It has been a while since Dorit made a full-fledged dinner for guests at our home. So this Friday evening we invited over our good friends Oded & Nitsa and Eli & Gilly for some serious wining and dining decadence.
Seviche of Palamida in cocos milk
1995 Puligny-Montrachet 'Champs Canet', E. Sauzet
Ajo Blanco con Uvas (cold almonds soup)
1990 Gevrey-Chambertin 'Clos St. Jacques', A. Rousseau
Rigatoni in lamb meat and saffron sauce
1989 Chateau Haut Brion
Summer berries fruit salad
|Puligny-Montrachet 'Champs Canet'
6/2001. Acquired from London May-99 for $53.
1995 is arguably the best vintage for white (B) in more than a decade. Everything I have tasted so far was stunning. I'm afraid though that by the time these wines will reach full maturity I won't have many of them left...
COLOR: Golden yellow with a tinge of greenish tone.
NOSE: Powerful aromas bursting out of the glass. White fruits, flowers lemon and plenty of oak. Very deep and complex nose that is extremely young. At this point in time the wood tones tend to overwhelm the fruit a tiny bit, but the richness of the nose points to huge potential.
TASTE: Rich and complex on the palate with amazing concentration of fruit and winyness. A touch of [non-sweet] honey compliments the freshness of the fruit and acidity. Again, still young with plenty of development ahead.
LENGTH: Long powerful aftertaste that lingers.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied very complex and concentrated wine. Wood is a bit accentuated now, but the core of the fruit is such that it guarantees a perfect balance when it will open up completely.
OVERALL: Superb! Great effort from one of my favorite producers for white Burgundy.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
|Gevrey-Chambertin 'Clos St. Jacques'
6/2001. Acquired from London Mar-96 for $84.
While there is no doubt who makes the best Chambertin, the jury is still out on whether the benchmark for the illustrious 1er Cru 'Clos St. Jacques' is produced by Jadot or by Rousseau. The 1990 vintage is of course among the best vintages for red (B) in recent history.
COLOR: Red ruby color with some paling towards the rim.
NOSE: Simply fantastic! 'Bourgogne Nose' par-excellance with wonderful deep red-fruits scents, oriental spices, damp forest floor and whatnot. Penetrating and powerful, the complex and rich nose is simply amazing.
TASTE: Younger on the palate than I might have expected. Multi-flavored, vibrant and fresh fruit enhanced by expensive winyness. A hard edge that seemed to be there at first turned in time into a round and perfect backbone. Excellent depth and concentration, soft tannins and very good acidity. And of course - extremely tasty.
LENGTH: Very long and complex finish.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied wine that has everything a great Burgundy should. Depth and breadth of flavors, delicate yet firm texture, and a perfect balance between all ingredients. Though the wine is already open, it still needs a few years to totally integrate.
OVERALL: Outstanding!! This example clearly shows why Clos St. Jacques can stand equal to and surpass many a Grand Cru.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
|Chateau Haut Brion
6/2001. Bought at auction Aug-95 for $140.
As many of my regular readers probably know, I am not the greatest fan of Bordeaux and certainly cannot claim deep knowledge or experience with this world-famous region.
Still, in order to keep an open mind, I try to taste the top wines from the best vintages. From what I read, 1989 was the vintage for Haut Brion. The only other Haut Brion I ever tasted before was an unimpressive 1970.
P.S. When I bought my only bottle, some six years ago, I thought it was very expensive. Today, I checked for current prices out of curiosity. It seems the price of this wine has risen about 300% in that period...
COLOR: Dark violet-red, hardly paling around the rim.
NOSE: Really amazing! Beautiful and clean black fruit, engulfed by tobacco, cedar, pencil-tip, earth, liquorice and other 'Bordeaux Nose' elements. Some soft tertiary notes are already there, but the nose is vibrant, enticing and extremely elegant.
TASTE: If I had to use one word to describe it, it would be majestic. Velvety smooth poised and elegant, yet rich in ripe fruit and concentrated winyness. Full of flavors and deep in its dimensions. Stylish, tasty and commanding. But above all - wonderfully harmonious.
LENGTH: Very long persisting aftertaste that never ends.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body of voluptuous silky texture. Excellent concentration of rich integrated fruit and deep winyness. Soft round tannins and just the right amount of acidity contribute to the harmonious perfection. Surprisingly(?) this 12 years old truly great Bordeaux is completely ready, though of course it will hold develop and gain complexity for years to come.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!!! Certainly among the very best Bordeaux I ever tasted.
MARK: 19.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.