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Bonnes Mares..... Musigny.....


It has been a while since we had our friends and wine-partners Amihai and Dafna for dinner chez nous.
To accompany the wonderful dishes prepared by Dorit (note the "season fruits" theme of the menu), I decided to conduct a very interesting and 'controlled' experiment, which I was hoping will give us a fairly good understanding of the term terroir, as it applies to top neighboring appellations in the Cote de Nuits.
So, in the name of science (LOL), we opened these two bottles and had them side by side all along the dinner.

1989 Bonnes Mares, Comte de Vogue
1989 Musigny, Comte de Vogue
One cannot get much higher than this combination of vineyard, vintner and vintage, right?

Here is what we had:
Stuffed Figs (meat and goat cheese) in red wine
Cold Almonds soup with Grapes
Veal escallops in Cherries sauce
Raspberry crepes in Blackcurrants sauce

My hopes for a net comparison of the terroir aspects of these respective vineyards were somewhat shattered as one of the bottles was two notches below its potential par.
Still, the food was great, the wines were superb (at least one of them), and we all had a wonderful time.

Bonnes Mares 1989 Comte de Vogue

6/99. Acquired at auction May-96 for $120 (imported for $136 net).
I have had this wine a few months ago and was very disappointed. I was hoping it was a (relatively) bad bottle, and that the other bottle I have will prove better. Alas...
COLOR: Not bad for (B), though somewhat palish with noticeable clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Very forward and burly nose. Quite rustic for a Grand Cru (B) with little finesse or fruit aromas to counter the coarse 'Bourgogne Nose'. Pretty much over the hill as far as the nose is concerned.
TASTE: Not too bad if you don't expect anything. Good backbone and nice grip. But simple fruit with much too much perceived acidity and some dryness at the middle and finish.
LENGTH: Long but not particularly pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-bodied wine with some faults. Alcohol and acidity overpower whatever fruit and winyness is there. Either not well-made, or past its peak, or - what I really suspect - both this and that (perhaps this because of that...).
OVERALL: Very-good (only!). For whatever reason(s), this was the worst Bonnes Mares I ever had.
MARK: 16/20.BUY MORE? No.

Musigny 1989 Comte de Vogue

6/99. Acquired at auction Feb-98 for $170 (imported for $190 net).
Although by the same producer and the same vintage, the Musigny was a far cry from the poor Bonnes Mares.
COLOR: Healthier color than the Bonnes Mares, though color really doesn't mean much in (B).
NOSE: Now we are talking! Deep, complex and multi-dimensional nose. Excellent well-focused semi-matured fruit. Very nice secondary aromas with wet forest floor, raw meat, and a very elegant 'Bourgogne Nose'.
TASTE: Mouth-filling with great class and elegance. Red berries on the palate with plenty of winyness and style, that develops and reveals layers of different flavors. Superb grip and focus with soft tannins and adequate acidity. Could use a tad more concentration, but don't get me wrong, this is a marvelous wine!
LENGTH: Extremely long and wonderful aftertaste. The smaller the sips you take in your mouth, the longer the aftertaste seems to last...
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Fullish bodied, super elegant. A tiny bit diluted perhaps but still, beautifully balanced wine of the highest possible breed.
OVERALL: Superb-plus! A wonderful (though not great) Musigny that has just became of age.
MARK: 18.5/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.