Right now, the 2008 is not showing as well as the 2007, but my intuition tells me it's just a matter of (young) age; it has its quirks, but they are a product of personality - and, as I always like to say, while ripping off Pulp Fiction, personality goes a long way. Whatever, even now this is a savory wine with a cleansing finish that is meant to be no more, no less, than a house wine for relatively simple fare. The Gamay DNA is obvious in a hint of bananas on the nose, but beyond a red berry-cherry personality, there is this pungent note of overturned earth that is so idiosyncratic, you just have to chalk it up to terroir. (Apr. 3, 2010)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 110 NIS.
A. Et P. De Villaine, Cote Chalonnaise, Rouge, La Fortune, 2008
The reason I find such a young, unassuming Bourgogne so attractive, despite a certain tartness on both nose and palate, is the earthiness lending the aromatics a hint of complexity and the linear purity of the fruit. It is on the light side but its length and depth are both reasonable for the price (in Burgundy terms). Plus it's got just enough Burgundy magic to rock. (Apr. 5, 2010)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 110 NIS.
Muller-Catoir, Pfalz, Mussbacher Eselshaut, Rislaner, Spatlese, 2001
The first time I had this wine (about four years ago), I was new to German wines and it came off as delicate and flowery. Then, a couple of years later, either I changed or it had gone into a bad phase and it seemed fat and ungainly. Now, it's regained its footing and comes across as an alliance between the Riesling and the Chardonnay family of white grapes. It still has more fat than a Riesling would have, but it's racy enough, although with mellower acidity than a Riesling. The aromatics lean towards apples with some peaches and a hint of pears, with the palate closely echoing all that, the entire package sprinkled with sweet spices and some minerals. It has a fairly impressive presence, in a quiet, subtle way. To sum: swallow or contemplate, you'll enjoy it either way. (Apr. 8, 2010)
Giaconda: wow, senility hits hard, I don't remember the exact price, about 200 NIS. Not cheap, but an interesting, worthwhile purchase, considering the rarity of the variety.
Perrin et Fils, Vacqueyras, Les Christins, 2007
Black fruit that is so on the reticent side, despite the wine's obvious ripeness, size and length, that it leaves the stage for a grainy slab of roasted herbs and minerals to overshadow it and do all the talking on both nose and palate. Good balance, within the particular style and size, so there's no sweet, alcoholic punch that you may find in CdP; in fact, it's so austere, and it's mineral core is so pronounced, it almost feels like a big, red Chablis. There's virtually no finesse here, though, unlike a good Chablis. (Apr. 10, 2010)
WineRoute, 90 NIS.
A. Et P. De Villaine, Bouzeron, 2007
I often write about this wine and even though it's not a masterpiece for the ages (just a fascinating specimen with nothing comparable in my fridge), I do find my understanding of it has grown over the years, so hopefully I won't bore myself with yet another note. The aromatics are always on the quirky side, with a unique toast and mineral fingerprint over pungent citrus notes. The palate is as saline as a Chablis, yet its shape is different: it feels less tamed and its mineral cut is less tempered by the fat languidness that even a cold climate Chardonnay can offer. (Apr. 17, 2010)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 80 NIS.
Jean Paul et Benoit Droin, Chablis, 2007
This is Chablis City and is a total repeat of the last time I had it, with flint and citrus on the nose and juicy citrus acidity and a mineral cut on the palate. A Premier or Grand Cru would offer more complexity and focus but this is a lot of fun for what it is. (Apr. 19, 2010)
Giaconda, 126 NIS. House wine.
Inniskillin, Niagara Peninsula, Chardonnay Icewine, 2007
I don't think this is one of Inniskillin's more famous icewines, but it is really gorgeous and tasty. I think the nose hints at botrytis and the palate is creamier than Riesling based stickies. While the acidity is there, it just barely manages the contain the sweetness. Not that I mind, it really is yummy as is and I wasn't looking for complexity and depth, just honest fun, which is what is is there for. (Apr. 20, 2010).
Not imported to Israel, I bartered for this wine so I'm not sure what the price is.
Emrich-Schonleber, Nahe, Monzinger Halenberg, Riesling Spatlese, 2004
I sometimes think Nahe is the German Saint-Julien: the most balanced of the big wine regions, while not as quite as delicate and airy as the Mosel; every component in synch with the others, with the mineral aspect never overshadowing the fruit. And this is as good a sample as you are likely to find, at this price point for sure. There's a focused purity of fruit with a reserved, limpid mineral tone that rather forces you to indulge in a little contemplation. Right now, it's really drinking well, but since German Rieslings always seem to keep something in store at every stage in their life, I would still hang on to my remaining bottle. (Apr. 22, 2010).
Giaconda, 180 NIS.
Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage, 2006
Graillot makes very balanced wines. There's always a ripeness about them that is never allowed to run wild, and that ripeness is always tempered by an almost feminine softness. Which is how he balances them and why many aptly call his wines Burgundian. Here I find virile, ripe fruit that is at the same time almost languid in its gentleness. Yet it is also complemented by typical pepper and a touch of earth while the finish grows longer and more tannic in time. This wine is not going away any time soon and I'm glad, because I like it, I really, really do. (Apr. 24, 2010)
WineRoute, about 130 NIS. I bought five bottles. Guess what? It won't be enough.
Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, L’Indigene Sec, 2005
What a friggin' closed wine! I mean, I'm used to Savenierres being this closed but honestly, I always expect Vouvrays to be friendlier. Yet this is just about the most shut down Chenin I've ever tasted. It barely shows any fruit, and what there is beneath its earthy and nutty facade feels like lime peels. The nose is as an intriguing as any Loire white I've had, brooding and indecipherable, but the palate is much more interesting than it is drinkable. (Apr. 27, 2010)
Giaconda, 135 NIS.