapering off into a fine-boned finish with some spice and a rather ditrsctingly bittersweet twist of bramble. Still pleasaurable, but clearly tired and rather less than complete. While this would have been enjoyable enough on its own, it was at a severe disadvantage amidst the other stars on show tonight. I hope this is down to provenance rather than the wine going downhill.
My Birthday Celebration (Park Palace, Grand Park Hotel): Another bottle that I quite forgot having before. This was very good. Somehow though, this bottle did seem rather tighter and less giving than the one we had a couple of years ago. The nose was rather subtle and unexpressive, with masculine notes of earth and metal, some savoury notes and subtle dark-druited shades seasoned with spicy anise, menthol and peppermint. I thought this was maybe a Vosne or an NSG instead. The palate was also tightly wound, but it was really nice, with a clean, bright attack with clear flavours of dark cherries and sour plums. There was a ripeness to the fruit and a rather clear sense of extraction on this that made some people think it was rather modern. However, the moving beyond the attack and into the midpalate, the fruit gave way savoury base, with some meaty notes, and then the wine leaned out even more, into a very austere finish, with fine, firm tannins lined with mineral and peppery notes. Good, but not very generous at the moment. This had a very structured, muscular feel. I am not sure if this has shut down for good and is slowly winding its way down, or if it is going through an awkward stage and needs a few years to sleep. One to try again in 4-5 years or so.
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(Potel Nicolas Chambertin) Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. The nose is high-toned and, initially, a little 'clipped', it's very wide but takes quite some time to take on a rounder form. The palate is not about overt density or creamy, spicy oak, rather transparency and a fine burst of intensity that crescendos into the very long finish. Vs my memory of the cask sample, I'm a little disappointed (maybe it was a different cask) as that was one of the finest wines I've ever tasted from barrel. In isolation this is a very fine Chambertin with great complexity and a wonderful finish. Excellent rather than great!
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