Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wines For Shavuot

I don't adhere to holiday dates or for holiday culinary rules. These are the wines I had around the extended Shavuot weekend and they were all special.

With Efrat at Cafe Italia. Obviously, not a very dairy dinner.

Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne, Fleuron, Brut, 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs, 2002

To paraphrase Dylan: "Wine is simple, to coin a phrase, you've known it all the time, I'm just learning it these days". Four years into drinking Champagnes, I can say this is a vivid embodiment of Chardonnay-based Champagnes. And it's very simple to understand, yet merits in-depth contemplation. Green apples, baked apples, walnuts, brioche, minerals, orange blossom. I don't think I left anything out of the Champagne checklist. So once you get Chardonnay, and once you understand how Chardonnay is transformed by the Champagne-making process - and believe me, once the pieces fall into place, this understanding is, like I said, simple - this is a very easy wine to read. But the ease of reading doesn't mean its allure is shallow. This has depth. And forget depth, this is sexy and delicious. Make sure your treat your lover to a bottle. (May 24, 2012)

Boutique de Champagnes doesn't list this anymore (out of stock), but as I recall it's in the 400-450 NIS range.

Friday night dinner at home with the kids.

Francois Jobard, Meursault Premier Cru, Genevrieres, 2004

With so many problematic-to-dead Burgundy whites over the past year or so, I've been going through my stash with great haste recently, thinking I'd rather drink them sooner than later. At first, this also seems like another dud (which I've had way too many with Jobard: 2002 Genevrieres, 2004 Purozots, 2005 En La Barre), and it would probably seem that way to most people, but to me, it's really more of a marginally questionable curio. It's got mature, spicy/oxidized, honeyed notes on the nose and is more about roasted nuts than fruit. But the palate is lively, if very much on the reserved side, with a long saline finish. It's an intellectually stimulating wine, that somehow, with a couple of hours of air, reveals hints of fruit that add interest. So while I like it and fulfills my romantic notions of what a mature Meursault should smell and taste like, I haven't made up my mind whether it lives up to my expectations of a Premier Cru, and furthermore, I highly suspect that in the context of a group tasting, we'd have moved on before the Genevrieres had a chance to show its hand. (May 25, 2012)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 350-400 NIS, depending on the vintage.

I considered continuing my depletion of white Burgundy holdings, but instead went Austrian.

Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal Reserve, Gainsberg 1er Lage, Riesling, 2010

Very good becomes great and translucent!

Tingling with vibrant energy, this, initially, is is still in the green apple-ish, nubile stage of Rieslinghood, but the spicy aromatics are already developing decent complexity, and it's so tasty now that it's tempting to drink up my meager stocks, 1er Lage or not. After an hour, it stretches out of the mold by presenting an elegant cloak of ice-cold minerals and greater purity of fruit (coupled with absolutely jubilant acidity). If this clarity it seems to strive for is any indication of its potential, then I'll gladly wait five-plus years for it. I mean, this purity and focus really deserve a wow - and, damn it, the Jobard wishes it was this good! (May 27, 2012)

Eldad Levy's Wine Domaines Of Austria, 159 NIS.


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