Summertime in Tel Aviv is like the Georgia Savannah without the mint juleps. A week or so into into June, its sticky fingers are already painting street signs with 2GrandCru's campaign slogan: "Drink White Wines Lest Ye Wither And Die!"
In a perfect world, German Rieslings, Chablis and Loire Chenin Blancs would be sold on street corners. In this world, however, the following three Vouvrays are still something of a novelty.
Marc Bredif, Vouvray, 2005
There are whiffs of pungent, poached pears alongside notes of flint which might be appropriate for a young Bourgogne, but there is also a specific sizzle of spice on the nose which I think by now I'd spot as Loire, only this wasn't tasted blind so I wouldn't give myself any credit for that observation. It has a charming mineral appeal on the attack but is at first rounder and mellower than other Chenin Blancs I've been drinking lately. But time has the effect of winding up its springs - bringing out a green apple acidity and in general giving it a heightened focus- and although it ends a bit too abruptly to be truly memorable, it is quite tasty and the aromatics keep improving in glass. Thus, a good wine that I suspect will be better in a year or two. (June 4, 2009)
Hakerem, about 100 NIS as I recall.
Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, Art Monia Moeulleux, 2003
The nose opens up after a lazy start to reveal a fruity core that seems like it's all about sweet pears yet has a citrust zest that takes it to another place altogether. This core is then sprinkled with minerals and sweet spices that are hard to break down into separate sensations yet seem quite Loire-ish to me. The palate is yummy, opening with notes of sweet pear, with the slight bitterness that I usually find accompanies that fruit, then finishing with a green apple acidity, all backed up by a slender, mineral vein. I've had this wine a couple of times before but this time, that zesty finish is giving me a clearer picture of what this wine might offer in two-three years. (June 6, 2009)
Giaconda, 130 NIS. Excellent value, especially when factoring in the idiosyncratic personality.
Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, Bourdonnerie Demi-Sec, 2003
The nose is pungent and sweet at the same time, showing lime and lemon with an electric zest, with a hint of apple skin as well as brown sugar in the background. The palate is very friendly, the most complete encounter I've yet had with this wine despite more fat in mid-palate than I expected, delicious and seemingly sweeter than the Art Monia. Time in glass brings out hints of minerals on the nose and a totally appropriate salinity on the finish. A very nice wine altogether that should improve in a year or two.
Giaconda, 117 NIS.