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YakFest in London (The Wednesday Wine Club)

NV Veuve Clicquot..... Puligny 'Perrieres'..... Chablis 'Montee de Tonnerre'..... Golan 'Katzrin'.....
Charmes Chambertin..... Mazis Chambertin..... Romanee St. Vivant..... Clos de Vougeot..... Grands Echezeaux.....
Macon 'Selection de Grains Sandre'..... Monbazillac


This month we were in England for eight days. Our visit was marked by many highlights, the first of which was a wonderful wine evening organized by Chris Tew in our honor.
Chris is a serious wine enthusiast from London and an old-time visitor to my website. He belongs to an exclusive wine club called the 'Wednesday Wine Club'. Members of this Club include a top Burgundy merchant, well-known wine writers, professional tasters and other experienced wine enthusiasts - all extremely knowledgeable. They meet regularly (on the first Wednesday of) each month for an evening of good food and stupendous wines. The WWC has a healthy bias towards the juice they make in Burgundy...
When I told Chris we are coming to London he suggested to organize an 'extraordinary' meeting of the WWC in our honor. The venue took place (as it always does) in the cellar of the "Shampers Wine Bar", a cosy place not far from Oxford Circus.
On Thursday, May-20th at 7:30 sharp (this is England after all...) we reported at the above-mentioned establishment with two bottles we brought with us from Israel. Including Dorit and myself, there were nine of us.
The format was that each member brought a bottle (or two) wrapped in such a way that it will not be possible to see the wine. Food was ordered from the very good - though not excessively fancy - menu, and then the fun began.
The dinner and wine tasting lasted about four hours! Each wine was poured blind at first and we all tried to guess the appellation, vintage and vintner. Nothing 'formal' or 'stuffed', just a convivial exchange of impressions, analysis and reasoned guesses. This guessing phase would last only a few minutes, after which the label was revealed so we could all enjoy the wine with the food. I was amazed and very much impressed by the educated and experienced palates around. Even I got a few things right... :))
The wines themselves were of the highest quality and there was ample time to enjoy each wine with the delicious food.
We had a squid salad and game terrine for first course, an excellent sirloin steak for main, and fantastic bread-and-butter pudding for dessert.

Thank you very much Chris, Fran, Howard, Austen, Colin, William and Monica. We have tremendously enjoyed and will always remember this wonderful evening.

Champagne NV Veuve Clicquot

5/99. Nice small bubbles. Pretty ripe creamy nose. Quite rich and not entirely dry. Excellent.
MARK: 17/20.BUY MORE? Maybe.

Puligny-Montrachet 'Perrieres' 1992 Chavy

5/99. Medium straw color. Relatively closed nose with minerals more apparent than fruit. Ripe and fullish on the palate but without the buttery fat I would expect from its name-sake vineyard in Meursault. Very-good-plus but not more.
MARK: 16.5/20.BUY MORE? No.

Chablis 'Montee de Tonnerre' 1986 Dom. de la Touk Vaubourg

5/99. I have never tasted a 13-years 1er Cru Chablis before. Pale color. Dry ripe nose of minerals and white fruit. Crisp and refreshing on the mouth with good acidity that belies the wine's age. Excellent.
MARK: 17/20.BUY MORE? Maybe.

Katzrin Cabernet (Israel) 1993 Golan Wineries

5/99. (guess who brought this wine...) A very limited and special edition of Yarden wine that was so far made only in 1990 and 1993. A California-flavored Bordeaux-style wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon and some Merlot. Nice and concentrated black-currant nose, with discernible wood tones. Full bodied and savory on the palate. Excellent-plus.
MARK: 17.5/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Charmes Chambertin 1988 A. Rousseau

5/99. Very pleasant and ripe bouquet with good fruit but no 'Bourgogne Nose' whatsoever. Soft and smooth on the palate with hardly any noticeable tannins. Quite atypical (B) and very atypical 1988. Still, a superb wine!
MARK: 18/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Mazis Chambertin 1985 J. Faiveley

5/99. My favorite Faiveley wine. Sweetish ripe fruit on the nose together with an elegant 'Bourgogne Nose' as a backdrop. Delicate sweet flavors of dried plums. Mouthfilling and multi-layered. Smooth as silk and totally harmonious. Extraordinary!!
MARK: 19/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Romanee St. Vivant 1985 D.R.C

5/99. Profound, complex and totally enticing nose. Ripe fruit, oriental spices with rich flavors on the palate. Multi-dimensional with even more vigor and grip than the fantastic Mazis. Classic, sweet and extremely long finish. Simply divine!!! Thank you Chris for bringing this rare gem.
MARK: 19.5/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Clos de Vougeot 1990 Hudelot-Noellat

5/99. Rich and very typical fruity 1990 nose with some noticeable wood notes. Tasty red forest-fruit on the palate. Plenty of winyness, good acidity and soft tannins. Stylish grip and long, balanced finish. Extraordinary!!
Believe it or not, but I correctly guessed this one! (well, the vineyard and the vintage, not the producer...)
MARK: 19/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Grands Echezeaux 1988 D.R.C

5/99. My second contribution for this evening. Deep aromas of complex fruit and a very nice 'Bourgogne Nose'. Vigorous and winey but somewhat closed on the palate. Excellent structure with noticeable tannins. Needs a few more years.
MARK: 18.5/20.BUY MORE? Yes.

Macon 'Selection de Grains Sandre' 1993 Guillemot

5/99. A dessert wine I never even heard of (let alone tasted). Medium sweet nose. Pretty light on the palate with medium body and nice finish. Excellent.
MARK: 17/20.BUY MORE? No.

Ch. de Monbazillac 1994 Tirecul-la-Graviere

5/99. Again, a dessert wine I never tasted (but at least heard about...). Relatively rich sweetish nose with surprising freshness on the palate in spite the lack of any apparent acidity. Excellent-plus.
MARK: 17.5/20.BUY MORE? Maybe.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.