Featured User: Aaron Tan

Aaron Tan is from Malaysia but has spent a good 11 of his 28 years in Australia. He now lives in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, where he runs a construction equipment and mapping-based business. Despite how far his vocation and location is from wine now, he was once making wine in Australia. When he graduated as an engineer in Melbourne, he decided to immerse himself in his love for wine. He got his big break when David Bicknell, whom he considers a great mentor, gave him the chance to manage their laboratory at Oakridge Wines (Yarra Valley) in 2016. Since then, he has worked in a contract winemaking facility in the Macedon Ranges, and helped out friends and vintners in Australia and Germany. He hopes to one day cultivate great vineyards and make wines that touch the heart and soul! Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Aaron Tan: Moving to Australia and food. Wine wasn’t a thing I grew up with, so when I moved to Australia, it intrigued me that people drink it on a daily basis. My love for dining out’s also to blame – I’ve always been into wine pairings and the stories told by the sommeliers that did it have always interested me. The wine bug bit hard when I decided to attend the WSET Level 2, and the rest is history. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? AT: Beaujolais ! My passion is and will always be German Riesling , but great Beaujolais is just so drinkable when young and indistinguishable from the greatest red Burgundies when aged. Coupled with their general affordability, it’s the perfect wine to get people hooked. D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? AT: A petillant Niagara from Hokkaido (Japan), made by Jean Marc Brignot and Tadayuki Uramoto. Tasted so much like Cola – totally blew my mind. D: What is your golden rule for wine? AT: Share it. Wine is social, it brings people together. D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? AT: Sake . Call it Asian pride, but my second love’s sake. Took me a while to fall in love with it though. Always thought it was such a homogenous beverage category until I tried a Junmai from Aramasa (these guys are total mavericks in the world of sake), which kick-started a whole phase of exploring different rice, breweries, and regions even. I now drink sake regularly. D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine AT: I know this is done often, but I’ve never really thought about it. Recently, I had a 2010 Prieure Roch Nuits St. Georges 1er Clos de Argillieres and I reckon it would go really well with Metallica’s rendition of “Enter Sandman” with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The wine can be challenging for some with a combination of white wine-like reduction, stem funk, floral elements, red-fruits, with searing acidity – appears discordant, but like the song, the cacophony manifested as a masterpiece. D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? AT: 2017 Keller Scheurebe Trocken . No other wine has taught me more as this one. Working on it, then drinking it altered my horizons, rattled me to my core, and defined the way I work now. I remember clearly spending three whole days picking and sorting these grapes in the cold cellar. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this to be the venerable and mysterious Keller G-Max. But when you ask Julia (Klaus-Peter Keller’s wife) about it, she goes, “We do this because we love it”. The only thing that ran through my head was, “Really?! This is a 15 Euro wine”. Insane! And the resulting wine is just that. When blinded against some of the greatest young white wines last year (think Raveneau and the G-Max), this stood proud and tall – an extraordinary feat. So for me, I endeavor to be what this wine represents – what’s life without passion?

Domaine Joblot

L'Empreinte Givry 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2016

The 2016 L'Empreinte is the debut cuvée of Joblot's blended Givry premier crus. Wearied by all my bitter experience with buying wines in Malaysia, you can imagine my relief when it poured out bright and purple, and the smell of crushed cassis and spice wafted out of the bottle. In the glass, the nose adds intrigue with smokey, meaty aromas and a nice acetic lift. The wine is velvety, ripe and concentrated on the palate, framed by rather obvious wood still, with chewy tannins and lively acids. Finishes with medium length, dominated by plums and earth. Although it doesn't quite hit the spot for me, this was a solid pinot noir especially after a good number of weeks dry. Excellent value for those who like their Burgundy a little less subtle. — 8 months ago

Ira, Alex and 17 others liked this

Château Lafleur

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend 1993

Safe to say we were committing infanticide in drinking this. Dark purple right to the rim and still unyielding in it's massive structure, the wine hardly even developed over the course of our 5-hour lunch. The nose opens with sweet almost-candied blackcurrants, tobacco leaves, and plenty of fresh herbs. It comes off as almost green, courtesy of the Cabernet Franc, which is really positive in this wine's case as it helps balance out the brooding fruit. The palate is dense and mouth-filling, with plush carpet-like tannins, and vibrant acidity. Finishes long, peppery, and a little gravelly. It's quite mind-boggling how much was packed into this wine without compromising on alcohol levels. While it's no blockbuster Lafleur, there's a sense of purity and old-school Bordeaux elegance that I really appreciate here. — 10 months ago

Severn, Ceccherini and 26 others liked this

Müller-Catoir

Mandelring Dry Scheurebe

GP in the blind, "Exotic aromatics, racy, juicy, salty. Could it be scheu?" Great job, GP!

I'm gonna give it a win for me on producer, even though I totally forgot the name "Muller-Catoir". Instead, I described the estate - in the Pfalz, famed for its wildcard varieties, especially rieslaner and scheu, and KP started making rieslaner and scheu because Julia fell in love with the varieties while interning there.

I guess it wasn't a hard guess once the variety was revealed - mainly by method of elimination since hardly any scheu enters Australia, short of the occasional Keller, and none of KP's 17' scheu got in. I think like KP, Muller-Catoir really nailed the 17' scheu trocken. Juicy, dense, spicy, and super energetic. So delicious right now, but I reckon it'll stand the test of time.
— 2 years ago

Emily, Ira and 18 others liked this

Omnipollo

Bianca Cherry Maple Pancake Lassi Gose

It is as @Jay Kline puts it, these are liquid desserts. You can pretty much expect what it taste like based on the name - it's spot on. — 9 months ago

Aravind, Bob and 9 others liked this
Jay Kline

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Pierre Moncuit

Grand Cru Delos Brut Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay Champagne

My first encounter with this Moncuit and it's safe to say that the quality here is at least as good as their more famed namesake (at least for me). On a side note, does anyone know if or how Pierre and Robert are related?

This juice is plain electric. Not viciously austere like some growers these days, but definitely lean. The nose is fresh, floral, and chalky. On the palate, it is airy yet quite punchy with the citrus and mineral notes. There's a sliver of biscuit and nuts in the lingering finish. Builds with more minerality as it opens up with air. Really enjoyed this wine with dinner. Superb value!
— 10 months ago

Severn, Peter and 15 others liked this

Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir 2015

I've said this time and again - I love Amelie's wines, but I guess it's time to stop... since Nicolas has now joined the estate. What a dream team! Amelie's Rousseau-like touch on the wines, with Nicolas' DRC-emboldened viticulture skills. I love Berthaut-Gerbet!

The 2015 Clos Vougeat is the first vintage of this wine. Got this straight from the domaine and was planning to keep it around a little longer, but I got tempted. Plus I wanted to share my love for Berthaut-Gerbet with a good friend.

Sure it's practically murder, but gawd, it's so pleasurable. The bouquet was filled with red and dark berries, rose and sweet spice. Palate's so rich, yet energetic. Oak, seamless. Texture, supple. Finish, endless with an underlying minerality. The wine was just vibrating with energy. A fine and pure example of CV. So glad this showed so well, given how lots of 15' red Burgs have just shut right down.
— 2 years ago

Iwan, Ira and 33 others liked this
P A

P A

@Aaron Tan Aaron fun post Cheers 🍷
Aaron Tan

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@P A I love this domaine and it's getting better each vintage.

Dönnhoff

Felsenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs Riesling 2012

Better than the last time we had this. Still very powerful at its core, but kept in check by lots of herbs and minerals. Can't complain. — 10 months ago

Peter, Severn and 18 others liked this

Oddero

Barolo Nebbiolo 1964

Madeirised, with plenty of acid. From the same case as the stellar 64' opened a week later. First and only bad bottle in the batch according to G. — 10 months ago

Keith, Aravind and 17 others liked this

Dr Edge

Tasmania Chardonnay 2018

Wow. This was delicious. I knew Peter Dredge was good, but I didn't expect this. An enormously complex chardonnay. Still tightly wound on the nose - smokey, flinty, herbaceous, with whiffs of the sea. The palate's got a lovely texture, chewy white phenolics of sorts - like in my favourite rizza's. Green apples and lime, a nice lactic feel, feels like yoghurt, but the finish is straight with good focus and length. Easily one of the best Australian chards this year. — 2 years ago

Tom, Scott and 11 others liked this

Renaud Bruyere & Adeline Houillon

La Croix Rouge Arbois Chardonnay 2015

A stellar expression of chardonnay. The density, length, and energy reminded me of a great Chablis!

Lemons, sea spray, flint, hay, like having electricity running over your tongue. Such a deep minerality. Needs lots of air to flesh out some fruit richness. What a beautiful wine - if only it was easier to come by these days.
— 2 years ago

Severn, Ira and 16 others liked this