Misc Notes (May 2010)

Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz, Kalstadter Steinacker, Riesling Kabinett, 2005

It seems as though each time I drink a Koehler-Ruprecht Riesling these days, it seems drier that I remember from the previous encounter - and this is no exception. The nose is great, such is always the case with Koehler-Ruprecht, but I find myself yearning for just a little more sugar. (May 6, 2010)

Giaconda, 117 NIS.

Clos Marie, Coteaux du Langedoc, Pic St. Loup, l’Olivette, 2007

I can spot a common thread linking this wine to both the Rhone and old-school Spain, vis a vis the interplay of black and red fruit, minerals and meaty notes. There's a nice marriage of robust, fruit-forward, New World wine-making and and the idiosyncratic, terroir-driven craftsmanship I associate with the Old World. The package is backed by meaty, savory tannins that keep me coming back for more, marking this as yet another house wine, especially in a supporting role of a tasty slab of roast beef. (May 8, 2010)

IPVinum, about 120 NIS at Wine Depot.

F. X. Pichler, Wachau, Federspiel Loibner Klostersatz, Gruner Veltliner, 2007

I must admit I don't really know what to make of this wine. It's interesting, but... The nose has citrus fruit and citrus skins that are almost candied and annoyingly so. Then the candied aspect fades out a bit and there's a welcome hint of smoke. Okay, I can live with the nose and enjoy it but the palate is harder to, ahem, digest. It just pushes and shoves too much and there's an energetic vibe that creates a lot of annoying white nose, despite it all winding up in a mineral finish that I would enjoy in other contexts. I guess it just doesn't feel balanced enough for my tastes. (May 13, 2010)

Giaconda, 91 NIS.

Domaine du Colombier, Crozes-Hermitage, Rouge, 2006

Black, smoky-peppery fruit on the nose, the ripeness of which only expresses itself as sweet, almost chocolate-like notes, nothing more forward than that. The palate echoes and complements these characteristics, as it is balanced and structured, despite the tannins which are still slightly rustic and grainy, with lovely acidity giving it an extra oomph. (May 15, 2010).

Giaconda, 126 NIS.

Astrolabe, New Zealand, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009

The nose with its tropical fruit, its funky, mineral tint and its herbal overlay is very pleasing and worthy of contemplation but the palate is too taut and steely even for my penchant for austere wines, although I enjoyed the saline finish that developed in time. (May 16, 2010)

Mersch, bought for about 120 at Wine Depot.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Rully, Les St. Jacques, 2007

I find it quaintly fascinating how much the Les St. Jacques resembles a young Chablis, which is of course way on the other side of the Burgundy, way up north. There's a similar pungency on the nose, comprised of citrus skins, chalk and a hint of flint, while the palate has a similar citrus-y tautness and a similar saline trace on the finish. Indeed, as I recall, when we tasted a bottle of the 2006 blind in November, my friends thought it was a Chablis. Whatever, give this youngster an hour to open up and it will fulfill any expectation you might have of a so-called simple Bourgogne. (May 26, 2010)

Burgundy Wine Collection, about 130 NIS.

Pfaffenheim & Gueberschwihr, Goldert Grand Cru, Gewurztraminer, 2005

Utterly classical Gewurtz, spicy on both nose and palate, and absolutely ready to drink. The palate, with its mineral cut and saline finish, is finer and more complex than the nose, which isn't a bad act in the first place: just so typical that it fails to break any new ground. And there's no reason why it should. Lovely in a small-scale way that I've yet to decide whether is in keeping with its Grand Cru status. (May 28, 2010)

Imported by HaKerem, sold at Wine Depot for 130 NIS.

Muga, Rioja, Reserva, 2005

Except for extreme cases, even modern Riojas smell like, well Rioja. Case in point: this great value from my personal favorite Bodegas from Rioja, which is pungently minerally to the point where it almost reeks of iodine, showing also notes of tobacco, cardamon as well as sweeter spices. And enough mellow fruit to conjure memories of Burgundy (I kid you not, this wine smells like Montille's Cote de Beaune premier crus). Anyway, very complex aromatically. The palate, while already showing the Rioja magic and rustic elegance (not to mention yummy salinity on the finish), still has some bitter, albeit light, tannins to integrate with the monolithic, candied fruit. The 2001, which was probably of the same quality level, was still adolescent at seven-eight years post-vintage and I guess the 2005 will mature along a similar arc. (May 29, 2010)

Sold at Wine Depot for 108 NIS.