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Criots-Batard-Montrachet..... Bonnes Mares.....


Yesterday, dinner for four at our wine-partners' home. Daphna really outdid herself and Amihai even printed a 'formal' menu, using lots of his word-processor gimmicks.
Altogether, a fabulous evening. Great dinner, great company and great wines.

Home-made rolls
Home-made Pate de Foie in Calvados
Fresh shrimps in pesto sauce on aubergine bed

Lemon & Naana Sorbet
Beef filet and bone-marrow in individual puff pastry. Oven-creamed potatoes & salad

1985 BONNES MARES by Jadot
Cheese plate and fresh strawberries
Chocolate mousse in meringue
Coffee and 'Gudaiva' petit fours


Criots-Batard-Montrachet 1989 L. Latour

2/95. Acquired from Beaune June-94 for $62 (imported for $76 net).
This rare white wine (only 800 cases annually) from the only Grand Cru vineyard entirely within the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet.
COLOR: Clear, medium-deep gold.
NOSE: Powerful multi-layered aroma and bouquet that took about 10 minutes to open completely. Not much fruit as such, rather mineral/metallic nuances together with a faint yet discernable 'Bourgogne nose' that I have never encountered in a white (B). Does the fact that both Pinot-Noir and Chardonnay are planted in every major vineyard in Chassagne-Montrachet has something to do with this phenomena?. Superb 'gout de terroir'.
TASTE: Though we tasted the wine first with the shrimps, it took sometime for the strong effects of the Pate de Foie to disappear from the palate. At first the wine was simply bitter (I've known for a long time that liver is a bad company to ANY wine except for the best dessert wines). When the delicious shrimps finally cleared the palate, the wine revealed its greatness. Very elegant, full, yet assertive, fresh taste. Associations were made to almonds and steel and minerals. Not a 'seductive' voluptuous wine, nor austere or firm. Very rich, yet a bit reserved (still too young?). A wine of great breed that complimented beautifully the very tasty shrimps in pesto and aubergine.
LENGTH: Forceful long after-taste, leaving never-ending fight between many different taste nuances surrounding the tongue.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Viscous but not 'fat' texture. Tannin is still felt a little, as well as good acidity and alcohol. Instead of accentuated fruit, there are earthy qualities rather than vegetative ones. A white (B) that resembles red more than anything I've ever tasted.
OVERALL: Superb and unusual wine. Probably in a couple of years will shed off the last foot-prints of youth and will become totally extraordinary.
MARK: 17+/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Bonnes Mares 1985 L. Jadot

2/95. Acquired from Beaune Sep-93 for $60 (imported for $78 net).
This famous Grand Cru comes from Jadot's own Domaine. His holdings are in the small portion of the Bonnes Mares vineyard that lies in Morey-St. Denis. It was part of the old Clair-Dau estate acquired by Jadot eleven years ago.
S. Spurrier: "fine, aromatic, powerful wine that requires old ageing to be at its best"
S. Sutcliffe: "can appear quite hard and taut when young. full of breed and opening out with age"
R. Parker (of this particular wine): "tasted vastly superior to the Musigny... sheer power and decadent level of fruit extract", and proceeded to give it 92 (very high mark from him for a (B)).
It is well known that Bonnes Mares (esp. from the Morey part) needs old ageing to be at its best. Recent lack of assurance WRT the keeping powers of the 1985 vintage plus the fact that I have another bottle, prompted me to try one now. We shall see... The bottle was decanted and let to breath for more than an hour.
COLOR: Brilliant medium-dark red, slightly paling towards the rim.
NOSE: Overwhelming perfume. Subdued yet discernable red-berries fruit, combined ethery delicacy with powerful leather and mushrooms qualities. All that was engulfed, in right proportions, by smooth 'Bourgogne nose'. A wine that could be enjoyed for hours by just sniffing it.
TASTE: Not a bit coarse or firm or tannic as I had expected. On the contrary - velvety, multidimensional taste around pronounced backbone. The rounded tannins, the soft wood, the still-there-but-fading acidity tinge, the fruity and earthy flavors, all combined to one big celebration that went beautifully with the hearty fillet dish.
LENGTH: Lingered and developed infinitely after every sip.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied, 'chewy' nectar. Excellent balance, no one element masks the other.
OVERALL: Mature, yet full of restraint vigor and power behind its delicacy. An extraordinary truly great (B). For sure will hold for some years to come. And who knows? It may even reach higher spheres still.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.