Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s end of calendar year’s festivities went well. I am pleased to present our first wine dinner of 2019 at Gake, aptly titled “Cellarmaster Selections”. I have had the pleasure of serving as Cellarmaster under two Presidents and have perused the society’s wine inventory more times than I care to admit or remember. And every time I go through the inventory, there are always certain wines that catch my eye, but, alas, we simply haven’t had the opportunity to feature at a dinner until now. These wines are not necessarily highlights or icons of the Society’s cellar. They are fun and interesting wines – to be shared amongst friends over a meal. So I invite you to join me as we taste and drink through a few wines that I have always wanted to try.
We begin with the Nymphea Rose by Petit-et-Bejan. This non-vintage rosé is made of 90% Chardonnay from the Côtes de Blancs and 10% Pinot Noir vinified as red wine, from Vezernay. Thanks to our member Tan Seck Wee and his company Wine Source for partially sponsoring the aperitif for the evening.
We continue with two white wines, one from New Zealand and one from Bordeaux. The Te Koko from Cloudy Bay is a unique sauvignon blanc that is fermented using indigenous 'wild' yeasts and subjected to batonnage as the wine ages in oak (only 10% new oak). The Aile d’Argent from Mouton Rothschild is a traditional Bordeaux dry white wine and does not need much introduction. The 2009 vintage is made of 72% Sauvignon Blanc, 27% Sémillon and 1% Muscadelle. Two very different expressions of sauvignon blanc.
The first flight of reds features two “second” wines from the Pomerol. The first is Pensees de Lafleur, the second wine of Chateau Lafleur. Chateau Lafleur does not consider Pensees de Lafleur a second wine because it is not made from declassified lots or solely from young wines. In fact, the wine is always from different sections of the vineyard than what they use for Lafleur and always comes from the same 0.8 hectares of vines in a diagonal-shaped parcel that runs across the majority of the Lafleur vineyard. The second Pomerol is La Petite Eglise, the second label of Chateau L'Eglise Clinet. Chateau L’Eglise Clinet also does not think of La Petite Eglise as a second wine because the fruit comes from the vineyard’s sandier terroir, while L’Eglise Clinet comes from the vineyard’s deep, clay soils. Two second wines which are not considered by the chateaus as second wines but rather second labels. I’ll let you be the judge.
The second flight of reds features two wines that can be loosely grouped around the theme “merlot”. The first is the 2004 La Ricolma from San Giusto a Rentennano in Tuscany. La Ricolma is made of 100% merlot and in my view rivals the top merlots from Italy. 2004 was a superb vintage in Tuscany. Paired alongside the La Ricolma is the 2003 Clos Fourtet from Saint-Émilion which is made of 85% merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. And although from the 2003 vintage, this wine was rerated 98 points by Robert Parker in 2014. Should be an interesting comparison of “merlot” from two different terroirs and a fitting follow-up to the two Pomerols.
We end the dinner with a simple but delicious Demi-Sec Champagne from Duval Leroy. It should pair well with the Signature Truffled Somen with Sakura Ebi and Ikura from Gake.
Speaking of food, we are excited to host the dinner at Gake. Gake, meaning "clif" in Japanese, serves up Japanese dishes made with modern European techniques. The chef is Angus Chow, the former head chef of sake bar Boruto who was awarded Chef of the Year at World Gourmet Summit 2018 and who was formerly worked at Les Amis and modern Spanish tapas bar FOC.
Please book early to avoid disappointment as we are limited to 40 pax for this event. Members have priority for bookings made in first 48 hours. Guests will only be accepted if there are spare seats. Please also note that there will be no refunds for cancellations made within 1 week of the event date.
Sharon Sng, President
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Tartlet
Petit-et-Bejan, Nymphea Rose NV
Amaebi Tartar with Avruga Caviar
Cloudy Bay, Te Koko 2011
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Aile d’Argent 2009
Charcoal Chicken Karaage with QP Mayo
Chateau L'Eglise Clinet, La Petite Eglise 1995
Chateau Lafleur, Pensees de Lafleur 1994
Berkshire Pork Jowl with Burnt Miso
Clos Fourtet 2003
San Giusto a Rentennano, La Ricolma 2004
Signature Truffled Somen with Sakura Ebi & Ikura
Duval Leroy, Demi-Sec Champagne NV
Orange almond cake with Yuzu sorbet