Jean Durup, Chablis Premier Cru, Vau De Vey, 2004
Much flintier and more saline than it was a year ago, it has also shed its tropical fruit personality, now showing grapefruit on the attack and quinine on the finish. A very good, though not great, Chablis. (Jul. 1, 2007)
Dauvissat, Chablis, 2002
As saline as the Durup Vau De Vey but more elegant. And like the Durup, a very, very good wine, though the Dauvissat pulls away within five rounds: the crispy, reserved palate and the flinty complexity of the nose (opening into a nut oil accent which I'm starting to think is a trademark) simply captivate me even more as they leave me feeling its potential has not quite been consumated. Almost Premier Cur in quality, though it ultimately lacks concentration, it's probably close to its peak. (Jul. 9, 2007)
I finally tasted one of the notorious Chave Hermitage Selections imported by WineRoute.
Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc,Selection, "Blanche" 2001
Hard to pin down, the flavors and aromas pull in different directions. It's disjointed right now and flat as well austere and the only distinct trait I could put a finger on was a floral aroma. Like most un-young Rhone whites I've tasted, it left me thinking "what the?" but the romantic in me is willing to give it another shot in a couple of years. (Jul. 14, 2007)
Masi, Tupungato, Psso Doble, 2004
The nose is initially on the oaky side before the ripe red and black cherries start to assert themselves, though with every pour they have to start their struggle all over. Starts sweet before the bitter, drying tannins lend some balance on the finish. Truly at the midpoint between Old and New World, this is rather like a modern Spanish wine were it not for the sweetness of the fruit (unlike the 2002 which emphasized the Ripasso connection). Not my cup of tea ,though, to be fair, a little more acidity or minerality would have turned it around. (Jul. 15, 2007)
Imported to Israel by France-Israel and I think it sells for about 100-110 NIS (about 25 USD then).
Barkan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2003
I haven't had a Barkan for a while and apparently, nothing much has changed. Competent, oaky stuff, with ripe, chocolate-y fruit that is obscured by the oak and what I suspect to be adjusted acidity disrupting the balance. Good length, though. (Jul. 16, 2007)
Sells for 70-80 NIS? locally (18 USD).
Heymann-Lowenstein, Kirchberg, Erste Lage, Mosel Saar Ruwer, 2004
When I tasted this wine a few months ago, it was overshadowed by Lowenstein's fantastic 2005 Uhlen single vineyards. So I was curious to see how it'd stand up on its own. Here goes: Summer fruits and apple pie on the nose, complemented by complex spices and a hint of flint that creeps in unexpectedly. Crispy palate with a green apple finish, the acidity is there yet somehow it never quite lives up to the expectations of the nose. While I enjoyed its first flush of youth, I'll hang on to my other bottle for another three years or so to see how it survives puberty and hope it improves. I think it's got at least that much life in it. (Jul. 31, 2007)
Imported to Israel by Giaconda, listed at 189 NIS (40 USD).