CLOS DE LA ROCHE (CDLR), Grand Cru – a prestigious Grand Cru not only in Morey Saint Denis (MSD), but in whole of Burgundy.

At 16.9ha, It is also THE largest Grand Cru in MSD. However, unlike Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru that is not consistent in quality due to too many sub-par producers, CDLR is blessed with many great producers hence the very high quality bottles are easily found.




  • LOUIS REMY (more refined expression in recent vintages)
  • and so on……


CDLR Shares broadly similar soils with its neighbours ClOS SAINT DENIS (CSD), GRAND CRU (I love the subtleness, silkiness, feminine and finesse here), Gevrey Aux Combottes 1er Cru & Mazoyeres Chambertin, Grand Cru. It has relatively rich brown limestone soils admixed with abundant limestone scree material which imparts breadth, flesh and ultimately finesse to the wines. (quote: Remington Norman, Grand Cru)


This is a masculine version compared to the feminine Clos Saint Denis. Always with the wildness. The power and structured that reminded me of Chambertin Grand Cru. Under talented hands, the sheer complexity, breadth and depth will easily rivalling any great Burgundy out there.

Dujac & Ponsot Clos de la Roche

Tasting Note

It is always fascinating to be able to serve both Dujac & Ponsot CDLR side by side, a plus for the same vintage. Do note that these two wines were served blind and both owners didn’t know they were from the same vintage, same plot.

They are both very different in style. Dujac using whole cluster and new oak (90-100% for their Grand Crus) while Ponsot practices fully-destemmed with no new oak.


My experience with Ponsot has been hit or miss. His wines (top to bottom) are mostly backward, unexpressive even for a more approachable vintage like 2001, therefore I have hardly enjoy his wines despite this is a Tier-1 domaine for many and always highly rated. However, the 2008 CDLR is one of the best I have ever had. Young by Ponsot standard. But man, it was so seductive and full of finesse and lushness, absolutely delicious!

The 2011 today is almost the same as 2008. We were consider lucky when a young Ponsot, especially CDLR is opening for business. What a lovely color, so vibrant n inviting. Candy, cola, cherry, floral. This is transparent with lovely acidity and excellent juiciness n purity on the palate. Great harmony. Great length. Just a tad too fruits forward today and will definitely develops more nuances in the bottle. No green meanie!


If you read my previous post for Dujac, you know this is the Domaine that I’m adored. I have never had a bad Dujac before and to me, if you wanted to experience a good Burgundy, Dujac will get you hooked.

Haha, the telltale Dujac aromatic profile that is so seductive w the ripe fruits and coffee, earth w hint of stem. Excellent transparency, sweetness, umami, silky fine tannin, so juicy and captivating. Very long w touch of spices and coffee that’s lingering. Dujac is my top favorite Domaine and this deliver the expectation. Blinded and got this right, 2011 CDLR. It was splitting hair to choose the winner between Ponsot and Dujac. Both excellent w Dujac offer better complexity but Ponsot will catch up.

These two bottles are why people love about Burgundy. Same vineyard, Same Vintage, different producers with different expression, yet both are GREAT!

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Let’s do it again – DOMAINE DUJAC (info) & IT’s 2014 MOREY SAINT DENIS ROUGE

It is really not difficult to write, to post. However, to do it consistently for years, that’s different….

Having absent for a couple of years, drinking lesser and more thematic specific, I thought it might be a good idea to do it once again. Hopefully I wont give up after this one, LOL.

Domaine Dujac, one of my absolute favourites and to me, a 1st tier Domaine. (DRC & LEROY are, Super 0 – Zero tier XD). I love the style here: true to the terroir with amazing vibrancy and purity. Excellent depth and mid palate sap and at the same time weightless. Whole Bunches and new oak are expertly judged and well-integrated. I’m fortunate to drink many of his wines, from Village – Grand Crus, different vintages. (Will follow-up with all the notes that I have).

Domaine Dujac Signage
Domaine Dujac (photo credited to awcfinewine)

Domaine Dujac has an impressive range of vineyards, all at the prime sites:

37% Grand Crus (wow!) 34% 1er Cru, 28%  Village out of 15.22ha. <- Envious…


  • Chambolle Musigny
  • Morey Saint Denis Blanc & Rouge

Premier Cru:

  • Chambolle Musigny Les Gruenchers
  • GevreyChambertin Aux Combottes
  • Morey Saint Denis Rouge
  • Morey Saint Denis Monts Luisants (Blanc)
  • Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts
  • Vosne Romanee Aux Malconsorts

Grand Cru:

  • Bonnes Mares
  • Chambertin
  • Charmes Chambertin
  • Clos de la Roche
  • Clos Saint Denis
  • Echezeaux
  • Romanee Saint Vivant

2014 Domaine Dujac Morey Saint Denis Rouge

Tasting Note:


Glass: Burgundy – Lucaris Tokyo Temptation & Schott-Zwiesel the First

p/s: Glasses made a huge different, will try to test with Zalto / Riedel / Gabriel with the same wine.

Day 1:

On Lucaris: Light perfume from whole bunches and red fruits. Good depth, strength and length on the palate but not much flavours.

On Zwiesel: More complex aromas of meatiness, red and blue fruits, light spice and stem. It has better detail and juicy acidity on the palate. A stream of spring water tailing at the very good finish. Excellent for its level and still very affordable.

Day 2:

On Zwiesel: Perfect stage. This has all the factors that I love about Burgundy: Purity, decent complexity, seductive fruits and juicy acidity. Touch of mocha at the back and loaded with mouth-watering minerality.

Day 3: Still drinking very well but light VA showing.

A super village that punches above its level. No doubt will continue to improve with bottle aged. The 2001 is matured and still full of life.

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2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta –

2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT (Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT)

2007 Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT (Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT)

“…one of Tuscany’s true cult wines. Testamatta. It’s a pure Sangiovese that has the race and breed of a grand cru Burgundy.
Think of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti’s La Tache”
James Suckling, April 2010

“I continue to be impressed with the beautiful wines of Bibi Graetz.
These are higly singular, expressive wines
that merit serious consideration”
The Wine Advocate, August 2009.

  • ProdProduction zone: Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT, Fiesole
  • Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
  • Vineyards: older than 35 years
  • Soil: clay and galestro
  • Vinification: Fermentation takes place in open top barriques of 225 liters with 6-8 manual punch-downs per day.
  • Aging: The wine is aged in french barriques for 18 months followed by 6 months in the bottle.
  • Glass: Riedel, Bordeaux

Testamatta is one of the most engaging wines from Italy that I have had so far. Redigaffi, Poggio di Sotto are some of my favorite wines, just to let you have an idea where am I placing the Testamatta. It is certainly the top in my collection list.

I have tasted (blind) the 2006 Testamatta in one of the Sangiovese theme session. I’m immediately attracted and impressed by this wine (needless to say the beautiful label, too) and no doubt wine of the day for many of us. I’ve became a huge fan of Bibi Graetz since then and I can’t resist not to open this 2007 when I saw this in my cellar. Young for sure, but by no mean undrinkable as it is perfectly balance and showing great sense of harmony as well as finesse. Don’t hesitate to pop one if you have a few sitting inside the cellar.

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 14%
  • Sweet red raspberry, red cherry, rose petal as well as earth and truffle. The acidity core is lively and lifted. Medium – full bodied. I really like the liveliness and focus of this. There is this sweet cherry, caramel, roasted coffee bean, truffle and spices. Fine grained tannin with excellent poised and finesse. Perfectly balance and harmonize. Sweet long finished with truffle, juicy sweet fruits. Hard not to like a gorgeous wine like this. 93. 
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2009 Pontet Canet – The Perfect one?

2009 Château Pontet-Canet (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

2009 Château Pontet-Canet (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

  • Wine: 2009 Pontet Canet
  • Region: France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
  • Viticulture: 100% bio-dynamic farming
  • Grape Varietals: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
  • Glass: Riedel Bordeaux, Sommelier

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 14%
  • Opened for 60mins, decanted for another 60mins. Highly expressive on the nose and the sweet currant fruits, violet and pencil shaving was stunningly seductive. Deep and focus, with good lift and freshness that perfectly concealed the power underneath. I didn’t really expect the palate will be as expressive. More often than not, when the nose of a young wine shows incredibly well, the palate suggested otherwise. I was right, the palate is holding back, structure up front with fruits buried underneath. The balance of the wine is incredible though, despite of the solid structure, it is well polished and refine. The tannin giving huge grip along with the incredible concentration and power but not aggressive. This is a very good wine and needed a 10-15yrs bottle aging. 93-95+
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1996 Chateau Margaux

1996 Chateau Margaux, (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux)

1996 is a great year in Bordeaux, to be precise, a great year for the left bank. The quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon is superlative. However, this also means the wines are meant for long haul as tannic, backward and muscular are often the case when there is high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.

Some of the lesser Chateaus (ie, Cru-Bourgeois) are drinking beautifully now and prices remain sensible. However, the bigger name will be able to benefit from much longer aging (>10yrs). Chateau Margaux is definitely one of them.

Chateau Margaux, the 1st growth in Margaux appellation is famous of her sheer elegance and femininity. The final blend of the 1996 Chateau Margaux is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. However, even with such high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, she has no problem to display breathtaking sense of finesse and silky smooth, sweet tannin that prevented her from being harsh nor intrusive in the mouth and brings harmony and elegance.

Tasting Note:

1996 Château Margaux (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux)

  • Alcohol :: 12.5%
    Deep ruby core with garnet hue. Oh my, is this a perfume? The aromas is heavenly, absolutely fantastic and seductive. Highly complex, perfume and intense aromas of cedar, cigar box, tobacco, graphite intermixed perfectly with blackberry, creme de cassis, mint and violet. With more air, pain grille note emerged. Such lushness, freshness on this wonderfully balance and delineated Margaux with haunting inner perfume of floral and sweet dark fruits that filled up the mouth immediately after the first sip. Everything is in place, harmony! Excellent drive, incredible intensity yet so weightless, endless layer of succulent dark fruits, savory meatiness, cigar box, roasted herbs and secondary nuanced of earthiness all integrated into the firm but polished structure, along with the medium level of silkiest tannin for the lush, elegant mouth feel that finished off with superb length that lingering with juicy mineral, sweet dark fruits aftertaste. Long life ahead with great upside potential. Incredible! 95-97
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2009 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Chambertin Grand Cru

The vineyards of Domaine Rossignol Trapet used to be treated with chemical and fertilizers in 70s & 80s which affected the health of the soil then the vines.

In order to restore the health of the vineyards, Nicolas & David Trapethave banned the usage of chemical / fertilizers immediately when they taking over the operation of the Domaine and started with organic and Bio-Dynamic viticulture in mid-90s. Today, their wines are all organic certified.

2009 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Chambertin (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru)

Wines from this producer are charming, pure and natural, but never showy. There are always this sense of restraint exist in the wines which gives the wine stunning focus with razor sharp precision. Oh, did I mention their wines also possess one of the best QPR in Burgundy (perhaps in everywhere)? Especially the Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru – Clos Prieur, Petit Chapelle, Combottes, Corbeaux and the single vineyard Village – Etelois. Try them and you will know what I’m talking about.

Great Vintage (20009) + Prime vineyard (Chambertin) and Biodynamic viticulture / Dynamic producer = Wine that is full of charm, energy, class and will continues to improve in the bottle for another decade or two effortlessly. My friend told me this wine shows even better after 5days! (double decanted, 1/5 left in the bottle).

Tasting Note:

  • Alcohol :: 13.5%
    Vibrant ruby red. Still pretty tight after double decanted for 2hrs, no surprised. However, the nose was highly seductive and gorgeous nevertheless, I could only imagine how great will this be when its mature. Mineral driven with attractive aromas of sweet raspberry and red cherry, with time, darker berry note appeared. Wild meatiness and sense of coldness for the restraint, underlying spiciness, highly perfume with violet and rose. Dense but weightless, already showed impeccable balance and harmony at this young age. Tons of delicious mid palate sappiness all wrapped in an absolutely firm but well polished acidic backbone. Tannin is massive but almost completely buffer by the concentration of fruits and dry extract that formed the excellent mid palate depth and lend incredible grip and tension to the superb long finished infused with spices and mineral, sweet and juicy. I love this wine. 94-95+
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2009 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos de La Bussière

We don’t make Pinot Noir, we make wines from terroir which expresses itself through Pinot Noir

2009 Domaine Georges Roumier MSD Clos de la Bussiere 1er Cru

Chambolle Musigny probably produces the most seductive, elegant wines in Burgundy and Domaine Georges Roumier is no doubt the most reliable / best producer here. Currently run by the talented, dynamic Christopher Roumier, there is no systematic and predetermined formula here as every growing season / vineyards are different. Christopher manages his vineyard as close to organic as possible and he is looking closely on bio-dynamic viticulture too.

The grapes are harvested by hand with strict selection of fruits to ensure only the best grapes to go into the wines. In order to have the purest expression of the fruits, the usage of new oak barrels is discreet and accordingly to the level of the vineyards:

  •  Village (100% destemmed, 20% new oak barrels)
  • 1er Crus (70% destemmed, 25%-35% new oak barrels)
  • Grand Crus except the most prestigious Musigny (50% destemmed, 35%-45% new oak barrels)
  • Musigny (0% destemmed, 35-45% new oak barrels)

His wines from Chambolle Musigny are highly sought-after and always demand a premium. However, he also produces excellent wine from Morey St-Denis, Clos de la Bussiere 1er Cru, a monopole of the Domaine which often offers a taste of the wines from Domaine Georges Roumier without breaking the bank (compared to the Chambolle Musigny Les Cras 1er Cru & Les Amoureuses 1er Cru).

Clos de la Bussiere is often a firmer wine with more power and also a touch of rustic edge which made the difference to his wines from Chambolle Musigny. However, the warmth from the 2009 vintage lends the wine a lush texture with stunning concentration of sweet fruits which rounded and polished up the rustic edge that usually seen from the less warm vintages. A sensual wine.

Tasting Note:

2009 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos de La Bussière (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru)

  • Alcohol :: 13%
    Decanted for 2.5hrs. Medium ruby red with purplish hue. This is the best Bussiere I have had to date. Highly aromatic, perhaps a little bit more on the wild side, meatiness, black cherry liquor, blackcurrant, iron, star anise, chalky mineral and hint of stem, very ripe but with good freshness and focus. Full and expansive, while this has very ripe dark fruits, the acidity is ripe and lively which give it a good definition. Creamy, rounded texture accompany by very firm but ripe tannin and structured which resulted in a kinda robust, power character but still retain good sense of finesse that leads to the intensely long finish that is quite spicy. It was so giving in the middle of lunch, but slowly tighten up toward the end of the lunch as the tannin and oak become slightly more obvious but also provide even better grip. Give it another 5-7yrs and will certainly be sensational. Yet another terrific wine from Roumier. 92-93+
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The magnificent 1970 Trotanoy

1970 Chateau Trotanoy  (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol)

Under the exceptional leadership of Moueix family (owner of Chateau Petrus and several top Chateaus in Pomerol), Trotanoy has become one of the greatest estates in Pomerol.

I am never disappointed by the consistent quality that Trotanoy can deliver. It can be backward in its youth, but when it is mature, it is hard to resist: refine, classy and pampering the palate withlushness and purity.

The core of this 1970 Trotanoy is still dark in color and full of energy that suggests this is a perfectly stored bottle. Constantly evolving and improving in the glass, silky smooth mouth feel with some super fine tannin kick in at the back which gives better dimension and grip. Ethereal finished. It will hold for at least another decade.

Tasting Note:

Opened for 60mins. Decanted and served. The color is absolutely showing much younger than a 42yrs old wine: dark garnet core with light brown hue. Stunning complex aromas with superb fragrance that is hard to dissect, everything is in a total harmony. Can the palate catch up? No when popped and poured but after decanted and have some aeration in the glass, this was gorgeous and every bit as great as the nose. Youthful, expansive and flirting with seductiveness, finesse and class. Light savory note on the entry bring out the sweet blackberry, blackcurrant and plummish fruits intermixed with dried herbs, earth, leather and crushed rock complexity with remarkable grip and tension. Very pure and concentrated, still a touch of firm tannin enhanced the grip that leads to the intense, detail finished that goes on and on. Incredible freshness. A complete wine that is in its peak and will easily last for at least another decade. Magnificence. 96pts
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Drinking Egon Muller with Egon Muller IV

I have attended Egon Muller‘s dinner two years ago and tasted some top class Rieslings and learned from the soft-spoken, charming Egon Muller IV. I’m glad that Mr. Egon Muller IV came back to Singapore and hosted another dinner to show us his Riesling from the 2010 vintage and also a Kab from 2004 and Spat from 1990 (special release from the cellar for this dinner).

I have only tasted a few 2010 so it is hard for me to say if this is a great vintage across the German region, but certainly one of the very great vintage for Egon Muller. The wines showed lovely purity, cleanliness, concentration and richness yet with amazing high but bright and ripe acidity and soft mineral for the right balance. Even the QBA is benefited in this vintage that offered incredible sap and weight. These wines will be really long live for sure.

Egon Muller

Egon Muller is a remarkable estate in Saar, holding 16 hectares of vineyard and out of 8.5 hectares are situated in the famous Scharzhofberger vineyard.

Slate soil and low yield is the key to produce one of the greatest Rieslings in the world. This soil is well-drained which is necessary for the weather (raining) and easy to heat up during the day (weather is cool in Germany) hence the healthier grapes and better ripeness. Wines from Egon Muller is not only complex and delicious, but also boosted with finesse and elegance. Did I mention they can age almost forever?

More often than not the wines are still taste fresh and dense after few days, seems never fade!

“The quality of a wine is 100% made in the vineyard. In the cellar it is not possible to arrive even at 101% but ti is no small achievement to be able to bring the full potential of the grapes into the bottle.” – Favorite saying of the late Egon Muller III.

Great vineyard delivers great raw material and plus the magical touch of Egon Muller, great wines are produce here.

Tasting Notes:

2010 Egon Müller Riesling QbA Scharzhof – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Opened 30mins in advanced. Some sulphur note that blows away after some aeration and revealed surprisingly expressive aromas of grape fruits, white peaches, slate and soft mineral at the background. Very lively and refreshing on the palate with amazing weight, tension and sweetness level for a QBA, this could be easily mistaken as Kabinett in a colder vintage. The zesty acidity giving a good balance to the sweetness with good sense of raciness and leaving a clean, juicy medium length finish with sweet grapefruits and chalky mineral aftertate. Delicious. 87-88+

2010 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Open 60mins in advanced. Broader and more serious on the nose compared to the QBA with lovely aromas of sweet lemon, grape fruits, pear and a touch of smokiness all wrapped with the elegant, seductive minerality and white floral scents. Lovely concentration of lemon, grapefruits, succulent on the intense palate with razor sharp focus and precision. The sweetness and acidity is well blended for the harmony and balance that giving the wine incredible sap and definition. I very much enjoy the purity and sappiness here. Long finish with remarkable tension and weight. The best Kabinett so far? 90-92+

2004 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Alcohol :: 8.5%
    Opened for 75mins in advanced. Darker golden in the core with light green hue. It is always great to compare young and older Riesling from same producer. German Rieslings are so delicious with their lovely fruits when young that is hard to resist not to drink them young, hence it is very difficult to come across with aged German Rieslings in the market. This 7yrs old Kabinett has developed significant secondary note on both nose and palate, such as soft but expressive kerosene and smokiness with citrus, grapefruits and little touch of honey. The sweetness and primary fruits has mellowed down and revealed complex flavors and mineral on the palate. A little bit lean and smaller scale compared to the 2010 but still with great focus and tension. Medium length finished with earthy, almost nutty aftertaste. 88

2010 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese #4 – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Opened for 2hrs. Wow, this is so delicious, definitely a one of the best Spatlese I have ever tasted. Surprisingly expressive on both nose and palate. The complex aromas is high tone, intense, broad yet focus. The nose loaded with perfume yellow and white floral scents along with sweet peaches, lemon, pear, melon complex with deep chalky mineral, smoke and herbs. The super intense palate is stunningly rich and concentrated that delivered immense depth and sappiness, yet wonderfully delineated with great purity, complexity and precision. Needless to say, the tension and harmony here is absolutely top class. The insanely long finish just goes on and on, with mandarin peel and soft elegant mineral aftertaste. Drop dead delicious. This has great future and will develop better nuances and complexity effortlessly for over a decade or more. 93-95

1990 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese #25 – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Double decanted for 60mins. The initial funkiness right out of the bottle disappeared after double decanted. The high tone but soft Kerosene note dominated the matured bouquet. This is another reason why some people doesn’t like their Riesling being too aged as people is either hate or love this kind of aroma. However, I kinda like it and this showed the multi-faceted of Riesling. The primary sweetness has mostly subdued and revealed great complexity of mineral, kerosene, citrus fruits, crush stone, herbs and dried white flowers, so expressive and focus. The palate is almost bone dry now, only a little touch of sweet citrus lemon fruits that wrapped in a complex minerality package along with inner perfume of kerosene. Almost creamy mouth feel, with nut oil, orange peel bitterness and cheesy aftertaste that lingered at the medium length finish. Only thing to nail is the structured has mostly mellow down and lack a bit of tension to be really top outstanding. 90

2010 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese #6 – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer

  • Alcohol :: 8%
    Opened for 2.5hrs. The nose was painfully tight right out of the bottle but the palate is showing well, though a little bit restraint on the finish. The 2.5hrs of aeration certainly help, nose was far more expressive that loaded with tons of sweet peaches, dried apricot, lemon, a touch of Bortrytis spiciness and very refreshing still for such level of sweetness. Very deep and complex with huge chalky mineral, yellow flower at the background along with herbs, nut oil and honey. Fullish, expansive and almost explosive on the super intense palate that possess the weight of a BA and remained feather light on its feet. The wine flowed onto the palate with great depth, purity and detail layered. Wave after wave of sweet yellow fruits, honey, herbs, spices and almost oily mouth feel that immediately fill out the mouth together with tons of soft elegant mineral, bright acidity spine that formed this absolutely seductive, elegant Auslese. The length is incredible rich, long and persistent, most importantly, very clean and pure! This too has great future and will develop better nuances and complexity effortlessly for over 2decades or more. 94-96+
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Theme: Nothing but CDP’s Prestige Cuvee

Theme : Special Cuvee CDPs.

A tribute to Rhone’s God, Mr. A. After our Rhone dinner early this year, we continue with a CDP dinner which the line up is even more superior. 2000 Secret de Sabon was the WOTN for almost everyone, with 2000 Capo and 2000 Rayas followed closely. But hey, I’m splitting hair here as almost every single wine expressed well with top notch quality (after some really long preparation). This is one of the most memorable dinner for sure.

Flight 1: CDP Blancs I was surprised that the Pegau blanc was still so fresh and lively! However, the Beauscastel Roussanne VV was the real star of the night! 2001 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Réservée – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 13.5% Light golden that display refreshing aromas of honey, sea breeze, almond, pear and melon. A little bit oily at entry but quickly covered by the crisp acidity and elegant white and yellow fruits with lots of mineral at the background. Though small scale, but this has really good focus, freshness and transparency to it with gentle grip and energy. Long, detail finish with almond, mineral aftertaste. 89

2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 13.5% Dark golden. WOW, this is powerful! Compared to the more restraint Pegau Blanc, this is definitely a more sexy, open knit juice. So much depth and complexity on both nose and palate. Marmalade, honeycomb, honeysuckle, caramelize apple intermixed with perfume chrysanthemum, mineral and tons of yellow fruits that formed the superb complex, intense aromas that is almost impenetrable. Opulent and succulent on the palate that loaded with ripe yellow fruits, almond, dried herbs and mineral with excellent depth, power and lushness. Quite oily on the mid palate but this remain highly focus and delineated. I really like the purity and energy here, it coated the tongue gently and refuse to let go and move on to the incredibly long finish that is surprisingly clean with stunning persistent. This is no doubt the Montrachet of Southern France. Not at its peak yet, another 3-5yrs perhaps? 93-94+

Flight 2: 2000s

The 2000 is relatively more friendly compared to the rest hence the top-3 WOTN all from this flight.

Domaine Roger Sabon Secret des Sabon was the most approachable wine as well as offer most finesse.

Chateau Rayas was delicious but not as good as the previous bottle.

Domaine Pegau cuvee Capo was… amazing but not drinking at its peak yet, hence rank 2.

Domaine Beauscastel cuvee Hommage…. sigh….

2000 Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Secret des Sabon – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 15% Popped 3hrs in advanced. My first secret! Vibrant, medium ruby red. Nose is powerful and intense, slightly lower tone than the Rayas with herbs, spices, dark chocolate, charcoal, grill meat as well as cherry liquor and blackcurrant. Full bodied, highly concentrated sweet dark fruits along with spices, smoke meat, roasted herbs that is complex and wonderfully balance and flirting with impeccable precision and finesse. Very impact and expansive on the palate with good lushness, purity and freshness. The detail finished is stunningly long, almost endless with dried fig paste, lots of haw flakes aftertaste. This great juice is full of finesse and is hauntingly delicious and complete, so much so that almost everyone vote this as their WOTN, including myself. 94

2000 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 14% Popped 3hrs in advanced. Light bricking red. The nose is stunningly expressive and aromatic with perfume lavender and roses, sweet red cherry and raspberry, garrigue and spice box. It is always amazing why there is so much intensity and richness on this light brick red. Detail layer of sweet candy, candied red cherry, herbs, spices and mineral intermixed with the inner perfume of roses and lavender for the complex, lush mouth feel with incredible lift and vivacity. The low-medium level of very fine tannin lending good grip at the long finish. This is delicious for sure and I can’t help but keep sniffing the intoxicating aromas however the overall transition of the palate as well as depth is not as fantastic as the previous bottle. 93

2000 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 15.5% Popped 3hrs in advanced and decanted for 3hrs. My first capo. Some of my friend who had the 2007 earlier this year was rather disappointed. However, quoted by them, this is a much better wine in term of overall profile. Indeed, this is yet another stunning juice tonight. Dark ruby red with pink rim. Tons of herbs, garrigue, orange peel, kirsch liquor and licorice surrounded by smoke meat, charcoal, dried fig paste, raspberry and tons of dark fruits that added additional breadth and depth to the already complex aroma profile. Very sweet on the entry but with incredibly bright acid for the freshness and focus and continue to gain weight on the superb intense mid palate that bring out the depth and structured. The tannin is barely noticeable as the concentration here is enormous that completely buffer of the sweet tannin. Earth, mushroom with a little bit of heat at the super long, sweet and spicy infused finish. With time, the heat disappeared and offer even better precision and purity. While it is excellent now, this will need many years to really hit the peaks. 95-97

2000 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Sadly, this wine was corked. What a shame! Our planned was to compare this and the Capo. Duh!

Flight 3: 2006s

2006 is definitely a very good vintage in CDP, that’s all I can say:

– Henri Bonneau Celestins – Purity, stylish

Domaine de la Mordoree Reine des Bois – Power, balance

Clos des Papes  – Lush and more forward 2006 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 15.2% Decanted for 9hrs. Dark ruby red with purplish hue. Licorice, garrigue, dark fruits, crushed stone and spice box, this is quite complex but not really expressive. Full bodied but quite approachable thanks to the enormous concentration of sweet dark fruits as well as sweet tannin. This has very good depth but perhaps lack a little bit of complexity as well as dimension compare to some other wines tonight. I pretty enjoy the powerful, lush mouth feel with sweet taste along with incredible freshness and focus. Dried fig paste, sweet candy at the very long finish with herbs and spices. Though this is over-shadowed by some other wines tonight, this still will be an excellent juice if serve by itself. 91

2006 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 14.5% Popped one day in advanced and decanted for 3hrs. This vibrant medium ruby red reveal gorgeous aromas of licorice, pepper, garrigue, sweet cherry, kirsch and wrapped in a high tone floral and wildness. Very rich and intense, everything is wrapped in such as compact package. This is similar to the 2001, very powerful but with the sense of restraint and tension. The sweet dark fruits was pure along with herbs, mineral, tea leaves that covered by the massive level of very fine tannin at the moment. Despite of the massive structured and concentration, this large scale Celestine offer great depth, purity, energy as well as razor sharp precision that lead to the very long and fine finish. This is not really showing today despite the long aeration. With the materials, 10-15yrs down the road, this will surely turn into something truly astonishing. Patience is much needed. 93-95

2006 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 15% Popped for 5hrs. WOW, yet another power house. This has astonishing intensity that immediately coated the mouth. The powerful, tannic backbone formed the solid structured that is impossible to penetrate with the sweet dark fruits having buried underneath, as well as mushroom, herbs, kirsch and mineral. This has enormous power to it but relatively light on its feet with super long finish with bitter sweet cocoa aftertaste, thanks to the lively acidity as well as mineral for the freshness and lift. Wow! I”m really impress by the quality of this wine, even more so when the price is not going to break the bank like Beaucastel Hommage / Bonneau Celestin does. 92-94

Flight 4: 2007s

2007 is no a doubt a great vintage in CDP, but also some hit and miss here…..

Domaine Janasse cuvee VV – One of my all time favorite!

Chateau Simian cuvee d’Hippolyte – Consistently disappointing…

2007 Château Simian Châteauneuf-du-Pape les Grandes Grenachieres d’Hippolyte – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 16% Decanted for 8-9hrs. This wine just painfully sweet and alcoholic this round, despite being decanted for at least 9hrs. Kirsch liquor, overly sweet dark fruits and lots of roasted herbs all wrapped in a very alcoholic profile. It was highly concentrated on the palate with unbelievable sweet. Fleshy, opulent and voluptuous that lacks of the structured and acidity for a right balance and lift. This was rather rough and heavy when the tannin kick in right after mid palate, the worst of the night. Finished is long and powerful, as well as very alcoholic with heat. 98pts? Hmm…. 88?

2007 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 15.5% Popped one day in advanced and decanted for 3hrs. Power and highly intense, but rather tight and shy which only reveal aromas of sweet dark cherry and licorice, but one can sense there is a lot material hiding underneath. Huge and sweet on the palate, but with amazing freshness, purity as well as firm structured for the balance. Quite light on its feet with finesse for a wine with such power and concentration. Endless layer of sweet dark fruits and licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, camphor and roasted meat on the mid palate with attractive inner perfume which really impressed me. The tannin is well control in silky form, and long massive finish that offer seductive juiciness and richness. This too will need at least 7-10yrs to really hit its drinking window. 94-96+

Flight 5: 2003 Some wines did extremely well in 2003 but some suffer from the heat. Sadly, the Cos Saint Jean cuvee Ex Machina is belong to the latter.

2003 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 14.5% Popped and poured and this reveal complex aromas of herbs, garrigue, spices as well as Kirsch. Sweet on the palate but with fine silky tannin and structured to support that leads to the very long finish with just a trace of alcohol heat, of which is acceptable. Poured into (with Vinturi) decanter with the wine rest in it for about 3hrs. The nose was rather alcoholic with powerful cherry liquor, roasted herbs and nail polished. Sweet and highly concentrated on the palate but this is rather lack of the structured and definition. Sweet, heavy and alcoholic that dominated the palate with sweet, alcoholic finish. 89?

Flight 6: 2005s 2005, backward, structured and power that need decades to come around. Both Hommage and Domaine Pierre Usseglio cuvee Deux Freres proved that….

2005 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol :: 14.5% Popped one day in advanced and decanted for 3.5hrs. Dark ruby with purplish hue. The nose is powerful and pretty tight still: soy sauce, licorice, garrigue and fruits that bury underneath. Massive on the palate with solid structured and that hiding the sweet dark fruits, smoke meat and roasted herbs. This monstrous wine possess immense power in it yet with such detail, layer, purity and focus along with excellent freshness and roundness that carry on to the very fine, intensely long finish. This stunning juice will need min 10yrs to really come around. Patience! 94-96+

2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Deux Frères – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Alcohol : 15% WOW, what a behemoth like structured and unreal power that you must tasted to believe. Nose was superb intense and deep, coffee, dark chocolate, roasted meat and herbs with sweet dark cherry and blackcurrant fruits. This has massive concentration and richness that coated the entire mouth and tongue immediately with tons of sweet dark fruits and roasted herbs kick in later. Unreal power and concentration yet with very firm structured and tannin for the right balance and precision. This is driven by power yet well in-check. The finished is long and powerful, lingering. Definitely the most structured wine tonight and still a baby even after open for a day and decanted for 4hrs. This will need at least 15yrs……. 93-95

Flight 7: Royal Tokaji

A Royal Tokaji Aszu Essencia to end… lovely.

1996 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Aszú Essencia – Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji

  • Alcohol :: 7% Popped 5hrs in advanced. This deep golden liquid display intensely sweet aromas of honey coated dried apricot and peaches along with autumn leaves and Bortrytis note. Still rather primary on the palate, deeply concentrated with beautiful balance. However, this is actually quite monolithic now, not expressive and only offer sweet intense fruits on the palate that almost viscous in texture. The finish is long and clean though. I don’t know how long it needs to take to evolve, but for sure will be more than a decade. 90

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