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Valbuena..... Grands Echezeaux..... Beaucastel.....


This Friday night we went with our good friends Eli & Gilly to a really nice Mexican/Cajun-style restaurant in Tel-Aviv - Chimichanga.
A vibrant place with good atmosphere and energy, where the flavorful piquant food is extremely tasty.
The four of us ate and drank too much, but enjoyed every morsel, sip and moment of it.
Valbuena 1994 Vega Sicilia

9/2003. Brought by Eli. Current market price $90.
Aged for 5 years by the winery before its release, Valbuena - the 2nd wine of Vega Sicilia - is 80% Tempranillo and 20% Merlot.
Some three years ago there was a scare that the 1994 vintage was tainted with corky wines, and the winery even recalled the whole vintage production. Eventually it turned out that only a marginal percentage of the bottles were corky and only about 1000 of the 130000 bottles were actually returned by customers. Fortunately our bottle proved to be in excellent condition.
COLOR: Medium-dark purple red. Hardly any clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Deep rich elegant nose laden with warm fruit and complimenting wood tones. Unmistakably Spanish with its 'dusty' Tempranillo aromas.
TASTE: Mouthfilling and zesty, the wine stood up bravely to the piquant - even hot - parade of appetizers marched to our table. Sweetish black fruit flavors, very good winyness and concentration. Perhaps not the most complex of wines, but extremely tasty. Highly enjoyable.
LENGTH: Long sweetish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body, excellent structure, completely harmonious and really well balanced.
OVERALL: Superb. A fine Spanish wine that is ready to drink and enjoy.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Grands Echezeaux 1985 R. Engel

9/2003. Brought by Eli. No real market price as you won't find any today.
1985 was an excellent vintage in Burgundy. However most wines lacked the structure to last long, so consequently only the very best are still at their prime.
Rene Engel's Grands Echezeaux is among the top renditions from that exalted Grand Cru vineyard.
COLOR: Pale ruby color. Noticeable clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Intoxicating 'Bourgogne Nose' with all the trimmings. Earth, mushrooms, leather, raw meat and plenty of ripe fruit at the core. Impressive and complex nose but a tiny bit rustic.
TASTE: Multidimensional multi-flavored wine on the palate. Not a hint of age, except for the harmonious blend of the fruit, alcohol tannins and acidity. Concentrated but not hugely so, with excellent winyness and backbone.
We had this wine in between the first and main dishes, as it wouldn't stand a chance against the zesty kitchen here.
LENGTH: Very long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body. Classic, elegant full of flavors and full of life. Superbly balanced.
OVERALL: Outstanding! At 18 years of age, this wine has passed the test of time. If you are lucky enough to have a bottle don't tempt fate. Enjoy it now.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

CdP - Chateau de Beaucastel 1990 Perrin

9/2003. Bought at auction Aug-96 for $75 (current market price $100-$120).
This benchmark Chateauneuf du Pape is always very high on my list of favorites. The 1990 lived for many years in the shadow of the illustrious 1989, but in my opinion at least it was always as good and in recent years is becoming even better perhaps.
COLOR: Very dark almost blackish red. Plenty of sediment on the bottle.
NOSE: Immense nose that brings out the myriad of varietals that make this wine. Dark and red fruit, raw meat, lots of spices, violets and balancing wood tones - all in one explosive yet harmonious out-burst from the glass.
TASTE: Mouthfilling and multi-flavored to the extreme. Bold, expressive and extremely winey. Mature fruit abound as well as minerals, coffee and other flavors. Very concentrated and superbly structured. Stood up well to the more demanding main dishes.
LENGTH: Really long and singing aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full-bodied blockbuster wine that never loses its elegance and style. Soft round tannins, wonderful concentration superb structure and harmonious balance.
OVERALL: Outstanding! This mammoth wine is approaching its peak now. But no hurry. It will last for many more years.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Reach Me? yak@yakshaya.com

Yak's Home Page
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Wine & Food Adventures

Copyright 1996-2003.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.