Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Wehlener Sonnenhur, Riesling Auslese, 1993
Nuance and poise are the key to this wine. I can't really say I can come up with a lengthy gallery of aromas and flavors, as this is a reserved wine and really seems to hint at apples, honey and petrol rather than say anything obvious about them. Very fine (god, I sound just like Clives Coates now).
Imported by WineRoute, price unknown to me.
Louis Jadot, Vosne-Romanee, 2002
Louis Jadot usually does not come close to pleasing my posse, and this example is no exception, although I personally rather like it. The nose is very pretty, typical red fruit and a light dash of meatiness and exotic spices. Medium bodied, the palate is elegant and decently long, although on the round side which works to soften the impact of the succulent fruit.
Imported by WineRoute, I'm guessing it sold for 200-250 NIS, making it too pricey for the actual quality.
Fattoria dei Barbi, Brunello, Vigna Del Fiore, 1997
I am going to telegraph the punchline of this note, but this wine performed much better two and a half years ago. This has black fruit with earthy and herbal notes on the nose, while on the palate the acidity builds up slowly until it flares on the finish. Solidly built but emotionally hollow, this is tasty but uninspired.
Not imported to Israel, price unknown.
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, St. Julien 2me Cru, 1990
Oh, how my spell checker hates this wine and how my taste buds enjoy it. It's not a great wine per se, but a mature claret at this level of quality doesn't have to be great to be great. What makes the experience more memorable is that this wine has a controversy behind it. You'd think it's a no-brainer: a great property and a great vintage; but no, the chateau, to judge by the reviews, had hygiene issues at the cellar when the wine was made and the writers were uncertain about the potential outcome at the barrel tastings and release. Whatever, we enjoyed it, although bad nerves on my part had me opening it too late. It could have used two-three hours of shoulder-leveling instead of one, thus it started out extrovertedly enough to make the Ducru-Beaucaillou fans 'round the table think it was a Super-Tuscan at first. As my comment about the timing of the opening should make clear, it needs time in glass to settle down and show greater depth and nuances, with hints of tobacco. There is a tannic bite even after twenty years but enough fruit for yumminess' sake.
Purchased in London for 90 GBP.