The Pinot Noir Prodigy from Down-Under
Phillip Jones winemaker of Bass Phillip

Phillip Jones from Bass Phillip – New World Pinot Noir like you have never seen before!

Proprietor and winemaker of Bass Phillip, Phillip Jones is an enigma to some and a genius to others. He knows more about Burgundy than any Burgundian winemaker I know, yet refutes any suggestion that his wine might be “Burgundian in style”, and yet wine enthusiasts regard his wine with the same reverence as a ‘top Domaine’.

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Maison & Domaine Leroy – The Queen of Burgundy

One of the crowning event’s of our Burghound in Asia program and suitably so for the ‘Queen of Burgundy’, Madame (Lalou) Bize-Leroy is arguably one of the most well-known if not controversial persons in Burgundy. She is the owner of Domaine d’Auvenay and Domaine Leroy and since 1955 has been at the helm of the family’s negociant business, Maison Leroy, established in 1868.

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Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay Vertical
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay

Conducted by Paul Georgiadis Penfolds Viticulturalist & Grower

“The ABC (anything but chardonnay) syndrome is not relevant anymore, unless you want to change it to ‘another brilliant chardonnay” – The Wandering Palate

This vertical of Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay is perhaps one of our most enlightening master classes, not only in the sense of an unprecedented showing of this wine in Singapore, it also maps the evolution in chardonnay trends and highlights ‘contemporary’ Australian chardonnay is again at the forefront of the renaissance of the king of white grapes. Read more on this at “Another Brilliant Chardonnay”

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Winery of the Year – Schubert, New Zealand
Schubert Wines Block B Pinot Noir 2008

Must-Have Wines Best of the Lunar Drinking Year Tiger 2010

Its six years since I first visited Schubert winery and I have been an avid follower of their wines ever since. Indeed, I would go as far to say Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling make some of the most profound pinot noir on this planet from their tiny vineyards in Martinborough and the Wairarapa, literally only a cupful relative to most wineries.

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“Antipodean” Grands Crus of Burgundy, France & New Zealand
Antipodean Grand Crus of Burgundy

Antipodean – “Two points, places, or regions that are situated diametrically opposite to one another on the earth’s surface – especially the country that is opposite to one’s own”

It would be fair to say New Zealand and France are diametrical opposites in more ways than one, even though the French came very close to colonizing New Zealand, passing Captain Cooks frigate during the night. But that’s another story.

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“Le Mesnil” – A Grand cru Champagne
Champagne master class

Distinguishing terroir in a single vineyard Champagne

There is no question Champagne is a very unique region and its wines distinctive in their “sense of place”, resonating terroir. There is however some debate that truly distinctive terroir cannot be achieved in a wine that is blended from multiple regions and vintages. Perhaps the interpretation of terroir itself is being misinterpreted as it is the relationship between the soil, climate – the environment – and man himself that defines terroir. Without man and the idiosyncrasies of vignerons terroir does not exist.

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Undhof Salomon Pfaffenberg Riesling 2005
Undhof Salomon Pfaffenberg Riesling 2005

The Salomon’s are a remarkable wine family, acquiring the Undhof around 1780, which was once the farm building of a Capuchin monastery, and have been producing wines since 1792. The Undhof is located in twin town of Stein (Krems/Stein), one of the oldest wine centers in Austria, founded on wine a millennium ago when the monks who followed Charlemagne’s army down the Danube saw the potential of its south-facing terraces. They are one of the most progressive and quality-driven wineries in Austria today, making Riesling’s and Gruner Veltliner of stunning purity and elegance.

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Felton Road, Bannockburn – ‘The Gem of Central Otago’
Felton Road vineyard, aerial view

An Antipodean Grand Cru

Yes I am being mischievous here exploiting the term Grand Cru, moreover a wink to Allen Meadows’ title for his newly minted book ‘The Pearl of the Côte – the Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée’, however if there is an Antipodean equivalent to the famous Burgundy region of Vosne-Romanee and its Grand Cru, Felton Road most definitely has to be it.

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“Drinking Out Loud” What Should Newbies Know?

If you were teaching newcomers to wine, what would you tell them?

Whenever I’m asked to speak in front of a group, especially in a place such as Singapore where wine is just becoming an object of intense interest, I always point out that being an American is an asset.

This cryptic comment always draws quizzical looks. Being an American, I explain, is an asset because we know what it’s like to be a newcomer to wine. We know what it’s like to not know.

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James Halliday presents an Australian View with New Asian Food at Coriander Leaf
James Halliday presents Wine with Asian Cuisine

One of the feature events in the Asia Symphony of Wine & Flavours program and complimenting our theme of ‘Unrivalled Passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay’, legendary Australian wine writer and critic James Halliday will present some of Australia’s leading cool-climate producers and benchmark examples of contemporary, ‘new world’ chardonnay and pinot noir.

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