Misc Notes (Sept. 2010)

J. L. Chave, St. Joseph, Offerus, 2006

A simple wine, which I loved in 2003 and originally "only" liked in 2006 - but at this point I like the 2006 a great deal, so there's something of an improvement in my relationship with this vintage. As I've written before, it's a fruity wine with peppery black fruit, plump and round with savory tannins. There's a bit of aggression on the finish - that I'm not really able to put my finger on, as neither tannins nor acidity especially stick out - that for the first time makes me think this wine might need more time. Of course, it might very well not go anywhere, but at least it's finally showing some sophomoric cheek. Plus that kick on the finish makes it a good match for hearty dishes so all is well. (Sept. 4, 2010)

WineRoute, 135 NIS.

Josef Leitz, Rheingau, Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz, Riesling Spatlese, 2006

Magic Kool-Aid for Riesling Lovers. All kidding aside, "Maggie" has picked up grip and additional presence, plus what registers as a mushroom overlay on the nose, in the year or so since I've last drank it. (Sept. 16, 2010)

Giaconda, about 100 NIS.

Domaine du Colombier, Crozes-Hermitage, Rouge, 2006

You may well refer to my previous note while I pencil in a re-purchase on my to-do list.

Giaconda, 126 NIS

I recently had a mini-showdown between Old and New World, which was interesting because of the bystanders' view. I thought our guests would enjoy the Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 more than the Couroulu, Vacqueyras, Cuvee Classique, 2005 (both more or less priced at around 100 NIS, the latter imported by Giaconda), due to the former's crowd appealing, fruity personality (albeit with complex hints of leather) - but no, except for my wife (who complained of the Vacqueyras' fecal stink), all went for what I saw as the more challenging, more tannic, edgier wine. Which is very, very cool. I had no intention to exert myself and explain to the neophytes why the barnyard aromas and old school bite on the finish made me remember why I used to love the Southern Rhone so much a couple of years ago, but any follower of this blog will understand why I'd score both of them a point or two below the RP break-even 90 pointer line - and then take the Vacqueyras home to bed. (Sept. 25, 2010)

Muller-Catoir, Haardter Manderling, Scheurebe Spatlese , 2004

I love Scheurebe for the sensuality it offers in sweet versions, and this is a spectacularly delicious example, leading with aromatics of white pepper, chalk and smoke over guayavas and peaches. The palate is typical Pfalz, I guess, with its ripe, round fruit, filtered through the variety's Alice In Wonderland logic. (Sept. 30, 2010)

Imported by Giaconda, I believe it was sold 3-4 years ago for 180 NIS or so.