A regular visitor to my site, Bobby Cotton from Switzerland, came to Israel for a visit with his
wife Bea and their young daughter Sarah. Bob was kind enough to buy for me in Switzerland a dozen top-notch 1996 Burgundy bottles and 'schlep' them all the way to Israel. On top of that, the Cottons invited us (and two other charming local lady friends of theirs) for dinner at Roshfeld, one of our favorite Tel-Aviv restaurants.
OK OK Bobby, I know we invited you for dinner on Friday, but since the all wines we had Chez Shaya were reviewed here two or three times in the past, I could not justify writing up that dinner here...
[Those wines were: 1992 Grivault, Meursault 'Clos des Perrieres'. 1986 Ch. Gruaud Larose. 1983 Ponsot, Clos de la Roche]
As we were seven people, I won't detail here the various dishes we all had. I'll just say is that on top of the full meal each of us had, Chef Yonatan Roshfeld kept sending us 'presents' that could constitute a whole meal on their own...
We had the Zind-Humbrecht with the first courses and then the two red 1er Cru (B) side by side for the rest of the evening.
A wonderful evening of superb food, service, wines (our own) and most of all - company.
|Pinot Gris 'Clos Windsbuhl'
12/98. Bought in auction Nov-97 for $65 (Imported for $85 net).
Four months ago I first tasted this atypical Alsatian wine and liked it very much. Tonight, with friends gathering at an excellent Tel-Aviv restaurant, we had this wine to accompany the various first courses ordered.
COLOR: Medium golden-green color. Looks fat and buttery.
NOSE: A touch of honey on the nose followed by minerals, apples and ripe apricot. Not much of the grape nose I normally associate with Alsace. Rich, flowery and concentrated. Enticing bouquet!
TASTE: Round and mellow on the palate. The attack is dominated by honey flavors that very soon turn into drier, more supple and serious wine. Really fat and viscous, this wine was indeed praised by one and all. Not the freshest wine on earth, but what it lacks in acidity and freshness it in makes up complexity and suppleness.
LENGTH: Have not really paid too much attention. What with the great food and company we were with...
TEXTURE & BALANCE: A full bodied white wine with fat, viscous texture. A wine of strange constitution here. Sweet nose and attack yet feels completely dry, almost devoid of acidity yet feels perfectly balanced.
OVERALL: Superb!! Nothing Charodnnayish in this wine, yet it has a lot in common with a good Meursault...
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
|Volnay - Caillerets '60 Ouvrees'
12/98. Acquired from the US, Oct-96 for $45 (imported for $70 net).
I must confess I generally like the Cote de Nuits reds better than the Cote de Beaune. A good Volnay however can be a most enjoyable wine with its delicacy, elegance and finesse.
COLOR: Medium ruby-red. Marked clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Initially a wonderful bouquet of fresh red fruit that burst out of the glass. Very delicate 'Bourgogne Nose' added complexity too. Unfortunately this fantastic nose has not lasted long. Pretty soon the fruit was lost and nothing much got there instead.
TASTE: Very tasty though pretty light on the palate. Not much of the usual 1990 lushness was apparent. Again, initially vibrant, the wine felt a bit tired after 10-15 minutes. Nothing faulty as such, just lacking any definite expression.
LENGTH: Not much that I remember.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-light in texture and body. Lacked the structure to carry the initial fruity aromas over to the palate. Surprisingly could not sustain the nose or the taste. It must be said though that the wine had a fine grip at no point did the it feel angular or out of balance.
OVERALL: Very-good-plus. A let-down compared to the bottle I had about two years ago. Probably beyond its peak already. [Both bottle and cork appeared to be in pristine condition]
MARK: 16.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.
|Vosne-Romanee 'Les Beaumonts'
12/98. This wine was brought by Bobbi Cotton.
I have tasted the extraordinary 1988 many times. 1992 being a light mediocre vintage, I have not anticipated great things here.
COLOR: About the same color as the Volnay but with huge 'legs' on the glass, attesting to the fatness of the wine.
NOSE: In contrast to the Volnay, the nose here started very subdued. It then developed a pronounced rustic 'Bourgogne Nose', that in time gained a fine complexity of wet forest floor, raw meat, leather etc. Fruit proper was never a strong suit here.
TASTE: Mouthfilling and multilayered in spite of its relative lacking in fruit. If at the outset I thought perhaps the Volnay may be the better wine today - the Leroy inner qualities soon began to show. As time went by there was no question about which one is better.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Relatively full scale, certainly in lieu of the vintage. Lacking in perceived fruit and there was some hollowness in the mid-palate. Nevertheless, what Leroy has achieved in a so-so year can put to shame many producers in a great your (case in point the Volnay...)
OVERALL: Excellent-plus! Mme. Bize Leroy has done it again! At or around its peak now.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.