Misc Notes (Aug. 2009)

Chateau d'Arcins, Haut-Medoc, 2005

A few years ago, I believe, Al-Hashulchan (local gourmet and wine magazine) gave the 2001 a very favorable review. Thus, when I saw this selling for about 100 NIS, I thought it'd be an interesting wine to try, because we all know how useful a bargain Bordeaux can be, especially with a vintage like 2005.

The nose has a typical Bordeaux feel to it, with a Graves mineral tint as well as a very pleasing touch of leather. The oak is still obvious on the nose as well as on the palate, which is surprisingly smooth and has a warm sense of fruitiness backed by good acidity. And thank God the winery doesn't seem to have the money to make it a muscular fruit bomb. It's Minor League stuff but rather nice for that level (almost AAA, hahaha, baseball joke) and a few years will mellow it out.

Imported by Tiv-Taam, for about 100 NIS. Tiv-Taam, a food chain which started out specializing in non-kosher food, initially distributed the Shaked family (WineRoute) wines, along the "regular suspects" Israeli major wineries, some local boutiques, a few odds and ends from other small importers as well as some Eastern European stuff. For the last few years, it's been trying to market itself as less of a niche player and now the selection of wines is rather uninspiring (not to mention over-priced). Chateau d'Arcins is one of the few wines I've seen on their shelves recently of any interest.

Condesa de Leganza, La Mancha, Reserva, 1998

Another case of the palate not living up to the promise of the nose. The nose is very Spanish, full of smoky red fruit complemented by tobacco leaves and hints of caramel. The palate is not quite balanced, somewhat stewed and sweet in mid-palate and burns on the bitter finish. Not bad for an eleven year old at this price level, but not much more.

WineRoute, 90 NIS.

A. Et P. Villaine, Bouzeron, 2006

Lime and mineral notes on the nose, which develops tropical nuances. As with the 2005, this has a very pleasant sailnity on the finish and is longer and better defined than was the 2005. The acidity is well integrated and offers very vivid freshness. Drinking well now and I actually feel it will even improve in a year or two.

Tomer Gal, about 70 NIS.

Domaine des Baumard, Coteaux du Layon, Carte d'Or, 2005

A terribly charming nose, and a hedonistic one as well, that combines a melange of fruit (apples, apricots, melons and pineapples) with a hint of white chocolate, while a dash of flint keeps things in check. The palate might lack some acidity and complexity but is lush, sexy, multi-layered and yummy. It could be a dessert wine but I think it could accompany light, dairy sandwiches. This is at the start of a four or five year drinking window. (Aug. 25, 2009)

Giaconda, 117 NIS. This is the wine I drank the night Haifa (which Haifa? There is only one team in Haifa) advanced to the Champions League for the second time. The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, 2007

I tried to avoid returning to this wine so soon after the previous encounter but I found myself longing for a delicate Bourgogne and every time I opened a wine at home, I wound up staring at the Lapierre through the glass of the wine fridge door. Got what I wanted, at the end. Those fresh and fragnant red fruits over a backdrop of light funk and earthiness. A crisp, medium-bodied palate that lets the fruit roll unto the saline finish.

Tomer Gal sells it for about 100 NIS.