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Criots-Batard-Montrachet..... Chambolle - Les Amoureuses..... Grands Echezeaux.....


Tonight, for Friday dinner with two guests, we had three great (B). One white and two reds. Dinner consisted of salmon-fillet in souffle coating, eggplant-curry soup, roasted duck stuffed with prunes & chestnuts, apple pie in whipped-cream.

Criots-Batard-Montrachet 1986 Labore-Roi

2/96. A present from one of our guests.
Criots-Batard-Montrachet is the "least" considered of the Puligny-Chassagne white Grand Crus. It lies entirely in Chassagne-Montrachet. Unlike for red wines, 1986 was an excellent - some times superb - vintage for white (B). Labore-Roi is a middle-of-the-road Cote d'Or negociant.
My friend received this bottle as a gift some time ago, thus could not vouch for its provenance.
COLOR: Very impressive deep golden yellow. The looks and the feel of this wine suggests a lot of viscosity.
NOSE: Intense bouquet of ripe and mature white (B). Rich buttery hazelnuts, no fresh fruit, but too much pronounced oak.
TASTE: Again, very rich and mature taste that lacked somewhat in freshness. Big and fat in the mouth but a bit coarse in the finish.
LENGTH: Moderately long aftertaste that got better once the bitterish finish was over.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied wine but weak structure and balance. Though full of taste, the total lack of acidity and freshness leaves an impression of staleness.
OVERALL: An excellent wine with some flows in winemaking and/or keeping conditions. I am pretty sure that a better example of this vineyard from the same vintage would have merited even higher.
MARK: 17/20.

Chambolle - Les Amoureuses 1989 L. Jadot

2/96. Acquired from Beaune Dec-94 for $47 (imported for $62 net).
The best 1er Cru vineyard of Chambolle-Musigny from Jadot's own domaine.
COLOR: Excellent rich color, resembling a Bordeaux more than it does a Burgundy.
NOSE: Fresh red fruit nose on a background of a good 'Bourgogne Nose'. Wet forest floor, earthy tones and wood.
TASTE: In spite of the allegedly 'feminine' appeal of Chambolle wines, this particular example felt very 'masculine'. Plenty of vigorous fruit, high alcohol and plenty of tannins, all add up to a complex taste that is still very young in every respect.
LENGTH: Different layers and flavors explode in the mouth during the long lingering aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied wine, excellent structure though could use a bit more 'flesh'. Tannins still abound. I had this wine a year ago and thought it might be totally open by now. Not so...
OVERALL: An almost-superb wine that should be given some more time. I can still remember the outstanding 1985 version of the same wine. I doubt that the '89 will ever reach such height.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Grands Echezeaux 1985 R. Sirugue

2/96. Bought in auction Oct-95 for $100 (imported from Chicago for $110 net).
My first experience of this relatively unknown grower who has a tiny holding (0.6 acre) in the exalted vineyard of Grands Echezeaux. I bought this specific wine solely on the recommendation it received from R. Parker. 1985 being of course a great vintage.
COLOR: Typical good medium red color, noticeably clearing around the rim.
NOSE: At first quite nasty. The 'Bourgogne Nose' seemed like it was really taken from a badly kept barnyard (or piggery for that matter). After a while things got better. Some mature cherry nose replaced the pig-sh*t, but even then, the aroma was not the strong suit of this wine.
TASTE: Being so disappointed by the nose, I took my first sip fearing the worst... SURPRISE!!! A wonderful, fruity, rich, round and silky taste! We all found it hard to believe that such a mediocre-nose (at best!) can be followed by such a glorious taste. In the mouth this was a gods' nectar. Mature and mouthfilling fruit, a complex elegance that manifests itself through silkiness and delicacy rather than through sheer power. A truly great (B) on the palate.
LENGTH: Excellent long and lingering aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body but extremely well-structured. The matured fruit, the ample 'wininess', the right amount of acidity, and the weak tannins - all contribute to the perfectly harmonious balance.
OVERALL: A superb wine but for the strange nose. I have encountered many wines where the taste did not fulfill the promises made by the nose, but rarely the opposite. Still, the overall impression for this fully mature wine is superb-plus.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.