TN: l'Ecu Taurus, Remoissent Puligny, 1999 Fourrier CSJ, 2001 Gouges NSG Vaucrains

DINNER AT HWA SEAFOOD - Hwa Seafood, Tagore Lane (29/6/2013)

Hwa Seafood, a pretty well-known zhi char formerly in Novena, had moved, and Kelvin suggested bringing our own glasses and wines to its new setting - a rather out-of-the-way foodcourt in a factory building - for dinner. 6 of us, with M&M in tow gathered for a casual affair. We almost got chased out by the drinks stall people, saying that they did not have a licence to have wine consumed on the premises (only beer!), but good sense prevailed and we had a good time of catching up over some decent food and nice wines.

  • 2010 Domaine de l’Ecu (Guy Bossard) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Taurus - France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
    I may have been over-generous with my praise at the tasting the last time round. To be fair, it was perhaps served rather warmer than optimal, but in real-life conditions, I would say this showed impressively, but not quite as impressively as from my last note. It had a smoky, minerally nose, with chalk and flint notes lining aromas of ripe limes and bright gooseberries, along with a touch of grass and some meadow flowers - very brightly attractive. The palate had a round, creamy texture that was almost more Chard than Muscadet in its mouthfeel, with a crunch of green apples in its flavours and more citrussy notes past the attack with lemons and limes and the forefront. Some sweeter tropical shades then emerged on the midpalate. However, for all the Chardonnay nuances, it was eventually the bright acid spine and nicely savoury, saline mineral undertone of the wine that kicked into gear, bringing it back to Muscadet territory. Still though - a very difficult wine in a blind tasting, especially with that yellow wax seal. As expected, there were quite a few Chablis guesses. Overall, a good bottle, good with seafood, but it still needs lots time - I have a feeling that there is a lot wound up in this wine that will only show after say 5-6 years more in the bottle. (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Remoissenet Père et Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
    A pleasant wine, but this was atypical both for a 2007 and for a Puligny Perrières, perhaps because of a little hint of oxidation that it suffered. It had a very advance, extremely rich nose for such a young wine, and from a shy vintage like 2007 too - sweet oak, ripe yellow fruit in the form of some peach and nectarine aromas, strangely developed smells of earth and mushrooms. Not unattractive, but it smelt a lot older than it should. The palate was marked by bright juicy acidity from the attack on, but that was probably the only sign of the 2007 vintage on the wine. Like the nose, this too showed very rich, and very developed, with ripe yellow fruit flavours chased by more sweet peach, and then even pineapple notes, all laid over a creamy, buttery stream that ran through the midpalate and into the finish, where little honeyed tones were met by a little kiss of spice and mineral. This was pretty enjoyable really, but atypically big, burly and forward, especially for a normally minerally vineyard in a vintage that is all about cut, precision and freshness in its whites. Most of us guessed Chassagne, and from much warmer vintages in the late 90s. In fact, but for the acidity on it, this could almost pass off as a good new world Chardonnay. This particular bottle was just a touch oxidative, and that could be the cause. I would hasten to pop one or two bottles to gauge their state if I was sitting on a case of this though. (90 pts.)


  • 1999 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques Vieille Vigne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
    Absolutely lovely, even if still seem to carry the last vestiges of awkward adolescence. This had a very meaty, masculine nose, with deep aromas of salted beef and stewed tripe, and then shades of menthol and spice running alongside really fresh scents of dark cherries lined with some stony mineral. Very nice and, on reflection, very Clos St Jacques - even if most of us guessed it as an NSG on that nose at first. The palate was clean as a whistle, really transparent, with laser-like focus and cut lent to it by a lovely stream of acidity and a fine structure of super-fine tannins that have begun to soften. There was more of that lovely stony minerality here too, running the length of the wine from attack into finish. The wine was so clean and minerally in fact that it seemed almost austere at first, and it took awhile for us to pick up the fact that there was actually a nice 1999 ripeness to this, with deep dark berry and black cherry flavours, underlined by another dose of savoury, masculine earth and meat flavours leading into a lovely juicy finish. On the day, the wine did not seem quite as sappy and giving as the very best 1999s, but given the way the vintage has been shaping out. this may well have been a function of its youth and the stage of development rather than a reflection of the wine’s quality. At the moment, this was still all about cleanness, transparency and purity - very Fourrier, but squarely in 1er Cru territory rather than having any pretensions to Grand Cru level. I would wait 2-3 years on this though, when we should see how good the wine really can be. All considered, it was a lovely drink indeed. (93 pts.)
  • 2001 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
    Too young, and rather outplayed by a very attractive Fourrier Clos St Jacques on the evening, but in its own right, this was a pretty solid wine indeed. It had a nicely appealing nose, with deep aromas of forest floor, leathery meat and flecks of metallic mineral dotting its core of dark fruit, and then some spicy notes bringing up the rear. Very nice, extremely masculine - quite classic NSG. The palate was way less developed than the nose though, and seemed years and years from being ready. While it had a nicely open-knit, juicy feel, a lot of clarity in its black cherry flavours, and some complexity lent to it by a backbone of mineral, earth and pinpricks of spice, this was a wine that was still quite dominated by its structure, with fine but firm tannins and lovely but prominent 2001 acidity at the fore. I liked it though - there was a solid feel of strength the whole thing, yet not in an openly brawny, powerful way - more quietly insistent. In fact, the finish was a bit leaner than the either attack and midpalate, with a nice, chewy length to it, but still showing a bit of austerity. A good wine, and it should get better with time, assuming the fruit, which seems to be thinning a little, outlasts the firm structure that is so apparent. Try again in 4-5 years. (92 pts.)

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