GLOBAL SOMMELIER SERIES
WHAT DOES VINCENT DRINK ON HIS DAYS OFF?
MEET VINCENT TAN
HEAD SOMMELIER | ODETTE | CORNER HOUSE
Singaporean Vincent Tan spearheads the beverage programme at Odette, curating a dedicated wine list that is unconstrained by region or label. He applies a human-centric approach guided by winemakers’ philosophies, showcasing makers who share Odette’s passion for their product and craft.
Vincent is a Certified Sommelier accredited by the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds a Level 3 Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He has played a key role in establishing the wine and beverage programme at several restaurants including Verre, Corner House and currently, Odette.
Beyond his work at Odette, he is passionate about nurturing the next generation of sommeliers and works closely with the Sommelier Association of Singapore to develop training programmes.
"I enjoy listening to winemakers and their stories. It gives the wine a unique character when you understand the makers' approach and motivations to winemaking."
– Vincent Tan on his human-centric approach to selecting wines.
IN THIS SELECTION
What — Verdejo
Where — Castilla y Leon, Spain
When — 2018
“From an initial meeting years back at VinExpo, the family at Menade have become somewhat of a personal friend. Since then I have worked with them in the restaurant, and always have a stash at home also. I’m really drawn to how clean and varietally expressive the Nosso is – deliciously fresh and crisp. They’re not tied up with appellations and classification, and have a pure focus around making delicious wines.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Ripe apples and light notes of honey with a fresh earthy character
Bodegas Menade may have only begun in 2005, however the Sanz family has six generations of winemaking association and 2020 represents their 200th year in Rueda. Their vision is to produce pure and expressive wines with a nod to the styles of old-world wines. Verdejo is often an over-cropped and lacklustre variety used to make generic dry white wine. Menade strives to produce Verdejo that “tastes like what Verdejo used to be”.
Nosso represents a turning point and major milestone in Menade’s history so far: a natural Verdejo, not only from vineyards treated with neither copper nor sulphur; no sulphur was used in its vinification either. With an incredible texture and a vibrant and fresh style, Menade’s Nosso offers authentic insight to what Verdejo can be.
KNOLL RIED ‘KREUTLES’ SMARAGD
What — Grüner Veltliner
Where — Wachau, Austria
When — 2018
“Knoll has been a long-time favourite of mine, and it’s great to see it finally available in Singapore now! For me, they’re the benchmark producer for Smaragd Gruner and are head & shoulders above the others, in terms of both quality and value for money. I’m a bit of an acid freak, but the tough part can be finding wines that are more than just lime juice: Knoll balances it perfectly between acidity and its fruity weight.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Ripe plum and apricots over a distinctive slate-driven minerality and white pepper aroma
Emmerich Knoll has long stood as one of the leading producers of Grüner Veltliner in the Wachau, with a distinct nod to classicism and wines built around texture. Their iconic labels bearing Saint Urban, the patron saint of wine growing, feature amongst the top echelon of Austrian producers. Often fraught with confusing & complex terms, Austrian and German wine labels offer additional complexity.
Smaragd is the highest tier of the Wachau’s ripeness classification, implying a minimum alcohol percentage of at least 12.5%. Kreutles is the name of the vineyard, and is highly regarded within the region. The wine itself demonstrates Knoll’s style with richness and complexity whilst demonstrating Grüner’s signature citrus and pepper aromas.
PATRICK PIUZE ‘TERROIR DE CHICHÉE’
What — Chardonnay
Where — Chablis, France
When — 2018
“As great as Chablis can be, unfortunately there’s also a sea of mediocrity out there. Patrick Piuze was one of those discoveries a little while back that helped show the other side of what’s possible. Incredibly drinkable, with much greater complexity than you often see within the appellation. Certainly passes the 2nd glass test, as I often find that the entire bottle is gone way too quickly!”
Character & Tasting Notes — White peaches and ripe citrus over a chalky minerality
Hailing originally from Montreal, Canada, Patrick Piuze has now spent over a decade in Chablis, having established his eponymous label in 2008. As a negociant, he works closely with growers from which he purchases fruit without owning the vineyards himself. Working across the various levels of Chablis’ appellation stem, Piuze’s Terroir de Chichée (meaning, terroir of Chichée) represents his ‘village’ expression in which he works across the region highlighting the often overlooked individuality which villages have from each other. This comes from a plateau near a highly regarded Premier Cru Vaucoupin. Patrick’s deft hand in the cellar leads to a wine of incredible purity built around texture and transparent expression of where it has come from.
MICHEL GUIGNIER ‘AU FILS DU TEMPS’
What — Gamay
Where — Beaujolais, France
When — 2015
“This is one of the latest discoveries for me. Beaujolais can be such a swing between very natural & quite funky to almost a bit too serious. For me, this sits nicely in the middle of those styles. Much greater complexity than you’d expect from a run of the mill Beaujolais, and with a bit of age, it reveals its long-term potential.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Red berry fruits taking on an earthy undertone with a granitic minerality
Michel Guignier has been a long-term believer in biodiversity and tends to his 7 hectares of vines with both certified organic and biodynamic practices. The wines are made in a completely hands-off fashion with no additions whatsoever nor any new oak used across his cuvées. Au Fils du Temps (meaning, as time goes on) shows that the aging potential is not readily associated with these styles of wines, with the vast majority of Beaujolais and natural wines generally consumed in their youth.
What — Pinot Noir
Where — Ahr, Germany
When — 2018
“For me, the Pinots from Meyer-Näkel have some of the best balance seen outside of Burgundy. The quality is truly top notch, and with the price of Burgundy sadly creeping out of the ‘everyday’ drinking range, these wines provide a stunning alternative. The Ahr is a tiny region, with Meyer-Näkel really defining the highest quality possible there.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Red and black berry fruits with an earthy and forest-floor like aroma
The Meyer-Näkel estate dates back to 1950, with the marriage of Paula Meyer and Willibald Näkel. The domaine is now in its third generation, led by their grandchildren . The enduring work over the last 70 years have truly solidified the domaine of Meyer-Näkel within the top echelon,not just of German Pinot Noir producers, but also globally. The Ahr is situated just north of 50 ° latitude, making it Germany’s Northernmost red wine area, and with about only 550 hectares, it is also the smallest. Spatbürgunder is the German naming for Pinot Noir, and with the Meyer-Näkel approach it truly displays a world class example.
NIEPOORT & PÉREZ ‘CALDERERA’
What — Mencia
Where — Bierzo, Spain
When — 2014
“Bierzo is a region that every Spanish winemaker is constantly raving about, and Mencia is such an exciting variety. Dirk Niepoort and Raul Pérez, as two legends, have combined to put together one of the greatest representations that I’ve ever seen. It has the elegance of a Pinot yet embodies the fruit concentration of a Grenache. It’s fun to drink, very approachable and not overly complicated: a perfect expression of Mencia.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Pure red cherry and currant flavours with wild herb aromas
Dirk Niepoort, of the famed Niepoort winery in the Douro, Portugal, and long-time friend Raúl Pérez, of his eponymous Spanish estate, have collaborated on a number of wines with the Calderera Mencia being a special one as it comes from Raúl’s home region of Bierzo. The fruit is sourced from both sandy and slate soils, adding to its rare complexity and is gently handled in the winery to preserve its purity and quality. Mencia’s medium-body and vibrant acidity shines through, spotlighting on the quality of this lesser-known region.