Marcel Deiss, Alsace, Englegarten, 2005
Deiss dubs this a premier cru, although that has no legal meaning in Alsace. Regardless, this is impressive and tasty. The decadent, heady nose is smoky quince and pears, with a slight touch of oxidation which doesn't follow through on the palate, which is very fresh and lively, albeit with depth and weight of some bottle age, and dry, mineral-edged core with sweetness on the fringes. Excellent. I rather enjoy a certain lack of pure varietal character here (as I recall, the Riesling is the dominant grape here but there's more than a little hint of Pinot Gris in my opinion), which is, from my point of view, a winning argument for Deiss' field blend approach.
Giaconda, 225 NIS.
Domaine Pegau, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Reserve, 2003
A showcase, ripe nose with blasts of garrigue and, later on, some coffee. The palate is big but shows fine balance despite its density, while the sweet tannins make this very approachable . Trademark, Pegau balance. Obviously, a Pegau in good form will blow anybody's brains out, but tonight was easier than usual to be seduced.
WineRoute, about 300 NIS.
Chateau de Guiraud, Le Dauphin de Guiraud, 2004
Creme broulee, botrytis funk. Good balance of sugars and acidity. Not very complex or intense and all that shit, but surprisingly high quality for a second wine from 2004.
Imported by Avi Ben Wines. Price unknown but I got the feeling from my guest that the difference in price between this and Guiraud's first wine would not make this a good QPR.