Carmel, Regional Series, Viognier, 2008
Clementine, apricot jam, honey, alcoholic. Alcoholic bite on finish. Pretty decent for a variety I no longer care for much (it could well have gone extinct for all I care) but at least after this encounter I can finally scratch a long-standing mental itch as I finally understand what I'm reminded of I drink a Chenin Blanc that doesn't click: Viognier.
Solar Viejo, Rioja, Crianza, 2007
I should have known better. An anonymous bodegas whose production peters out at the crianza level plus an uninspired importer combine for a wine that the salesman at Hinawi didn't even exert an effort to push at me. What a fool I was to even ask about this atrocity which will re-inforce every complaint the New World has against Rioja. This isn't even a cooking wine in my book, more like an ingredient in a Molotov bottle.
Imported by Enoteca, sold for 69 NIS at Hinawi. All I can say is my wife had a very strict price limit on what she would allow me to open for our guests (and considered it impolite to open one bottle for them and another for me). This seemed like the best of the lot at that price range as all the local wines were upward of 14% ABV. I had hopes that a mediocre Spanish wine would at least evoke memories of, well, Spain. I was wrong.
By the end of the holiday, I was in desperate need of my fix, my cure, and so I turned to a wine I knew I wouldn't be able to match with anything resembling a regular meal.
Nicolas Joly, Savennieres, Les Vieux Clos, 2006
Like Closel's wines, this is a big, diesel-powered Savennieres, with a concentration of sweet fruit that I'm guessing might have overwhelmed me in his higher echelon wines but is appropriate here - as well as decently framed by a gravelly structure. The nose has a lot of apricot jam, baked apples, cardamon and campfire, and has affinity with the Closel Savennieres. (Sept. 10, 2010).
Giaconda, 193 NIS.