Yak's Home Page
Introducing Yak
Yak's Rating Scale
Yak's Burgundy Primer
Tasting Notes Archive
Wine & Food Adventures

Chassagne - Morgeot..... La Mission Haut Brion..... Fonseca 1963


Yesterday was "Seder" night, the evening of the first day of Passover. Ours was not the most kosher one as far as rituals. The food though was mostly traditional (at its best!) but the wines were not...

Gefilte Fish
Chicken soup with Kneidlach
Veal tongue
Marinated aubergines, snow peas, small potatoes
Cheese plate
Souffle Grand Marnier
Coffee and digestif

We had a white Bourgogne with the Gefilte and the soup, a red Bordeaux with the main course and the cheese and a great vintage port with the dessert.

Chassagne - Morgeot 1989 Gagnard-Delagrange

4/96. Acquired from England Feb-96 for $45 (imported for $60 net).
I was looking for a full-bodied and rich white wine that will stand to the piquant, full-of-flavors traditional fish-balls.
COLOR: Deep mature yellow, not particularly clear.
NOSE: Very dominant peculiar aroma. Quite unlike what I expect from a good white (B).
Heavy, reminding me of castor oil. At first I thought it 'interesting', but eventually I succumbed to the consensus adjective of 'bizarre'...
TASTE: For a long time carried the weird nose to the palate. Very high degree of acidity made it taste quite unsavory. With the 'Gefilte Fish' it was almost bad, but with time, and along with the very rich chicken soup, the wine gained harmony and the acidity helped loosen the richness of the soup.
LENGTH: Very long aftertaste, both when it was unpleasant and later when it was very good.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: No fruit whatsoever, plenty of alcohol and almost too acidic. The heavy, half-rotten oily smell and taste made it difficult to relate to this wine's balance in normal terms.
OVERALL: Very good eventually, though not my cup of wine. Maybe it wasn't kept properly, maybe it was too old (?), maybe it was bad winemaking, maybe I just didn't like it so much? Probably a combination of all of the above...
MARK: 16/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.

Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion 1978 Graves

4/96. Bought in auction Dec-95 for $100 (imported from Chicago for $110 net).
My second Graves wine ever. The first were two bottles of Ch. Haut Brion 1970 I had last year and wasn't terribly impressed by.
COLOR: Almost jet black. Beautiful color with very very thin clearing around the rim.
NOSE: To my inexperienced nose, a classic 'Bordeaux Nose' with maybe a touch of earthy tones. Pencil tip, cigar box, spices, even flowery aromas are all there.
TASTE: Smooth and elegant. Not much fruit as such, but very concentrated, savory and forward. Some tannins still leave a bitterish touch to the finish. Great accompaniment to the veal-tongue and the cheese plate.
LENGTH: Very long aftertaste, developing in the mouth and quite complex.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body, silky smooth texture, long impressive 'legs', lots of extract. Extremely well balanced, a bit too tannic for an otherwise completely open wine.
OVERALL: Excellent+! I liked it very much, though Dorit said it cannot match the Latour '78 we had not long ago. Again and again I am convinced that great Bordeaux wines appeal more to my intellect than to my taste. I do not believe there can be a Bordeaux wine that will appeal to my sense of pure hedonistic pleasure as a great (B) can.
MARK: 17+/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Vintage Port 1963 Fonseca

4/96. Acquired from England Sep-95 for $133 (imported for $143 net).
My first serious port from a whole bottle. Decanted the bottle some three hours before we got to it (why do they insist on dirty-looking bottles for great ports?).
COLOR: Very dark red with beautiful orange hues.
NOSE: Grandiose! A rich blend of spices, citrus fruit, caramel plus something similar to a 'Bordeaux Nose', maybe tobacco or licorice. I sniffed the decanter about every hour before we started tasting it. The smell just grew bigger and bigger.
TASTE: Ran out of adjectives. Rich, sweet but a touch of bitterness to balance, dark mature fruit but good acidity to give it a youngish feel. Mouth filling in the most literal and suggestive sense of the word. Full of surprises. You just wished it'll never end.
LENGTH: Unbelievably long aftertaste that uncover still more layers of fantastic flavors.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Again, no words. Rich in every imaginable department, but an utmost manifestation of harmony.
OVERALL: What can I say? I have very little experience to go by. I really don't know by how much this specific port is better than other great ones, or how many better ports exist. Using this term for the second time in a week(!) I can call this experience nothing else but divine...
MARK: 20/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

Yak's Home Page
Introducing Yak
Yak's Rating Scale
Yak's Burgundy Primer
Tasting Notes Archive
Wine & Food Adventures

Copyright 1996-2003.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.