Founding members of Assemblage with Managing Director & Chief Winemaker of Chateau Beychevelle Philippe Blanc. From left, Herman Iskandar, Mike Chong and CH’NG Poh Tiong
A group of wine lovers came together in 2020 with the goal of organising monthly dinners in Singapore with visiting vignerons as guests-of-honour.
Then, Covid struck.
Lockdowns were imposed, then lifted to allow dining-in for two, five, eight, and back to two, five, etc. people around a table.
Assemblage bided its time.
Back in 2020, our inaugural guest-of-honour was to be Managing Director & Chief Winemaker of Chateau Beychevelle Philippe Blanc.
The Frenchman was to have marked his 25th Anniversary at the famed Saint-Julien estate which he had joined in 1995.
Patience and perseverance have their rewards and so it was that on 6 July 2022, Assemblage finally feted our Guest-of-Honour Philippe Blanc at Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew ION Orchard.
Seated from left, Paul Gregory, Dr Lena Chan and PHUA Hui Ling. Standing from left, Daisuke Kawai, CH’NG Poh Tiong, Juan Hui, Eva Iskandar, Assemblage Member Patricia Britton and Chie Kobayashi
From left, Assemblage Founding Member and Consul-General l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne Jakarta Chapter Eva Iskandar, Philippe Blanc and Chie Kobayashi
Assemblage Founding Member and Maitre, Commanderie de Bordeaux Jakarta Chapter Herman Iskandar and Philippe Blanc
From left, Founding Member & Managing Director of Assemblage Mike Chong, Founding Member & Director of Assemblage Andrew Yap and Philippe Blanc
The wines included champagne from a small family house and two unoaked whites from the Dolomites, Italy, and France’s Rhone Valley.
The highlights of the evening were:
Amiral de Beychevelle 2015
Chateau Beychevelle 2012
Chateau Beychevelle 2005
Chateau Beychevelle 1998
Chateau Beychevelle 1982
The vintages shone brightly, their density and persistence of fruit carried by Beychevelle’s hallmark freshness and silky tannins. The 2005 has entered its secondary plane and thrilled the audience with its rich concentration and length. It had been gently double-decanted for three hours. Chateau Beychevelle 1998 has whiffs of sandalwood, having entered its tertiary phase. Pristine line of elegant fruit with lots of lift and vivacity. Beychevelle 1982 was considerably richer – even compact – with density of black fruit, freshness and a marathon finish.
It was an exhilarating evening capped by Philippe Blanc autographing 12 bottles of Chateau Beychevelle 1996 for some very lucky members.
Assemblage will limit its membership to 30. We are still recruiting. The goal is to have dinners comprising two to three tables. No more.
I had founded Assemblage for several reasons.
One is the pleasure of enjoying Bordeaux which have evolved with the passing years. Such bottles and vintages open up a world of wonders denied to wine consumed before their time.
Another reason for founding Assemblage is to enjoy Bordeaux – and other wines – with people who are not wine snobs or snobs of any ilk. We should have other interests beyond wine.
Assemblage will also endeavour to have a diverse membership be that in gender, age, culture and race. Although we are based in Singapore, it is certainly not exclusive to Singaporeans.
Founder, Buyer & Director of Assemblage CH’NG Poh Tiong