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Leroy, Meursault..... Drouhin, Grands Echezeaux..... Arnoux, Romanee St. Vivant..... Jayer, Echezeaux.....


Friday night dinner at our friends Oded and Nitza Lerer.
Eight friends have gathered for cosy winter dinner. Amihai & Dafna and Yair & Efrat besides the Lerers and ourselves. Both Dafna and Efrat are professional singers. So when we all felt well fed and quite mellow from the great wine and food, to everyone's delight the girls agreed to give an impromptu singing recital with Oded at the piano.
As for wines, we had one white Meursault and three different red Grand Crus, all from the commune of Vosne-Romanee! Delicious food, outstanding wines and lively company - a truly wonderful evening!

Piquant bruscetta
1988 Meursault 'Narvaux', Dom. Leroy
Liver paste on toast
1990 Grands Echezeaux, J. Drouhin
Open-fire grilled lamb kebab
1993 Romanee St. Vivant, R. Arnoux
Lamb chops with rice
1986 Echezeaux, Henry Jayer
Lemon parfait with mango and lychee

Meursault 'Narvaux' 1988 Dom. Leroy

I rarely drink Village wines, but this single-vineyard Meursault by Leroy is not your run-of-the-mill Village. None of Leroy's wines are.
COLOR: Full yellow-gold. Looks rich and viscous.
NOSE: Profoundly expressive nose. Minerally rich with obvious oak notes. Well developed and fully forward ripe white fruit. Impressive.
TASTE: Aggressively mouthfilling for a 12 years old village white. Well focused with plenty of winyness and a fine grip. A bit too oakey and not as fat and buttery as a typical good Meursault should be, but a stylish wine with a distinct character nevertheless. Commanding and tasty.
LENGTH: Medium-long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied, concentrated and mature wine. Well-endowed rich and complex, but atypical for Meursault. Clean, minerally, with fine acidity. Mature but not old. Well balanced as it is, but I personally would like it to have a bit more fat and a bit less oak.
OVERALL: Superb! A perfectly made wine from a perfect winemaker.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Grands Echezeaux 1990 J. Drouhin

12/2000. Acquired from Beaune Sep-93 for $61.
The last bottle from a batch of fine (B) wines Amihai and I have acquired from Beaune more than seven years ago for our 'wine partnership'.
COLOR: Medium ruby-red. Some clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Very nice, soft, red forest-fruit. Deep, clean, though not very complex 'Bourgogne Nose'. Aromas and bouquet are more elegant and harmonious than powerful.
TASTE: Well developed, semi-mature fruit with decent, though not particularly impressive, winyness. Nothing sauvage about this wine. Delicate, full of subtleties and extremely tasty. Not a simpleton in spite of its medium weight.
LENGTH: Long and very pleasant sweetish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied Grand Cru. Drouhin's light-handed touch is all over this wine. Very elegant, superbly harmonious and perfectly balanced. In a blind tasting I would probably guess a Chambolle-Musigny or Volnay rather than Grands Echezeaux.
OVERALL: Very fine. House style is more prominent here than the terroir. Approaching its peak.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Romanee St. Vivant 1993 R. Arnoux

12/2000. Bought at auction Feb-98 for $150.
Among the finer Grand Cru of the Cote de Nuits, Romanee St. Vivant ranks "only" fourth or fifth among those from Vosne-Romanee.
Robert Arnoux is a top-quality producer and 1993 is beginning to emerge the best vintage since 1990.
COLOR: Fairly dark ruby-red. Very thin clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Very deep and complex. Only partially forward at present. Red and black fruits, lots of spices and a profound 'Bourgogne Nose' to wrap it all. An exotic combination of aromas that is multi-layered and enticing.
TASTE: Layers of complex fruit and concentrated winyness. Multi-dimensional and really deep on the palate though still somewhat restraint. Evocatively tasty with excellent focus and grip. Wilder and less delicate than the Drouhin Grands Echezeaux, but a better wine with a greater future.
LENGTH: Very long and complex aftertaste. Impressive!
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body, plenty of winyness, concentrated and well structured. Noticeable soft tannins and good acidity in the front, a touch of oak for backbone and complex flavors in between. This is very serious wine with years of further development ahead.
OVERALL: Outstanding!! A masterpiece that needs more time to totally integrate.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Echezeaux 1986 Henry Jayer

Doyen of Burgundy wine-making, the legendary Henry Jayer, has long retired from active producing. It is a rare pleasure nowadays to be able to taste a Jayer's wine.
1986 was not a great vintage and Echezeaux is not a great vineyard. A 1986 Echezeaux by any other producer would probably be hardly drinkable by now. Not so here!
COLOR: Medium-light violet-red. Wide clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Very mature and totally forward. Good fruit still abound and a beautiful 'Bourgogne Nose' surrounds it. But the most commanding feature of the nose is its age. The pleasant sur maturite is more prominent than any other aspect of the wine. The nose at least is a bit too old here.
TASTE: Again, completely mature and then some. Mellow soft taste with discernible ripe fruit and well developed flavors. Not at all tired or dried up. Certainly a comfortably-living grandfather rather than homeless old man. Not really deep but still winey and enticing.
LENGTH: Long and very ripe and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, soft-textured and completely harmonious wine. Feels a bit older than its age though by no means tired. Smooth as silk and very finely balanced.
OVERALL: Superb! A bit past its peak but still an amazing example for a 1986 Echezeaux.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.