An Evening With Neophytes (Sept. 11, 2009)

Our host supplied beef carpacio and assorted cheeses, I brought the wines, which, for better or for worse, are not the kind of wines I'd normally open with the wine geeks.

Hmmmm. When I think about it, this weird behavorial pattern (that is, excluding certain wines from tasting with my more snobbish friends) calls for some discussion, but seeing as my bosses totally pissed me off this week and I'm still recovering from that, I will stick to my literary comfort zone and just doll out the tasting notes.

Domaine du Colombier, Crozes-Hermitage, Primavera, 2006

I have never smelled a wine more redolent of raw meat than this one did on first pour, which for my tastes is a terrific thing, even though I am aware that some might see it as a fault. This aroma never quite faded but in time mellowed a bit and was joined by black cherries, violets and damp earth. The palate is very fruity but let me clearly state that I'm talking about a very pure and pretty sort of fruitiness, not the blockbuster variety. The fruits are complemented by soft yet lightly bitter tannins that make the wine eminently drinkable right now, although I suspect some short-term cellalring might fine-tune this wine. As pretentious as I usually find the phrase, this is quintessentially "a good wine for what it is".

Giaconda, 110 NIS.

d'Arenberg, The 28 Road, Mourvedre, 2001

Sweet and monolithic at first and perhaps not much more than that even at the end. Whatever fruit profile this Bandol ripoff might offer is buried beneath notes of sweet, old wood and caramel. Less refreshing, much less refreshing than the Primavera, I find the tannins somewhat pungent, which is a descriptor I never though I'd ever use for tannins. A weird, rough beast of a drink. But interesting, I'll give it that, no regrets here.

WineRoute, about 130 NIS.

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

Admittedly, this bottle was not as fine as the previous one I had drunk, but it was still as a fresh as daisies. Right now, German wines are firmly on top of my dessert wines hit list, with the Loire, Tokaji and Sauternes slugging it out for second place.

Not imported to Israel, available in Frankfurt for about 20 euros.