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Chateauneuf du Pape..... Ch. Haut Marbuzet..... Griotte Chambertin..... Vouvray.....


Together with three other wine-loving friends we spent a wonderful evening at a very special restaurant situated in a beautiful spot off-the-beaten-track on the Judea Mountains. This was my first visit to the place but certainly not the last.
The restaurant specializes in creative fusion between Provencal, Israeli and Palestinian(!) cooking, where "Confit d'Oie" and taboon-roasted suckling lamb live side by side, and where garden-grown herbs and spices play a large role.
We had too many different dishes to mention them all, but they were all delicious and went really well with the small collection of fine wine we brought with us.

CdP 'Cuvee Laurence' 1990 Dom. Pegau

8/99. Acquired in auction Oct-98 for $110.
My first taste of this celebrated Chateauneuf du Pape.
For me at least, the yardstick by which all CdP are measured is the 'Chateau de Beaucastel' (in its good vintages!). As this wine cost as much as the best Beaucastel do, I had very high expectations.
COLOR: Promptly dark red, with very thin clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Very nice and elegant. The various aromatic elements reflect the multiple varietals that go into the blend. Charming as it was, the nose lacked the depth and the 'punch' so typical to top-rate CdP.
TASTE: Very tasty with noticeable fruit and spices. Forward, round and very harmonious. Nice acidity and weak tannins. Here again - all elements are present, but in a lowish-key doze.
LENGTH: Medium length though very pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body. Good fruit, light wood, measured acidity - all very nicely integrated. Doesn't feel closed or thin or 'not-there-yet', but neither is it particularly rich or winey.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus. Certainly enjoyable, but for a CdP this was a "nice little fellow" rather than an impressive expression of the appellation.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Chateau Haut Marbuzet 1990 St. Estephe

8/99. Bought at auction for $70 (Brought by a friend).
I have tremendously enjoyed this terrific wine in the past, and this time was no exception.
COLOR: Deep dark red with violet tones. Some clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Profound, very rich and extremely enticing. Excellent semi-mature fruit, multi-layered secondary aromas with well-measured wood elements to boost.
TASTE: Mouthfilling, warm and multi-flavored. Beautifully elegant and wonderfully tasty with superb winyness and sweetish finish. The Merlot contribution is quite apparent here. Perhaps not the most complex of wines, but who needs complexity when you have such a good and honest wine in your glass...
LENGTH: Medium length of sweetish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied (or at least perceived as such). Smooth, very winey and fully evolved. Excellent fruit, acidity and soft tannins combine to give the sensation of a perfectly balanced wine.
OVERALL: Superb-plus! A fantastic Cru Bourgeois that is much better than many Cru Classe wines I have tasted. 'A Point' now and for a few more years.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Griotte Chambertin 1990 Dom. Ponsot

8/99. Bought at auction, for $115 (brought by a friend).
Just a week ago I had my last bottle of the 1988 version of the same wine. This is my first taste of the 1990 rendition.
COLOR: Nice ruby color, much lighter than the previous two wines. Noticeable clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Wonderful mixture of fresh red fruits, raw meat and wet forest floor. Super elegant and clean 'Bourgogne Nose' serves as a backdrop to the complex and multi-facets bouquet.
TASTE: A beautiful expression of the 1990 (B) fruit on the palate. Profound, fresh and multi-dimensional. Excellent grip but stressing delicacy over power. Rich in flavors with good acidity and soft but noticeable tannins. Very very tasty now, but will be even more so if and when it will acquire the sweetish dry-plums flavor.
LENGTH: Extremely long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied (for a (B) wine...), though less so than I would normally associate with a Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru. Very well endowed wine with excellent fruit, structure and backbone. Reasonably concentrated though I wish it were a bit more so.
OVERALL: Superb-plus! Fantastic now with the potential to improve.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Vouvray 'Clos Baudoin' 1989 Prince Poniatowsky

8/99. Brought by a friend (no idea how much it cost).
I once had a superb, very concentrated very sweet Vouvray from Prince Poniatowsky. I think its name was 'Clos de Patys'. I never tasted this desert wine before.
COLOR: Medium-light yellow with a tint of green.
NOSE: Chennin Blanc no doubt. Flowery, fresh fruit and honey nose surrounded by complex mineral tones.
TASTE: Sweet but not intensely so. Good acidity adds freshness. Not particularly concentrated or complex on the palate, but very nice and enjoyable.
LENGTH: Medium-short but pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied. A complex, well balanced wine that is a pleasure to sip. Not a 'big' or breath-taking wine, but neither a simpleton.
OVERALL: Excellent. Much better than a 'nice quaffer'. If it doesn't cost more than $20-$30 then it is a good value.
MARK: 17/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.