TN: Mixed bag - Burgs + Bords + others

LO HEI DINNER AT PEACH GARDEN - Peach Garden, OCBC Building (2/2/2019)

Pair from whites from Leeuwin

  • 2003 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
    First bottle in about 8 years - this has held admirably well. The nose was actually more attractive than to last couple of bottles, with sweet oak starting to recede, and more complex aromas of rich yellow fruit, a touch of florals, and a hint of mushroom and cream on the side. The palate was simpler than the nose promised, but was pleasant in its own way, with nicely fresh acidity framing bright flavours of yellow fruit and sweet lemons edged with sweeter tropical tones. It is a bit tamer and less in-your-face than before, which does the wine plenty of good. There was a little touch of minerality just starting to emerge as well. This has matured nicely. The finish just has a bit of ripe heat on it, but otherwise a nicely accomplished wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2002 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
    A bit more reserved and serious than the 2003 in the same flight, and this was all the better for it. The nose showed a nice whiff of chalky minerality, talcum powder, and than deeper, sweeter aromas of green mangoes and yellow fruit, even a hint of fragrant nutmeg. Pleasant, more complex, if not quite as sunnily inviting as the 2003. This did not have that same remnant of sweet oak though, which was a plus point to it. The palate was more controlled as well, with a nice frame of acidity and a surprising touch of minerality hung around ripe stone fruit and more savoury earth and mineral notes. There was a nice depth and shape to this - very nice. Decent finish too, lingering away in notes of earth and chalk lingering amidst sweet, slightly tropical fruit flavours. Nice, and it will probably hold for a few years more as well. (93 pts.)

Burgundies - serendipitously, a 1988, a 1998 and a 2008

  • 1988 Maison Roche de Bellene Latricières-Chambertin Collection Bellenum - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Pretty good, if just drinking towards the end of its window. The nose had a lovely savoury character to it, with nice wafts of forest floor and salted meats, herbs and bramble, then a whiff of spice, all this layered over a drift of sweet red fruit and dried flowers. A touch of glycerol in there was just a tad distracting, but otherwise a really attractive nose. With time, the funkier aromas lifted somewhat too, and more of that red fruit started coming out. Nice. The palate was simpler, but had a nice juicy freshness to it, with a pure crunch of morello cherries and fresh red berries riding on a bed of fine, nobly-structured tannins and bright citrussy acidty. There was a nice deep pull of stony minerality, leading into a long, fresh finish flushed with fresh red fruit and a hint of spice. A nicely poised wine, clearly Grand Cru, even if it was styled with a more reserved, subtle character. I really liked this. (92 pts.)
  • 1990 Robert Ampeau & Fils Blagny 1er Cru La Pièce-sous-le-Bois - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Blagny 1er Cru
    A nice wine. This started with a bouquet of fragrant spice, sweet dark cherries and blackberries, loamy earth, a hint of violets. Nice. The palate had a nice freshness to it, with bright acidity and fine tannins laced through dark cherry and more blackberry notes. A bit lean, but pire and juicy, with a nice sense of sinewy definition and fine structure to it. The finish nice and long, full of juicy acidity swimming around tones of savoury earth and mineral, along with a nice blush of spice. Very good - this was a strong showing. (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Jean-Marc Millot Echezeaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
    Pleasant, but still a little young and a little green. The nose showed lifted notes of red cherries and roses, savoury earth, tinged with lifts of spice and rose petals. A nice nose, with just the green being a bit distracting. The palate was nice, but a bit behind though. A true 2008, it was finely structured and nicely transparent, with pure flavours of red cherries and rose petals, along with a twist of Vosne spice. Slightly thin for a Grand Cru maybe, but this had a nice classical shape to it. Finish was decent rather than impressive, trailing away with a linger of spice and flowers. Nice and enjoyable, but unconvincing for a Grand Cru. (91 pts.)
  • 1998 Domaine Denis Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Corbeaux Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
    Pretty good. The nose was pure Gevrey, with red fruit, earth, meat and spice. Smelt a bit extracted as one would expect from Bachelet, but nice nonetheless. The palate had a certain sweetness to it, with extracted flavours of ripe black cherries and dark berries, but these were layered with a firm structure of firm tannins and bright acidity that brought the whole wine into balance. Just a touch woody on the tannins though - very Bachelet in that aspect - but otherwise a nice strong wine, with a good sense of depth and purity to it. Probably still needs time in the bottle to tame some of that woody extraction though. Probably one to try in 3-4 years time. (91 pts.)

Others - nice to have Bordeaux now and again

  • 2001 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    From a magnum, this was very enjoyable. The nose had a nice whiff powdered herbs, dried earth, then savoury meat and sweet dried cherries, all garlanded with sprigs of wild garrigue. Very Southern Rhone. The palate was attractive too. Very fresh and nicely structured, with lovely bright 2001 acidity and fine, powdery tannins framing pure flavours of black cherries and cassis infused with high-toned notes of spice and garrigue. Pleasant finish as well, with nice fresh acidity speared through dark berry fruits and a little kiss of spice. Nothing profound, but pretty good stuff nonetheless, drinking nicely now from a magnum. (92 pts.)
  • 1988 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Spare but elegant, this was a classic Bordeaux drinking at a lovely place. The nose had such lovely drifts of Paulliac’s tobacco and earth, the smoky cedar and gently sweet cassis. Lovely, heady stuff. The palate was absolutely lovely. Perfectly resolved, yet still finely structure, with filigreed tannins and soft but present acidity shaping wonderfully pure flavours of cassis and blackberries, all this lined with bits of spice, cedar and a twist of orange peel as the wine glided into long, graceful finish. Delicious stuff - this was a charmer or a Paulliac, drinking beautifully now. (93 pts.)
  • 1996 Château Montrose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Best showing of this wine so far, this is just starting to come into its own. The nose was lush and lovely, with loamy earth, a touch of funky meatiness, and wafts of cassis, cedar and tobacco spice. The palate was still youthful, probably needing more years in the bottle, but it was also clearly starting to open up after 2 hours in the decanter. There were juicy gobs of cassis, nicely lifted tones of citrus, almost orangey acidity, and then hints of tobacco and spice leading into a juicy finish, all of this beautifully framed in a lovely structure of fine, sinewy tannins and a nice minerality. Still young, almost hinting towards the primary at times, but I just loved the ringing sense of juicy purity to the fruit that the wine had - there was so much of that in reserve, and the structure was so fine, that I think that this will age for just about forever. This was lithe and elegant, strength without weight. Lovely stuff - I would love to try this again in 5 and then 10 years time. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for the notes, Paul. Hope you and E are good these days. [cheers.gif]


Very nice notes as always. I agree, aged Bordeaux is wonderful indeed. I have sampled the 96 Montrose multiple times, sometimes with little excitement. It may be that it just needed more time, as you have suggested.


That 96 Montrose is all that and more…

Good to hear from your Brian - trust that the family is well (and growing?)

We have two little ones now, about a decade on from that epic Bordeaux trip. Have not got them started on the wine though!

Have waded my way through too many unexciting bottles after initially being blown away much earlier on in its development. Correct and impressive, but not enjoyable. This one really seemed to be coming around though - I really should have been more patient in those sleeping years.

Thanks for notes Paul, any chance you’ve had Leeuwin AS Chard 2001 or 1998 in recent past?

Afraid not - but on current performance of vintages there or thereabouts, may be a good time to start drinking up.