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Chardonnay Katzrin..... Bonnes Mares..... Clos St. Denis.....


A wonderful Friday night dinner at our friends and wine-partners Amihai & Dafna.
The evening was enlivened by the younger generation of the Ben-David family who had joined in too.
Food wine company and atmosphere were all excellent as always.

Autumnal salad of avocado, asparagus, lattice and jumbo-shrimps sauteed in mustard and honey sauce
1996 Katzrin Chardonnay, Golan Wineries
Jerusalem artichoke cream soup
1991 Bonnes Mares, G. Roumier
Beef fillet and mushrooms in puff pastry
1988 Clos St. Denis, Dujac
Chocolate cake with strawberries, vanilla ice-cream and hot chocolate sauce

Chardonnay - Katzrin 1996 Golan Wineries

Top-of-the-line Israeli white wine. At four years of age its maturity and constitution resembles a 7-years-old decent 1er Cru (B).
COLOR: Deep golden yellow, looks fat and viscous
NOSE: Very pleasant and mature nose of complex minerals and northern white fruit. Much closer to an old-world Chardonnay than to a tropical-fruit California rendition.
TASTE: Clean and minerally on the palate. Full, mouth-filling and surprisingly serious. Perhaps a touch heavy or four-squared, and lacking somewhat in refreshing acidity. But a huge leap above the old watery stuff that Israeli whites used to be.
LENGTH: Medium-long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied Chardonnay. Some oak is apparent both on the nose and the palate, but here it compliments the structure rather than overshadowing it. Complex, winey and finely balanced.
OVERALL: Very good. And this wine proves that not all Israeli whites should be consumed within the first couple of years of their life.
MARK: 17/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Bonnes Mares 1991 G. Roumier

11/2000. Received from Christophe Roumier at the winery May-96.
I have tasted the first bottle some six months ago and was quite impressed. I love Bones Mares and I love Roumier. As for the vintage, 1991, the jury is still out, receiving both positive and negative evidence.
COLOR: Pretty dark color for (B), a bit murky though, with wide clear margins and lots of sediment.
NOSE: Assertive nose of semi-ripe black fruit and wet forest-floor, with rustic barnyard elements and some vegetative notes. Robust but not-too-delicate 'Bourgogne Nose'. All elements are there but they seem somewhat disjointed. Impressive nose that lacks in finesse.
TASTE: Again, very winey and assertive, but without great harmony. Reasonably concentrated with bold flavors and good grip. Not particularly focused but complex and commanding. Round but very discernible tannins.
LENGTH: Medium-long and pretty tannic aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied and vigorous wine. Full of zest and substance but really missing on elegance. This is quite strange as Roumier is well known for going after delicacy over power.
OVERALL: Fine to very-fine. May improve with more cellaring.
MARK: 17.5-18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Clos St. Denis 1988 Dom. Dujac

11/2000. Bought at auction Jul-97 for $105.
We have had this wine (along with its brother, the 1988 Clos de la Roche) more than two years ago. It was really beautiful then, better than the Clos de la Roche.
COLOR: Palish and distinctly "unimpressive" brownish-red. Medium clearing around the rim and no sediment whatsoever.
NOSE: Wow! Pure clean cherry nose that [at least for the first 40 minutes or so] was bursting out of the glass. Expressive, stylish and utterly enticing. The most harmonious marriage between the mature red fruit and the beautiful 'Bourgogne Nose' elements.
TASTE: Multi-flavored, multi-dimensional, velvety and silky celebration on the palate. Wonderful red fruit with lots of other flavor nuances. Poised, focused and elegant with great delicacy and finesse. Absolutely delicious.
LENGTH: Extremely long and smooth aftertaste that prolongs the sensation of every sip.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied Grand Cru that is everything one can look for in a truly great (B). Smooth, deep and wide-spectrumed. Pure harmonious nectar where all the ingredients are in perfect balance.
OVERALL: Outstanding!! The epitome of what a Dujac Grand Cru can be like. At its absolute best right now.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.