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Polish Hill - Riesling..... Ch. Gruaud Larose..... Griotte Chambertin.....


Friday night dinner for six at our home. As usual: nourishment - compliments of Dorit, wine selection (the real difficult task!) by yours truly.

Shrimps in cream and Pernot
1997 Polish Hill - Riesling, Grosset
Aubergine soup in light curry
1986 Chateau Gruaud Larose
'Boeuf au Vin' with root vegetables
1988 Griotte Chambertin, Ponsot
Cheese Plate

Polish Hill - Riesling (Australia) 1997 J. Grosset

5/98. A present from my Australian-based Dad. I understand it costs $20-$25 in the US.
My first focused taste of a serious Australian Riesling. From the little information I was able to gather on the net about this wine I learned it is considered among Australia's finest. Only 2700 cases made by Jeffrey Grosset from pure Riesling grapes grown in Clare Valley, South Australia.
COLOR: Pale straw and very clear.
NOSE: Fresh vineyard jumping of the glass. Intense lemony fruit. Very clean enticing nose, almost devoid of the familiar petrol tones. Lovely nose that will open up even more in years to come.
TASTE: Super elegant and mouthfilling. Extremely young and vibrant on the palate. Completely dry and crisp. Don't imagine a light German 8% quaffer. This superbly crafted giant is full 13% alcohol, though ample fruit and good acidity mask the fact. Rich and complex even now. Supremely delicious!
LENGTH: Very good and elegant long-lasting finish.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied yet perfectly balanced. Beautifully concentrated, exquisitely clean and rounded. Good chances to become divine in a few years.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! This is a fantastic wine that deserves serious attitude.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Ch. Gruaud Larose 1986 St. Julien

5/98. Acquired in auction July-97 for $67 (imported from Chicago for $77 net).
My third bottle in about three years of this fantastic Bordeaux. Past experience indicated that this wine should stand up beautifully to the mildly piquant Aubergine Soup.
COLOR: Extremely dark purple-red, almost black. No sign of clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Immense concentration of black forest-fruit with added touch of cigar-box, coffee and even some dusty notes. Very complex and rich bouquet. A pleasure to sniff at.
TASTE: Soft and velvety on the palate in spite of plenty of ripe tannins. Rich, expensive mouthfilling flavors deliver both fruit, structure and depth. Marvelously accompanied the delicious and richly-flavored soup.
LENGTH: Long and vibrating aftertaste, though a bit dominated by mouth-drying tannins.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, with lots of winyness and tons of fruit. Rich and complex though silky and smooth. Take away some of those tannins and this wine would be extraordinary. Add some missing acidity and it will become divine!.
OVERALL: Superb-plus! Again, a serious wine that is pleasure to drink.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Griotte Chambertin 1988 Dom. Ponsot

5/98. Acquired in auction August-95 for $93 (imported from Chicago for $105 net).
First tasted almost three years ago. Then it was superb.
COLOR: Pale pinkish red, pale even for (B). Wide clear margins around the rim.
NOSE: Deliciously enticing 'Bourgogne Nose' with complex aromas of red fruit, sweet prunes, wet forest floor, raw meat and whatnot. A bit lacking in elegance but truly fantastic nevertheless.
TASTE: Very good attack, rich and full of flavors. Alas, both mid palate and finish are too hollow for such a Grand Cru. Nothing bad or faulty there, just not enough winyness.
LENGTH: Long aftertaste, but too much alcohol and acidity and too little fruit and flavors.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied (B). Firm structure yet very delicate touch. Excellent initial balance but not enough stuffing to drive it to the end.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus (B) that needed very little to score better. I don't think this one will improve with time.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.