Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wine of the Month - August 2015

I had a glass of Rioja next to a Cos D'Estournel 1986 at Praelum Wine Bistro and even though the latter was still alive and kicking I much preferred the Spanish red for its vibrancy and mouth-filling flavours. Doubtless the Rioja was much younger, but at nearly ten years it was no baby and considerably gentler on the wallet. The producer, R. Lopez de Heredia, is a top supplier of traditional Riojas with long aging in American oak. The wine is made primarily from Tempranillo with small additions of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, aged for five years in American oak barrels, well above the legislated minimum requirements.


Wine: R. López de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva 2006

Tasting note: Age has given this wine a patina of dried fruit and licorice overlaying the coconut and dark fruit flavours, but left its energy and grip intact. It is drinking beautifully now and shows no sign of slowing down.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Make Your Way to the Cellar, on the Kellerweg

This post was contributed by Lucia Santoso, an avid wine lover, musician and traveller currently based in Germany.


What would you do on a German Summer's eve? Why, go to a Weinfest, natürlich! How else would you celebrate summer by the Rhein?

Every single weekend from June to September is jam-packed with wine festivals, duly advertised by the public transport networks (read: no driving! :) ). This very one comes well recommended by my friend Sonja John, a native of Hessen and the owner of her own wine shop.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The One and Only Biondi Santi

Producer: Biondi Santi


It’s not often that the opportunity arises to taste with an estate that is responsible for developing one of Italy’s pre-eminent fine wines. There are hundreds of producers bottling Brunello di Montalcino today, but original credit goes to one Ferruccio Biondi Santi from Tenuta Il Greppo, who crafted a wine meant for long aging from a particular clone of Sangiovese known locally as Brunello. The first vintage of this wine, of which some bottles can still be found in the winery’s cellars, dates back to 1888 (how’s that for a lucky number?).

Monday, 10 August 2015

Great Southern Wine Tasting 22nd August

Mark your calendar! The Great Southern Wine Tasting comes to Singapore on the 22nd of August at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, featuring 48 regional wines. Registration is via email to wine@thewinereview.com.sg.

The Great Southern wine region is located at the southern tip of Western Australia, a large and remote area producing outstanding Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The white grape varieties you are likely to find are Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Overshadowed at times by its more famous neighbour, the Margaret River wine region, the merits of this cool-climate region are starting to be appreciated, led by quality-minded producers such as Plantagenet, Frankland Estate, and Alkoomi.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Wine of the Month - July 2015

This year I've realised that Singapore does in fact have two seasons - hot and hotter. The past two months, continuing into July, my air-conditioning has been running nearly non-stop to provide some respite from the heat. Just how hot is it? It's so hot that Seng Choon eggs now only come hard-boiled. It's so hot that I saw a tree in Bishan Park chasing a dog. It's so hot that the Merlion jumped into the Singapore River.

In this weather, what we need are cool, refreshing wines, which is why for this month I have selected a Pinot Noir as the WOTM. Hailing from the small village of Aloxe-Corton, the wine is made from grapes that have been farmed as organically as possible, without the aid of herbicides or chemical fertilisers. Each parcel is hand-harvested, sorted and fermented in its own vat. Enjoy a glass of this chilled to around 16°C.


Wine: Domaine Follin-Arbelet Aloxe Corton 2012

Tasting note: Pale smudgy ruby. Fresh, intense and vibrant with a svelte body and attractively pure fruit marked by raspberry, cherry and herbal notes. Already approachable and deliciously thirst-quenching.


Distributor: Caveau

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A New Entrant to Singapore’s Burgeoning Wine Scene

Company: wanderwine


The wine events in Singapore tend to fall into two broad groups. The first are the trade and consumer tastings organised by various producers or promotional bodies. These have an educational slant and are attended by sommeliers, wine writers and wine aficionados. Then there are the new product or service launches, commonly executed with the assistance of a PR agency. The crowd at these events are highly diverse, counting among their number models, media professionals and CEOs united by their love of wine and a good party.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Tasting the Noughties with Château Pichon Baron

Producers: Château Pichon Baron, Château Petit-Village


What does the insurance business have to do with wine? Quite a bit, if you’re talking about AXA Millésimes, the subsidiary of French insurance giant AXA. For a risk-averse company to invest in wine with its unpredictable and cyclical nature would seem to be a pretty big gamble. However, the strategy of purchasing run-down, historic vineyards with established credentials and then turning them around has paid handsome dividends.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Wine of the Month - June 2015

When I enthused about this bottle to wine expert Suzanne Brocklehurst (who blogs over at The Wine Narrative), she immediately recalled writing about the producer in an piece on art in wine. Every year Fattoria Nittardi engages an artist to design not just the label but also the wrapping paper for their Casanuova di Nittardi Chianti Classico. This month's WOTM is their IGT-level wine from the region of Maremma located 8 km from the sea. Despite the fact that it is an IGT wine, that should not be taken to mean that the wine is inferior in any way, as in Italy the DOC/DOCG regulations are not a reliable indicator of quality. The wine is a blend of  40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah, 15 Petit Verdot and 5% of other, 'secret', varieties.

Wine: Fattoria Nittardi Nectar Dei 2008

Tasting note: Deep ruby colour. The nose exudes ripe, plush fruit with notes of toast, vanilla, black fruit, spice and licorice. Elegant, well-balanced and modern palate with integrated oak, vanillin sweetness and notes of sour cherry and earth. The finish is long and intense. Top drawer.

Distributor: Wine Exchange Asia


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Through Rosé Tinted Glasses


Looking through the articles on this blog, I see that coverage on rosé wines has been rather sparse.  This is due to two reasons, the first being that rosé wines are not that popular in Singapore, and also because I have not come across many particularly exciting wines of this ilk. Wine connoisseurs tend not to take rosé very seriously, regarding it as a simple thirst-quencher for the summer months. Considering that Singapore is perpetually swathed in hot and humid conditions, it is a head scratcher why we don’t drink more rosé locally. Too wimpy a drink to be seen with perhaps? The rosé-themed parties I have been to were well-attended, but the gender skew towards women was plain. Yet when opening a bottle rosé at private dinners, both sexes are up for a glass. It seems that men like drinking rosé too, they are just loathe to openly admit it.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Wine of the Month - May 2015

This month's WOTM is a rosé from champagne house Dom Pérignon. It comes with a hefty price tag, but is one of the greatest examples of sparkling rosé that you can get. The vintage was noted for its extreme conditions in France resulting in some unique, and in some cases uncharacteristic wines.


Wine: Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003

Tasting note: Made from south-facing vineyards in Hautvillers, Ay and Bouzy. The wine was aged for 10 years on its lees. Winemaker Richard Geoffroy has walked a tightrope with this difficult vintage, coaxing the Pinot Noir component of this wine to yield ripe, dazzling fruit without sacrificing poise and thrilling tension. Juicy Amaou strawberry, sweet pomegranate and a savoury line of just-popped toast linger on the palate, combining complexity with a welcoming accessibility. 

Distributors: Crystal Wines, Berry Bros. & Rudd