3/2000. A wonderful evening at our good friends Oded & Nitza. This time Oded dug deep into his cellar to produce something really unusual. A magnum(!) of 1947 Ch. Beychevelle!! This wine accompanied the excellent 'homeish' dinner Nitza prepared. Pen-fried fresh fish, aubergine baked with roquefort, delicious cooked young lamb, and peaches cooked in homemade jam.
First let me say that I never had any dry wine, Bordeaux or otherwise, that is older than me...
Among the many questions one can ask about such wine - How many bottles still exists today? Where and how did it spend its long long life? How come nobody ever thought of opening it before Oded got it (a couple of years ago)?
The ullage was at mid-shoulders of the magnum, the label was barely readable, and the cork broke in spite of Oded being careful and slow unscrewing it. Oded was worried that something totally undrinkable will come out so he had two (B) bottles in reserve.
We discussed for how long to let the wine rest after decanting it. Boy, am I glad all took my advise which was don't wait at all!
COLOR: Well, this wine would win no contest here. Murky pinkish brown liquid, with huge clear ring around the rim of the decanter. Tons of sediment left on wine side of the bottle.
NOSE: The very first sniffs reassured us this one is not a goner. Amazingly powerful, deep and complex nose. No fruit aromas at all. Damp earth, leather, tobacco, chocolate, anise, old wood and many other complex nuances we could not pin point. For the first 10 minutes or so there was a pronounced aroma of green olives too, but in time it subsided a bit and let some flowery tones show. The nose changed continuously, revealing more and more interesting and complex elements. After about hour and a half of being wonderful, it started converging toward that madeirized unpleasant state all old wines eventually get.
TASTE: Again, not a sign of fading. Very old, very mature taste of course. No fruit as such, but full of winyness with a plethora of tasty flavors, from the spicy to the smoked. Mouthfilling and multi-layered as one can come across. I wouldn't call it vigorous, but certainly full of life and personality. Furthermore, the velvety texture on the palate was complimented by pleasant and finely measured acidity and soft but discernible tannins. Not an everyday taste of course, but extremely interesting and a pleasure to drink. Like the nose however, the wine was really good for less than two hours. Afterwards it became ungainly and eventually undrinkable.
LENGTH: Very very long and complex aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-light bodied, silky textured wine. Highly expressive without a hint of dryness from start to finish. Amazing winyness even though there was no detectable fruit. Wonderful balance that was not hindered by 53 years.
OVERALL: Very fine indeed. It is impossible to compare such a wine to what I normally drink. And as I never tasted similarly old wines I can't really say how this wine would compare to its peers. All I know it was an incredibly interesting experience, and that we all enjoyed it very very much.
|MARK: 18/20.||BUY MORE? Yes.|
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.