|Helmut is God|
Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal Reserve, Gainsberg 1er Lage, Riesling, 2010
The cork was extended dangerously out which is why I decided to open a bottle a year or two ahead of schedule, but the color, nose and palate are just fine. Elegant and cool with trimming of the spices I associate with Austria, as well as tasty acidity leading up to a saline finish. The only complaint, and this might be an impact of the imperfect closure, is that this bottle doesn't blossom into a wonderfully crystalline expression of fruit, as previous bottles did. Still an excellent wine, just less unique. (Sept. 3, 2013)
Fat Guy, 159 NIS.
With the family at Taizu:
Weingut Wittman, Rheinhessen, Riesling Trocken, 2012
Sour apples and skins with quasi Austrian earthy spiciness. (Sept. 6, 2013)
J. J. Prum, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Riesling Kabinnet, 2011
Lighter, more fruit driven albeit in a reserved way, with a subtle backbone of slate. (Sept. 6, 2013)
Donnhoff, Nahe, Norheimer Kirshcheck, Riesling Spatlese, 2008
Even in the very highest peaks of the Riesling Olympus, Donnhoff rules, and whether young or old, his Spatleses are some of the wine world's most ethereal delights. This melds red apples and peaches with a light sprinkle of salt and weaves them into an breezy complexity that, even in a yet embryonic form, is challenging and delicious to come to terms with. So refreshing and yummy I was guzzling it down towards the end as though it was an ice cold Pepsi Max. (Sept. 10, 2013)
Giaconda, about 160 NIS.
Koehler-Ruprecht, Kallstadter Saumagen, Riesling Auslese Trocken, 2007
Koehler-Ruprecht should also be a star in the Riesling firmament, but often his work is as stable and puzzling as Robert Downey, Junior's rap sheet. This is lightly oxidized - a la Champagne, not so much in the way disappointing Cote de Beaunes can be - with spicy pears and low acidity, and a pleasant note of kerosene. The palate is still vibrant, even if it feels much more mature than a six year old Auslese, but winds up in a tasty, salty note. A good German Riesling should be full of jism, but this is more about drunken post-coital bliss, which is, in basic essence, a one-dimensional experience. (Sept. 12, 2013)
Giaconda, about 160 NIS.
Fritz Haag, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Brauneberger, Riesling Kabinett Trocken, 2011
This brings the same kind of saline delight as Chablis, Aligote. (Sept. 18, 2013)
Giaconda, 120 NIS.
Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal Reserve, Tradition Riesling, 2010 This is made in what the winemaker terms a "traditional style". I'm not sure what that means, but this is markedly different than the Gaisburg bottling, which is the vineyard this wine is sourced from. On the nose, I find apples and apricots and a spicy, botrytis-like funk. On the palate, fine acidity (obviously) and a saline finish, albeit less so than the bottle we drank at Eldad Levy's Thai dinner. I suspect every bottle is going to be a little different. (Sept. 19, 2013)
Fat Guy, about 200 NIS.
And finally, the Israeli competitor.
Vitkin, Riesling, 2011 Dry, yet with enough refreshing fruit and acidity to make it as gulpable as an off-dry Kabinett. A crisp, mineral-laden wine, with a long finish and a veil of petrol. I have to call it saline, although I'm probably approaching the point where that descriptor overwhlems my tasting notes. (Sept. 20, 2013) About 80 NIS.