Misc Notes (June 2011)

August Kesseler, Rheingau, Rudesheimer Bischofsberg, Riesling Spatlese, 2005

I find this typically Rheingau, with fruity transparency. The nose has apples and peaches with soft strokes of kerosene. The palate is limpid and languid, with the sweetness well held in check by the acidity, both in perfect harmony, and shows subtly bitter, vegetable notes on the long finish. At this stage, a wine suitable for after-dinner contemplations. (June 2, 2011)

Giaconda, about 150 NIS.

Bouchard Pere Et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin, 2007

Surprisingly approachable and endearing, with an intoxicating nose that sports a pungent overlay of warm earth over the bright red fruit, which is carried well unto the palate. Then there's another overlay of the usual underbrush and exotic spices that we all love in the Cote de Nuits. On the palate, there are just enough tannins to add texture, while never clouding the sappy fruit. This is simply lovely, I must admit, considering it's just a Villages from a relatively large producer. But sometimes such surprises are the essence of life. Also, it's great that 2007 offers such easy, young drinking; certainly the 2006's do call for more patience, judging from my admittedly small sampling. (June 11, 2011)

I don't live in a vaccum and I have to acknowledge that a knowledgeable guy like Alan Meadows says to start drinking this in 2014. Yet, this wine is so stylish, exciting and delicious right now, that it boggles my mind to think what it would be like in three years. More mature, more complex, for certain, probably gain more weight in bottle (it really doesn't have the stuffing that a better cru would have); but I doubt it would be much yummier. I should have bought a six pack of this when it was on discount. This could be addictive!

WineRoute, usually listed at 250 NIS, bought on a two-fer-300 discount.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, "L" Riesling, 2008

A relative opened this over Friday dinner and I was surprised to find there are bottles of the 2008 still to be found for sale locally (she had bought her bottle that very week). This is on the simple side, naturally, yet has reasonable complexity (maybe I should say, rather, exceptional complexity for its level of quality) and balanced sweetness and acidity very deftly. So very easy to drink. (June 17, 2011)

WineRoute, 60 NIS.

Muga, Rioja, Reserva, 2005

I don't know what Muga did (or what the 2005 vintage did) to make this Reserva taste almost like a Ribera. It's a good wine, a tasty wine, but it's big and creamy, near sweet and with higher extraction than I'd expect - there's the savoriness I'd expect but it's buried deep in the mix. The nose has typical tobacco leaves (ie, a touch of pungent spiciness that spells, for me anyway, Tempranillo) and a less typical fruit profile that veers more towards black fruit than I'd expect (come to think of it, Tempranillo is not really a very "red" grape, but the black fruit it usually whips out is rather mellower than what we have here) and a dash of minerals. My enjoyment did not nearly match a sudden craving for the Prado Enea that it unleashed. See, a mature Rioja is not any less friendly than this, but it would be even more savory and the sweetness of its fruit would build up gradually rather than hit you at full throttle. At the end of the day, this is as enjoyable as Parallel Lines, but not as much as London Calling, or even Give 'Em Enough Rope. (June. 18, 2011)

WineDepot, 108 NIS.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Cote Chalonnaise, Les Clous, 2007

Possibly proving that 2006 was a little off... A wobbly start as at first it resembles the Villaine Bouzeron a littler too much, in a green and kinky way. Then it shows the same oily-minerally nuttiness on the nose as a Corton-Charlemagne, albeit with markedly less intensity. The palate shows clarity yet still lacks some coherence and balance. All in all, this seems to be in a better place than did the 2006 at the same age. (June 22, 2011)

Tomer Gal, 110 NIS.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Bernkasteler Lay, Riesling Kabinett, 2009

This feels fuller and cuter than the Sonnenhur Kabinett, with enough weight to suggest a higher pradikat. On second thought, once my palate adjusts to the sweet vibrancy of this child, its Kabinett-ness is more obvious, but it's a damn fine Kabinett and a damn good Lay. Loosen do know their stuff, I mean even the basic "L" is yummy (see above). Along with the usual Mosel apples and slate is a suggestion of peaches and creme brulee, making this a rather hedonistic Kabinett. (June 24, 2011)

WineRoute, 129.90 NIS.

Bourillon d'Orleans, Vouvray, l'Indigene Sec, 2005

This is always the Vouvray that stumps me. The nose has the trademark "bafflement" effect of a good Chenin, with those minerals and nuts that are hard so for me to place. The palate has good acidity but is all angles and high notes, and hardly any bass notes. Taken as a whole package, I just can't get into it, despite the interesting aromatics. But it's clean and pure, I'll give it that. (June 26, 2011)

Giaconda, 135 NIS.

A. Et P. De Villaine, Cote Chalonnaise, La Digoine, 2007

There's a piercing, flowery, vaguely sweaty and earthy presence on the nose. But while the nose is in fairly full bloom, the palate is dumber than it was in November, the fruit bitter and backwards. I guess the Digoine just doesn't look too good at four years of age. (June 30, 2011)

Tomer Gal, 120 NIS.