At Messa with Efrat and friends. (July 16, 2012)
Pierre Gimmonet, Special Club, 2002
Quite yeasty at first. Brioche and all that, but I have to admit I miss the fruit. I thought the overall effect would be purer. But its bracing lattice of minerals is very refreshing. Complex nose, excellent acidity.
Fat-Guy, 402 NIS.
Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal Reserve, Gainsberg 1er Lage, Riesling, 2010
Evocative of terroir. The sweet core of barely tropical fruit beneath the earthy Austrian spices is like an Easter egg. And another egg is the evergreen mint. I went long on this one, because I know where the smart money is.
Fat-Guy, 159 NIS.
Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 5me Cru,1996
Classic Pauillac, typical of the 1996 style, if not quality. Still tannic, but the fruit around it is very pretty. Light brett, cedar. Red fruit that brooded until it turned black. A little one dimensional. I prefer Grand-Puy-Lacoste.
Vieux Telegraph, Chateauneuf du Pape, La Crau, 2001
Wild and furry. Very ripe. Almost a fruitcake. In a weird phase. Like a big blob of fruit, but fairly tasty.
With the family at Thai House (July 19, 2012)
Marcel Deiss, Rotenberg, 2004
This is one of Deiss' field blends, which in this case is dominated by Riesling. Oily semi-sweetness complemented by light bitterness and minerals. Apples, slate, hints of petrol, complex finish. Quite long. Best Deiss I ever bought.
Giaconda, 288 NIS.
And the Grand Finale (July 26, 2012)
Fellow wine geek Rani Osnat and I celebrated our birthdays with other geeks at Bertie, where the food manages to be complex and tasty while somehow devoid of any pretensions.
The wines Rani managed to corral filled in a couple of gaps for me. It was an extremely smart selection and he paired them perfectly with the food and got the order and airing time down to a tee. The guy must have been a sommelier in another lifetime. Thanks, man, for a dream experience!
Krug, Brut, 1996
Top quality. Complex nutty aromas, aided and abetted by brioche and baked apples. Such a tasty treat, delineated by very balanced acidity, with a long, mocha inflected aftertaste, full of flavors with no loss of elegance. Later on, the nose shows oranges, while on the palate the fruit explodes with grace and clarity. This is like adding a new dimension to the best champagne I ever tasted.
J. J. Prum, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling Spatlese, 2001
A classic Mosel and a great great Spatlese that doesn't try to mimic an Auslese (but then Prum's Ausleses are demure creatures themselves): petrol, peaches, dill, slate, clay. A terrific balance between all the elements a Mosel needs to titillate the palate, and it does it with exquisite grace.
R. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Vina Tondonia, White Gran Reserva, 1991
Here is a wine that opened up new vistas for me, and how often does that happen after ten years of drinking wine? Tasty in a mature, kinky way, every sniff and sip revealing something new: rocks, roasted nuts, smoked meats, leather, earth. I'm a white wine proponent, but still I had no idea a Rioja white could offer such an experience. Amazing. Montrachet who?
Col d'Orcia, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Poggo al Vento, 1995
This is probably the best Brunello I've ever drunk, showing tar, earth, leather, spices, black fruit. It's still tannic, yet balanced, and the tannins are very elegant and integrated. Very long, with restrained power and a surprising purity of fruit.
Chateau Leoville-Barton, Saint Julien 2me Cru, 1996
This could thrive and grow for hours in glass, not that I managed to keep away from it for more than half an hour. This is my ideal of claret. Cedar, earth, pure black fruit. Elegant. Harmonious. Savory.
Kracher, Burgenland, Zwischen den Seem, Welschrieling, TBA, # 8, 2001
Toffee, marmalade, the works. Sauternes without the excessive alcohol. A hedonistic delight.
I'm not going to list prices for affairs like these. The participants were very generous, and I'd think it's appropriate to quantify their generosity.