I'm Back - Saturday Night Tasting (Aug. 17, 2008)

Hosted at Hagit and Noam Koren's home at Haniel, this Saturday night tasting turned out to be a sort of cross-sideways vertical tasting: Two Chateauneuf, one of them a 1995, thus seguing into a a mini 1995 tasting.

Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 1995

The lords of the crapshoot handed me a real dud this time. A sweet, ripe nose, with traces of caramel, no hint of the complexity and animalistic overtones this wine should deliver. The palate is chewy, I'll give it that. But everything else falls apart. The fruit is hardly discernible and neither is the acidity, while even the tannins can't manage to lend any weight. I've read enough about this wine to assume this is s just a bad bottle, but why did it have to be my bottle?

Subsequent vintages were imported by WineRoute.

Pegau, Chateauneuf-du-Pape , Cuvee Reserve, 2000

This is really a class act. Not a knockout thriller, just a terrific wine that keeps you wanting more. A complex nose with short, elegant strokes of red and black fruit with a bit of brett on the fringes. The nose and palate are both restrained and elegant and the palate offers such an intruiging, taut structure I thought it was from the North Rhone. Quite a surprise considering 2000 is by all accounts a warm, fat vintage.

Imported by WineRoute.

Chateau Dauzac, Margaux 5me Cru, 1995

A rustic wine at first, with the components not quite meshing together on the palate - though the nose, as Bordeaux will be Bordeaux, is quite charming. Smoothens over time but never quite relinquishes that rustic character. Not a great wine, simply a good wine, more or less, and just how many wine regions can claim that an average wine from a mediocre producer, even from a good vintage, can last thirteen years?

Imported to Israel? Dunno.

Chateau Leoville-Barton, St. Julien 2me Cru, 1995

Very classy and restrained. For me, the key point here was how elegantly all the components fit together seemingly without calculation. Still fresh and young and, on the negative side, not immensly complex, which detracts little from its pleasures. Like finding a silk bathrobe in your hotel suite.

Imported by WineRoute.