Cafe Italia Again (Nov. 3, 2010)

The wines and the settings change, the faces and the friends remain the same.

Olivier Leflaive, Meursault Premier Cru, Charmes 1996

The nose here has mushrooms, nuts, attractive hints of oxidation, while the poise, the balanced acidity and the mineral cut fooled me and some others into mistaking this for a Puligny. Everything works here and finally I get to drink a truly mature white Burgundy that hasn't slipped past its peak.

Price unknown.

Oddero, Barolo, 1982

Another Barolo that pre-dates single-vineyard bottlings. The nose starts out spicy and dusty, gaining nuances. The palate is shy first, tannic, spicy and long but with the fruit muted. However, once sleeping beauty here wakes up, the fruit fills out enough to balance the old school tannins.

Prince unknown.

Domaine Leroy, Bourgogne, 2004

Another declassified blend of high-ranking vineyards from the year Madame Bize-Leroy buried her husband. Terrific nose, Bourgogne with a capital B: pepper, exotic spices, underbush, strawberries and finally hints of lemon drops for idiosyncracy's sake. The palate not as good, as it is slightly watery and its structure a little wacky but I do like it despite its faults. A fetish, I guess - I do prefer wacky Leroy to extracted Leroy.

Imported by Burgundy Wine Collection, sold for about 400-450 NIS, if my memory serves.

Bahans-Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, 2000

The Haut-Brion second wine proves very massive after the previous wine, with concentrated black fruit on nose and palate. Concentrated yet balanced, with a studied, gentle hand on the oak. Develops nicely showing tobacco leaves and hints of minerals. Still tannic and primary but great acidity.

Price unknown.

Canon-La-Gafflierre, Saint-Emillon, 2000

Another great nose, with tobacco leaves, minerals and hints of mildew framing mellow red fruit with a modicum of black ones as well. Though the palate still possesses some bitterness, the wine as a whole is friendlier and readier than the Bahans but less interesting to describe. I think I expected a little more, despite its youth.

The first of three bottles purchased for an average price of 100 USD.

Anselmann, Pflaz, Ortega Trockenbeerenauslese, 2005

This is a surprise, as the last Ortega dessert wine I had lacked in acidity (you can read the note as well as a short description of the Ortega grape here). A luscious nose to kill for and a subtly spicy finish of some length, as well as a measure of a finesse on the palate that belies its extravagance.

Prince unknown.