The Fullerton Hotel, The Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

This Italian-themed meal at Singapore's Lighthouse Restaurant and Rooftop Bar was prepared by a chef who had flown in from Rome. In general, the food was top-flight with my favorite dishes the spaghetti with squid, ham and sea urchin, the tortelli with anchovy butter and peas, and a magnificent piece of turbot with fennel.

As for the wines, nothing proved disappointing, although the 1996 Ausone seemed closed, but exhibited plenty of underlying potential. The most mature and drinkable wine was the 1990 Cheval Blanc, which is exotic as well as fully mature. Owners should be drinking it up. The same can be said for the 1985 Haut Brion, a more classic Bordeaux offering smoky tobacco notes intermixed with notions of burning embers, sweet caramelized red currant and kirsch. This is a complex, silky smooth, delicious and compelling Haut Brion that has achieved full maturity. The next closest wine to full maturity was the 32-year-old 1982 Mouton Rothschild, which defies belief given its youthfulness and dense ruby/purple color. Lots of black currants, acacia flowers, graphite and spicy oak are followed by a full-bodied, vigorous, adolescent Mouton that should hit its peak at around age 40-50 – as hard as that is to believe. The powerhouse 1998 Petrus is one of the two or three greatest wines of that vintage, displaying a dense color along with loads of concentrated black currant fruit, mulberry, licorice and caramel notes. While full-bodied and youthful, it is certainly approachable. I thought the 2000 Tua Rita Redigaffi was spectacular. It is a sumptuous, opulently-styled wine with loads of black fruits, flowers, licorice, espresso and chocolaty characteristics. The classic 2001 Sassicaia, from a cooler-climate-styled vintage, exhibited notes of bay leaf, black currants, vanillin and a spicy finish. As it was on the numerous occasions we had it on this world tour of Asia, the 2000 La Mission Haut Brion was spectacular, but still incredibly young. Its dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by a rich, full-throttle, textbook Graves that is virtually perfect. If offers notes of charcoal, blueberries, blackberry liqueur as well as a heady, long finish. This wine can be drunk now, but needs more time to reach full maturity.

More articles from this author