I learnt my lesson from last outing with this wine some three years back, and put it into a decanter for an hour or so this time round. Still tight, still way too young, but it certainly showed a lot more of its quality and potential. In the glass, it smelt beautiful, with layers of dark cherries, figs and plums, and lovely heady spice, all dancing about a more savoury, earthy, meat, almost funky backdrop. The palate was lovely too - very pure, with a lovely expression of dark cherries and berries lightly seasoned with some florals and more of that fragrant spice picked up on the nose. On the mid palate, more savoury tones started coming up, before a fresh finish of herb and spice pierced with a nice mineral spine set in. In spite of its rather generous proportions, this wine had a quietly contemplative feel to it, coming across rather tight at points, with fine tannins and nicely integrated acidity winding around the backpalate. All in all, an absolutely lovely drop, marrying the depth and power of the vintage and the terroir with a nice sense of poise. It needs patience though. I think it will be a smashing Richebourg in 10-15 years.
Served in a flight with an '89 Leroy and '96 A-F Gros, this showed a bit younger than the Leroy, as expected, though the fruit was almost too intense for me to fully enjoy. In another ten years this should be excellent.
Four Birthdays and a Wedding Anniversary (Nicolas Restaurant, Teck Lim Street, Singapore): A very classy, stylish wine, but really way too young to drink, even after a couple of hours in an opened bottle. It had a wonderful nose though, pure Richebourg, with layers of earth and meat, deep aromas of dark cherries and black berries, and a wonderful fragrance of wood spice and fresh herbs and lovely floral notes - wow. The palate had a lovely feel to it, with deep, weighty fruit - dark berries and black cherries in this case – showing plenty of depth and intensity, but also a juicy purity. I loved the balance on this. It was still rather tight though, still a virgin EM remarked, with a very coiled up, well-structured core that felt rather less gentle and elegant than one would normally expect from a Hudelot-Noellat wine. That said, it was clear that this was a very full, very complete wine even at this stage. There was not a hair out of place from the attack all the way into a long finish that carried a beautiful fragrance with it, with spice and herb - cumin and fennel and peppercorn I thought – on a bed of mineral and earth and juicy black cherry notes. A very stylish wine with tons of quality here, but this still needs lots of time. Next bottle will be popped closer to 2020. 93+
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