Jos. Christoffel, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Urziger Wurzgarten, Auslese Halbtrocken, 2001
Christoffel rarely produces this style, midway between classic (read "sweet") and dry. I only got the region right on my third try or so, although in retrospect - that is, when the wine was revealed - the apples and cold slate on the nose are very typical. What threw me off was the palate. Ran Shapira had recently brought a dry Mosel and I didn't see him pitching another screwball so soon after stymieing us like that. I still don't feel comfortable with the style when it comes from the Mosel, as I feel the finish is attenuated and the wine as a whole is less satisfying, although it might just be me. Having said that, this is a satisfying wine until the finish dulls the wonderful interaction between the penetrating acidity and sweet fruit. But as it is, most of the fruitiness I love in Riesling remains intact, and as long as Ran knows he has a great ace up his sleeve for blind tastings, I'm sure I'll encounter and enjoy this style again, until his stocks are depleted.
Marcel Deiss, Bergheim, Gewurztraminer, 2004
Although the nose lacks the trademark lychee notes, it is still typical enough in displaying rose petals and Alsatian spiciness. I love a good Gewurtz every couple of months or so, even though this one displays why, to my tastes, there's a glass ceiling on the variety's aspirations to greatness: the fruit extract seems concentrated on specific points in mid-palate, almost overloading the senses, like a good dish overdosed with mustard. But I always come back to this over-dressed, over-perfumed slut and this wine does a good job at reminding me why I do.
Giaconda, 207 NIS list price.