Koehler-Ruprecht, Kalstadter Saumagen, Riesling Kabinett Trocken, 2004
Koehler-Ruprecht's Bernd-Philippi is heralded as a master of the Saumagen vineyard and here he coaxes a very complex, high-definition nose from Kabinett level grapes, with powerful yet nuanced aromas that had everyone thinking it was an Auslese. I'm not sure it's a distinction you can pick up just from the nose, though, and the palate was not Auslese-class, for sure; but personally, I think Kabinetts simply serve a different purpose and you need to accept them for the light, delicate creatures they are meant to be. Not that Philippi makes particularly delicate wines from what I've read and tasted... Whatever, the wine was probably served too warm because the acidity was less pronounced than the last time I tasted it, some months ago, and the temperature probably killed the mineral nuances I remembred.
Imported to Israel by Giaconda, listed at 130 NIS (about 30 USD).
Clos du Marquis, St. Julien, 1999
Ignoring the blue-chip wines I never even get to taste and the barely affordable wines I drink only a few times a year, this is for me the distillation of what I love in a red wine. Yummy red fruit that no one tried to over-extract and all the wonderful, subtly earthy aromas and flavors bottle age can give you when its makers get the acid, fruit and tannins just right. An elegant bastard that made me grin like an idiot. This used to be one of the great values of Bordeaux, once upon a time.
Imported to Israel by WineRoute (1999 was sold out a long time ago and the price has increased since for more recent vintages).
Chateau du Trignon, Gigondas, 2001
Now for something completely different... This wine has more black fruits, which I never like as much as red fruits, but they are completely appropiate here and there is enough going on to complement the fruit. A somewhat rustic, yet elegant wine where everything just clicks together. This is the second time I've this wine this year and I keep kicking myself for opening my own bottle about three years too early.
Not imported to Israel.
Silvio Nardi, Brunello di Montalcino, 1997
The most modern wine of the evening, yet realizing it might be faint praise coming from me, I have to add that it was quite nice and elegant. I liked it enough at the time to think to myself that I'd buy a bottle yet it didn't leave a distinct enough impression for me to remember, the next day, exactly why I'd buy it. Yet I wish I could remember more of it. Confusing, eh?
Not imported to Israel.
Off Topic, Really
They say alcohol dulls the brain yet for some reason, driving home, some synapses clicked and the name Raymond Pettibon floated up through my foggy sub-conscious. Go read the Wikipedia article and follow the links to see this great artist's works and see how he wipes the floor with Roy Lichtenstein.