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Cloudy Bay..... Chevalier Montrachet..... Bonnes Mares.....


Well, a year has passed since my not-to-be-forgotten 50th Birthday extravaganza. If 50 was a round number with some glory attached to it - 51 is just getting old, no? :)
Still, we, three good bottles of wine and four of our best friends got together for a birthday dinner at Mul-Yam, Tel-Aviv's best seafood restaurant.
Since everyone ordered separately from the menu, I'll list here only what I had. Not only that the food was delicious, but the (absentee) owner left orders to pamper us lavishly. We got a cheese plate, an auslese Mosel Riesling half-bottle (forgot its name), and all the deserts from the menu - all 'on the house'!

Fresh Oysters
1996 Sauvignon Blanc, Cloudy Bay
Jumbo Shrimps sauteed in 'zaater'-buttered sauce
1990 Chevalier Montrachet 'Les Demoiselles', L. Jadot
Pealed Lobster cooked in lobster-stock with goat-cheese ravioli
1990 Bonnes Mares, L. Jadot
Cheese assortment

Sauvignon Blanc 1996 Cloudy Bay

2/99. Acquired in auction Mar-98 for $42 (imported for $62 net).
This flagship wine of New Zealand is, for me at least, the most sumptuous Sauvignon Blanc I know of. Such a far cry from the Israeli watered-down sorry renditions made from the same grape.
COLOR: Medium-pale color, not hinting at what's behind it.
NOSE: A myriad of fresh aromas stem out of the glass. Grapes, northern-fruits, lemon and grass. Powerful and enticing.
TASTE: A huge and impressive wine on the palate. Multi-flavored to the degree that one of my friends asked if I am sure this wine is made of only one type of grapes... Vigorous and mouthfilling with a very good acidity and backbone. Was wonderful with the fresh oysters.
LENGTH: Medium-long aftertaste with tingly finish.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: A blockbuster white wine. Rich, tasty, with plenty of winyness, great structure and balance. At three years from the vintage it seemed to have gained complexity without losing any of its freshness.
OVERALL: Superb-plus! Did I say I think it's the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world? :)
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Chevalier Montrachet 'Les Demoiselles' 1990 L. Jadot

2/99. Acquired from Beaune Sep-93 for $78 (imported for $104 net).
There are more over-rated Montrachet wines than Chevalier Montrachet. Many times Chevalier Montrachet is simply the best dry white wine in the world. Jadot's rendition from his own famous sub-plot 'Les Demoiselles' is surely among the most coveted from this illustrious vineyard.
COLOR: Medium full-yellow. Looks fat with discernible 'legs' on the glass.
NOSE: Rich, complex but extremely elegant. Ripe northern fruits, minerals and a touch of sweetness. Fragrant and creamy. Very light wood tones enhance the harmony of the bouquet. Simply beautiful!
TASTE: In contrast to the Cloudy Bay, this wine entices with its elegance, class, harmony and breed. It fills the mouth with a quiet but super tasty parade of layer upon layer of flavors. Together with the delicious Jumbo shrimps this was indeed a heavenly combination.
LENGTH: Very long and classy finish.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body with rich texture, complex nose and taste, sublime finesse breed and elegance. Mature and ready with all its components completely harmonized. 'a point' now!
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! Hard to imagine a more perfect white wine.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Bonnes Mares 1990 L. Jadot

2/99. Acquired at auction May-96 for $67 (imported for $83 net).
Jadot's holding in Bonnes Mares comes from the old Domaine Clair-Dau that was bought by the house in the mid 80s. It lies in the small Morey-St. Denis part of this vineyard, it is usually firmer than the wine made from the Chambolle-Musigny part of the vineyard, and it is a special favorite of mine.
This is my first taste of this wine from the 1990 vintage.
COLOR: As dark as a (B) wine can get. Plenty of sediment in my glass (which was poured last).
NOSE: Deep fresh aromas of cassis and cherries, very typical of the 1990 vintage. Beautiful gamey scents with complex yet clean and understated 'Bourgogne Nose'. Very enticing already but a lot more will be revealed in years to come.
TASTE: Very concentrated on the palate. Excellent fruit with a classy (B) Grand Cru grip. Lots of stuffing with plenty of winyness, good acidity, noticeable tannins and wood flavors. Still somewhat four-squared.
A red (B) with Lobster?? Yes!!!! I am sot sure about Thermidor or similar styles, but this delicious cooked-in-stock version was absolutely stunning with the Bonnes Mares.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: A serious, broad-spectrum super-structured wine. Well endowed in every department the wine is not yet there as far as smoothness and harmony are concerned. Depth, complexity and perfect balance ensure it will get there though... It may take 5 or 10 or 15 years, so I'm glad I have another three bottles :)
OVERALL: Superb! Although it drinks beautifully now, this wine is still years from its peak. It has all the ingredients to become a truly Grand Vin if given the chance.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

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Copyright 1996-2003.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.