I debated for a long time whether to try and age this a bit, but, as usual, thirst and impatience won out. This is earthy, almost pungently so, with a core of fresh red fruit, Nuits spices, rustic tannins (which would have been smooth with any other grape but Pinot Noir) and small-scale complexity and charm. Not an earth shaker, but if you're a Bourgogne lover on the lookout for a new house wine, give this a try. (May 2, 2013)
(Interestingly enough, this seems readier than the 2009, even though I expected 2009 to be more forward and the 2010 to be more 'classical', i.e. in need of softening time)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 160 NIS.
Domaine Servin, Chablis Grand Cru, Blanchots, 2005
The Chablis here isn't very obvious, at first, although this is obviously high grade white B. With air, I get the pungent sea shells, but without the depth, complexity or finesse I'd expect from a Grand Cru, although there is a saline inflected intensity on a Grand scale. (May 3, 2013)
Giaconda, about 300 NIS.
Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc 5me Cru, 2007
A quite classical nose of currants and cedar, without a lot of complexity or finesse. Tasty enough, in a clunky way: good fruit, solid acidity, a grainy texture, and savory tannins that soften nicely with 3-4 hours of air. Just a pleasant claret that is ready to drink. (May 4, 2013)
WineRoute, 2 for 300 NIS.
Domaine Etxegaraya, Irouléguy, 2009
Well, here's a wine that my spell checker hates. This is a Tannat based wine from the Basque province of Irouléguy, hence the decidedly un-French sounding name. This is a very, very good value supermarket wine (purchased for 12 Euros in Paris) is all about black fruit framed by black pepper and upturned earth, nothing fancy, just hearty fun. The palate is bold and full, the sweetness of the fruit well counterpointed by rustic tannins and fine acidity, leading to a savory finish. This extremely delicious wine has roast beef written all over it. (May 11, 2013)
12 Euros. That stings! Is anyone going to import wines like these to Israel and keep the price as reasonable? WineRoute have the breadth (although I'm not sure how the logistics of transporting wines from the Pyrenees work out; and besides, their notions of QPR lower end wines are not always consistent with mine, as they tend to lean towards obvious crowd-pleasers). Eldad Levy or Uri Caftory might go for it.
Midbar Winery, Winemaker's Edition, Chenin Blanc, 2010
This steel, crisp wine recalls the Loire, a hypothetical hybrid of Savennieres' torrid minerality and Vouvray's melon tinted mellowness, without trying to mimic either one, instead merely reflecting their maker's cerebral reserve. A complex, classy act. (May 12, 2013)
This limited edition sold out before I ever saw a formal price, but I was able to get another long bottle in a mixed case, so its cost came out to about 70 NIS or so.
Segal, Rehasim, Dishon, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
Smoky, sweet black fruit. Very friendly and very Cabernet. Some sour cranberries possibly reflect the wine's youth. Rich and modern, but with a purity of fruit somehow reflecting the fingerprint of the maker and possibly the vineyard as well. (May 15, 2013)
165 NIS at Makom Shel Basar.
Huet, Vouvray, Petillant Brut, 2005
Back again at the scene of the crime, where the nose is showing more minerals than ever before, and an enticing, complex funky strain that I can't find an apt descriptor for - I grope for rotting flowers and then it flashes a random, mysterious nuance and I lose my train of thought. The palate is fat, yet crisp and elegant at the same time, not quite as deep and off the wall as the nose, with the complexity it has to offer flaring up on the finish. (May 16, 2013)
Giaconda, 140 NIS.
Domaine Buisson-Charles, Bourgogne-Aligote, Vieilles Vignes, 2010
The first time I had this, it was somewhat more Meursault than Aligote, which was a nice display of terroir, but now it's leaning back even more towards its varietal roots, with mineral-inflected lime fruit, an acidic verve and a lightly salty finish. I think this is the best and most authentic Aligote available in Israel (more comfortable, in a bathrobe and slippers kind of way, than the Villaine Bouzeron, and certainly more authentic than the admittedly wonderful Leroy). (May 23, 2013)
Bourgogne Crown, 120 NIS.
|Textbook white B|
Domaine Matrot, Saint Romain, Blanc, 2007
By all rights, I probably would never had gotten a chance to drink a six year old Saint Romain, because I doubt I'd have bothered to age the few samples imported to Israel. So it's a nice treat that this new importer to bring in a specimen from the producer's cellar. This is nicely tosses some minerals and pears that combine for a funky impression. Fantastic acidity! A tasty, wine, although not very complex. (May 24, 2013)
Bourgogne Crown, 160 NIS.
Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Erdener Treppchen, Riesling Kabinnet, 2011
Classic chalk, slate and apples with a touch of petrol. Delicate balance. One of the better Loosen Kabinnets that I can recall. (May 25, 2013)
160 NIS at Taizu.
Midbar Winery, Rose, 2012
Let's get rid of a mini-diatribe first. I can understand the marketing and aesthetic considerations of a pink label for a rose, but it never really works with the actual hue of the juice of the rose as it comes through a transparent bottle. Whatever, what's in the bottle is really tasty, looking, smelling and tasting like raspberry juice filtered through quartz. This is powerful for a rose, with a long, saline finish, focusing its punch so it doesn't come off as brawny. I suppose the punch is due to it being comprised of two of the heavyweights of the world of red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. (May 28, 2013)
About 80 NIS.