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Wow. Where to begin. Even on the initial pour the aromas are shocking. It is difficult to describe, besides being Yquem. Notes of caramel and egg custard, the muskiness of Yquem, hints of caramelized sugar. On the palate, dried tropical fruit, brown sugar, caramel, and an immense sweetness that is perfectly counterbalanced by the (somehow) intense acidity. The mouthfeel isn't quite as round as the '95, and this one feels a little more angular. The finish goes on to eternity.
Rene et Vincent Dauvissat - Chablis
A very fresh, mineral nose, with citrus. You can tell right off the bat that this is a very lively, vibrant wine. On the palate, notes of green spices (cardamom, anise), with extremely focussed acidity and certainly the citrus quality of Chablis. Lacks the chalkiness that I enjoy, but there is certainly minerality here. This would work very well as a palate cleanser.
Two Hands - Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon Bull and Bear
Dark red colour. On the nose, blueberries, cassis, black plums, some vanilla, and spice that evokes smoked chili peppers. A slight sweetness on the palate, with somewhat indistinct black fruit. Low acidity, high alcohol. As the wine opened up over the evening, very animalistic aromas began to develop, reminiscent of a large hunk of bloody meat (unattractive). Finish is short, and in general, not a wine to be quaffed.
Xavier Monnot - Maranges Clos de la Fussiere 1er Cru
Very lively nose of violets, bright red fruit. Underneath, an undercurrent of earthiness, though not exceptionally pronounced. Quite earthy on the palate, with notes of sour red cherries and flowers. Great acidity, and very light in tannin. Some spiciness.
R. Lopez de Heredia - Vina Tondonia Blanco Reserva
Beautiful golden colour. Truly alluring nose, with a nose of honeysuckle and dried tropical fruit, but also a subtle hint of earthiness. On the palate, initially quite dry, but the lushness soon takes over, with layers of desweetened tropical fruit. Very pleasant mouthfeel. There is a note of gooseberry that reminds me of sauvignon blanc. Some "funk" in the finish which alludes to wet fur. Do not serve with seafood.