Friday, February 24, 2006

Peter Michael Ma Belle-Fille 2003 Redux

Felt it was time to have a relook at this bottle of Peter Michael after it had had some time to rest in the cooler.

T-notes > Aromatics incorporate hazelnuts, orange rind and freshly whisked egg white. Very suave, texturally creamy entry on the palate, with flavors of groundnuts, nutmeg and honey, wet stones and minerals. Midway, feels very round and complete. Only complaint is it tastes a little warm and "firey", almost like you could light a match with its fumes. The finish, somewhat abrupt and premature.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Weingut Gesellmann Opus Eximium 2003

From a relatively small 28 hectare estate on loamy, gravelly hills surrounding Deutschkreutz, Austria, Engelbert Gesellmann and his son, Albert are producing some of the most compelling red wines from their family run estate.

Most of the Gesellmann wine labels show paintings beautifully rendered by Angelika Krecht, Albert's older sister. See pic.

One of their primo cuvees is called Opus Eximium, a blend from native varietals of Blaufrankisch, St Laurent and Zweigelt, partially aged in new barrique casks.

T-notes > Aromas of burnt matchsticks with dried prunes and orange rind. Then, palate coating lush black cherries, cassis and exotic spice. Feels very round and polished, but not overly flabby. Flavors seem to echo back and forth as wine swirled in the mouth. Very alluring.

Campanaro Fiano Di Avellino 2004

Campanaro makes a white wine made from Fiano, a richly flavored white grape varietal which is used to make Fiano Di Avellino in the Campania region of Southern Italy. The vines grow on the volcanic hillsides of Avellino, an area east of Naples. The wines produced are usually lightweight, of moderate to high acidity, and with aromas of ripe pears, honey and toasted hazelnuts.

T-notes > A slightly burnt ash character amalgamated with the aromas of guava fruit, rock melon, pear and limestone. Tastes very polished and light on its feet as a result of its nuanced acid backbone. Great food wine that pairs well with a nice salad or something more substantive in the fat department like salami, sausage, or triple creme cheese. Very yummy juice. Liked it a lot. Also dig the beautifully designed wine label, which is a study in quiet elegance.

Available @ Auric Pacific Fine Wines.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Leopard's Leap Winery

Always on the look out for good value, daily drinking wines, I was recently recommended a Pinotage/Shiraz blend and a Chenin Blanc from Leopard's Leap Winery, South Africa. Verdict - Great wines @ at an even better price.

Leopard's Leap is a relatively new winery established by the powerful Rupert family, who's holding companies own international brands the likes of Cartier, Dunhill and Montblanc.

T-notes > Leopard's Leap Chenin Blanc 2005 - Fresh apple and pear flavors, with just a hint of pistachio nuts. Lively acidity provides a wonderful freshness to this juice. Lovely food wine. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Greeting the "Year of the Dog" with Great Wine

Chinese the world over celebrated the Lunar New Year and saw in the "Year of the Dog" last week. The obligatory New Years' Eve reunion dinners, visiting of relatives, overnight Mahjong sessions and giving of "hong bao" (red packets) are all part and parcel of these festivities. Of course the obligatory drinking of fine wine was not to be forgotten, and some of the juice was quite memorable......

> Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 - Flavors of pomelo, pineapple and grapefruit. Fantastic mouthfeel with a lovely creamy texture on the palate. The balance was just about perfect. Drinking very nicely now. Time to drink up perhaps?

> Ridge Monte Bello 1992 - Still looking youthful, the 1992 was just singing on this night. The "out of this world" palate of black fruits, cigar box, dark chocolate and minerals, was magical. Kept coming back for more the entire night. Signs and symptoms of a great wine.

> Domaine Tempier Bandol Miguoa 2001 - This is one of three single vineyard cuvees produced by one of the oldest and most respected estates in Bandol. This bottling is usually 50-60% Mourvedre depending on the vintage, the rest being made up of Cinsault and Grenache. Distinctive nose of dried prunes, figs, and a touch of bird droppings. Intense black fruits, animal fur, gamey flavors accompanied by the smell of freshly laid tar. A fascinating drink. My thanks to Chee Wee for sharing the experience.

> Domaine Comte De Vogue, Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 1998 - This bottle had been opened some 3 hours by the time i arrived at the tasting, so my impressions should be taken with a pinch of salt. I guess I was expecting quite a bit from this bottle, yet what crossed the palate was fairly simple red fruits, texturally - velveteen, yet failing to plumb the depths of complexity. For me, a little disappointing. To be fair, many of the guys liked it a lot when first opened, so maybe it was my loss for not having been there earlier. Cest la vie.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Chateau De Puligny-Montrachet, Clos Du Chateau 2002

T-notes > Opens with aromas of freshly crushed citrus fruit, segue-ing into a mouthful of grapefruits and lemons caressed by clean, well delineated acid. Actually had it with a bowl of udon and home cooked japanese curry, and it was lovely. No complaints from a price-quality standpoint.

Available @ Jason's supermarket and Tanglin Marketplace.