Monday, April 20, 2009

Dinner At Toto (Apr. 16, 2009)

This was a dinner with friends who are not as - what is the word I'm looking for here? captivated? enchanted? obsessed? obsessed is that most apt descriptor, I'm sad to confess - obsessed about wines as I am, so I was really not expecting any major surprises...

We started off with a bottle of Regnard, Chablis St. Pierre, 2007, a simple village with a classic Chablis nose of citrus fruit enhanced by saline, sea-shell notes. The palate, alas, is not very focused, too round and somewhat sweetish. A good introduction to Chablis but not much more. Imported by HaKerem for about 100 NIS.

My offering was the Chave, Hermitage, Selection Rouge, 2001, not the renowned cuvee but rather a domaine bottling. This wine has a curious history in Israel, because when WineRoute imported it some three years ago, everyone thought it was the Chave bottling at first, offered for a ludicrous pricet. It wasn't, obviously, and my first taste of it was rather disappointing, but it has since blossomed into a very good Hermitage, with appealing leather notes over fruit solidly placed between the red and black areas of the spectrum. The palate is savoury with meaty tannins and a minerally finish. While not a very complex creature, it is delightful and a great value at 170 NIS.

At this point, my friend Yahali wowed me with a dessert wine he brought from Germany. Not just any dessert wine but an eiswein, and not just any eiswein but a bargain basement one from an unknown producer that cost a bit less than 20 euros for a half bottle. This Krebs-Grode, Rheinhessen, Eimsheimer Sonnenhang, Riesling Eiswein, 2002 shows apples cider notes sprinkled with brown sugar and its secret weapon is a marvellous acidity that balances what would be an unctuous texture in any other context. It's not very complex but that acidity makes it livlier than many a Sauternes. Terrific value.

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