Jos. Christoffel, Mosel, Urziger Wurzgarten, Riesling Auslese **, 1989
No petrol, no overt minerality, the only clue to this wine's age is how twenty years in bottle have gently sauteed and singed the fruit, which is purely apricots at this stage. I'd have expected more complexity, but the remarkable freshness of the fruit just about makes up for that. An excellent wine, although I've had better mature Christoffels at this level.
Although this specific bottle was a personal import, this used to be sold by Giaconda for 225 NIS.
Chateau d'Armailhac, Pauillac, 5me Cru, 2001
This wine yells "Cabernet", then it yells "Bordeaux", but not before an initially overly-extracted facet bugs the hell out of me. As much as I usually enjoy the intellectual or (depending on the wine) erotic pleasure of watching a wine unfold, here the payoff's the thing, time in glass revealing a medium-bodied claret, with an overlay of coffee over telltale currants and cherries, a juciy acidity and a saline tweak on the finish. Very good and oddly enough, this bottle seems younger than a bottle I opened a year and a half ago.
Imported by WineRoute. If my memory serves me, it was sold four years ago for about 200 NIS.
de Trafford, South Africa, Roobernet/Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001
Hmmm... My friends tell me that if you've nothing good to say, just keep your mouth shut... This is embrassing then, let's just say that though the nose is interesting enough, there is no discenerable structure on the palate, no tannic framework, just oodles of fruit. Here are the winery's notes, please pay attention to the number at the bottom, just to the right of the string "Alc.".
Henschke, Asutralia, Eden Valley, Mount Edelstone Old Vine Shiraz, 1999
Rani Osnat is building up an outstanding (if short, for now) track record of bringing excellent Australian wines that are outside the mold of fruity blockbusters we locals are familiar with. Perhaps because importers are not very eager to educate and thus only bring wines that comfortably fit within the recognized paradigm. Here, however, the savoury tannins complementing just a hint of sweetness, as well as a dash of pepper over the black fruit, made me think of Northern Rhone. The great finesse tidily obscures the wine's great size. Excellent.
Not imported to Israel, price unknown.
Domaine Philippe Delesvaux, Coteaux du Layon, Selection de Grains Nobles, 2001
I must say the color of this wine was so deep, dark gold, verging on brown, that I was sure this was an off-bottle, except that my previous note indicates this is probably how this wine is supposed to look. At any rate, the dark color belies the wine's freshness. This is an incredible melange of brown sugar and apricots, not much more than that, except bottle age has painted complex shadings of sweet spices unto this apricot soup, with more than enough acidity to balance any hedonistic tendencies. A highly indivdualistic treat.
Not imported to Israel, sold in the US for aboout 50 USD for a 500 cl bottle.