Just another night in Tel Aviv City...
William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru, Les Clos, 2004
This took an hour to open up in my glass and even then it was still young. This is a wine that should be almost spell-binding when ready but now it only hints at its potential, with pungent minerals over lime and lemon on both nose and palate and a taut structure. Still, even in this embryonic phase, it was my wine of the night. Imported by WineRoute, sold in the upper 300 NIS range as far as I recall.
Rene Rostaing, Cote Rotie, La Landonne, 1996
Sad, sad, sad. Cost me 80 USD and my wife never knew how many milligrams of TCA she lugged home in her suitcase. I bought it at MacArthur wines in Washington DC and I really like the store, despite the disappointment, so here is a link to their site: peruse and enjoy!
Domaine Cauvard, Pommard Noizons, 1999
Great year + village Cru + so-so producer = cherries and just-okay spicing over an annoyingly extracted core, with crisp tannins which would have been enjoyable had the fruit been capable of exploiting them. Shimon Lasry exported it some three-four years ago and sold it for about 200 NIS. I'm going to be petty and forego linking to Shimon's site; this is the kind of wine that gives Burgundy a bad name.
Chateau Grange-Neuve, Pomerol, 1998
Every now and then, someone will bring a wine that that fell off everyone's radar screen and this is such a wine. I think it's very rare to find such an obscure wine coming from Bordeaux of all places (how obscure? Parker doesn't even have a review for it!) and it's so good that if you'd tasted it, you'd want to buy a case for the right price, which in Pomerol terms probably means anything under 60 dollars or so. The Bordeaux afficiandos 'round the table guessed Bordeaux but didn't guess Pomerol, which is fine, that still doesn't detract from its charms. It has soft black fruit, somewhat rustic yet crisp tannins blanketed by silky fruit to complement them, and any weak spots viz a viz complexity or finesse are more than made up by plain, outright yumminess. Thanks a bunch, Hagit!
Chateau Montus, Madiran, Cuvee Prestige, 1999
There was something Spanish about the spicing of this wine and when we hazarded Spain as a guess, Rani Osnat, who'd brought it, said "close" and here I got lucky. I remembered my geography and said Tannat (open your Johnson and Robinson, boys and girls, and look it up). The nose has a certain warm climate tinge to its black fruit, although not overripe per se, but the palate is much more crisp and minerally than the nose might lead you to assume, with a nice flare of acidity on the finish. This was very drinkable, if not especially complex, after the wine had been open for three hours and in our glasses for another half hour. Price unknown.