The Windsor Arms is a restaurant and pub at the British Club. The warm ambience of the pub with its wood panelling, traditional country-styled furniture and comfort foods listed on the menu combine to help any homesick British expat cope with life in the Lion City. Being invited there for lunch, I brought along a bottle of 2010 Dame de Montrose. A bit young, but I was curious to taste the wine that Andrew Jefford of the Decanter magazine had raved about, even referring to it as “the 104 point second wine”.
Mr Jefford’s reasoning was that points awarded in the 100-point Robert Parker scoring system was a relative rating against its peers, in this case its 2010 Bordeaux cohorts. So a “correction factor” of 1.11 should be introduced to take into account the great year that 2010 was, thereby making the 94 point Dame de Montrose a 104 point second wine! This summary does not do justice to his analysis. You should read his full article here.
The Windsor serves traditional English fare like the ubiquitous fish & chips and bangers & mash. For lunch that day, we had grilled chicken salad, bbq pork ribs, oxtail stew and some cheese. Most of these dishes call out to be eaten with a robust bottle of red wine.
The salad with grilled chicken was refreshing. The oxtail was good enough to almost make you take out your wallet and put down a deposit to acquire a membership with the British Club. Flavourful and so well-cooked that the meat was separated from the bone with minimal effort. The prices are also quite reasonable here.
Anyway, back to the 104-point wine. Jefford describes it as gorgeous and has “(b)alance, richness, poise, vivacity, concentration: all perfectly judged”. Parker’s advice is to “buy in abundant quantities”. It was indeed very good but buying in abundant quantities was out of the question due to constraints of cash and space. Perhaps the advice to buy second wines in great vintages is a sound one. This second wine of Chateau Montrose can hold its own against many more illustrious (and costly) names from more ordinary vintages.
The British Club is located at 73 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289761.