This is one of the great restaurants in Asia, and I can't say enough good things about the owner, Ignatius Chan, who is the longtime founder and chef of this restaurant. Chan started his professional career as a sommelier, then studied cuisine by working his way through some of Europe's greatest restaurants, including the Ritz in Madrid, the Royal Champagne in Reims, France, and the Crillon in Paris. He was also the Cellar Master at Raffles Hotel for many years and then became the chef at his own restaurant in Singapore. Chan was the first Asian to be invited to join the Grand Jury European tasting group that hosts serious blind tastings in Europe. He works directly with his head chef, Masahiro Isona, to create the cuisine and menus. This "Up Close & Personal Dinner at Iggy's" may have been the most remarkable dinner of the entire trip, which included some amazing dishes. I thought the capellini with the sakura ebi, konbu and shellfish oil was one of the greatest pasta dishes I have ever had in my life. While I had not expected great beef in Asia, the Côte du Beouf served at Iggy's was to die for. Add the fabulous foie gras dish and this was a gorgeous night of food and wine.

As for the wines, the first flight included a decent, but somewhat rustic, woody Pinot Noir, the 2008 Bass Phillip Cuvée Rare, and an old, but still alive 1949 Lafite Rothschild that resembled rusty, watered tea, but had some sweetness in the mouth. I was able to taste several different bottles, and while the wine was hardly inspiring, it was not yet dead.

The second and third flights were spectacular. With the quail foie gras we had a magnificent 2000 Léoville Las Cases (I was shocked by how well that wine was performing at all the tastings in Asia), a magnificent, full-throttle, cedary, licorice and black currant-scented 1995 Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, and two young, but potentially perfect wines, the 2000 La Mission Haut Brion (it needs another decade) and the 2005 Ausone, which needs another 20-25 years to reach full maturity. Both are spectacular efforts in these two great vintages and are certainly drinkable. Readers need to recognize that even if the wines are not fully mature, there is a thrill and excitement in tasting them in their exuberant youthfulness even though they have not developed all their complexity, or softened as much as one would like.

The last flight was challenging for most tasters since the wines were so very different. The 1980 Opus One from a large format (I believe it was a 6-liter bottle) was surprisingly good. It was fully mature, but holding nicely (and this was long before Opus began making great wines as they have over the last 10-15 years). The 2001 Solaia from Antinori was a beauty. It exhibited lots of cedar, kirsch, black currant, forest floor and tobacco leaf characteristics in a medium to full-bodied, stunningly rich, complex, delicious style. Paul Jaboulet-Ainé's 2010 Hermitage La Chapelle was the first great La Chapelle made since the 1990. Kudos to the new owners, the Frey family for pulling this beauty together. Tasting a young, incredibly promising wine such as this is always a thrill, and I was excited to have a few glasses of it, even though it won't be mature for at least another decade. It's always fun tasting the 2004 Penfolds Grange. This cuvée typically begins life as a massive, nearly excessively concentrated wine, but then calms down and loses its baby fat. The nearly ten-year-old 2004 is still a young adolescent exhibiting lots of blackberry, cassis, camphor, charcoal ember, beef blood and roasted meat-like characteristics. It was a stunning marriage with the gorgeous Côte du Beouf.

We finished the night with a remarkable dessert wine, the 1942 Doisy Daene that our team at The Wine Advocate office in Singapore had purchased directly from the château. In fabulous condition, this vintage, made during the German occupation of Bordeaux, and not bottled until the post-war era, possesses gorgeous levels of crème brûlée, roasted, caramelized tropical fruits, fresh lively acidity and a full-bodied, unctuous mouthfeel. The freshness, liveliness and overall complexity of this wine was mind-boggling. Many guests thought it was the best wine of the night, which is remarkable given the Asian preference for red wines over sweet wines.

All in all, this was a great night, and I can't recommend Iggy's highly enough for those visiting Singapore.

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