Peter's 40th (Summer Pavilion, Ritz Carlton, Singapore): We caught this just as it was entering an upswing I think. Impressive on the night, it will be even better in 5-6 years, maybe even needing a bit more time than that before it hits peak. The nose was very attractive even now though, showing a very assertive, very engaging mélange of dried earth and spice, smoky tar and mineral, and a deep core of ripe dark fruited aromas that reminded me of black cherries. Much in keeping with the nose, the palate was rich and sappy, with a real sense of depth and power to its dark shades of black cherries and blackberries infused with spice and dried earth and mineral notes. While certainly big and broad-shouldered and powerful, there was a really impressive balance on the wine, with surprisingly juicy acidity for a 2003 wine that lent it a certain finesse. Great finish too, with lovely, juicy dark berry notes. This was quite an achievement for a 2003 Clos de Vougeot. Full, complete and delicious, and yet built with the balance and structure to age effortlessly.
From half bottle, the next wine is medium-plus intense ruby at the core, with distinct clearing at the rim. The nose offers up medium-plus intense notes of damson-like sweet black fruits, cinnamon and anise –even pain d’épice– with some lift provided by a lick of eucalyptus…NOT the only element reminding me of Syrah. However, medium-plus acidity brings good freshness to this medium-plus bodied wine, while the very ripe medium-minus tannins positively disappear behind a veil of pronounced black fruits flavours. Like most previous wines, substantial concentration is present here, but refined texture and generally good balance make this wine a joyous drink. I could point to a lack of precision or typicity, but as 2003’s come this one is a resounding success and I would definitely not mind having some in the cellar for a rainy weeknight. So when the lushly textured finish clocks in at 30-35 seconds, 92 points are well deserved and just maybe an extra point might be possible, provided some more complexity and/or precision develops after a few more years of patience....................TN Mike de Lange
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