Dinner at Saveur Art (Saveur Art, Ion Orchard, Singapore): Truly excellent. This is the fifth bottle I have had of the wine, and this was the best by some distance - the 2001 Grand Crus seem to be firing on all cylinders now. It had a wonderful Clos de Bèze nose - red cherries and strawberries, earth and shades of metallic mineral, a little spice, a little floral infusion, all clean, subtle and perfectly integrated aromas - a glorious nose, and such an embodiment of the archetypal Clos de Bèze bouquet as well. The palate was absolutely singing on the too. It had a deliciously juicy, sappy depth to it, yet also a clarion clarity in its wonderful pure notes of red cherries and red berries, laced with warm spice and earthy mineral on the midpalate. Beautiful fine tannins with a melting softness to them and wonderfully integrated acidity gave it such a sense of balance and poise as well. Finally, a long, minerally finish with a little kiss of spice ended the wine charmingly. This was strength without effort; a wine that was at once masculine, yet having an almost feminine elegance to it. In other words, it was everything a Clos de Bèze should be. This was the best bottle by far. Absolutely at peak, and incredibly yummy - it brings me back to why I fell in love with Burgundy in the first place.
My Birthday Celebration (Park Palace, Grand Park Hotel): We have had enough examples of this wine in recent months for quite a few on the table to blind-guess it correctly, but boy has it been consistently excellent. This bottle was no exception. The nose was richly expressive, with a veritable explosion of rose and violet flowers, ripe black fruited notes of blackberries, blueberries, brighter shades of red cherries, and a savoury smelling underlayer of earth and meat. With time some very Clos de Bèze inflections of exotic spice and talcum powder drifted out as well. Wow. Of the bottles we have had, the palate here was perhaps the most youthful, showy a lovely tension, with nervous acidity and fine grippy tannins running through its pure, lifted tones of dark cherries and berries. As with previous examples, this had a really plush richness and depth for 2001, but had a trim, litheness to it - flabless, as someone put it. Right at the finish, a slatey, minerally pull dragged the wine into a long, grippy tail. Wonderful stuff. Really enjoyable now. Yet on this evidence, a well-stored bottle of this wine can well go on growing for another 10 years or so.
Woof! This is serisouly impressive stuff. The oak is starting to be absorbed into the fruit and what remains at the moment is a very serious, brooding wine. Tight with iron-fillings, meat and a firm metallic tang on the palate - this has amazing potential and given another 10 years will be stunning. Long finish, very linear - there is no flab or waste here. Excellent.
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