Last month I was able to attend a Sommelier Seminar in Singapore presented by the very entertaining Mr. Ch’ng Poh Tiong and sponsored by the various wine companies whose products we sampled for the tasting portion. The seminar covered various aspects of service, presentation, and food pairing (with Asian dishes). The following notes are from the wines sampled during the tasting portion.
Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne NV – Generally dry with a slight sweetness on the attack. Lemony, medium bodied with a nice tobacco nuance on the finish. Very good basic Champagne.
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling 2004 – Lemons and green apples. Very dry and light. Acidic. Surprisingly, has a slightly woody character. Lacks flavor. I didn’t like this and so far have yet to be impressed by any Jacob’s Creek Riesling.
Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2004 – Vanilla, buttery, oak but just stopping short of too much. Very rich but with a refreshing acidity in the finish. Not as oaky in the mouth as the nose suggests. Quite good and best white of the tasting.
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2004 – Muted nose. Gentle wine. Lacks flavor.
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz 2002 – Lighter color than I expected. Full-bodied with a bit of tannin but falls apart on the finish. Some smoke. Hint of dark berries. Pleasant enough.
Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz 2003 – Tannic, Fresh tasting. Structured wine. Long finish. Might be better with another year of age but already showing quite well.
Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2001 – Medium-bodied. Tannic. Good, ripe fruit. Not expressive on the nose. Some dried fruit character makes an appearance after some air. Quite nice.
Chateau Brane Cantenac 2001 – 50% Merlot according to Henri Lurton who presented the wine. Not showing too much on the nose except for a slightly rubbery character. Quite soft already. A gentle, drink now wine with a somewhat short finish. Good but nothing special although our host for the seminar kept singing its praises. I personally don’t see what the fuss is about.
Chateau Brane Cantenac 1996 – Again, not much on the nose. Good structure. Spicy. Good now but can age a bit more. Very good stuff and superior to the 2001 for me.
We ended with a new (to me) expression of my favorite single malt Macallan 12 year old Fine Oak which was aged in Bourbon barrels.