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The Universal
36 Duxton Hill

Bordeaux has had such a run of vintages recently that it one would really have to go back to 1991-1993 to find the last of the really poor vintages that they had (reserving comment, for the moment, on 1997). In between there have been a number of spectacular vintages, such as 2005, to the extent that a simply good vintage can get lost in the hubbub.

1998 is one of those vintages. The weather never seemed quite consistent enough, going from warm in March to cool and damp in April, and then both in alternation in May and June. Even throughout July, the hot days were broken up by thunderstorms and even a little hail, before giving way again to a sustained heat in August, so much so that the vignerons were hoping for a little rain to save the harvest! They did get some scattered showers, which helped the grapes going into the home leg, and the Merlots were generally harvested in September in fine conditions. Then as though the weather had one more card to play, the turn of the month brought a persistent rain that compromised the Cabernets.

This is the reason 1998 was successful on the right bank, where Merlot is predominant, but patchy on the left bank. Since in Bordeaux it is generally the left bank chateaux, principally the firsts, that set price levels during the en primeur campaign, the weakness of the 1998 on the left translated to softer prices than would have otherwise been the case in the great Bordelais inflationary spiral that started in 1996 and arguably hasn't yet ended. The result is that 1998 on the right bank turned out to be that winning combination of excellent wine at less than stratospheric prices.

At the IWFSS we're fortunate that our previous cellarmasters have cottoned on to this, so now that the wines are just hitting their stride, we're able to crack open a few cases to taste the 1998 St Emilions in what will surely prove an illuminating horizontal tasting.

To provide a suitable setting for the tasting, we've sought out a cobbled, tree lined enclave of the some of the city’s prettiest and most historical shop houses. At The Universal, on the top of Duxton Hill, chef Ben Kwang has been doing some fine work, and he now whips up a menu to spotlight our wines. While the meats and red wines will certainly take centrestage, we haven't forgotten his foie gras and have indulgently paired a Sauternes alongside it. Nor for that matter, will those with alternate dietary requirements be left out, as there are both seafood and vegetarian options for this dinner.

The Society thus proudly ….


1998 St Emilion Dinner

Date: October 16th 2009 (Friday)
Venue: The Universal
Address: 36 Duxton Hill
Time: 7:30 pm (Aperitif Reception), 8:00 pm (Dinner)

Price: Member (S$150) Guest (S$170)
Dress Code: Smart Casual

Limited to 30 pax
Bookings and reservations: Please email: C T Chen at ctchen@acieslaw.com for reservations.
PLEASE NOTE: Reservations WILL NOT be considered confirmed unless the Booking Form together with Payment
is received by 10th October 2009.

Menu Selection:

Please choose either the Meat OR Seafood OR Vegetarian Option.
[See Attached Folder]
* Please reply with menu preference. Non indication will be assumed preference for Meat Menu *

Wine Selection:

(Lafite) Legende R Bordeaux Blanc 2007
Chateau Les Justices (Sauternes) 1997
Barde Haut (St Emilion) 1998
Clos de l'Oratoire (St Emilion) 1998
La Couspaude (St Emilion) 1998
Monbousquet (St Emilion) 1998
Quinault L'Enclos (St Emilion) 1998
Jo Pithon, Coteaux du Layon 'Quatres Villages' 2003




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