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Chevalier Montrachet..... Montrachet.....


My favorite local Chef - Yonatan Roshfeld - had opened a new restaurant in Tel-Aviv, adjacent to his old one. The old 'Roshfeld' is now more a bistro like venue, while the new one is an elegant (and quite expensive) place where the best ingredients go into the beautifully presented, creative yet harmonious, combinations that are the hallmark of Roshfeld.
For the price of $225 for two (no wine included. we always bring our own), we let Roshfeld spoil us with an endless array of heavenly delicious degustation dishes. From lobster and avocado salad, through coated shrimps in gaspacho, oysters gelatinized in their own sea-water, three kinds of goose liver dishes (including a fantastic ravioli in truffles oil), tender lobster in creamy pinkish sauce, grilled Turbot fillet and more...
As we knew most of the menu will be based on the harvest of the sea, we brought with us a serious white (B) - a 1989 Chevalier Montrachet by Jean Chartron - to accompany us thru what transpired to be really top grades dinner.
Two tables away from us set another serious wine lover who also brought his own wine with him. Avi Ben-Ami, the excellent sommelier, suggested we swap glasses, and so we did. After tasting and commenting on it blind, it was revealed to be a 1985 Montrachet, produced by Drouhin from the Marquis de Laguiche's domaine.

Chevalier Montrachet 1989 Jean Chartron

8/2000. Bought at auction Oct-99 for $100. The domaine of "Jean Chartron" is related to but is not identical with the domaine of "Chartron et Trebuchet" which is a well known (though not particularly shining) Domaine in Puligny-Montrachet. Complex French inheritance laws, complicated by the marriage of one branch of the Chartron family into the Trebuchet family resulted in different wines owned and vinified by different members of the family, all using a misleadingly identical label design...
Chevalier Montrachet is of course the most elegant white wine in the world. Though less powerful than its 3-times-more-expensive big brother (Les) Montrachet, Chevalier Montrachet is many times a better wine.
COLOR: Medium golden yellow.
NOSE: Wide-spectrum of extremely fine aromas. From complex minerals and flowery scents to mature white fruits with a touch of refreshing lemon. Clean, captivating and persistent (the wine did not lose any of its nose for the duration of the lengthy dinner). Not immensely concentrated or bursting out of the glass, the nose here is nevertheless irresistibly well balanced and a pleasure to sniff at.
TASTE: Beautifully elegant with dozens of nuances that keep filling the mouth. Again, wide-spectrumed deep flavors none of which overshadow the other. Not a fragile tender wine, but neither a wine that punches your palate with blockbusting explosions. Wonderfully balanced and persistent on the palate as it is on the nose.
LENGTH: Long long long aftertaste that keeps reverberating in your mouth even if you only take a tiny sip.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, beautifully structured wine. Stylish, focused multidimensional and tasty. Wonderfully balanced with just a little bit in majestic reserve. Perfectly a point now, and I wouldn't wait too many years with my second bottle.
OVERALL: Superb. I have had better ones, but this Chevalier Montrachet - especially for its price - has nothing to be ashamed of.
MARK: 18.5/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Montrachet (Laguiche) 1985 J. Drouhin

As mentioned above, we have exchanged two glasses of our Chevalier Montrachet with two glasses of this very famous Montrachet from the Marquis de Laguiche estate, elevated and sold by Drouhin.
COLOR: Deeper darker gold than the Chevalier Montrachet.
NOSE: Profound and vigorous nose. Tons of honey, but little else accept for old-age almonds scent. Very concentrated, but the bouquet here is much too monolithic. An impressive nose no doubt, but (much!) less pleasing than that of the Chevalier.
TASTE: Very big wine on the palate. Powerful? Yes. Impressive? Yes. But then what? Not much I'm afraid... Not only that the fruit (if there ever was any) had died away, but nothing complex or tasty took its place. Plenty of punch and concentration here, but poor flavors with little elegance or charm.
LENGTH: Very long finish. Something you can't deprive an old Montrachet of, no matter how good or bad it is in other departments.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied wine and then some. Very concentrated but time has not been kind here. A 15 years Montrachet should have developed complex tertiary elements instead of the lost fruit. It just didn't happen here.
OVERALL: Very fine for sure but disappointing for a Montrachet. Perhaps this particular bottle had a spotty history or else it should have been drank five years ago.
MARK: 18/20.BUY MORE? No (for the price this must have cost).

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.