I forgot to grab a bite to eat before my arrival at Catit, thus wound up stuffing myself with about half a loaf of (admittedly great) bread between servings of chef Meir Adoni's miniature creations. He does pack a lot of creativity into an awfully small volume (making him, what, the gastronomical version of d. boon?) but his dishes are still very small for this hard-working, blue-collar wine lover's appetite, even after a year of clean living and temperate eating habits. Also, I found the sheer creativity of the dishes to overwhelm the austerity of the wines, although Anat Sella of Breuer's importer Giaconda's would disagree (in fact, she did!) - however, the pairing of the Goldkapsel with the cheese platter for dessert could have had me singing hosannas for both Adoni and Breuer winemaker Hermann Schmoranz.
Having filled this month's quota of parentheses, I am now content to spew out my tasting notes. These are all Rieslings, by the way.
Rauenthal, Nonnenberg, Erst Gewachs, 2005
Elegant nose, starts austere with green apples and lovely hints of minerals that grow more pronounced as it opens. The palate has a rough edge, there is a very nice green apple driven acidity but there is a raspy bitterness on the finish that makes for a pinching effect. Picks up some complexity as it opens but still too young and shut for me to succumb.
Not for sale.
Terra Montosa, 2008
This blend of different vineyards has residual sugar which is obvious even though the wine feels only a step between dry and off dry. The nose here is fruitier, friendlier than the previous entry while the wine is much more open and ready on the palate. Apple driven, and monolithically so, whereas the Nonnenberg had more nuances. In the end, there is something too simple on the palate for my taste, without any youthful zest to take up the slack.
Not for sale.
Rauenthal, Nonnenberg, Erst Gewachs, 2007
The nose and palate, surprisingly, are both more open and complex than the 2005, with spicy nuances, as well as being sweeter and fruitier. The 2005 might have the more challenging structure, and in a sense the 07 is a limpid sort of fellow, but its roundness has great charm without the older vintage's roughness and has appealing aromatic complexity.
Rudesheimer, Berg Roseneck, Erst Gewachs, 2007
Ah, what a great nose - complex, detailed, morphing the apples at its core into something that owes more to gunpowder and flint than to fruit. The palate has greater balance than anything yet, and by far too! - with a bite on the finish that belies the preceeding harmony. All of which are tempered by a sweetness that comes from the fruit, not any RS.
260 NIS. Since I prefer it to the Nonnenberg, I like the fact that the Roseneck is lower priced.
Rudesheimer, Berg Rottland, Erst Gewachs, 2007
This wine doesn't evolve a lot even with time and air and while it shows a regal personality with a savory saline finish, it doesn't have the same exciting wow factor as the Roseneck. But it's still the 2nd best dry wine of the night.
Rauenthal, Nonnenberg, Auslese Goldkapsel, 2007
This has the marmalade/tofee nose I expect from, and love in, a dessert wine, with botrytis funk to boot: you can smell its breed! Doesn't hurt that the palate has better acidity than a Sauternes. Lovely. Outstanding. The Poison Ivy to my Carl Gardner.