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Frederic Emile..... Grattamacco..... Charmes Chambertin..... Clos St. Hune VT.....


Friday night dinner at home with our friends Amihai & Dafna and Rimon & Pnina.
I know I've said that many times in the past, but this time Dorit really outdid herself! With every dish of the four-course dinner a sublime celebration on the palate, this one must be counted amongst the most tasty dinners Dorit ever prepared.
Some of the wines were controversial, others held in consensus, but they all were very interesting and the whole evening, as usual, was a fun convivial affair.

Bisque des Crevettes
1996 Riesling "Frederic Emile", Trimbach
Fettuccine al Portobello, Porcini e Tartufo
1997 Grattamacco
Osso Buco with new Potatoes
1993 Charmes Chambertin, D. Laurent
Zabaglione al Riesling
1989 Riesling 'Clos St. Hune' VT, Trimbach

Riesling 'Frederic Emile' 1996 Trimbach

3/2003. Bought in London, Aug-01 for $29.
The top non-single-vineyard Riesling from the best dry-style producer in Alsace.
COLOR: Light golden straw color.
NOSE: Very fresh vineyard aromas that burst out of the glass. White fruit, grapes and flowers. Not yet developed the Riesling 'petrol' touch.
TASTE: Fruity yet dry. It is always amazing how fruity these dry Alsatian wines can be. A pleasure to drink.
LENGTH: Medium and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body, very good fruit and acidity.
OVERALL: Fine. A is drinking perfectly now.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Grattamacco 1997 Grattamacco

3/2003. Bought locally Apr-01 for $72.
My first taste of this Bolgheri area (west Tuscany) new-age wine. An unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.
COLOR: Medium garnet, no noticeable clearing towards the rim.
NOSE: At first a moldy attack that almost made me think the wine is corked. This subsided in five minutes, but not altogether. Very complex nose of everything but fruit. Earthy elements, mushrooms, meat and that faint moldy touch. Some (including myself) found the nose to be extremely interesting and even enticing in its own peculiar way. Others (inc. Dorit) did not like it at all.
One thing is certain though. These earthy aromas were NOT tertiary aromas as we may find in old mature wines. They are obviously part of this wine's unique signature.
TASTE: The taste followed the nose in its complexity, spicy earthy flavors, and lack of obvious fruit.
The wine is now probably in its dormant phase. It was obvious it has more in it that waits to be released. Still, the one consensus around the table was that we could not have had a more suitable wine to accompany the delicious but pungent truffles pasta. The wine and the dish were a marriage made in heaven!
LENGTH: Really long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body. Very self-asserting and unusual. Focused and smooth. Well balanced (to me) and promising.
OVERALL: Superb. Very unusual and extremely interesting wine. I have two more bottles and will try them in three years intervals.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Charmes Chambertin 1993 D. Laurent

3/2003. Bought at auction, Sep-97 for $120.
Another example from Dominique Laurent, the super-star negociant whose reputation eclipses that of many fine growers.
COLOR: Medium dark ruby. Faint clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Good, aggressive 'Bourgogne Nose', fine red fruit aromas with oak envelop quite dominant. Reasonably deep and concentrated nose that could have been a bit more refined.
TASTE: Tasty wine with good fruit and nice structure and grip. Oak is a bit overstated on the palate as it is on the nose. Good winyness and concentration but not much finesse or delicacy.
LENGTH: Long, a touch tannic, aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied well balanced wine in terms of tannins and acidity. Too oaky for my taste though.
OVERALL: Very Fine. I've had better (B) and I've had worse...
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Riesling 'Clos St. Hune' VT 1989 Trimbach

3/2003. Bought in London Aug-2001 for $100.
I probably read or heard it somewhere, but for some reason I was sure this Vendange Tardive is a dessert wine. In retrospect I must admit it was an inconceivable assumption. Trimbach Rieslings in general, and the 'Clos St. Hune' in particular, are the driest manifestations of Alsatian winemaking. So how could it be a sticky wine?
Well, dessert wine it isn't. But it is certainly the best Alsatian wine I ever tasted.
COLOR: Medium-deep glittering gold.
NOSE: OK, so this is not a dessert wine. But it has the richest, most complex and multi-layered nose of a white wine. Riesling 'petrol' signature is there, non-sweet honey is there, minerals are there, myriad of white fruit, citrus fruits and flowers aromas are there. Fresh as if this was a two-years-old and not a 14-years wine. Amazing nose!
TASTE: Not really sweet, but neither the bone-dry taste of 'regular', i.e non VT, Clos St. Hune. Extremely rich and mouthfilling but stopping right there, short of sweet. Multi-dimensional flavors constantly attack the palate. Ripe fruit mingle with minerals and other subtle flavors. Super fine acidity to match. A celebration in the mouth.
LENGTH: Infinitely long and persistent aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied, super stylish, totally harmonious and perfectly balanced.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! Dessert wine or not, this is among the very best wines I ever had.
MARK: 19.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? yes.

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Copyright 1996-2003.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.