With the regulars, at Cafe Italia.
Robert Weil, Rheingau, Kiedrich Grafenberg, Riesling Auslese 1999
A sniff-and-smile nose: petrol, mellow minerality, apples, honey. On the palate, luscious fruit with a self-assured backbone. This is a wine that did a whole lot of good to all present, but it was so delicious and easy to drink that it was gone before I could dwell on it long enough.
Not available in Israel, purchased at MacArthur for about 80 USD. The sole bottle that I bought, alas.
Louis Jadot, Corton-Charlemagne, 2000
I find the nose reminiscent of a Champagne, mineral and nut laden, with the fruit very much in the background. The palate offers a firm structure but despite being enjoyable and intense, it leaves one wanting more.
Imported by WineRoute, about 450 NIS, six years in my fridge.
Vincent Girardin, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2002
The nose is at first all reductive stink, then clears up to show red fruit and forest floor with mineral notes. Lovely, ever changing and ever improving, the aromatics really won me over. Great length and laser-like precision create an elegant, silky impression. My wine of the night, despite all the competition, ready to drink and surprisingly so.
Imported by WineRoute, price unknown.
These three were just a prelude for a Jaboulet, La Chapelle vertical - a therapeutic experience after the 2004 I had a few days before. These wines were purchased from various sources around the world, as far as I know. I did not ask about the prices. It seemed too tacky.
This wine offers a lot of contradictions, especially on the palate, where sweet, yet subtle, fruit combines with rasping tannins to create an effect that I flippantly described as drinking the boots of Outlaw Jessie Wales. The nose is harder to grasp, being self-composed yet rustic in a leathery way.
A fruitier nose with, initially, raw meat that is complemented later on by leather and black pepper. Very impressive by the time it warms up. The palate is, for the time being, arguably less interesting than the 1996, friendlier despite the drying tannins. Whatever, it is very yummy, and improves in the glass, showing increasingly riper acidity, until it bests the 96 by a hair - at least in potential but even right now it is a sweet yummy wine. I know I was in the minority, but I enjoyed it even more than the undoubtedly great 1990.
Not quite the therapy I needed. Claims that it was dying in glass abounded. Understandably so. Madeiraized
The best of all possible worlds: a peppery nose with hints of herbs and a balanced and tasty palate. On a purely personal level, I enjoyed the 1999 more, but this is a profound wine. 2GrandCru writes no more.