Friday, May 22, 2009

Typing From Memory (May 14, 2009)

When I taste with friends, I usually write some shorthand notes on paper or on my cellular phone, but the notes here are strictly from memory, written the day after. I enjoyed the challenge as it forced me to focus on the important matters and with only four wines, it was still well within the capacity of my memory cells.

Moreau-Naudet, Chablis, "Caractere", 2006

This is one of the new Chablis producers in the Giaconda portfolio, although this specific wine is not available in Israel. Tasted blind, it does take a (relatively) long time to show Chablis characteristics. Even then, these are mostly on the nose, in the way it develops a chalky streak that envelopes the citrus fruit and orange skin notes. The palate is really hard to get at, with a sandpaper-y texture making for a solid grip, taking a long time to open and even then, its flavors are not at the intensity level of the nose.  It feels as shut down as I would expect a Premier Cru of a similar age to be, albeit without a similar concentration of fruit.

Price unknown.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Cote Chalonnaise, "La Digoine", 2006

The nose is so well fleshed it's hard to believe it is only three years old, showing raspberries, strawberries and that certain seasoning (for lack of a better word) that I can never comfortably break down into words but simply says "Bourgogone" to me. It's only medium bodied and fairly delicate at that, though it has a sneaky punch despite that. Right now it's fairly simple though tasty and we had excellent Epoisses with it that really highlighted its flavors. The winery says it's a long distance runner but my thoughts are less ambitious: it will be a terrific village wine (at about half the price)  in two-three years and I think I won't be able to keep my hands off it when it comes around.

Tomer Gal imports this wine regularly now and sold the 2006 vintage through Hinawi, where the price was never really consistent, as the salesperson would, somehow, always quote a different price. I paid 135 NIS on the average for it, which I consider good value.

San Felice, Chianti Classico Riserva, Poggio Rosso, 2001

There is something about the way the nose shows black fruit and leather that made me think Gigondas at first, but then Ran Shapira, who brought the bottle, indicated dissent and I joined the others 'round the table who said Italy. From there on, guessing the wine was easier. Obviously not the right structure for a Nebbiolo, not big enough to be a Brunello, it could have been a Barbera or a mature Super-Tuscan, except I thought I recognized the wine and what's more, I know what Ran likes, at which point I made my final guess, which turned out to be correct. This wine shows more black fruit than you might expect from a Sangiovese, but then again, I do expect it by now from this wine. Along with the Fonterutoli Riserva, this is the best Chianti Riserva I know, standing at mid-point between modernism and classicism.

Imported by Zamir, with the price fluctuating. Ran bought it about 160 NIS, which is good value.

Keller, Rheinhessen, Monsheimer Silbergerg, Rieslaner Auslese, 2005

The first glass was a couple of degrees too warm but even at that temperature, the acidity was amazingly uplifting, almost eiswein-like. I thought it was a Scheurebe at first, as it was initially dominated by guayava notes. Then it started showing passion-fruit and then the the botrytis started strutting its stuff and it was bye bye blackbird. I first tasted this nectar when I was still regularly scoring wines and I thought it was worth 93 points. I'd give it at least another point now.

Imported by Giaconda, sold for 240 NIS.

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