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Reoderer, Cristal..... Sauzet, Batard Montrachet..... Grange Hermitage..... La Mouline..... Madeira Bual.....


Celebrating my fifty-third birthday with our best wine loving friends was good enough excuse to pop open some of the most eclectic wines imaginable.
Amihai & Dafna, Eli & Gilly and Oded & Nitza all showed up for Saturday birthday lunch. But what a 'lunch' it was!
Dorit outdid herself in preparing delicious dishes that fantastically matched the great wines.
The wine, food and conviviality were all non plus ultra...

Goose liver with raisins and brandy in filo parcels
1990 Champagne 'Cristal', L. Reoderer
Shrimps bisque
1995 Batard Montrachet, E. Sauzet
Chili con carne
1990 Grange Hermitage, Penfolds
1983 Cote Rotie 'La Mouline', Guigal
Walnut crepes
1907 Madeira 'Bual', Blandy

Champagne 'Cristal' 1990 L. Reoderer

2/2001. Acquired at auction Jul-98 for $140.
One of the most celebrated Grand Marks available. This exclusive brand is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today it is produced in the Brut style, though when it was commissioned by Alexander II back in 1876 it was intensely sweet.
COLOR: Medium deep golden color. Beautiful tiny bubbles stem like a fountain from the bottom center of the glass.
NOSE: Deep and winey nose. Complex fruit lemon and honey tones.
TASTE: Very rich expansive flavors. Ripe though not in the least old. Luscious yet extremely focused. Mouthfilling and exquisitely tasty.
LENGTH: Very long and crisp aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, superbly crafted and perfectly balanced.
OVERALL: Divine!!! Surly the best champagne I ever tasted.
MARK: 20/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Batard Montrachet 1995 E. Sauzet

2/2001. Acquired at auction Jul-97 for $150.
Batard Montrachet, the masculine brother of Chevalier Montrachet, is surly among the very best dry whites of the world. Quite often better than Montrachet itself.
Etienne Sauzet is one of the most sought after domaines of Puligny-Montrachet and 1995 was among the best vintages for white (B) in the 90s.
COLOR: Medium gold color, deeper than when I had this wine before a couple of years ago. Very noticeable 'legs' attest to the wine fatness.
NOSE: Profound, classic and highly concentrated nose of white fruits and minerals. Layers of buttery aromas. Well developed and stylish. Wood notes are there, but they serve as backdrop rather than overshadow the intense natural aromas.
TASTE: Bone dry multi-flavored 'big' wine that expresses both fruit and minerals in a profound yet restrained way. Mouthfilling and tasty, beautifully delineated and focused with fantastic grip. Fat and expressive, though still has something in reserve. Simply wonderful.
LENGTH: Very long finish that lingers forever.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied full-textured wine of huge but perfectly balanced proportions. A rare combination of complexity, opulence and breed.
OVERALL: Outstanding! A top-notch example.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Grange Hermitage 1990 Penfolds

2/2001. Acquired from Chicago Aug-95 for $72.
The most celebrated Australian wine. This Shiraz based legend is considered among the greatest wines of the world.
Some say the 1990 vintage is the best Grange ever produced.
COLOR: Very dark opaque violet color, hardly any clearing around the rim. Plenty of sediment.
NOSE: Intense aromas of black forest-fruit, sweetish plums, a touch of licorice and well balanced oak tones. The nose is quite forward though not even close to fully mature. A pleasure to sniff at.
TASTE: Savory complex prune-like fruit. Plenty of spice and other complex flavors. Hefty, concentrated and multidimensional, though a touch less winey than I expected. Obvious round tannins and excellent acidity. Wonderfully classy on the palate though but needs more time for all the ingredients to completely harmonize.
LENGTH: Very long distinctly sweetish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied wine that does not feel like one in spite of its 13.8% alcohol. Velvety structured with complex flavors, fine backbone and perfect balance.
OVERALL: Outstanding! A rare treat that will probably get even better in years to come.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Cote Rotie 'La Mouline' 1983 E. Guigal

2/2001. Bought at auction Mar-00 for $395.
I have had this diamond of wines twice before. On both occasions I thought it was the perfect wine imaginable.
This bottle's cork looked suspicious as it came out pretty easily and was soaked all the way to its top...
COLOR: Brownish purple color, noticeable clearing around the rim. Plenty of sediment.
NOSE: Explosive nose of black forest-fruit, sweetish dried prunes and various spices simply sprouts out of the glass. Deep, rich and fully mature, the harmonious fruit completely integrated with the complex secondary and tertiary aromas. Totally captivating.
TASTE: This giant of nectars filled the mouth with fathomless multi-layered multi-dimensional flavors. Somewhat less vigorous than the last bottle, but still very concentrated and winey. Elegant smooth and complex, everything in this wine is completely blended to create the most harmonious and tasty experience.
LENGTH: Infinitely long aftertaste that leaves your taste bud yearning for more.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Extremely elegant and focused, with solid backbone and fantastic grip. Smooth and perfectly balanced with absolutely no rough edges. Complex harmonious fruit mingles with soft receding tannins in a perfect balance. I believe though that this particular bottle was not kept under ideal conditions and thus was a bit beyond its peak.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! A wonderful wine even if a notch weaker than the previous ones I had.
MARK: 19.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Madeira 'Bual' 1907 Blandy

2/2001. Bought at auction Aug-00 for $300.
By far the oldest wine I ever tasted!
Vintage madeira is practically an indestructible wine. In the 18th and 19th century British madeira lovers were willing to pay more for wine that traveled as 'ballast' from Madeira to the US and then back to England than for wine that took the direct route from Madeira...
The bottle looked as if it was bottled recently, as indeed is the case with many old madeira vintages. But trying to get the cork out proved this was not the case. A full bacteriology laboratory topped the wet cork, which disintegrated even with the most careful cork pulling.
COLOR: Deep brownish color with beautiful golden hues. Tons of sediment lying at the bottom.
NOSE: Exquisite aromas that were unlike anything I have smelled before. Caramel, oranges, chocolate and concentrated plumish tones. Surprisingly vigorous, the nose was stylishly elegant as it was youthful! Amazing, but this Madeira was not maderized at all...
TASTE: Mouthfilling and full, yet round and harmonious as only gods' nectar can be. Sweet, but not overly so. Multi-layered if there ever was such a thing. Flavors range from mature fruit to toffy or fudge. Beautifully delineated and focused. Vibrant acidity cut thru the sweetness and leaves a most satisfying balanced sensation on the palate. Out of this world!
LENGTH: Simply never ending.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Smooth textured full bodied wine. Superbly preserved, alcoholically warm, multi-flavored, wonderfully structured and unbelievably balanced.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! 94 years-old wine? You must be joking.
MARK: 19.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

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Copyright 1996-2003.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.