2GrandCru Drinks a Grand Cru... And More (June 30, 2009)

Join the 2GrandCru Marines: Travel the world, buy great wines, meet interesting people and dine and wine with them.

This week at Toto, Major Ran Shapira organized the following drill for his fightin' battalion:

Jos. Christoffel Jr., Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Erdener Trepchen, Riesling Auslese **, 1992

If you've been following my blog and you can't guess that this was my Wine Of The Night, kindly click on a few Google ads on your way out... Chalk, petrol, dill and parsely in equal, balanced portions frame yellow fruit that has matured gracefully without losing the flush of youth. The palate is crisp and fruity, with typically graceful Mosel acidity that is seemlessly married with the fruit. Utterly yummy, which in my parlance works out to a 92 (and a few notches better than a recent bottle of the 1989 Wurtzgarten).

This used to be imported by Giaconda for 207 NIS, but this bottle came from elsewhere. Thanks, Ran, for giving me another chance at this wine.

Domaine Arlaud, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2004

The nose is explicitly Bourgogne and shows musky, black fruit with a hint of sweat and initially displays a certain candied essance I associate with young Bugundies, while later developing notes of flowers and bell pepper. The palate is surprisingly open for all that it was open for only two hours prior to our drinking pleasure and winds down with a saline finish. A good wine with a cool elegance that is somewhat frayed around the edges. Although it is certainly packed with flavors and is highly enjoyable, its has just enough class to make it to the major leagues but not much more.

Imported by WineRoute I believe and I didn't get the price.

Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac 5me Cru, 2001

I opened this bottle at home, about three hours before we drank it, and it was actually a bit more approachable at home, then shut down when we poured it, only to open up again after about twenty minutes in glass. It progressed from the red to the black fruit end of the spectrum, never approaching the regions of black-fruit ripeness that can turn me off, developing mineral and chocolate aromatics. A better wine than the Charmes-Chambertin in my book, with crisp tannins, thriving in harmony with the fruit, ensuring fair aging potential.

Imported by WineRoute.

Tua Rita, Giusto Di Notri, 2001

This Super-Tuscan is a Bordeaux blend that is half Cabernet Sauvignon, the rest more or less equally divided between Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Yet somehow, it is the Merlot that seems to dominate. This is a dense wine, the density obvious even on the nose, with a fruitcake character (see what I meant about the Merlot?). Not a lot of finesse in it, and coming after the Grand-Puy-Lacoste, it shows a sweetness on the palate that is too much for me. Impressive on a superficial level, but I found it the least noteworthy of the evening's reds. I will wait a few more years before I open my bottle.

Imported by WineRoute and sold for about 280 NIS about six years ago.

Weinhaus Walter J. Oster, Rheinhessen, Ortega Trockenbeerenauslese, 1999

Learn something new every day. Ortega is a cross between Muller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe (which is itself a cross between Madeleine Angevine and Gewürztraminer) and is not well-known for any overt acidity. Also from what I taste, as this is wine is low in acidity even for a TBA, its sweetness on the cloying side. The nose is nice, although not very thrilling, with peaches, honey and brown sugar.

Not imported to Israel, you can order the half-bottle for 20 euros from the winery. They seem like nice people, even if the grape seems like a joke about German eugenics.