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Corton Charlemagne..... Ruchottes Chambertin..... Musigny.....


It has been a few months since Dafna and Amihai, our friends and wine partners, staged a Chez Nous at their home. Our friend Yair Hajdu was also invited and we all had a wonderful evening of fantastic food, great wines and lively conversation on subjects ranging from wine (so what else is new?) to computers to the recent scandals on the local political scene.
As usual, the food was as delicious as it was an expression of Dafna's creativity and perfectionism, the wines were eclectic, and the atmosphere was relaxed and conductive to a winter's day cosy get-together.

Mushroom cream soup with herbs
Shrimps in honey and chilli, with dried fruits
1995 Corton Charlemagne, L. Latour
Beef fillet and goose liver escalope in onion-jam sauce
1990 Ruchottes Chambertin, G. Mugneret
Assortment of cheese
1988 Musigny, Comte de Vogue
Hot cider soup with apple pancake and vanilla ice cream
Marc de Bourgogne, Leclerc

Corton Charlemagne 1995 L. Latour

1/2000. Bought at auction, June-97 for $85.
I am not a big fan of Louis Latour except when it comes to their Corton Charlemagne. Latour's Corton Charlemagne was my first ever great white wine (some 22 years ago), and I have enjoyed numerous vintages of it over the years.
Being short on older white (B) lately, we decided to crack open the first of our 6 bottles of this obviously-too-young wine.
COLOR: Medium-full golden yellow. Nice and vibrant looking.
NOSE: At first quite closed and unyielding. Then, in about 10 minutes opened up somewhat to reveal profound aromas of white fruits, yeasts, lots of minerals, and that clean feel of a steel knife or a wet stone. Unfortunately the nose closed down again pretty quick after just hinting at what it has in store for the future...
TASTE: Very intense and concentrated. Full of flavors of both sweetish fruit and complex minerals. More forward on the palate than on the nose. Very well structured if perhaps a tad too acidic at the moment.
LENGTH: Very long lemony aftertaste that carries on some sweetness too.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied and majestic. Extremely concentrated though elegant and restraint at present. A true expression of the Corton Charlemagne terroir that needs more time.
OVERALL: Excellent. A wonderful wine that will no doubt get better and better in years to come.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Ruchottes Chambertin 1990 G. Mugneret

1/2000. Bought at auction Feb-98 for $120.
We've had a few bottles of this very wine from the 1988 vintage. They were fine, but not much more. Let's see what this 1990 rendition has in it.
COLOR: Medium-dark (in Burgundy terms) with some clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Grandiose! Wonderful mixture of fresh red fruit, semi-ripe sweetish plums and a wide-spectrum full-fledged 'Bourgogne Nose' that gives the proper backdrop but does not overpower the fruit. Some wood tones are there but again, nothing over-powering.
TASTE: Mouthfilling, with a wonderful myriad of fruit nuances. Very focused on the palate with excellent grip and plenty of flavorful winyness. Nothing rustic in this wine. Classy, tasty and obviously of high breed.
LENGTH: Really long finish that leaves sweet traces on the lips in addition to the vivid acidity.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied wine whose delicacy is accentuated by its well delineated structure and firm backbone. Finely balanced and a very well made Grand Cru that is worthy of its pedigree.
OVERALL: Superb! Probably the best Ruchottes Chambertin I have ever tasted. Wonderful now but will certainly hold (and probably improve) for some years.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Musigny "VV" 1988 Comte de Vogue

1/2000. Acquired from Beaune Sep-93 for $84.
Musigny, the name alone makes one think of one of the finest wines on earth. And Musigny 'Vieilles Vignes' by Comte de Vogue is the standard benchmark by which all other Musignys are judged.
COLOR: Distinctly older looking than the Ruchottes. Soft hues of lightish purple with considerable clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Absolutely enticing in its harmonious and regal nose. From flowery high notes through creamy scents in the middle to the sublime elements of the earthy yet ethery 'Bourgogne Nose'. Fruit as such was not so apparent though.
TASTE: Wonderfully harmonious on the palate too. Smooth as silk with good concentration and ripe soft tannins. Extremely tasty and a pleasure to sip, though for me at least it lacked some focus and grip.
LENGTH: Long and vibrating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Completely different from the Ruchottes. Full bodied with an obvious majestic feel that reveal its breed in every department. Completely integrated and harmonious if somewhat lacks in vigor. My only reservation is some perceived hollowness on the mid palate. Some said it will take some more time for this wine to fully mature, but I don't tend to think this is the case.
OVERALL: Superb! It will only take a better Musigny to overshadow this wonderful wine...
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.