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Volnay '60 Ouvrees'..... Zinfandel.....


A no-celebration simple Friday night dinner at home with our friend Shlomo Ghivoly. Dinner consisted of puff-pastry filled with minced meat and vegetables, tender lasagna ragu, cheese, ice-cream.
We had two very different wines along with the food.

Volnay - Caillerets '60 Ouvrees' 1993 Pousse d'Or

2/2000. Acquired from New-York, Oct-96 for $45.
The sub-plot of '60 Ouvrees' in the 1er Cru vineyard of Caillerets in Volnay is a monopole of the Domaine de la Pousse d'Or. It is their "Special Reserve" wine as they also produce a 'regular' Caillerets.
For many years I have been a fan of this domaine. Though I've had my share of disappointments there, their top Volanys can be sublime and true representatives of the unique terroir of the commune.
COLOR: Pretty light red, looking pinkish and even a bit watery with wide clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: First sniff are simply magnificent! Fresh accentuated aromas of cherries surrounded by flowery tones, some oak, and a beautiful and tender touch of 'Bourgogne Nose'. Unfortunately, the intensity of the nose, which was absolutely smashing at first, subsided pretty fast. The aromatic composition did not change, but you had to swirl and sniff harder in order to get it all.
TASTE: As good as the nose. Semi-mature sweetish fruit, plenty of winyness and complex flavors. Real depth and that silky elegance so typical to top-notch Volnay. On the palate the wine is at its absolute peak now.
LENGTH: Medium-long aftertaste that nicely combines the sweetness of the fruit with the refreshing acidity.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied wine of velvet texture. Still enough youthfulness and vigor, though as elegant and pure as befitting a top Volnay, the best Cote de Beaune appellation IMHO. Superb balance between fruit, wood, alcohol, acidity and the soft tannins.
OVERALL: Excellent. A wonderful example of what a top 1er Cru Volnay can be like.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Zinfandel 1996 Ravenswood

2/2000. Bought locally Dec-99 for $22.
I don't think I have had Zins more than a couple of times in my life, so I was eager to try this bottle Dorit found at a local wine shop.
COLOR: Dark red, almost Rhone-like black. Not even a bit of clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Tons of in-your-face simple fruit and coarse wood. The exact combination I hate in American wines [Oops! My web site has just lost a bundle of visitors...]. Especially after the Volnay, the finesse and subtleties of the nose here felt like those of a degenerate gorilla.
TASTE: Again, plenty of shallow simple fruit, heavy hot alcohol and not much else. Not so bad if you like this kind of stuff but I don't. In all fairness, the wine is not flawed in any technical respect. It is just one-dimensional, coarse and shallow.
LENGTH: The hot fruity aftertaste does linger for a while.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied blockbuster. Only the wrong kind of blockbuster. Plenty of fruit and not lacking in winyness, this wine has no complexity, no subtleties and poor balance.
OVERALL: Good-plus (i.e disappointing). Somehow I got a feeling not all Zinfandels are like this one. Maybe the winery is not a good one, perhaps the vintage was difficult to control. I am pretty sure better things can be (and are) made from this grape.
MARK: 15.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.