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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.