Wine for Dragons

Singapore Wine Blog... Wine Reviews and Tastings... Review of Wine bars and Wine accessories...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wine Entry : Tyrrell's Wines Moore's Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (SE Australia)

Very pleasant bottle of wine to drink, had it with cheese and crackers and they go wonderfully together. I purchased this from my Swimming Club wine section costing S$39. In the glass the wine is of a deep dark garnet colour.

Smell : Fruity with blackcurrents and raspberry. Hint of spice and coffee.

Taste : The wine hits you first with a full bodied taste, bursting with fruit. It then mellows with oak/dark chocolate at the end. Mild tannins and relatively well-balanced.

After-taste : A smooth finish with spice and slight oak. A hint of alcohol warmth.

Description at back of bottle : Tyrrell’s was established in 1858 in the Hunter Valley and today the company remains wholly Australian Family owned. The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit for this wine was sourced from premium vineyards within South Eastern Australia. After fermentation, the wine matured in a combination of American and French oak barrels. This wine was fined with egg whites, a natural product, traditionally used. Black cherries and wild berry fruit characters dominate the nose with intense varietals characters on the palate. The result is a flavour packed wine with subtle structured tannin on the finish. This wine is ready for immediate drinking. A full-bodied red, that will make it an ideal accompaniment to casseroles, cheeses or by itself.


Wine Restaurant Review : Porta Porta


Hey everybody, I'm finally back from reservist and it was a good thing that K.T. suggested going to Porta Porta @ 971 Upper Changi North Rd, Changi Garden. I was famish for some good food after all the SFI food in the camp. (but to be fair it has improved a lot since I was in NS). We had to wait 15 minutes for a table as K.T. did not make a reservation. It's a cosy restaurant with only about 5 tables on the lower floor and 2 couple tables on the upper deck.

We had a nice bottle of Italian red wine which was pretty smooth and fruity even with a little sweetness inside. Not of such a complex structure as French wines, but nonetheless very compatible with the Italian dishes with cheese. It was a tad ex at S$53 for a house wine, but I must say it was a good recommendation made by the waitress.

K.T., Mr & Mrs Bluedolp and us polished off a whole bunch of Italian bread with olive oil, (the bread was really warm and chewy) anti-pasta, mixed salad, 2 plates of stew lamb (which was so tender it melts in the mouth), 2 plates of pasta (Broccoli and Seafood?), and a rosemary chicken. And we even had the traditional Tiramisu mousse, not cake.
It was a very nice and delicious dinner, though it did take a large chunk out of our wallets!

Here's the yummy lamb =>

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Guest Writer KT: Rio Alto Rose

Hello folks!

Something's up when u have 2 straight consecutive wine entries in a row and winedragon is lagging behind. He's probably stuck cleaning toilets as he's on reservist. heheh.

I went to the wine hut again on friday night with some friends from Uni and we tried this chilean wine, Rio Alto Rose.

Taste: Strawberry with floral overtones

Smell: The acidic tone was abit too much though

After taste: The acidic taste lingers on


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Guest Writer KT: Sangiovese

Hello folks,

I had the pleasure of trying out this red wine, Sangiovese at this extremely beautiful and off the beaten track Italian restaurant @ Upper East Coast Road called Porta Porta. Do go to for a review on this great restaurant that ranks number 1 currently on my list. :)

Italian immigrants from Tuscany probably introduced the Sangiovese grape to California in the late 1800s, possibly at the Segheshio Family's "Chianti Station," near Geyserville. It is one of several varietal components of the field blend in many old North Coast and Gold Country vineyards that are often otherwise identified as Zinfandel.
Sanguis Jovis, the Latin origin for the varietal name, literally means "blood of Jove" and it is likely that Sangiovese (a.k.a. Sangioveto or San Gioveto) was known by Etruscan winemakers, although the first literary reference to it was in 1722. It is probably indigenous to Tuscany, whose most famous wine is Chianti.

Taste: Pleasant without any tannic after taste, black currant? Plum, orange peel with spices of clove and thyme


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Wine Tasting - Serving Temperatures

There is perpetual debate on the temperature that wine, be it red or white, should be served at. Personally I feel that reds should be allowed to express their full bouquet of scents and fragrances in the warm temperatures that we are accustomed to in Singapore. I have tried drinking red wines that have been chilled in the refrigerator, but I always find them very closed and unexpressive. When the bottle of red wine is opened at room temperature of 28 - 32 DegC here in Singapore. Without much swirling of the glass the fruity smells waft intensely to the nose.

Based on personal experience, Whites on the other hand, should be drunk chilled from the fridge. The cold chilled white wine, enhances the refreshing acidity and citrus taste commonly found in Whites. For sweet white wines, it is similar that it should be chilled so that the cold complements the dessert and syrupy feel of the wine. Also if drunk too warm, the smell of over-ripened and sickly sweetness maybe unpleasant.

Well above are my personal takes on tasting temperatures, here is the official guide below for those who are willing to experiment.

Some quick tips for temperature – A fridge takes two to four hours to chill a bottle of wine, so it’s not much use in an emergency. The quickest way to chill a wine is by immersing it in a bucket filled with a combination of ice and cold water. This is much faster than ice on it’s own. Add salt to the water for even quicker results. Wine chills down fairly swiftly in a freezer too, but if you forget to take it out in time, it will probably break the bottle as it freezes solid.
If a wine is too cold, the best thing is to pour the wine into a glass and then use your hands to cup the glass for a few minutes.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wine Drinker and Connoisseur ? : Sylvia Lim of the Worker’s Party

- Found this advertisement in the Straits Time on 8 Aug 2006. I think it is a fitting tribute to wine, that Sylvia Lim of the Worker’s Party drinks wine to “chill-out”. For the uninitiated, Sylvia Lim is the newest NCMP to the Singapore parliament after obtaining the largest majority of opposition votes in the recent S’pore General Elections in May of this year. The Worker’s Party turned out to the most credible opposition party garnering the most votes amongst the opposition. I think this just continues to add to her “hip/happening-quotient” that the Others (I do not need to name) are trying so hard to improve.

Will we be seeing a wine-tasting session organized by the Worker’s Party soon? Wishing her all the best in her new NCMP role and we all have high hopes for her to champion the common Singaporean causes and not only those of the elite. May your glass never be empty and the wine never turn sour!

Wine Entry : Chateau Beauregard Lagupeau Graves 1997 (French)

This bottle was bought from DFS, I believe quite a number of years ago as the old DFS sticker is still used. The brilliance of the wine was still eminent even though it was already 9 years old. In the glass, it was a bright, intense maroon colour.

Smell : Light flora and alcoholic, strong blackcurrent fruit almost like Ribena.

Taste : Smooth intense fruit of cherries, berries, blackcurrents. Good complex tannins but still smooth and silky.

After-taste : Slight cigar, bitter-gourd and woody tones.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wine Tasting Vina Morande by Le Raisin at the Wine Hut (Part C)


Specialty Morande Edicion Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot (1999) – Slight fruity and chocolate scent, taste of ripen blackcurrents, berries and dark chocolate, with a finish of tannins.
Description of wine : A wine the colour of dark rubies, intense and shining. The aroma is reminiscent of red fruits prunes, vanilla and chocolate. In the mouth it is intense, rounded smooth and almost silky, full-bodies and with a long, delightful finish. The vineyard was originally the old Vina Santa Blanca, situated in the Cachapoal Valley, in hectare, and this allows grapes to be produced with very highly concentrated flavours and aromas. The vinification of these grapes, both the Cabernet and Merlot, is carried out in small stainless steel tanks in the style used in Bordeaux, and after a long maceration period, the wines are racked into casks for malolactic fermentation and ageing. Ageing in this case took 15 months and the wine was then bottled to complete its development. It is packaged without leaking to maintain in optimal form its flavours.

Specialty Morande Edicion Limitada Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon (2003) – Scents of Vanilla ice cream and a taste of ripen sweetish berries figs, slightly pepperish with a short finish. Description of wine : A red, violet and smoke-coloured wine, deep and intense. Its aroma is reminiscent of black coffee, toasted figs and fresh plums, with a slight hint of roasted meat. In the mouth it is intense, opulent , fat and meaty, with plentiful tannins, long and persistent. Its great intensity reminds one of Kenyan coffee. With a great future, for a long life.
The Puntal located in Isla de Maipo, in the Maipo Valley – a vineyard with old rootstocks. The Syrah is grafted onto Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives it a good root system and decreases its natural vigor. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a free rootstock with limited expression. The result of this is very ripe fruit with prominent aromas and flavours, the final culmination of which are wines with concentrated flavours.

Ultra Premium House of Morande Cabernet Sauvignon (2001) – Smell of vanilla beans, rounded, fruity, very smooth and silky with no tannins lingering with a nice light sweet finish.
Description of wine : House of Morande is a wine prepared with grapes from the San Bernardo vineyard in the Maipo Valley, described as : a valley protected by high walls, where the winds do not blow and the sun stands still. With nights open to a deep sky, without stars and round moons. With naked dawns, diaphanous and laden with frost. Its waters emanate from the mountains. Its minerals: limestone, iron, copper and slate, paint its wines with purple blood and give its must sweetness and strength. Its aromas are reminiscent of violet and wild roses, lavender and fragrant mint. Boldos and burning firewood, black coffee, twisted tobacco and oak truffles. It is youthful to the touch, robust and jaunty. Its flavours are of the flowers and fruit of the forest, fresh, enchanting, silky and with elegant notes of candies. A sweet memory of Morande is the wise wine of Pablo Moorande.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Wine Tasting Vina Morande by Le Raisin at the Wine Hut (Part B)

Grand Reserve Morande Vitisterra Cabernet Sauvignon (2002) – Only slight tannins and earthy tones at the finish, very delightful. Description of wine : The grapes used in preparing this wine come from the Maipo Valley, renowned for its permeable soils and Mediterranean climate, with hot summer days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to develop and ripen gradually the ideal place for planting this variety. The whole fermentation process is carried out in stainless steel vats and the wine is then aged in French Oak caks for 14 months, achieving a potent, intense wine, full bodied, flavoured with black fruits and juices, plus an interesting combination of vanilla, given by the wood, and sweet tastes reminiscent of tobacco and fruit preserves. Ideal to accompany joints of small game, birds, boar, rabbit, red meats in general, mature cheeses and spicy dishes. May be drunk immediately or stored for 3 or more years.

Grand Reserve Morande Vitisterra Syrah (2002) – Flora almost jasmine smell. No pepperish taste well-established in Shiraz grapes, more of dark cherries. Filled with intense fruits, plums, prunes and apricots. Overall an easy yet forthcoming wine.
Description of wine : This is an intense, gleaming violet-red wine. In the nose, it offers aromas of toasted wood, vanilla, barbeque, spices and tobacco leaves, together with dried fruits such as prunes and cherries. In the mouth, it is a great wine with plentiful intense flavours of candided fruit and bitter chocolates. It has silky tannins leading to an enjoyable finish.
The fruit from the Syrah vine comes from the Pataguita vineyard, situated in the Maipo Valley, very close to the city of Santiago. There is a predominance of gravel and laterite soils in most of the best vineyards, with some sandy loam soils in other areas. The wide variety of strategies and techniques are used in canopy management, such as positioning the shoots vertically, all with the aim of maximizing the amount of sunlight in the area where the fruit is ripening.
Irrigation is applied wisely to maintain the balance growth of the vine and achieve a constand ripening rhythm.
The fruit is harvested by hand to ensure its arrival at the winery is in optimum condition. It is then stemmed and crushed, leaving a high proportion of grapes intact to give the wine a fruitier flavour. Before fermentation, the wine is macerated at a low temperature for24 hours. Energetic extraction at the beginning is followed by a gentler action to conserve the fruit and give the wine more body.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wine Tasting Vina Morande by Le Raisin at the Wine Hut (Part A)

Adam from Le-Raisin organized this wine tasting session on 3rd of Aug to introduce his new wine from Chile, i.e Vina Morande. He chose a good location which is at the Wine Hut near Gallery Hotel. The usual suspects of K.T., Gracie, J.Lim and Mr BlueDolp were sporting wine drinkers to appraise the wine. There were about a total of 20 people who graced the occasion, and we were fortunate to meet Karen from SingEx who will be the organizer for this year’s Wine for Asia 2006 to be held in early November at Singapore Expo. We had a total of five Chilean wines, all of them reds! These were complemented with cheese platter, bread slices, vegetable sticks, ham and sausage roll, and the favourite crispy chicken which is really chicken tender slices wrapped in beancurd skin and deep fried.

The whole session only cost S$15, really great value for money in terms of the food, drink and of course the great company. Adam introduced the wine in phases and promised to have a special National Day celebration sale for the wines. Soon also the late harvest wine will arrive in Singapore and it will become available to us for sweet tastings. Until then Salute! Watch out for the next posting in which all the five wine’s tasting notes will be published.
Oh yes by the way, this wine tasting session is also in celebration of this blog's one year Birthday in August! Cheers!