Cafe 48 - Another Visit To My New Haven (Mar. 15, 2012)

Location, location, location: Cafe 48, seventy six years ago

Great friends, great wine, great food, in more or less that particular order, was what I needed to light up a gloomy day.

Larmandier-Bernier, Terre de Vertus, nv (actually all 2006 but labelled nv)

A somewhat austere Champagne with a brainy appeal due to its depth and clarity, while the nose offers classic brioche and minerals, and baked apples morphing into green ones. Very, very good.

Domaine Weinbach, Schlossberg Grand Cru, Cuvee St. Catherine, l'Inedit, 2004

The nose is complex enough with petrol and spices leading the apples and grapefruit. The palate offers good acidity and ripe fruit that creates an illusion of sweetness (at 13.5% ABV, I doubt there's much residual sugar in there) and a spicy, long finish that, as usual for Alsace, winds up on the  bitter and alcoholic side. The coarse medicinal finish is the deal breaker, but at least the l'Inedit makes no attempts to flatter.

Giaconda, 369 NIS. When I tasted it three and a half years ago, I thought it was too young for me to decide whether the price tag was justified; at this point, I'm afraid I've concluded that it's not.

Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac 5me Cru, 1995

At sixteen plus years, the nose is still reticent at first (despite having been opened five hours prior to the first sip, just like the next wine) but fairly quickly opens up to reveal lead pencil, new leather, black fruit. In short, textbook Pauillac. The palate echoes the nose, with a well balanced blend of fruit, acidity and tannins that are suave and rough hewn at the same time. The way the tannin crunch builds up to a savory finish is why I'm hooked on Bordeaux.

Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac 5me Cru, 2000

This is riper than the 1995, yet still possesses the same immaculate balance, the same grainy-yet-smooth tannins, the same sense of savory vibrancy - even if the tannins are less resolved at this point. Better than the 1995 even now, with miles ahead of it. If the 1995 still needs five years or so to fully compose itself, this needs at least ten.

GPL is imported by WineRoute. I have my own bottle of each and they cost about 100 USD at K&L Wines.

Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, 1986

Really off, not TCA, but rather something that calls for a professional to decipher. We waited in vain for a recovery that never materialized.

WineRoute for recent vintages and again about 100 USD from K&L Wines.

Tua Rita, Guisto di Notri, Toscana IGT, 2004

The first two or three times that I tasted the Guisto di Notri, I didn't get it and thought it was another Parker Hallmark Card ode to ripeness and extraction. I was wrong. This proves the merit of Super-Tuscans with lots of spare change. The fruit is ripe, for sure, but there's plenty of sauteed mushrooms and pungent earthiness to temper that. Mouth-filling with a tannic mineral-laden finish and a simply lovely acidity that screams Tuscany. Lovely and complex.

WineRoute, last time I checked these were sold for about 250-300 NIS.


Ido said…
Great notes as usual.
Was the Tua rita from 2004 or 2001?
To my knowledge, the only vintage of Tua Rita that was imported to Israel was 2001. I don't really know the reason why Wine Route stopped importing it since all of the bottles were sold very quickly, and at least the Giusto di notri was a very good value for money (the Redigaffi Merlot is much more expensive). Hope to see it again in Israel.
2GrandCru said…
It was the 2004 and I was surprised too.