Not long ago I received a direct message on Instagram from a friend in Singapore who’s also a customer of Vinum. To paraphrase:
Hey – I need to buy some reds for regular drinking at my place but am in a massive rut of Bordeaux and Burgs. Could you recommend a few things to take me a bit further afield. Am not about to give up on Chambolle and St Julien but would love to experiment a bit!
I quite enjoyed coming up with the below quartet of wines and thought I’d share the recommendations more widely as we all get a bit stuck in our wine-buying ways and it can be fun to cast the net a bit wider from time-to-time. All the wines are on-hand and ready to go in our warehouse.
Please let us know if you would like some of these by contacting your account manager or by simply replying to this email.
With best wishes,
Matthew Hemming MW
The Offer: Subject to remaining unsold. Available in our SG cellars now.
Oldenburg Vineyards, Rondekop ’Stone Axe’ Syrah 2019
160 bottles @ SGD $68 per bottle (inc GST $73.44)
For my palate, Syrah has become South Africa’s signature red variety and the country is now producing world-class examples that straddle the meaty, savoury tones of the northern Rhone and the richness of southern hemisphere ripeness. Cabernet Sauvignon may still hold the supremacy in the Stellenbosch region, where Oldenburg are based, but the unique micro-climates and topography of the Rondekop hill provides excellent conditions for Syrah. The Syrah vines are planted on the very top of the hill, in the coolest and windiest site, rooted in thin and rocky soil.
The result nods towards a Rhone style, with black pepper, spice – from the use of whole bunch fermentation – and smoke aromas. Very little new oak is employed, so there is nothing to obscure the fruit and this builds in perfume and intensifies in the glass. Shows violets, meaty notes and berries on the palate, with a creamy texture. This is mid-bodied, sleek and stylish with silky tannins and a lifted. finish.
93/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
Renato Corino Barolo Arborina 2017
49 bottles @ SGD $85 per bottle (inc GST $91.80)
The 2017 vintage in Barolo is really useful for current drinking as the wines are ripe and generous with supple tannins. They provide a great ‘gateway’ into the wines of this classic region and also help us keep our hands off the epic 2016s whilst they mature in the cellar! Renato Corino’s Arborina was my pick of the cellar in 2017 – his Rocche dell’Annunziata is more prestigious, richer and fuller but it doesn’t achieve the elegance and precision of this wine.
Fragrant and focused, this is intensely perfumed with herbal characters and even a touch of mint alongside notes of pure cherry fruit. A thread of acidity keeps this focused and mouth-watering on the palate yet it’s not at all austere – balanced by the ripeness of 2017. Elegant, floral and scented, the texture is almost creamy which is unusual for Nebbiolo but it works alongside the purity of red fruit. Has a fresh, briary, earthy aspect that gives complexity. The finish is both scented and persistent.
94/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
The Mascot 2018
45 bottles @ SGD $250 per bottle (inc GST $270)
A special and exclusive Cabernet from the Harlan family – Napa Valley royalty. Not originally intended for commercial release, The Mascot began as Will Harlan’s ‘family & friends cuvee’, blended from younger vines in the legendary vineyards of Harlan Estate, BOND and Promontory. Today, as Will Harlan has taken his place at the helm of the family domaines, The Mascot has taken its own place in the line up of wines. In keeping with a wine not originally intended for general sale, Will Harlan never shows The Mascot to critics, maintaining the idea of an exclusive bottling to be shared with friends of the estate – making this a great choice for surprising and confounding your own friends if you serve it blind!
Aromas show hints of dark and glossy fruit but it’s quite introverted; framed by plenty of clove and sandalwood-scented oak. Much more immediate fruit than the 2017 and it’s unapologetically black and fleshy cassis. Rich and succulent. For a large-scaled Cab there’s impressive control and proportion in terms of structure, dense fruit and velvety tannins. Creamy and fluid across the mid-palate. Tannins have a succulence on the back end. One of those wines where you question the acidity and then find a surprising amount of drive and lift, it’s just buffered by all the density and volume.
92/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
Famille Isabel Ferrando Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Colombis’ 2020
80 bottles @ SGD $160 per bottle (inc GST $172.80)
Whilst never the most expensive of Isabel Ferrando’s wines, I have long found Colombis to be the most distinctive and intriguing of her Chateauneuf-du-Papes. 100% old vine Grenache, from three plots featuring sandy terroir, this always features elegance, floral perfume, silk and a certain Burgundian style. Ultimately Colombis doesn’t have quite the same magic but I don’t think it’s entirely fanciful to draw parallels with Chateau Rayas, yet the price is in a different universe.
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Colombis just about jumps out of the glass with its kirsch, ripe strawberry, wildflower, Provençal spice, and loamy earth-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a seamless, incredibly elegant mouthfeel, gorgeous tannins, and one great finish. It doesn’t have the sheer mid-palate depth of the 2007 or 2016 (but few wines do) and is already accessible and undeniably delicious. This brilliant Grenache will drink well for 15 years or more.
98/100 – Jeb Dunnuck / jebdunnuck.com
Terms & Conditions:
Offer ends on Wednesday 1st March l No further discount l Immediate payment required l Delivery fees ($32.40) waived for purchases above $500 before GST excluding airports | Cancellation of orders not allowed l Order/s to be collected/delivered within 1 month upon stock availability l Offered Ex-Singapore & subject to remaining unsold