Introduction to Wine 101 - One Chablis, One Barolo, One Chateauneuf (Feb. 26, 2010)

I am a student of wine. That's how I see myself. But every so often I get to play teacher to my neophyte friends.

Jean Paul et Benoit Droin, Chablis, 2007

If I approach this wine rationally, it is textbook stuff - with citrus fruit and smoky flint on the nose and a languid mineral cut on the palate - but somehow, it doesn't thrill me as much as it did last time, when it managed to soar beyond the limits of its classification. It's still a handy wine, though.

Giaconda, 126 NIS.

Paolo Scavino, Barolo, 2001

The nose is red cherries with freshly turned earth and spices in the background. The mouthfeel is typical Barolo, middle-bodied with rusty tannins, although their effect is a mild rasp and not a grate. I don't think opening it now was blatantly premature, but there is something a bit one dimensional about it now and hopefully it should be friendlier and perhaps more complex in a few years.

Imported by WineRoute, 279 NIS.

Domaine du Marcoux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2001

This also is very typical, with cherry liquor, dry fruit and garrigue on the nose, ripe fruit and round tannins on the palate. The ripeness is held in rein, recalling to me what I loved about CdP's in the first place: New World fruitiness in an Old World context. Lovely, although a bit vulgar; a Professor Higgins type, I suppose.

Imported by WineRoute, 249 NIS.

Finally, one of our guests brought the following as extra-curriculum work:

Venturi Schultze, Vancouver Island, Brandenburg No 3, 2007

The winey says the wine is made up of mostly Madeleine Sylvaner, whatever that may be, and it looks, smells and tastes, to me, like some bizarre cross between Muscatel and Pedro Ximinez. Thank God I don't score wines, so there is no need to try and contextualize its quality; nonetheless, I enjoyed it, if only for (but not just) its novelty.