This is, in my opinion, the wine that showcases what Israeli wines should aspire to be: ripe, yet structured; wild, yet elegant; true to the variety (well, to the Syrah, anyway) and tasty to the last drop. (Jul. 1, 2013)
At Bertie, Jul. 2, 2013, with friends from the US, who really enjoyed the wines I ordered from the menu:
Tzora, Shoresh, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
Restrained tropical fruit with an overlay of chalk. Captures the warmth of the land while remaining cool and racy. Smells like New Zealand and tastes like the Loire.
Pungent earthy black fruit, still very young, with a touch of leather. As always, I'm reminded of St. Estephe, although the ripeness is very Israeli, even if it never becomes very offensive.
Terre Nere, Etna Rosato, 2011
This has the same fascination factor as do the rest of the wines in the Terre Nere line, thus elevating its appeal beyond its admittedly tasty charms. Firstly, the color - a pale mahogany I've yet to encounter elsewhere. Then the nose, which somehow manages to sign in as Italian, with a bouquet of red fruit veering close to the borderderline of red wine proper, while also presenting a salinity I wouldn't find out of place in Chablis. And also a light sulphurous note, reminiscent of a hot water bath, which In itself defies any pigeon-holing. The palate has the structure of a Grand Cru, as applied to the lightweight frame of a rose, and sneaks a tasty uppercut of pure Atlantic salt right before it fades away. (Jul. 6, 2013)
Fat Guy, 115 NIS. A decent price for what it offers objectively, expensive in view of my take regarding what a rose should cost.
Weingut Hirsch, Kamptal, Zobing Riesling, 2010
I like this seemingly simple workhorse from the Hirsch table, even if it took me nearly two years to actually buy one for home consumption. It's not as complex or high class as the Hirsch grand crus, but it offers plenty of interest in its mix of spicy apples, chalk and a green herb/pea-like overlay reminiscent (quite appropriately) of Gruner Veltliner.(Jul. 7, 2013)
Fat Guy, 125 NIS.
Midbar Winery, Semillon, 2009
Once again, that understated menage of lime, melon and minerals shows how much subtle complexity a white wine can express in the hands of a sensitive winemaker. This is pungent, saline, tasty, with a light undertow rainwater and still needs time to flesh out its restrained spectrum of flavors.(Jul. 13, 2013)
Domaine Gobelsburg, Neiderosterreich Riesling, 2012
Young, pure Riesling fruit: green apples and with a light salinity. Perfect summer gear that hints at rain and flowers. It's not particularly complex but it's fun, and there's enough going on to arouse interest (such as an intensifying mineral essence of no small magnitude), and it's more palatable than more expensive Rieslings I've had recently. (Jul. 16, 2013)
Fat Guy, 89 NIS.
Segal, Kerem Dovev, Argaman, 2009
True to Avi Feldstein's vision, this is... different. I can't quite put my finger on fruit profile, but it sure isn't anything resembling a Bordeaux/Rhone/Piedmont variety. However, there's an appealing interplay in mineral based aromas a la Graves and a salty/sour undertow which I love. Juicy acidity and soft tannins make for a very friendly drink, with a high interest factor. (Jul. 24, 2013)
Tzora, Judean Hills, 2011
A very nice drop as always, recalling to me St. Estephe - as always (see my note about the Shoresh above). Deep red and black fruit with a touch of earth and leather. (Jul. 27, 2013)
|A Holy Place of Riesling|
An intuitively genius expression of the vineyard in very complex, delicate and elegant brushstrokes. Peaches, apples, nuances of petrol, minerals: everything is measured out in perfect harmony and balance. After over six years of drinking various permutations of the Emrich-Schonleber Halenberg, all I can say is I'm the vineyard's bitch. (Jul. 27, 2013)
Giaconda, 180 NIS.
Etienne de Montille, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Saint Juliens, 2009
Of course, it's perfectly normal to name a lieux-dit in Nuits after a famous Bordeaux village... Further irony comes in the form of exotic spices on the nose that is arguably more in a Vosne vein. Irony aside, there's a facade of black fruit, with red fruit showing between the cracks, and a tint of green that resembles old school claret. Quite nice. (Jul. 31, 2013)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 260 NIS. Provides almost exactly the level of quality and enjoyment you'd expect from a village NSG at this price point.