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Romanee St. Vivant, Thomas-Moillard..... Romanee St. Vivant, R. Arnoux..... Romanee St. Vivant, DRC..... Vintage Port, Fonseca.....


It has been a while since we last had a Grand Dinner with top wines at home, and even longer since I wrote about one...
It is not every day that one is privileged to enjoy and compare three great wines from the same excellent vintage made by three different growers.
Fortunately, I did have three such bottles. So the theme of the evening was Vosne-Romanee Grand Cru vineyard of Romanee St. Vivant from the superb vintage of 1993.
Considerable thought was devoted to choosing the menu that would compliment and accentuate but will not overpower these great wines. And as always, Dorit proved the master in choosing and executing this magnificent dinner.
So, with our good friends Amihai, Dafna, Oded, Nitza and Gilly we sat down last Friday evening for this rare treat. The atmosphere and ambiance were fun and cosy as usual. The food was fantastic and perfectly matched the wines. And as for the wines themselves - read on...

Mousse and Ragout of Mushrooms
1993 Romanee St. Vivant, Thomas-Moillard
Baked Risotto Carbonara
1993 Romanee St. Vivant, R. Arnoux
Beef Filet wrapped in Mille Feuilles and Wine Sauce
1993 Romanee St. Vivant, DRC
Cheese Crepes
1985 Vintage Port, Fonseca

Three 1993 Romanee St. Vivant

Romanee St. Vivant 1993 Thomas-Moillard

5/2004. Bought at the winery, Apr-96 for $51.
Nuits-St. Georges based Moillard wears two different winemaking hats. One is a huge (more than a million bottles) negoc operation, where mediocre wines are sold under the name of Moillard or Moillard-Grivot. The other, a much smaller one, is his own domaine wines. The domaine wines comprise of small parcels in some of the best vineyards in the Cote d'Or. Moillard holding in Romanee St. Vivant is all of 0.17ha. Enough perhaps for two barrels of wine...
COLOR: Medium garnet red, some clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Flowery spicy nose, with delicate perfumed aromas of forest fruit and earthy elements. Quite pure and very pleasant 'Bourgogne Nose' with little if any oak to mask it.
TASTE: Again, more delicate than powerful. Very fine expression of the Romanee St. Vivant terroir. Reasonably winey, medium concentration, very fine balance and harmony. A pleasure on the palate.
LENGTH: Long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied fine textured wine. Soft and very well balanced. fully integrated and around its peak.
OVERALL: Superb. A really fine example from this little-known Domaine.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Romanee St. Vivant 1993 R. Arnoux

5/2004. Bought at auction Feb-98 for $150.
Robert Arnoux holdings in RSV amount to 0.35ha. Twice as much as Moillard. Say 130 cases per year?
The domaine's reputation in the last decade have soared up and his top wines (the RSV and the 1er Cru Les Suchots) are keenly sought after and hard to find.
COLOR: Medium-dark brick red. Hardly any clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Explosion of fruit and spices burst out of the glass. An amazing un-restrained nose that left everyone in owe. So concentrated and enticing that I was reluctant to taste it fearing the palate will not be as good. The most beautiful 'Bourgogne Nose' complemented by some wood tones.
TASTE: Not to be outdone by the nose, the taste is majestically explosive as well. Layer after layer of fruit flavors. Raspberries and black fruits and sweetish plums and whatnot. Immensely concentrated yet never losing its elegance. Excellent acidity and silky tannins add structure to this piece of beauty. Totally utterly delicious.
LENGTH: Very long and reverberating and full-of-flavors aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied wine of immense dimensions. Focused, excellent grip and perfect balance. Close to its peak now though will get totally harmonized in two to four years.
OVERALL: Extraordinary!! A rare treat. Will no doubt merit a perfect score in a few years when all its components become fully integrated.
MARK: 19.5-20/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Romanee St. Vivant 1993 DRC

5/2004. Bought in England Aug-01 for $260.
The Domaine de la Romanee Conti (DRC) needs little introduction to any wine lover in the world. Its reputation (and prices) often are such that one could think these guys produce crown jewels rather than wine.
They are by far the major holders in RSV (56% of the vineyard) and produce about 20000 bottles per year.
COLOR: Medium-dark brilliant-looking ruby. No noticeable clearing.
NOSE: Heavy and brooding nose. More black fruit than red. Penetrating and deep as opposed to Arnoux's broad spectrum of aromas. Still a touch restrained with oak pretty much noticeable. A fine serious nose. Perhaps too serious...
TASTE: Again, heavier, more serious and 'brooding' and less 'amazing' than the Arnoux. Very deep and winey. Excellent concentration. Velvety as opposed to silky. More spicy than fruity. Excellent and wonderfully tasty.
LENGTH: Long and mouthfilling aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied multi-layered multi-dimensional wine. Deep, terroir-ish and impressive. A touch coarse though superbly balanced. This wine needs more time to yield all that it has. Will certainly improve with time, but I don't believe it will ever reach the heights of the 1993 Arnoux RSV.
OVERALL: Outstanding! Undoubtedly a wine of fine breed that is still years away from its peak.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Maybe.

Vintage Port 1985 Fonseca

5/2004. Bought at auction May-98 for $75.
What better way to round up this most tasty and educative evening than with a good vintage port?.
COLOR: Very dark opaque blackish red. Very slight clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Profound, uninhibited, nose of chocolate cinnamon and oranges. Rich forward aromas and bouquet.
TASTE: Smooth velvety and beautiful. Sweet but not cloying. Fruit is still very evident though the wine has immerged from its infancy by now. Good concentration though perhaps not immensely complex. Simply delicious.
LENGTH: Very long and satisfying aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied velvet textured port. Not a monster wine but well balanced and wonderfully harmonious.
OVERALL: Outstanding! A pleasure to drink now but will last for many years to come.
MARK: 19/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.