The yearly dinner with our friends Bobby & Bea from Switzerland and Miriam from Jerusalem has by now become a fixture in our calendar around Christmas.
Dorit prepared a multi-national menu with mediterranean, chinese and mexican dishes.
My wine selection to accompany the dishes was similarly untraditional.
Food, wine and the company of course, all turned out to perfectly match each other. We all had a fantastic evening.
Shrimps in Vermouth and Cardimon
1996 Chablis 'Les Clos', R&V Dauvissat
Asparagus Pork Soup
Chili con Carne
1990 Ermitage 'Le Pavillon', Chapoutier
Cheese - mature Gruyere
Fresh Fruit Salad with shredded Chocolate
1998 Maximin Grunhauser TBA, Carl von Schubert
|Chablis - Les Clos
12/2003. Acquired from Chicago, Dec-98 for $90.
An almost 8 years-old Chablis Grand Cru from a good vintage and from one of the top star producer is, in theory, about half-way to full maturity.
A stylish, thin, ultra dry, as is the common perception of good Chablis would perhaps not go too well with the flavored shrimp dish. However...
COLOR: Medium-deep golden yellow.
NOSE: Rich deep luxurious nose of minerals white fruit and well integrated wood. Reminding one of a good Meursault rather than Chablis. Not yet possessing that honeyed nose of a fully-matured Chablis Grand Cru, but certainly on the way.
TASTE: Again, much more mouth-filling and rich on the palate than the younger Chablis that usually accompany Oysters and such. Concentrated, opulant, yet stylish all the way with the right amount of acidity for good balance.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body. Very rich for a Chablis but remaining elegant and wonderfully balanced.
OVERALL: Superb. A few more years will no doubt elevate this wine to even higher spheres.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
|Ermitage 'Le Pavillon'
12/2003. Bought at auction Aug-99 for $190.
The Chapoutier Pavillon plot of Hermitage is 100% very old Syrah grapes. The 'Ermitage' (why with 'E'??) is the prestige Chapoutier cuvee and 1990 was of course a sublime vintage. I've had the 1989 and the 1994 renditions of this wine in the past, and they both were wonderful.
A big wine in my experience that would suitably stand against the Chili con Carne.
Here is what Clive Coates wrote of this wine back in 1994... "Brillant colour. A simply triumphant nose. This is a real monster. Very very concentrated and tannic. Huge in size. Not yet brutal. The follow though is immensely profound. Marvellously concentrated and intense. Breathtaking in its potential. Grand vin ! "
COLOR: Dark red promisingly intense. Little clearing around the rim. Plenty of sediment on the bottle.
NOSE: Faint, hardly noticeable nose at all! What a disappointment... I have comitted enough infanticides in my life to know what a still-closed nose smell like. This here was not closed or backwards nose. There was simply no nose at all. Even after an hour in the glasses and even after pouring fresh - still nada.
TASTE: In sharp contrast to the muted nonexistant nose, the wine is deliciously tasty in the mouth. Multi-flavored and multi-layered. Fruit and other semi-matured flavors abound. Soft round tannins wrap the smooth winyness and the deep flavors.
LENGTH: Very long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied finely textured semi-mature wine. Concentrated but not heftly so. Nicely balanced on the palate.
OVERALL: Very fine. A compromise between the empty nose and the really fine palate. And I may have been too generous at that.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.
|Maximin Grunhauser TBA
||Carl von Schubert
10/2003. Acquired from Germany Aug-01 for $110 (half bottle).
We first had this extremely rare Trockenbeerenauslese some three years ago. At the tender age of three, the wine was simply divine.
COLOR: Rich looking deep gold yellow.
NOSE: Profound, fully-blown, rich and voluptuous nose. The once super-fresh ethery touch-no-touch fruity aromas were in part replaced by deeper, mellower, more substential elements. Pronounced honey, minerals and citrus tones are all there. A pleasure to sniff at.
TASTE: Mouthfilling nectar. Delicate sweetness that is perfectly balanced by wonderful acidity. Fruit flavors abound with more mature flavors starting to creep in. The wine has certainly lost its baby fat and innocence, but is gaining complexity and harmony.
LENGTH: Extremely long reverberating honeyed aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Light bodied (8% or so alcohol) dessert wine with beautiful finesse and perfect balance.
OVERALL: Outstanding! Not a baby anymore and on the road to decades of gaining harmony and complexity.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.