Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back In White - A Tasting Of You Know What (June 23, 2011)

Hosted at the Tel-Aviv branch of WineRoute. A rather eclectic collection of white wines.

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2009

The nose more than hints at Bourgogne with notes of flint. I don't really want to say "good acidity for Israel", but there you have it: just enough acidity to wrestle the bitterness on the palate away from the usual pitfalls. A few years ago, I'd been knocked out of my boxers; today all I can say is good value.

139.90 NIS

Chereau Carre, Chateau de Chasseloir, Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Comte Leloup, 2009

This was one of the wines I was most interested in tasting and it fulfilled my expectations and gave me an idea of the paradigm. The nose is discrete and closed, yet quite appealing once it opens up, with lime and marine minerals. Tasty, not great, with mouth watering acidity and salinity, and nice potential for an interesting house white.

About 80 NIS.

Domaine de Marcoux. Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2007

A weird, "soupy" nose - reductive, maybe? Who knows/cares? It's not for the faint of heart, with its bitter, unfriendly palate. But then again, at four years of age, it might be deep in the middle of the dumbest period of the wine world: Rhone white dumb. It's got an interesting mineral background, I'll give it that, but otherwise, the only reason I can see for offering it at a tasting in 2011 is for purely commercial reasons; I'm sure the Shaked family did not mean for all those bottles on the tasting room walls to serve as decoration.

249.90 NIS

Chateau Talbot, St. Julien, 2007

A spectacularly gorgeous nose with lots of flint. And with a good dose of healthy acidity on the palate, it's like Burgundy filtered through leaner, more yellow fruit. The white Bordeaux style really shines here with one major caveat: judging from the reactions of folks, whose palate I know and trust, to the contents of their glasses, I suspect there was a lot of bottle variation going on at the tasting, which is why I passed on purchasing it. Other than that, great value.

199 NIS.

Chateau Carbonnieux, Pessac-Leognan, 2007

Aw shucks, why pay so much for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Although it develops decent, mineral-laden complexity, at its core it's just tropical cocktail wine, and to be quite honest, the Kiwis do it much better and for cheaper.

239 NIS.

Georges Dubeouf, Pouilly-Fuisse, Clos Reissier, 2009

Another wine I was eager to taste, but one that just didn't seem to work, not on the palate, anyway, where it lacked finesse (which I wasn't expecting, given the price) and charm (which I was expecting). Damn, these southern Burgundies live and die by their comely charms. This one just died. The nose is a much better proposition, although it requires a lot of twirling in the glass for the characteristic Bourgogne minerals to overcome its relatively fruity attack.

99 NIS.

Domaine William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru, Les Preuses, 2008

Enter Chablis. The nose is so enticing, so grand, so Chablis, with stinky, marine minerals, yadda yadda, yadda - its only "drawback" is that it meets my expectations almost too easily. I can live with that. Although the palate is still silent and backward, it packs a lot of saline flavors and presents a lot of depth. Let's dive into it in five, six years, alright?

339 NIS.

Gaja, Langhe, Rossj Bass, 2008

I really do appreciate how this starts off with the Bourgogne style of sculpting Chardonnay, then subtly tweaks it, offering flowery, somewhat less obviously "appley" fruit, yet with the same dry reserve. Very good. Seems vaguely in the Premier Cru league, so I'd say it's good value.

295 NIS.

Guigal, Condrieu, La Doriane, 2008

Is this really the type of wine that Condrieu has based its reputation on? There's a hint of minerals and honeyed luxury, but it's a depressing luxury, like a courtesan that fell asleep in her clothes. Pass me the La-Las, please.

499.90 NIS.

Domaine Henri Boillot, Meursault Premier Cru, Les Poruzots, 2008

Price-wise, at least, this should have been the star of the show (Condrieu not really being my cup of anything these days), but it takes time to open and I'm not sure it really ranks high up with the better class of Meursaults that I've tasted. Slow to open, it eventually shows flint and a hint of mushrooms and savory acidity. The oak is there, but not obnoxiously so, and there are almost no flaws or quirks to wrap a tasting note around.

499 NIS.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Wehlener Sonnenhur, Riesling Kabinett, 2009

I love Rieslings, I love Loosen, and I've already had this wine, so the only surprise here is a note of guayavas that caught me off guard, as it wasn't present in the past. Lovely, taught, minerally - and it makes me tingle.

129.90 NIS.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Urziger Wurzgarten, Riesling Spatlese, 2009

Repeat the above, with greater depth and breadth. Drink when necessary, which might turn out to be more often than not.

159.90 NIS.

6 comments:

Joel said...

I still think you were too generous with the Rieslings. Compared to the stuff Giaconda brings in at the same price or perhaps for a wee bit more, you can do much better. Go to Habasta this month, if you haven't already been there, and then perhaps we can talk about the Loosens in the broader context. That being said, I'm going to give the Loosens another chance. The Bernkastler Lay was good, but still not mind-blowing like some of the stuff the G-girls have.
Best,
J

2GrandCru said...

You do realize I'm quite well versed with Giaconda's catalog. And it's awesome and all, but when I suspect you're enamored by some of the drier stuff. And even if we're talking about the sweeter stuff, they'll give the girls' stuff a good fight, especially when you consider at what prices most of us can actually buy the Loosen stuff. For example, the Lay is on sale this month for 99.90 NIS and with the club member's discount, that works out to about 95 NIS. The only comparable wines in the Giaconda portfolio would be the Leitz Dragonestone and Maggie. And when WineRoute offer the Loosen Ausleses on discount, the battle is even more heated. But it's a moot point as I;m happy buying from both and Giaconda's thriving business probably has something to do with the Shaked family's re-entry into the German wine field.

Joel said...

I think it's odd that all of a sudden you're talking about ten or twenty shekels here. When your wine budget varies widely and you go to tastings with Tomer Gal, all of a sudden you're arguing the because Dr. L is a few shekels cheeper than certain equivalents at Giaconda, somehow WineRoute is on the same plane of existence vis à vis Rieslings. My point is just that, as a novice, Giaconda provides a much wider world of wine than Wineroute. Who cares if WineRoute has one brand of German Riesling with their most recent vintage available at a good price? A learner like myself has to move beyond this, even if a veteran like yourself is pleasantly content with a single example of competition. Perhaps WineRoute has one or two wines at the 100NIS level that compete with Giaconda, but it doesn't have anything at the 150-300NIS level that comes close for Riesling.

2GrandCru said...

What's the problem here? I'm not comparing Giaconda to WineRoute, either way. Just saying that Loosen specifically competes very well with some of the wines that Anat and Rafaella sell. I was drinking and writing about the Giaconda portfolio from day one and I've earned the right to make such comparisons. Not that such a right has to be earned, necessarily.

Joel said...

Okay, I agree with you, and will endeavor to broaden my own horizons. After reading through some of your notes all the way back to the days when you still liked Yarden, I see you've written extensively about Giaconda's Riesling offerings. Still, after perusing the current catalogue, I see a couple of dozen wines in the low 100s and many of them have not been reviewed on your blog yet--though perhaps you have indeed tasted them. No matter though, I don't want to argue...You are right in saying that I'm looking at this point to start with the Trocken side of things and hoping that my palate will adjust to the sweetness of the others in time.

2GrandCru said...

Joel,

I write about just about anything and everything I taste or drink. If I've not written about some wines, it;s because I don't get paid for this and frankly I don't have the budget to go through everything that Giaconda, Tomer Gal and WineRoute have to offer.