Taking Care Of Business (Sept. 2013)

This month's winner

Faustino, Rioja Gran Reserva I, 1999

Classic nose of red raspberries with earthy/vanilla overtones, with a hint of violets. Best showing yet. Aromatically, it's close to the Rioja sweet spot, where the mineral and vegetative aspects are playing a pretty counterpoint to the fruit. The palate shows fresh, succulent fruit with integrated tannins and a lingering, saline finish. Balanced and tasty with only moderate complexity. (Sept. 5, 2013)

Wine Route, about 150 NIS on discount.

Domaine du Colombier, Crozes-Hermitage, Cuvee Gaby, 2011

I knew this would be young, arguably very young, but it'd been a couple of years since I last had a serious Crozes (Graillot and Colombier are probably the most serious producers in Crozes town). Ripe black fruit, black pepper, violets and raw meat on the nose. Succulent fruit whose length is driven by acidity rather than its tannins, which seem as though they could use a few years to integrate. This need for time is bolstered, in my opinion, by the eventual emergence of a haphazard, limpid monolithic ripeness that offers an annoying dissonance with my expectations from a Northern Syrah. (Sept. 7, 2013)

Giaconda, 150 NIS.

Hirsch, Kammerner Lamm, Erste Lage, Gruner Veltliner, 2009

This makes me happy, with a mineral-laden stink that reveals how enticing sweaty socks in a hot water bath can be. Tasty, with less complexity on the palate, sort of a Chablis with GruVe melons and baby fat - but the nose is enough to evoke all kinds of images, as my first sentence has probably made quite obvious. What a beauty of a stink on the nose!  (Sept. 13, 2013)
Fat Guy, 225 NIS.

Domaine Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin, Aux Echezeaux Vieille Vigne, 2006

The other Bourgogne fans and I were discussing how disenchanted we'd become with the 2006 vintage, which we'd thought would be a classic vintage (in Burgundy terms, that means lean and lithe, driven by acidity rather than by tannins), but which has turned out to be pinched and stingy. So I decided to take one for the team. This has a very appealing and deep nose, redolent of strawberries, forest floor and a touch of Gevrey sweat/gaminess. And while the palate seems limpid at first, it slowly builds up a tannic backbone and a savory finish that lend context, complexity and depth to the sensual fruit. This is really what I'd imagined the 2006's would evolve into. (Feb. 14, 2013)

Wine Route, about 150 NIS on discount.

Louis Jadot, Pommard Premier Cru, Les Rugiens, 2005

I'm not a fan of the Jadot style, but this is tasty. It's a bit too candied and oaky for my tastes, and lacks the rugged punch of Pommard, or the focus of any Bourgogne aspiring to greatness - but there's enough minerals to keep my interest, an expansive, detailed nose, and a saline finish to complement my dinner. (Sept. 17, 2013)

Wine Route - this is probably a 300-400 NIS wine these days, but I think I bought it for about 200 NIS.

Vitkin, Cabernet Franc, 2009

Quite good. With classic aromas of lead pencil, this is much more Saint Emilon than it is Loire. There are obvious signs of oak, but nothing too unbearable. (Sept. 21, 2013)

188 at Adora restaurant (a little over twice retail).

Moreau-Naudet, Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur, 2006

The last bottle was so disappointing that I decided to open my second and, thankfully, last bottle ASAP, just to get past this disappointment. I must say if you favor your Chablis resembling very mature, carmelized and slightly oxidized Champagnes sans bubbles, you'll probably enjoy it. As for me, I personally don't have the time or money and liver to waste on wannabes, as by the time this eked out a meager hint of marine Chablis character and an almost redeeming saline finish, may patience had run very, very thin. (Sept. 28, 2013)

Giaconda, 320 NIS.

Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon, 2010

This has become a house wine this year, so it's a challenge to find something new to say about it. A lucky man's hardship. There's a languid backdrop of red and black raspberries here, hints of earth, tobacco leaves and black pepper, juicy acidity, sleek tannins - akin to a feminine Crozes, in a way. Tasty, albeit simple fare, but great fun. (Sept. 29, 2013)

Wine Route, 85 NIS.