Misc. Notes (Dec. 2008)

Chateau de la Guimoniere, Anjou Blanc, 2005

I came here looking for a quaffer, I found... I don't know what I found. The nose is very intriguing. As in "I can't figure out what this is". There is an undecipherable mineral note that I decided was that of a dusty road on a summer morning, the air dead calm. Somewhere in the background is an apricot farm and someone is making tea. The palate would serve the definition of a quaffer if not for a saline note on the finish. Weird. (Dec. 11, 2008)

Sold by Giaconda for 90 NIS.

Albert Mann, Grand Cru Furstentum, Gewurztraminer Vieilles Vignes, 2007

One of the wines I missed at the Albert Mann tasting, I caught up with it a couple of days later. A fantastic nose even a dead man would recognize as a Gewurtz. Lychee? Check. Rose petals? Check. Spices? Yup. And there's a specific mineral note that recalls the Furstentum Pinot Gris from said tasting, as well as a hint of white meat. Now on to the palate and my usual complaint with the variety. I discussed it with Anat Sella as we were tasting it and my problem is that even when Gewurztraminer has structure and acidity - and this one does, living up to its Grand Cru status - the heady, fullblown spiciness of the grape overwhelms the acidity and the overall effect is disjointed, as if the acidity was on rim of the palate while all the fruit extract and alcohol is right in the middle. Anat claims this is typical of a young Gewurtz and that maturity will mellow it. Whatever the future holds for this wine, though, it is one of the best Gewurztraminers I have ever tasted and, even after such a short acquaintance, looks to become my personal favorite. 202 NIS. (Dec. 12, 2008)

Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz, Kalstadter Saumagen, Riesling Kabinett, Trocken, 2004

One of the wonders of wine is how some samples change so much across a span of a few months. Previously, this wine was all about flint. Now, it presents somewhat mellower facade, as peaches and grapefruits strut before an aromatic screen of chalk, sweet dough, mint and a hint of kerosene, while the palate crouches in a defensive stance, offhandedly echoing the nose over a crisp, minerally frame and a surprising, sweet note on the finish. As the wine opens, the palate offers an increasingly broader specture of flavors while its structure shows no sign of erosion, thus I think the palate is finally living up to its potential and this should drink well over four-five years. Maybe even more, as this wine offers terrific acidity. (Dec. 13, 2008)

Giaconda, 117 NIS.

Jean Durup, Chablis Premier Cru, Vau De Vey, 2005

Aromatically, it's the same old song for this wine: a gust of sea air as always (shells, sea weed) over citrus fruit and apple skin. The palate is steely and saline. Mouthwatering. Textbook stuff. (Dec. 14, 2008)

Imported by Tomer Gal, sold at Hinawi for 120-130 NIS if you're a 'regular'.

Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, Bourdonnerie Demi Sec, 2003

Poached pears, chalk and flint on the nose. You can feel the residual sugar on the palate yet there is something bitter, almost dour about it at first. This is not really a wine I'd recommend for everyone and I've encountered a bit of bottle variation with it (which I think is due to this wine being on the cusp of a dumb period and some bottles may have entered it sooner than others). Even after the initial glass, I thought I'd stick with my previous hunch, i.e., that it needs more time, and as it opened, it repaid my faith. The aromatics picked up intensity and nuances (cut grass, sweet spices) and the acidity reaffirmed itself and helped the palate find a better balance; while not quite subduing the bitter notes, it seemed to promise to preserve the wine for future growth. (Dec. 20, 2008)

Giaconda, 117 NIS.