Weekday Fare (July 22, 2009)

Domaines Schlumberger, Alsace, Grand Cru Kitterle, Riesling, 2000

The nose is one variant of the quality I've grown to expect from a good Riesling: honey, apples that start out fresh but morph into carmelized and candied specimens, all draped over a backbone of mineral. Just what the doctor ordered. The palate is lean and slick, Alsatian dry, but offers less flavors than the nose hints at, mainly because, while the acidity is definitely there, it doesn't possess enough pizzazz to liven up the fruit. Thus, a good wine that remains a step behind the heights it attempts to reach.

Not imported to Israel, price unknown.

Domaine Pegau, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvee Reserve, 2001

Oddly enough, The Pegau tastes more or less as I remember the 2001 and 2004 Vieux Telegraphe tasting at three years post-vintage. That is, it's crisp, elegant and minerally, and its spicy nose offers expressive red fruit that keeps you coming back for more. The more I drink Pegau, the more I realize what a terrific estate it is.

Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2001

While this hints at potential, I have to say that compared to the Pegau, it seems very bulky and ripe. In fact, at first the ripeness turns me off but behind the liquor and dried fruits lurks a mineral vein that and certainly that bulk and ripeness engenders much less palate fatigue that I'd have thought.

Both wines were, and are, imported to Israel by WineRoute. The Vieux Telegraphe sells for about 250 NIS, the Pegau for about 350 NIS.

Krebs-Grode, Rheinhessen, Eimsheimer Sonnenhang, Riesling, Eiswein, 2002

A classic dessert wine that conjures more than its substance actually provides, and therein lies the magic. The nose is a simple one-two combination of sweet pears and brown sugar while the palate finely balances the pure fruit, sugar and lip-smacking acidity. It's not a great dessert wine - it would need greater complexity or a sense of electric vibrancy to be that - but it perfectly fulfills any need you might have for a very, very good one. And it's a real bargain, too.

Not imported to Israel, about 20 Euros for a half-bottle.