They Know Their Bordeaux Vintages


Former Singapore Transport Minister S Iswaran (second left) arriving in court with his lawyers Monday 25 March 2024 to face eight new charges on top of 27 levied against him last January

Embattled S Iswaran was slapped with eight new charges last Monday 25 March 2024.

Already facing 27 charges before that, the former Singapore transport minister was accused, including, of accepting the following wines from businessman David Lum Kok Seng.

Albert Bichot Domaine du Clos Frantin Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2015 
Chateau Pichon Lalande 2010 
Chateau L’Evangile 2014 
Pauillac de Latour 2015 

Three bottles each, the “Dirty Dozen” Burgundy and Bordeaux is reported to have a retail value of S$2,713.52 (US$2,010 • €1,860)

Presumably, the investigating authorities had obtained receipts of the purchases from Lum Chang, a well-known construction firm, which holding company, Lum Kok Seng is managing director. 

According to press reports, the gifts (others include Single Malt whisky, golf clubs, and a Brompton bicycle) were proffered in the course of a year between November 2021 and November 2022.

David Lum Kok Seng, Managing Director of Lum Chang Holdings, offered the wines, Single Malt Whisky, golf clubs, and a Brompton bicycle between November 2021 and November 2022

Vintage 2015 is very good and, at almost 10 years, Pauillac de Latour should be drinking nicely now as it is the third wine of First Growth Chateau latour.

The same cannot be said for Chateau Pichon Comtesse, aka Pichon Lalande.

Vintage 2010 is one of the greatest of the last 50 years. The Pauillac Second Growth (an immediate neighbour of Latour) has a very long future ahead of it, easily another 30, 40, more years. 

Accordingly, if for reasons better known to Messrs Iswaran or Lum (I assume he also possesses some) they decide to share a bottle, my advice is to decant Pichon Comtesse 2010 two, three hours ahead. 

As for L’Evangile 2014, that’s an outstanding vintage for Pomerol and the rest of the Right Bank. Expect insatiable fruit, velvety tannins, and sensurround freshness. It goes without saying the Pomerol will be even better in another 10 and more years. L’Evangile is part of the wine empire of the Lafite Rothschilds

LUM Kok Seng and S Iswaran, they know their Bordeaux vintages.

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