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Barolo 'Bussia'..... St. Joseph..... Ch. Canon.....


We had two very good friends couples over for a sumptuous Friday night dinner at our house.
As many of you know Dorit rarely prepares less-than-superb dinners, but tonight she really outdid herself (just look at the list of appetizers!). Everything was delicious and perfect. The wines were all wonderful too and perfectly matched the fantastic food.
The 'feast' itself kept us at the table for more than three hours. Good music, lively conversation and the mellowing effect of the food and wine saw us through the after-dinner goodies that followed.
A truly wonderful evening of great food wines and company. Who says life can't be good?

Cheese stuffed mushrooms, wrapped in bacon with sweet & hot sauce
Asparagus wrapped in fresh ham
Bananas wrapped in smoked goose
Figs wrapped in prosciutto

1990 Barolo 'Bussia, Prunotto
Eggplant soup in light curry
1994 St. Joseph "VV", Trollat
Cordon Bleu (veal escallop with layers of ham and Gruyere cheese) with Dauphine potatoes
1989 Chateau Canon, St. Emilion
Cheese assortment: Epoisse, Reblochon, a Spanish hard cheese and Gruyere
Souffle Grand Marnier
Grand Marnier liqueur
Coffee and petits chocolats
Cognac - Biscuit X.O

Barolo 'Bussia' 1990 Prunotto

10/99. Bought in auction Mar-97 for $55.
I am not an expert on Italian wines, but I have found there are two kinds of Barolos. The kind I love (manly but lush, fat and fruity) and the kind I hate (manly too but tannic, oaky and very structured). I have had this wine a year ago, so I knew it belongs to the first group.
COLOR: Medium-dark color, some clearing around the rim. Lots of sediment.
NOSE: Red fruit and floral elements bursting out of the glass. Complex secondary aromas add to the breadth of the nose spectrum. Well developed, rich and enticing. Super!
TASTE: Plenty of fruit and winyness fill the mouth with multiple tasty flavors. Very focused on the palate, with good grip. Receding soft tannins support the nice backbone.
LENGTH: Medium length with flavorful aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied wine of thick texture. Excellent fruit, winyness and structure. Medium acidity to balance the soft tannins. Very well balanced.
OVERALL: Superb! Perhaps not a super-star Barolo, but certainly a wonderful wine approaching its peak. Will have no problem to keep at the top for many more years.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

St. Joseph 'VV' 1994 R. Trollat

10/99. Bought in auction Sep-97 for $45.
A rare cuvee made from very old Syrah vines. I had this wine before and was somewhat disappointed as I expected more from a wine so hyped by R. Parker.
COLOR: Basically dark and impressive, as befits a Syrah Rhone wine. Noticeable clearing around the rim though, with no trace of sediment.
NOSE: Peppery nose with very forward fruit and obvious elements of 'Rhone Nose'. Distinct and expressive though medium-keyed bouquet. Good but not great.
TASTE: Good flavors and winyness though not particularly graceful and elegant. Nevertheless, the wine expresses distinct personality and style. On its own, some hard tannins and a bit overly acidic for the meagre fruit. Yet with the flavorful aubergine soup the wine smoothed out and became really good.
LENGTH: Surprisingly long and persisting aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-light bodied. Simple and forward fruit with no great concentration or finesse. Slightly too acidic for perfect balance. Even in a low-key version. Still, enough personality and expression to merit attention.
OVERALL: Excellent. Perhaps this sounds a bit strange after my above relative 'bashing', but that would be wrong on two accounts. a) The wine is good!! My quarrel (if I have one) is with Mr. Parker setting such high expectations when he waxes poetic about this wine. b) If I don't particularly like a wine style but can see it is well made and recognize qualities which may appeal to others I try to resist demoting it harshly. (Hey Yak, why all this apologetics?)
MARK: 17/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Chateau Canon 1989 St. Emilion

10/99. Acquired in auction, Mar-97 for $90.
My only previous experience with this 'super-second' St. Emilion are two bottles of the extraordinary 1982 Ch. Canon.
COLOR: Dark and beautiful violet-red, hardly any clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Deep, warm, rich and elegant. Semi ripe black fruits with additional tones of wood, tobacco, pencil-tip and fragrant vanilla. Really enticing.
TASTE: More sweetish fruit on the palate. Quite concentrated with excellent grip and focus. Complex and multidimensional flavors. Supple, stylish and extremely satisfying.
LENGTH: Very very long and firm aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Fullish bodied with all the elements in measured (though not restrained!) quantities. Fruit, concentration, winyness, tannins and acidity all in the medium-plus range. Perfectly balanced.
OVERALL: Superb-plus!. Maybe not as lush as the 1982, but a wonderful, exquisitely-crafted wine that is very drinkable now but will give pleasure for many many years to come.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.