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Sancerre..... Clos de la Roche..... Clos de Beze.....


Friday night dinner at our good friends and wine partners Amihai and Dafna.
Another friend couple of theirs was invited so we had three bottles of wine to accompany Dafna's fantastic cooking.
Excellent food, superb wines and great company, all contributed to a very fine evening that passed all too quickly. Before we knew it it was 3 am...

Leek and green-onions Tartelette
1992 Sancerre, Cave du Clos la Perriere
Duet of two soups: Sweet-potatoes in curry and Jerusalem Artichoke
Trout steamed in shrimps butter
1988 Clos de la Roche, Drouhin
Tournedot al la Bouherna
1991 Chambertin Clos de Beze, Faiveley
Chocolate Mousse in Blackcurrants

Sancerre 1992 Cave du Clos la Perriere

10/99. Amihai got this one as a present.
Very rare for me to come across a white wine that is not (B) or Alsace. The few times I've had white Loire they were either the bone dry, soury and boring Muscadet type or the rich Chenin Blancs of Vouvrey. I don't think I actually ever tried a Sancerre.
I guess these wines are meant to be had when they are young and refreshing and I have no idea how this bottle came to be seven years old, but I am ever so grateful that it did!
COLOR: Impressive deep old-gold color, fat and viscous appearance.
NOSE: Amazingly complex and mature nose of white fruits, minerals, petrol, dry herbs and a touch of honey. Sauvignon Blanc all right, but so different and ever more interesting than the grassy, fruity New World style.
TASTE: As full-bodied and mouth-filling white as I ever came across. Very ripe fruit, plenty of winyness and expression. Rich, flavorful, mature, even a tiny bit heavy. Lacks a little in refreshing acidity.
LENGTH: Medium length and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Immense body and thick texture. Plenty of mature winyness with bold expressive nose and taste. Somewhat four-squarish and lacks in acidity but other than that, a real winner.
OVERALL: Superb! I suspect no one ever meant this wine to be consumed at 7 years of age, but the result is very impressive.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Clos de la Roche 1988 J. Drouhin

10/99. Acquired from Beaune Sep-93 for $45.
More than two years have passed since I last had this wine. The '88s (B) at the Grand Cru level are now at their prime, so I expected this bottle to deliver its best.
COLOR: Pale pinkish red, showing age. Significantly clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Soft, forward and delicate 'Bourgogne Nose' with some fruit to boost. Mature and enticing aromas though not particularly wide-spectrum of them.
TASTE: Smooth, velvety and delicate. Complex but low-keyed flavors. More of Drouhin house style than of Clos de la Roche terroir. Very tasty with medium concentration, nice acidity, and hardly any perceived tannins. Elegant and stylish.
LENGTH: Medium long aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-light body, smooth texture, very nicely balanced. At its peak right now.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus. A fine example of the light-weight Clos de la Roche. Much more similar to Dujac style than to that of Ponsot.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Chambertin Clos de Beze 1991 J. Faiveley

10/99. Bought at auction, Feb-98 for $75.
One of Faiveley's most exalted wines [though I personally prefer his Mazis] from the problematic 1991 vintage. I say problematic because this is how most of the critics rated the vintage. But none of the few '91s I have sampled so far was problematic in any sense. They were all great (B) in the full sense of the word! [OK, I know I am spoilt and go only for the top stuff, especially in a weak vintage, but still...]
COLOR: Dark and healthy-looking (B) color, hardly any clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: Profound nose of semi-ripe red forests fruit together with some wood elements. All this wrapped by a sensually rich 'Bourgogne Nose' - from wet forest floor to mushrooms, leather, raw-meat etc.
TASTE: On the palate it is much bolder than the Clos de la Roche, with ample fruit, very good concentration and a myriad of secondary flavors. Less delicate and silky, but more of a Grand Cru stature. A little bit rustic, with noticeable tannins, fine grip and a solid backbone. Super duper!
LENGTH: Very long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied wine with very nice proportions. Fresh and semi-ripe fruit, excellent structure, ample winyness, good acidity and noticeable (but non distracting) tannins. Lacks a bit of elegance to be rated 'extraordinary'.
OVERALL: Superb-plus!. Another great 1991 wine. So where is the weak vintage??
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.