Ring in the New Year with 10 wines recommended by sommeliers

Celebrate the festive season and ring in the New Year with 10 wines, from reds to champagne. REBECCA LYNNE TAN asks sommeliers for their top recommendations

RED WINE

Mr Kelvin Tay, 46, group sommelier of The Lo & Behold Group, which owns restaurants such as The White Rabbit in Harding Road, The Black Swan in Cecil Street and rooftop bar Loof at Odeon Towers in North Bridge Road, recommends:

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CHATEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2003

The 2003 wine, which is just reaching maturity, has notes of blackcurrant, Asian spices, cedar, gingerbread and pepper. Leathery and tobacco aromas, as well as ripe, concentrated and silky tannins on the palate make the wine supple and well-integrated.

It still has great potential for another decade. Will go well with red meats such as roast lamb or Beef Wellington.

Origin: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France

Where: Booze Wine Shop, 15 Little Road, 02-01,tel: 6294-7500

Info: Go to booze.com.sg or e-mail pvt@booze.com.sg

Price: $170.50

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TORBRECK CUVEE JUVENILES 2012, BAROSSA VALLEY

Made with a unique blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro, this forward wine has great balance and intensity. It is alluring and aromatic with spices, blackberries and violet notes, making it a weighty wine. This medium-bodied wine also has distinct full-flavoured characteristics, well-balanced tannins and a long finish. A youthful wine, it will go well with game such as duck breast or guinea fowl.

Origin: Barossa Valley, South Australia

Where: Culina, Block 8 Dempsey Road, 01-13 Dempsey Hill, tel: 6474-7338

Info: Go to www.culina.com.sg

Price: $62.50

rltan@sph.com.sg

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SPARKLING

Mr Matthew Chan, 25, head sommelier of modern European restaurant Bacchanalia in Coleman Street, recommends:

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NV JACQUES SELOSSE BRUT ROSE

For a rose, this champagne is one that is full of intensity. It has an elegant and floral aroma of white and pink flowers with bright vibrant notes of strawberries and red currants, and a subtle hint of spice towards the finish. Extended lees ageing gives it toasty aromas, good minerality and acidity. It also has a lingering creamy finish from being aged in French oak barrels.

Origin: Champagne, France

Where: Vinum Fine Wines, Shaw Centre, 02-12/13, tel: 6735-3700

Info: Go to vinum.com.sg or e-mail sales@vinum.com.sg

Price: $318

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MARIE-COURTIN CORDANCE EXTRA BRUT 2010

The small producer from the village of Polisot in the Aube region in Champagne produces an exceptional blanc de noirs. The champagne is made with 100 per cent bio-dynamic pinot noir. On the nose, it has a burst of red apples, pears and white flowers, while on the palate, it has a tropical expression of mango and pineapple. It offers salinity with a long, smooth, round and creamy finish. Best drunk from a Burgundy glass.

Origin: Champagne, France

Where: Artisan Cellars, Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road, B1-01, tel: 6838-0373

Info: E-mail sales@artisan-cellars.com

Price: $149.80


WHITE WINE

Mr Marcus Boyle, 33, sommelier and restaurant manager of Tippling Club in Tanjong Pagar, recommends:

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PASCAL MARCHAND-TAWSE CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU 2011

An expressive buttery rich nose with toasted almonds and yellow flowers dominates this well-integrated wine. It has striking minerality and flavours of stone fruit. It is taut on the palate with a clean, long finish. Great with white meats or shellfish with creamy sauces

Origin: Burgundy, France

Where: Artisan Cellars, Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road, B1-01, tel: 6838-0373

Info: E-mail sales@artisan-cellars.com

Price: $190.46

Mr Kelvin Tay recommends:

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AUDACIA LES TROIS AMIS GODELLO 2012, VALDEORRAS

This white wine varietal is also known as Chenin Blanc in French. It has notes of acacia, hazelnuts, pear and apricot with hints of light vanilla and a touch of minerality. On the palate, it has a balanced, silky texture.

While it is a fine wine that can be enjoyed now, it is still in its youth and will develop progressively over time.

Goes well with smoked salmon and fresh seafood such as oysters and langoustines.

Origin: Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain

Where: Monopole, 23 Tagore Lane, 01-16, tel: 6554-3680 (call before heading down)

Info: Go to www.monopole.com.sg or e-mail info@monopole.com.sg

Price: $50


DESSERT WINE

Mr Gabriele Rizzardi, 39, chief sommelier, Sarika Connoisseur Cafe Group which owns The Connoisseur Concerto cafe chain and restaurant-bar Kuvo in Orchard Road, recommends:

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FRANZ HAAS MOSCATO ROSA 2011 ALTO ADIGE

Made with pink muscat grapes, this sweet wine is rich and has a deep pink hue. On the nose, it is like a classic moscato, but has a drier aftertaste.

It is not cloying and is perfect with chocolate - few wines pair this well with chocolate - as well as desserts such as tiramisu and Black Forest cake.

Origin: Montagna, Italy

Where: Kuvo, Vine Lounge, Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road, 02-01, tel: 6733-8272

Price: $98

Mr Matthew Chan recommends:

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LA ROGGIA RECIOTO DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2005

This is a sweet red wine from the Veneto region of North-east Italy.

It is made with Corvina, Rondinella and Moliara grape varietals, the same ones that are used to make Amarone.

Expect aromas of coffee and licorice on the nose, with hints of raisins and dried figs.

Bitter-sweet chocolate, prunes and berry compote dominate the palate with a subtle smokiness that comes from barrel ageing.

The wine will pair well with most festive desserts that include berries and chocolate.

The richness from this wine will help to balance and complement flavours.

Origin: Veneto, Italy

Where: The Straits Wine Company, 11 outlets islandwide and one on Sentosa - including UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, 01-11, tel: 6737-8033; Serangoon Gardens, 80 Serangoon Garden Way, tel: 6285-1075; Siglap, 930 East Coast Road, tel: 6243-2833; Sixth Avenue, 9 Anamali Ave, tel: 6467-7433; and Quayside Isle, Sentosa, 31 Ocean Way, 01-24/25, tel: 6292-5633

Info: Go to straitswine.com

Price: $92.30


FORTIFIED WINE

ARMAGNAC

Mr Matthew Chan recommends:

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ARMAGNAC CASTAREDE 1975 AND OTHER VINTAGES

The aromatic Armagnac is floral and has notes of peaches, pears and apricots on the nose, as well as sweet spice of cinnamon and vanilla on the palate.

With age, it develops earthy profiles with a smoky undertones.

The 1975 vintage in particular, is well-balanced on the nose.

It is also smooth and tender, and reveals aromas of molasses, dry banana, rice powder, white chocolate, and nettle flower.

If you warm it up, it offers notes of leather, dry wood, white truffle and quinine bark. Perfect as a digestif, or to sip on while spending time with loved ones.

Origin: Armagnac, France

Where: Booze Wine Shop, 15 Little Road, 02-01,tel: 6294-7500

Info: Go to booze.com.sg or e-mail pvt@booze.com.sg

Price: $119

SHERRY

Mr Daiki Kanetaka, 35, owner and bartender, D.Bespoke, a bar in Bukit Pasoh, recommends:

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EMILIO LUSTAU JEREZ DRY AMONTILLADO LOS ARCOS NV

The dry, medium amber-hued non-vintage Dry Amontillado Los Arcos offers good body and a heady personality. It is a dry sherry that is very refreshing and nutty, yet rich in flavour. Good as an aperitif.

Origin: Jerez, Andalucia, Spain

Where: Monopole, 23 Tagore Lane, 01-16,

tel: 6554-3680 (call before heading down)

Info: Go to www.monopole.com.sg or e-mail info@monopole.com.sg

Price: $32 for a 375ml bottle, $52 for a 750ml bottle