Sushi Night At Sakura (Dec. 5, 2009)

It was time to go back to the sushi well at our favorite source in Tel Aviv. As always, Riesling dominated the evening.

Leitz, Rheingau, Dragonstone, QBA Riesling, 2005

I'm a fan of this juice, which is harvested at enough brix to qualify for Spatlese, but is chaptalized and thus labelled as QBA by German law. The chaptalization might make it a tad too sweet for some palates, but the nose is classic German Riesling with its green apples and chalk and it tastes great. We were almost through the bottle before the first sushi tray arrived.

Giaconda, 98 NIS.

Langweth Von Simmern, Rheingau, Erbacher Marcobrunn, Kabinett Riesling, 2007

This was very young, I suppose, and felt much drier than it ought to have been, but then it was hard to drink it after the Dragonstone. I made a valiant effort at cleansing my palate with sushi, but it was too austere for me. The nose was complex and interesting and I have no complaints there. I will have to try it again in a different setting.

Giaconda, 110 NIS

Bott-Geyl, Kronenbourg de Zellenberg, Riesling, 2005

IPV is a new local importer, specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon (I am in the process of compiling notes from recent tasting of their red wines). After the Marcobrunn, my palate had re-adjusted to lower levels of sugar but I still found this Alsatian white too austere. The nose is, again, complex and interesting (the lack of descriptors doesn't imply that this wine - or any other - lacked specific aromas, I simply was not taking formal notes) but whereas my usual complaint about Alsace Riesings is a certain bitterness, here instead was a wine that seemed to take austere minerality to an extreme. So, interesting? Yes. Tasty? I'd like to be charitable. Suited for sushi? Not really.

IPV, 155 NIS.

Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, La Bourdonnerie, Demi Sec, 2007

This was an interesting pairing with sushi, as I wasn't really sure Chenin would not overwhelm the sushi. But there balance of acidity and sweetness really worked here and the specific hue of minerals made it an intellectually captivating wine.

Giaconda, 117 NIS. I had a few bottles of the 2003 and this looks just as worthy.