I've had better Saturday Night line-ups. I've also had worse, but this time I found it particularly hard to find anything very interesting to say about most of the wines. On the other hand, we only had three wines, so I didn't have a lot of homework.
Chateau du-Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, 2004
The story behind this wine is that a good portion of it is comprised of de-classified Premier Cru, whose top-soil was replaced by top-soil originating elsewhere, thus forever damned by AOC regulations. However, I have so far found that it, and the 2002 vintage, do not quite live up to the hype. The nose is reticient and after an hour finally shows a hint of fruit and minerals. The palate is crisp and tasty enough but lacks concentration and has a hard time fighting the oak. Not that there's a whole lot of oak, but the wine has an austere style that can't balance what oak there is and it just doesn't feel like it will ever find any more balance in the cellar. Oddly enough, this wine is made by Etienne Montille, whose P-M Premier Cru Cailleret (made under his own de Montille label) is fashioned in a much more luscious style.
Tomer Gal, about 220 NIS.
Domaine de la Charbonierre, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, 2000
This is a CDP in a very ripe and extracted vein, unlike some of the more mineral-laden beauties of the appellation. Or maybe it's just the warm vintage? Whatever, although it improves in glass, it retains a very overt character and, frankly, just doesn't taste that good.
The 2006 vintage is sold by Giaconda for 288 NIS.
Tardieu-Laurent, Rasteau Cotes du Rhones Villages, 2001
This is surely the best CDR Villages I've ever tasted and although Rasteau is a Southern Rhone village, this wine is just blatantly Syrah, with a meaty, muscular personality that is somewhere between Hermitage and Cornas. Now, I know Tardieu-Laurent has good juice which they bring up well, but they're also somewhat on the expensive side. So think about it. T-L don't own any vineyard, they're negociants, so somewhere in Rasteau are one or more or growers who are capable of this brilliant juice and there's a good chance it might even have cost less directly from them. It's about time Rasteau got its own (red-wine) AOC.
Not imported to Israel, price unknown, but I'd guess it was priced at 30-40 USD originally.