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Corton, Pouget..... Corton Charlemagne..... Clos de la Roche.....


Friday night dinner at our wine partners' home was accompanied by three Grand Crus wines by negociants. Two by Jadot and one by Drouhin. All three wines are from Jadot's and Drouhin's own Domaines (as opposed to negoc wines). Dinner, company and wines were all super.

Onion Pie
1989 Corton Pouget, L. Jadot
Shrimps and pine seeds on sweet aubergine
1989 Corton Charlemagne, L. Jadot
Spare-Ribs with Chinese noodles
1988 Clos de la Roche, J. Drouhin
Mousse au Chocolat

Corton, Pouget 1989 L. Jadot

8/97. Acquired in France Sep-93 for $37 (Imported from Beaune for $49 net).
The hill of Corton provides the ultimate challenge to anybody trying to comprehend the Burgundian system of names, Appellation Controlee and the correlation between pedigree and actual quality. White and red grapes together, a variety of altitudes and exposures, tiny sub-plots almost all of which appear on Corton labels as if they were separate vineyards - Everything here is combined to (successfully) confuse the innocent. And they are all designated Grand Cru too... I have yet to taste a Corton that really merits a Grand Cru status (talking about the reds here. No doubt Corton Charlemagne is a truly great white Grand Cru).
COLOR: Medium dark red. Very slight clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Very good 'Bourgogne Nose', subdued red forest fruits, discernible earthy tones. Some vegetal elements distract from an otherwise superb bouquet.
TASTE: A lot of 'presence' in the mouth. Perhaps not the most complex and richest wine, but extremely tasty with game and earth flavors on top of the light fruit. The little coarseness there was there perfectly complimented the Onion Pie.
LENGTH: Medium long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied red (B). Not the epitome of delicacy but good winyness and very well balanced.
OVERALL: Excellent+! If they'd ask me I would say this wine is a top 1er Cru, not a Grand Cru - but they don't ask me...
MARK: 17+/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Corton Charlemagne 1989 L. Jadot

8/97. Acquired in France May-94 for $68 (Imported from Beaune for $80 net).
I am a big fan of Jadot's Corton Charlemagne. As a matter of fact, I'm a big fan of almost anybody's Corton Charlemagne... I've had this vintage a few times in the past and was always a bit disappointed as it never showed full-fledged CC qualities. This specific bottle however was kept at our host's home at normal room temperature (i.e hot). Did it harm the wine or perhaps just help forward maturation?
COLOR: Viscous looking golden yellow.
NOSE: Indeed more forward than what I recall of previous bottles. Very intense northern fruits aroma, some mineral tones with very slight toasted elements. I am very much in favor of Jadot's judicious and careful use of new wood in their white (B)!
TASTE: Rich, steely sensation in the mouth. Deep, complex with awe inspiring concentration. Big wine in all respects.
LENGTH: Extremely good lingering aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied, neither freshly young not fully mature yet. Superbly balanced.
OVERALL: Superb CC. Perhaps not as fantastic as some other vintages I remember [though 1989 is a great vintage for white (B)], but better than the other examples of this wine I've tasted.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.

Clos de la Roche 1988 J. Drouhin

8/97. Acquired in France Sep-93 for $45 (Imported from Beaune for $60 net).
One of my favorite Grand Cru from Drouhin's own Domaine.
COLOR: Medium ruby red, a bit lighter than the Corton Pouget.
NOSE: Beautiful, enticing, multi-layered bouquet. Cherry, prunes, licorice. Complex but very delicate 'Bourgogne Nose' that brings out sensations of raw meat and wet earth.
TASTE: Keeps every promise of the nose and then some... Multi-dimensional flavors: fresh berries, sweetish dry prunes, layer upon layer of mouth-filling wine. Soft and supple with good acidity and some tannins. Super tasty!
LENGTH: Each sip leaves a wake of reverberating aftertaste that last on the taste buds for a long long time.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied wine that is rich yet far from heavy, concentrated but full of finesse. Extremely well balanced with loads of fruit, very good acidity, some soft tannins and plenty of winyness.
OVERALL: Superb+! Another example of how good the '88 reds are becoming lately. This is an exceptionally good example of a wine from Drouhin. At or relatively close to its peak.
MARK: 18+/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.