This is a negociant venture by Rhone great Chave that I have enjoyed in the past and it seems to drink quite nicely young or with a little bottle age. I saw a barrel tasting note at Tanzer's IWC that breaks down the blend by the source of the grape; according to that note, the blend is pure Syrah, but there's a hint of lemon drops on the nose so I'm not sure about that. Anyway, this is a fruity Saint Joseph, pure red fruit at first, with time and air showing darker fruit as well as notes of black pepper, while the palate has this deliciously saline finish that lingers and yanks me back for more of the same. It is soft and approachable already but the behind the softness is a balanced structure and enough gripping, savoury tannins and well-proportioned acidity to last for five-six years. Lovely. (June 14, 2009)
WineRoute, 139 NIS.
Josef Leitz, Rheingau, Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz, Riesling Spatlese, 2006
How the hell do I keep away from this? The nose is full of peaches and both green and baked apples, made even more endearing by hints of flint and petrol as well as by an electric sizzle reminiscent of frozen winter air - while the palate is like biting into the juiciest green apple in the world. It doesn't have the greatest length but it has this delectable mineral finish that lingers in my memory long after it has faded from my palate. (June 18, 2009)
Giaconda, about 100 NIS.
Koehler-Ruprecht, Pflaz, Kalstadter Saumagen, Riesling Kabinett, Trocken, 2004
This bottle was very stingy on nose and palate at first, which worried me because recent Koehler-Ruprecht bottles I've opened have behaved like sullent teenagers at 6 AM on any given day: mavolent and unfriendly, surly and obviously aching to go back to sleep. This time, behind this trulant disposition were apricots and ripe apples on the nose and a bone-dry, chalk-laden personality on the palate and I decided to sit back and wait.
And what I got, surprisingly enough, was a fruitier and sweeter nose, with a refershing, floral aspect - instead of a more minerally aptitude, which is what I would have expected from Koehler-Ruprecht. The palate really mellowed and turned out to be very warm and savoury, yummy and delightfully saline on the finish (which, as far scores go, merits a 92, just the finish, mind you). So, my verdict right now is that this is a brainy yet tasty wine, and, while it is an excellent drink right now, two years in the fridge will bring out again the powerfully mineral aromatics I remember from previous encounters and merge them with that savoury, lustful salinity I got off on tonight.
Still, you won't go wrong popping it open this summer. That delicious finish will complement just about anything lighter than red meat.
(June 27, 2009)
Giaconda, 117 NIS.