Garage d'Or (Mar. 3, 2011)

Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Blanc, 2009

How objectively can you approach a wine that has already sparked specific comparison, on the local scene, to all things Bourgogne - from Chablis to Puligny? Not that I haven't been disappointed by acclaimed Israeli ringers (not to mention the real deal), but I find myself on such occasions falling into two traps. I'm either too optimistic and keep spotting the similarities or I'm hyper-critical. Anyway, since this wasn't tasted blind, I just have to deal with the circumstances and do my best to contextualize the damn thing.

The nose has the same pungency of citrus fruit that I find in Chablis, as well as in the AOC's in the south, where traditionally the oak has been kept in rein. There is also a note of flint and just a hint of toffee in the background, that develops into a more prominent note of tropical fruit. The palate is crisp and driven by citrus acidity and winds up with a saline touch. Here, too, time brings out a tropical color, but it's not close to overwhelming. It could use more focus, and, while the acidity is exceptional for Israel, I think it lacks a touch of flavoring and force.

So that's the descriptors for you. As far as the whole picture is concerned, yes, it's about as good as the village Chablis, the Macons, the Rullys and the Chalonnaises I drink regularly - although it lacks some coherence. Price-wise, at about 140 NIS, it's in the same ball park as those - even if I do expect a local wine, even from a small boutique such as this, to be cheaper than an import. I think that in a blind tasting, I'd guess it were a Bourgogone lookalike, but then again, there's a good chance I'd say the same thing about a bona fide B.


Joel said…
Good blog, well done. You pretty much summed it up there. For the record, I'm a local, and I would not compare it to a Chablis or any other WB per se. It is a good wine though, even damn good for a New World, and at that Israeli white wine. I agree with everything you wrote word for word. There is room for improvement, and yes I still prefer a premier cru or better Chablis or other WB in most cases, but this is a fruity, elegant wine, that certainly stands on its own.

P.S. I had La Fortune 09, by De Villaine, and liked it a lot. Great funk + muscular 09 black fruits.
2GrandCru said…
Thank you.

I spotted more red fruits in the Fortune than you, but maybe it's because I always think of succulent fruit as red, even when the taste leans towards black.