Wine for Dragons

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

X’mas 2007 / Taboo/ Apartment Viewing / Wine Session

This year’s X’mas celebration was held at K.T’s Lorong K bar. We went pot luck and ended up with Katong Laksa, Cold Storage’s sushi, KFC, Pizza Hut, Longans and home-made Avocado/Coconut dessert. We also ended up playing the game Taboo and I bombarded the opposing team with wine terms and French chic. We also took the opportunity to visit the next door new apartment block which was been launched. I admire the time sacrificed by the housing agents on Christmas day.

The wine we had was Yarrabank’s Crème de Cuvee N.V. This wine was bought in Australia from the cellar door of Yering Station in 2004. I got very good reviews from the guests that the wine was sweet, creamy, refreshing and did not leave a bitter taste like some Champagnes. There was somewhat of a strawberry flavour interlaced in the buttery gold of the wine.

Description on the back of the bottle : French winemakers of the House of Devaux bring with them generations of experiences in the production of this premium bottle-fermented sparkling wine while Yering Station offers a committed winemaking team and state of the art winery. Dedicated to creating a great dessert wine, Yarrabank makers have selected special parcels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Rigorously implementing the traditional methods including hand picking and three years or less, they have captured the essential character of the grapes. Yarrabank Crème de Cuvee is a liquored style which suits Asian food, hard cheese and dessert.


Wine Entries : Reserve de la Comtesse 2001 and Chateau Vaccant Bordeaux Molleux 2004 (French)

First of all a very Merry X’mas 2006 to all my readers, albeit a little late. I had these two bottles of wine opened at a X’mas Eve Dinner with beef steak, turkey and an array of goodies, thus the focus was not completely on the wine.

Reserve de la Comtesse 2001

This wine is available at Carrefour going for S$52 dollars now, compared to what I bought at the fair at S$49.Nice dark ruby red in colour and had a wonderful bouquet.

Smell : Violets, black plums, raspberries. An approachable and yet seductive, delicate bouquet.

Taste : Smooth, well balanced oak and fruit. Matured tannins. Vanilla at the end.

After-Taste : Good medium finish with no severe tannins.

Description at back of bottle : In French…:-)

Chateau Vaccant

I must say that this bottle is somewhat of a disappointment, though made in the same style as the Bordeaux Sauternes, the quality falls far short of it. I am totally skeptical about the description at the back of the bottle. The bottle was purchased at Wine Connection at East Coast for S$25 and in the glass a pale yellow.

Smell : Deep ripen lemon peel. With a distinct unpleasant smell of sulphides.

Taste : Mildly sweet finishing off with lemon peel and acidity. Somewhat refreshing.

After-Taste : Short finish with an abrupt end.

Description at back of bottle : Located in Ligueux 8 km South East from Sainte-Foy-la-Grande. Chateau Vaccant is made from 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon. This mellow wine offers a light gold robe with a fresh flowery bouquet. Its taste is fine and fruity.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wine Fair : Great World City 22 to 31 Dec 2006

Popped by Great World City yesterday to watch a movie and recalled that I saw in the adverts that there was going to be a wine fair organised by SOPEXA, focusing on French Wines. It was held at the basement outside of Cold Storage supermarket. Pretty small set up compared to what I am used to which is at Carrefour. At least the promoters were very friendly and kept on asking me and wife if we wanted to sample the wines.

There were a few that caught my eye which was the Chateau Manos which is a sweet wine style similar to Saturnes going for S$24, a Chateau Nenin and Alsace wines. Primarily the fair was intended and targetted for X'mas party goers, considering the focus on champagne and sparkling wines. If you are more interested in the French classified growths, you are better off at the Carrefour wine fairs or at the Oaks Cellar accessible by the travellator one floor below which has a nice cellar filled with First Growths and other cult wines such as Opus One.
The fair runs from 22 to 31 Dec 2006.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wine Tasting Event : Carrefour International Wine Fair at Plaza Singapura (20 Dec 2006)

I had the privilege of attending this Wine Fair with knowledgeable Dan and Gary from . The Wine Fair was set up at the atrium of Plaza Singapura. The interesting thing was that before the Wine Fair we met each other at the wine chiller room in the actual Carrefour store. Guess that is where all wine lovers gravitate to in a supermarket.

The overall Wine Fair was small compared to the one held in September at Suntec City, and wines were more limited for tasting. And of cos, the Reserve de la Comtesse 2001 was the favourite of the testing flight. The crowd was also somewhat subdue, and did not see much carting of cases like what happened at the last Wine Fair. There was a fairly decent range of French wines, and I was surprised to see a number of classified 2004 vintages on the shelves like Pichon-Longueville and Kirwan. We seem to have skipped over the 2003 vintage altogether and jumped to the 2004 (which incidentally I believe is not as superior to the 2000, 2003 or 2005).

The finger food was similar to Suntec City with mushroom and salmon quiches as well as miniature cakes. On the bright side, the platter of cheese was not just a platter, but a generous mountain of cheese cubes.

Did manage to return with some good buys, the Chateau Brown 2000 was going for S$52, the Reserve de la Comtesse 2001 was S$49 and the Chateau Prieure-Lichine 2004 was S$62.

Did not win the Wine Cooler for the lucky draw the last time! Hopefully this time… Till the next Wine Fair!

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wine Entry : Montana Late Harvest Selection 2002 (New Zealand)

This wine is available both at NTUC and Cold Storage, just checked it out and it is priced at S$28.70 at Cold Storage. One of the limited sweet wines available at these two supermarkets. The wine has a golden dark amber colour resembling a thick honey.

Smell : Scented honey-lemon, with a slight chrysanthemum flora scent.

Taste : Mildly flavourful, fairly balanced sweetness interlaced with citrus, lemon-lime acidity. Medium viscosity.

After-Taste : Minute bitter lemon at the end.

Description at back of bottle :
Montana’s Late Harvest Selection is a lush, sweet wine, characteristic of late harvested botrytised Marlborough grapes. Golden in colour, with flavours of lychees, pear and honey this wine has a rich palate and a balanced finished. Enjoy on its own, or try matching with creamy blue cheese, lemon soufflé, passionfruit cheese cake or apricot Florentines. May be cellared for up to three years.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wine Entry : Dromana Estate Mornington Peninsular 2001 (Australian)

We opened this bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend at K.T.’s place to celebrate one more addition to her lamb soft toy family. She had purchased this bottle directly from the Cellar Door of the Vineyard. I have a bottle too waiting in my store at home. I would recommend this wine, except I am not sure who imports this into Singapore. In the glass, the wine is medium purplish-red.

Smell : Though the wine was a little closed as it was chilled in a refrigerator, there was still strong raspberry fruit and very little oak scents.

Taste : Substantial raspberry and dark cherries, on the palate it was smooth with an end of pepper and capsicum.

After-taste : Some astringency with a good oak structure as backbone.

Description at back of bottle :
Our run of ideal seasons continued with the 2001 vintage, producing fruit of characteristic intensity. This Cabernet Merlot provides another example of what can be achieved on the Mornington Peninsular with these classic varieties. As always the key is complete vigilance in maintaining standards of low cropping levels, controlled fermentation, extended maceration, and time in quality oak all play a part. The result is a wine of substance with intense aromas and flavours of black currents, plums, violets and cedar finishing with gentle tannins. Whilst it is drinking very well no it will only improve with further cellaring (up to 10 years)


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wine Entry : Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (SE Australia)

Quite sure I purchased this wine from Changi Airport DFS at S$25, and one of the good value wines to get at DFS which you do not get outside in supermarkets or wineshops, though I think Bottles & Bottles are carrying this label now. Personally I find that DFS is not the place to find value anymore. Once they used to carry the New Zealand ice wines at very reasonable, but now they have removed it. Probably not getting the profits they would like.
Back to the wine, the colour was dark brown-ruby red with a few years of cellaring.

Smell : Fragrant fruity, flora scents, whiff of blackcurrent fruit. A little cinnamon but no oak.

Taste : Smooth, lots of fruit flavours of plum, blackcurrents, black cherries. Very mild to light tannins, could be due to the nice few years of cellaring.

After-Taste : A little acidic with some oak and spice ending.

Description at back of bottle :
Named after Australia’s most famous and beautiful gemstone. Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon displays rich berry and blackcurrent varietal characters supported by generous integrated oak flavours and fine tannins. A rich, soft wine with depth of fruit and oak character, Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of great finesse that will benefit from cellaring for three to five years.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wine Vineyard Visit : Longview Estate (New Zealand)


This is a unique experience, not only did I have the great opportunity of drink the wine whilst dining, I also had the privilege of visiting the vineyard as well. Longview Wine Estate is located about 5 mins drive from the City of Whangarei in North island of New Zealand. I managed to pop into the estate for a quick look around. The view from the estate is beautiful with the neat rows of vines in the foreground and the sea and rolling mountains in the background. The picture on the label of their bottles depicts this beautifully natural scenery.

I tried the Chardonnay Gewurztraminer 2006 and it was a delightful wine with a slight sweetness and good acidity of lemons and lychees with a mineral finish. A very suitable and refreshing wine to drink for the summer. I did manage to try their oaked and unaoked chardonnay, as well as their interestingly sweet Riesling of a German style. But my vote still goes to the well-balanced Chardonnay/Gewurztraminer blend. Cheers!