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Lavaux St. Jacques..... Clos des Mouches..... Clos des Ducs.....


More and more of our age-group are crossing or will soon be crossing that round halfway mark of their 50th birthday.
Tonight we were invited to celebrate that of a dear friend, Yehuda Kaufman with intimate dinner for six.
As the 'purveyor of wines' I chose three top 1er Cru red Burgundies, all from the illustrious 1990 vintage and all by very reputable producers:
L. Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 'Lavaux St. Jacques'
J. Drouhin, Beaune 'Clos des Mouches'
Marquis d'Angerville, Volnay 'Clos des Ducs'
We drank the three wines in parallel, throughout a superb dinner prepared by the one and only Chanita Kaufman.

Chicken & meat soup with lentils, fresh humus and herbs
Hungarian style roast duck accompanied by four-mushrooms stew and potatoes
Mandarin Liqueur Parfait

Dinner and company was marvelous. The wines were very good of course, but to be absolutely honest, I was a little bit disappointed as none of them rose to the heights I was expecting them to be in.

Gevrey - Lavaux St. Jacques 1990 L. Jadot

5/98. Acquired June-94 for $29 (imported from Beaune for $39 net).
Lying next to the best Gevrey 1er Cru, Clos St. Jacques, the vineyard of Lavaux St. Jacques is part of the old Clair-Dau domaine bought by Jadot in 1985.
COLOR: Dark, almost opaque strong color. Hardly any clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Good sombre earthy nose, mingled with quiet though discernible red-fruit aromas. Far from bursting out of the glass but elegant and classy.
TASTE: True to the Gevrey-Chambertin character, the wine filled the mouth with meaty winyness. A bit restraint but excellent backbone and grip.
LENGTH: Medium to short and not particularly profound.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied with good depth. Very well structured with noticeable soft tannins, reasonable fruit, good acidity. Superbly balanced.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus!. The best of the three. Good chances this wine will improve in a couple of years.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Beaune - Clos des Mouches 1990 J. Drouhin

5/98. Acquired June-94 for $32 (imported from Beaune for $43 net).
The flagship Beaune vineyard of the Drouhin Domaine. I have tasted several vintages of this wine in the past. Some were wonderful, some were less. The white version of this wine is however always delightful. At least by my experience.
COLOR: Medium garnet, turning into ruby. Wide clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Hardly any aroma to speak of. Even after a long hour the wine only showed weak fruit. Nothing disturbing or faulty with the nose, but there was just too little of it.
TASTE: Very good on the palate, though less distinct than both the Lavaux and the Volnay. A bit hot in the mouth and a touch too acidic. Still, reasonably rich and quite tasty.
LENGTH: Relatively long but hot and acidic aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-bodied (B). Not lukewarm and certainly not watery, but the wine lacks the lushness of the terroir and is not particularly well balanced.
OVERALL: Very good but not as good as it should be. Why?
MARK: 16/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.

Volnay - Clos des Ducs 1990 d'Angerville

5/98. Acquired April-96 for $35 (imported from Beaune for $42).
Marquis d'Angerville produces beautifully elegant wines that usually express the velvet terroir of Volnay.
I have tasted this very wine twice in the past, the last time about a year ago. Then it was a glorious wine. The cork of this present bottle came out a bit too easy and was wet all around...
COLOR: Very good, robust color. Slightly clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Fragrant yet very distinct nose. Raspberries and cherries quite discernible. Nothing powerful here and a bit mono-aromatic. Still an excellent nose.
TASTE: Elegant and smooth. Less fruity than the nose, but delicately tasty. Good backbone yet velvety soft.
LENGTH: The longest and best aftertaste of the three wines tonight.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium weight and stylish. Mildly fruity and well balanced but could use a bit more stuffing.
OVERALL: Excellent wine but not as impressive as my previous bottle. The cork? Perhaps, though I'm not sure.
MARK: 17/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.