Birthday Wines, Part 1 (the warm-up, basically)

August Clape, Cornas, Renaissance, 2007

I love Cornas, and while I've never encountered the really fiery, tannic, rustic versions, even the more modern versions I've drunk seemed to hint at the brute they labored to contain. Case in point: this is polished and a little generic in the sense it could have been a super-Tuscan as much as a Northern Rhone, but it's tasty in a languid, sweet way, with black pepper on the nose and rusty tannins. As it develops in glass, it shows a ripe claret vibe, but with a more haphazard structure. (Jul. 18, 2013)

Giaconda, about 300 NIS.

With the family at Bertie.

Terre Nere, Etna Rosso, 2010

Spicy cherries, medium bodied, a spicy/dusty nose a la Nebbiolo, whereas other wines in the Terre Nere lineup were more Pinot like. Soft tannins that in the context of the relatively light body serve as a nervy spine for a palate cleansing effect and a mineral like sensation. Quite nice, although for this price, I'd prefer to cough up a few more ingots and go for one of the producer's single vineyards. (Jul. 19, 2013)

Fat Guy, 140 NIS.

Slightly tipsy notes from a dinner with Efrat and friends at Toto:

Gimmonet, Cuvée Gastronome, 2008

Classic, refreshing. A hint of brioche is quite appealing, but this is mostly about young Chardonnay fruit right now: apples and oranges. Good cut, a wine made for food.

Fat Guy, 279 NIS.

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

Sherbet-like summer fruit, with a smoky, burned mineral edge. Wonderful clarity and purity of fruit and place.

Fat Guy,  159 NIS (the 2012 is now 185 NIS).

Chateau Lagrange, Saint Julien 3me Cru, 2003

Rich in keeping with the vintage, but not obscenely so. In fact, it's almost quintessentially classical. Cedar, earth. Slightly, pleasantly bretty. Opulent black fruit, classically delineated, like I said, archetypically Bordeaux, only a faint echo of fat sweetness betraying the oft maligned vintage.

Wine Route, 250 NIS, seven years ago.


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