Pinot Noir from Bouzeron (which therefore must be labelled Cote Chalonnaise as the village is an AOC for Aligote only). Earthy red fruit dominated by cranberries, with embryonic Bourgogne aromatics. Relatively dark-colored for Burgundy, subtle, integrated acidity, medium bodied, no great complexity, depth or length but very suave and supple and, with its saline finish, expresses itself quite well within its unpretentious form. (Apr. 13, 2008)
Clos De Gat, Har'el, Merlot, 2004
Drank in not quite the most optimal of glasses but enough to affirm yet again the quality and charm of this winery's wines. The nose is typical Israeli Merlot, I think, soft, fragnant red fruit with burnt herbs, but the palate is tougher and more tannic and less typical of the variety (but then again, it is rather typical of Israeli Merlots). At its peak and I quite like it for what it is. I don't remember how much it costs, but the same series' Syrah used to cost about 80 NIS and I really hope the Merlot cost the same. (Apr. 18, 2008)
Francesco Rinaldi, Barbaresco, 1999
Tough and rustic. An off-wall blend of aromas: red cherries, iron fillings and sweet paprika, with the fruit growing purer with time. Very chewy and tannic, with all the complexity of a right cross (meaning it utilizes a few spare elements quite well) , not elegant by by most people's standards yet with the sort of rusty bite on the finish I really love that marries very well with heavy pastas. Won't get better, I'd bet, just softer and somewhat more subtle in about 2-5 years and it really appeals to me. (Apr. 20, 2008)
Imported by the Doosh, I bought my bottle two years ago for about 160-180 NIS, I think.
Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz, Kalstadter Steinacker, Scheurebe Spatlese, Trocken, 2003
Flowers, dried peaches and guayava on the nose. Relatively good structure on the palate for the somewhat meager amount of acidity which is the reason for the bitterness and heat on the finish. I miss the kinky aromas of coffee I remember from my first tasting way back in September, 2006. Though there are hints of them. (Apr. 23, 2008)
Imported by Giaconda in one of their initial shipments, sold for 99 NIS or so.
Muller-Catoir, Pfaltz, Haardter Burgergarten, “Im Gehren”, Riesling Spatlese, Trocken, 2003
Tropical fruits on the nose, underpinned by dill, a hint of petrol and above all an elegant gust of flint. The palate is very spicy and the heat of the vintage shows only as a bit of alcohol on the finish. The fruit itself is crystal pure, sharp and focused and while the the acidity is on the low side, it is certainly there. However, there's no sense of it lifting the fruit forward. (Apr, 26, 2008)
Imported by Giaconda as well, sold for about 200 NIS.
Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage Blanc,Selection, "Blanche" 2001
This wine was very weird last year and if anything, it's even weirder now. There are apricots on the nose but they are buried beneath aromas of blood, sea breeze and most of all, nut oil. Sort of a Dali version of Chablis. I know my description of the nose sounds like I have my reservations, and I do, but I find the palate is very tasty, with a complex array of flavors; though it too is kinky, somewhat alcoholic and low in acidity, and I'm not sure it will appeal to everyone. (Apr. 24, 2008)
Imported by Shaked last year for about 170 NIS.