Every critic and wine rag, as well as many bloggers, make lists of their favorite wines of the year and publish them within a few days of the new year. I have no intention of competing with lists like that because I don't have access to many of the stellar wines that star in such lists. Besides, if I were to simply list the best wines that I have personally drunk in 2009, I would just wind up posting about Ran Shapira's birthday party again.
Instead, because I believe wine was meant to be consumed on a daily basis, at home, accompanying food (no matter how much I might enjoy the "Special Occasion" wines), I present here the wines I returned to most often supping at home, majestically offering the missus and the son a sip or two. These are weekday wines I'd consume as much as I could, were I richer and in less need of quality time in the gym during the week.
- A. Et P. De Villaine (Cote Chalonnaise, Bouzeron, Mercurey, Rully) - delicious wines that speak of their terroir. Some might be in need of cellar time and some might be overwhelmed by their bigger brethren from up north in comparative tastings, but drink them at home alone as wine is meant to be drunk, and you'll be very thrilled and intellectually sated as well. Imported by Burgundy Wine Collection. Prices range from about 70 NIS for the Bouzeron to about 160 NIS for the Mercurey.
- Marcel Lapierre (Morgon) - I really don't have enough experience with the Beaujolais villages to be able to place this wine in the local pecking order, but I do know a succulent wine when I taste it. And I know what it means when I finish off a bottle within an hour. Imported by Burgundy Wine Collection. About 100 NIS.
- Domaine de la Vougeraie (Terres de Famille) - This was my house Bourgogne until Villaine and Lapierre came along, but it's still a very useful and consistent wine. Imported by Burgundy Wine Collection. About 100 NIS.
- Leitz, Dragonstone and Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz (Rheingau) - German Riesling is my favorite grape and these are the Rieslings I drink the most at home. Both are Spatleses (or should be, the Dragonstone is chaptalized and is QBA under German law) and both are racy, laced with minerals. At 8% ABV, you can serve them to your children and they will get a head start in enjoying the finer points of life. Imported by Giaconda, sold for about 100 NIS.
- Koehler-Ruprecht (Scheurbe) - I'm drifting away somewhat from my first German love, but the the Koehler-Ruprecht Scheurbe is such a curious creature that its unique personality keeps drawing me back anyway. Giaconda, 117 NIS.
- Bourillon d'Orleans (Vouvray) - A recent showing reminded me how delicious and versatile these Vouvrays can be. Generally speaking, I'd drink much more Chenin Blanc from the Loire if I wasn't trying so hard to age the stuff, especially the Savennieres, but Bourillon d'Orleans seem to be very accessible at a relatively young age. Imported by Giaconda. Except for the Moelleux (which I haven't tasted and really hate spelling), prices range from 117 to 135 NIS.
- Domaine du Colombier (Crozes-Hermitage Rouge) - Apparently, I have a weak spot for aromas of raw meat in my Syrah, which is why the 2006 Colombiers hold a fatal attraction for me. They are also are tinged with minerals and succulent. Imported by Giaconda, the Cuvee Gaby (not tasted yet) is expensive but the two lower end wines are good QPR at 117 and 126 NIS.
- Alain Graillot (Crozes-Hermitage Rouge) - A somewhat riper style than the Colombier and in need of more time, this was my first introduction to the Rhone, seven years ago. It was off the shelves after WineRoute couldn't move the 2002 vintage but now it's back with the 2006 vintage and I'm grateful. Imported by WineRoute, this cost, what, 130-150? A bit expensive for what it is but I love it anyway.
- J.L. Chave (St. Joseph Offerus) - Another savoury red, with more black pepper right now than the two Crozes. WineRoute, 135 NIS.
- Perrin et Fils (Vacqueyras) - I'm actually not quite sure about this, as I'm shifting away from South Rhone and the 2007 was too raw and monolithic when I tasted it a few months ago, but at 90 NIS, this is a prime candidate for this list so I'm giving it the benefit of a doubt. Imported by WineRoute.