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Ch. Trotanoy..... Hermitage 'La Chapelle'.....


Together with our good friends Oded & Nitza (and their two daughters) we met this evening for a delightful dinner at an excellent, non-pretentious Tel-Aviv restaurant that specializes in grilled meats of superb quality. "Stephan Broun", a packed and very "in" place than manages not only to serve delicious food, but to provide really good service at very reasonable prices.
I am not sure I'll be able to recall everything everyone had (we were six people after all), but these things we had for sure:

Beef fillet skewer wrapped in red hot peppers
Eggplant and tahini salad
'Harira', a Moroccan rich soup
Mallard skewer wrapped in cheese
Thinly sliced arabic salad
Roasted vegetables salad
1989 Chateau Trotanoy, Pomerol
Baby lamb kebab
Baby lamb grilled hot sausages
Baby lamb rib
Grilled goose liver
Entrecote steak
Three-cheese quiche
1985 Hermitage 'La Chapelle', Jaboulet
Creme caramel
Tart Tatin
(an arabic flan with rose-water and raspberries essence)
Cheese cake

All that (with water, soda, tea & coffee), including corkage fee and tip, came to about $210.
No, the price does not include the wines! Them we brought ourselves :)

Ch. Trotanoy 1989 Pomerol

9/99. Bought by Oded (current auction price around $70).
My first taste of this Pomerol Chateau.
COLOR: Medium dark violet red, very thin clearing around the rim. No sediment at all. Immaculate looking bottle.
NOSE: Nice and deep, if not particularly powerful or multi-dimensional. Simple but pleasant fruit with noticeable wood notes. Still not completely forward.
TASTE: Nice fruit on the palate with some Merlotish warmth. Feels focused though a bit lean with very noticeable tannins. Could use a bit more winyness and acidity.
LENGTH: Medium dryish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied, very smooth texture. Opulent yet somewhat thin. Too little acidity and fruit for the present tannins.
OVERALL: Very Good. A well-made wine that is very nice though not exciting. Perhaps a few more years will do it good.
MARK: 17/20.BUY MORE? No.

Hermitage 'La Chapelle' 1985 P. Jaboulet

9/99. Bought at auction, Oct-98 for $80.
A vintage of 'La Chapelle' I never had before. As a matter of fact, I haven't had any Rhone from the 1985 vintage.
COLOR: Medium dark blackish-red. Lighter usually. Noticeable low ullage, cork wet almost to the top, visible sediment.
NOSE: Slightly funky nose with a wide-spectrum of well-integrated aromas. I liked it, but Dorit didn't (at least till her second pour). Soft and fragrant ripe-fruit and flowers. Quite unlike any Hermitage I had before, including many 'La Chapelle'.
TASTE: Completely mature. Multi-flavored, with many nuances. More complex than the Trotanoy, though less focused and weaker grip. Again, not what I expect of a top-class Hermitage, but tasty, interesting, with its own 'point of view'.
LENGTH: Medium-long and pleasant (again, Dorit says not so pleasant) aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, silky texture. Good winyness and complexity. Weak backbone and could use more punch. Superbly balanced (in its own weird way) with good fruit, refreshing acidity and receding but still there tannins.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus. A good and interesting wine, but the name Hermitage 'La Chapelle' requires more. Either a not-so-good vintage, or a not-so-well kept bottle, or both. Fully developed now.
MARK: 17.5/20.BUY MORE? No.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.