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Puligny 'Clavoillons'..... Dead Arm Shiraz..... CdP 'Barbe Rac'.....


Traditional dinner for the "second holiday" of Passover with family and friends at our home.

Gefilte Fish
1996 Puligny-Montrachet 'Clavoillons', Dom. Leflaive
Chicken soup with Mazza-balls
1999 Dead Arm Shiraz, d'Arenberg
Long roasted thigh of young lamb with spicy-flavored rice
1995 Chateauneuf du Pape 'Barbe Rac', Chapoutier
Demi-glace of strawberries

Puligny-Montrachet 'Clavoillons' 1996 Dom. Leflaive

4/2005. Acquired from New York, Mar-99 for $68.
Premier Cru from Puligny Montrachet. By one of the best producers and from an excellent vintage. Perhaps not as exalted as Pucelles, but can be a really fine wine.
COLOR: Medium-deep golden yellow.
NOSE: Deep and concentrated ripe minerally aromas. Moderate wood tones are apparent. Not fruity as such but very expressive (and impressive).
TASTE: Fairly concentrated on the palate. Minerally flavors more obvious than fruity ones. Superbly accompanied the mildly spicy traditional fish balls.
LENGTH: Medium long and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body. Rich but not overpowering. Very well balanced and at or about its peak now.
OVERALL: Very Fine. Excellent winemaking well showing the terroir of the vineyard.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Dead Arm Shiraz 1996 d'Arenberg

4/2005. Bought locally May-03 for $54.
We don't usually get to taste a lot of Australian wines. As I have a few vintages of this famous brand from the McLaren Vale, it seemed appropriate to open one and taste it tonight.
COLOR: Very dark blackish-red. Almost no clearing around the rim. Some sediment.
NOSE: Heavy, sweetish red fruit aromas, a touch jammy even. All wrapped by smokey wood. Can you get more Australian than that? I can understand why some people don't like this style but at least on this wine nothing was exaggerated.
TASTE: Less 'smoke' on the palate than on the nose, the concentrated fruity flavors manage to dominate. Really nice chewy wine that is a pleasure to drink. Will get even better in a couple of years when it will lose some of its sharp edges.
LENGTH: Really long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied Australian 'monster' wine. Well endowed with hefty fruit flavors, ripe tannins, very good acidity and (too much?) wood.
OVERALL: Very Fine. Tasty and interesting if not the most refined wine. My bet is it will get at least a notch better in a couple of years.
MARK: 18/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? yes.

Chateauneuf du Pape 'Barbe Rac' 1995 Chapoutier

4/2005. Acquired from France Jun-01 for $58.
I am sure I have stated my affection for (good quality!) Chateauneuf du Pape more than once on my web site. This is one specific appellation where the spectrum of quality varies from the insipid to the sublime.
'Barbe Rac' is the top cuvee by Chapoutier and is solely made from very old Grenache grapes.
COLOR: Deep purple red. Some clearing around the rim. Noticeable sediment.
NOSE: Beautiful aromas of black forest fruit with a touch of spiciness. Forward and enticing nose, not hampered by undue use of oak.
TASTE: Mouthfilling deep and fairly concentrated. Excellent fruit on the palate with really good winyness. Best of all is the perfect harmony felt with each sip. Delicious!
LENGTH: Extremely long fruity-spicy aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full bodied wine. Brilliant texture and supremely balanced. At its peak now but will stay there for a few years.
OVERALL: Superb. Excellent compromise between power and delicacy. Not a great vintage perhaps but a truly remarkable result.
MARK: 18.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.