Rokah 73 (Oct. 3, 2009)

I don't know quite how to express my feelings about Rokah 73. Unlike his peers, chef Eyal Lavie does not broadcast his creativity too blatantly, going for a superficially subdued French bistro style, which, more often than not, is quite tasty, and I always enjoy the cosy feelings it evokes in me . I should probably visit Rokah 73 more often, and I would, except the prices are on par with those of Lavie's more pretentious colleagues.

But I really do love his style.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Wehlener Sonnenhur, Riesling Auslese, 2005

Although the nose is quite fruity, it is so speckled with dill and minerals that it seems more mature than it really is. The palate is deceptively monolithic, but with a little patience shows a mineral framework that is quite complex. With its juicy acidity, this is one delicious wine.

Imported by WineRoute, it was on sale quite a few times, on some occasions selling for as low as 190 NIS.

Jos. Christoffel, Jr, Mosel-Saaw-Ruwer, Urziger Wurtzgarten, Riesling Auslese ***, 1990

This bottle is radically different than any I've tasted in the past, and I've had quite a few. The nose is simply one of a kind, reeking blatantly with spearmint. The palate is drier than the nose had led me to think (or, in retrospect, the label) and is a bit taut - the acidity, while very fine on its own, masks the fruit to some extent. Still, a unique experience.

I don't think this particular bottle was bought in Israel, but Giaconda used to carry it for about 220 NIS. They probably still do.

Mas De Daumas Gassac, Languedoc, 2001

The nose (and, let's be honest, the shape of the bottle as well) fooled us all into thinking North Rhone. It certainly has a peppery feel to it, as well as a certain barnyard veneer over its smoky currant fruit. The palate is elegant, medium-bodied, almost light, certainly elegant, feminine in a Cote Rotie style. Fell apart within 20-30 minutes, though.

I used to know who imported this wine and for how much, but I've aged and forgotten.

Felsina, Fontalloro, 2003

This would be a Chianti, if it wasn't pure Sangiovese and if the vineyard didn't straddle two different Chianti appellations. Whatever, the nose is pure Tuscan, with typical Tuscan spices and typical Super-Tuscan smokiness. The acidity is pure Tuscan as well. Any way you choose to call, it is an excellent wine and worthy of attention.

Anavim, about 200 NIS on discount.