Taking Care Of Business (Oct. 2013)

Start the month off with a Chablis or two. Seems legit.

Christian Moreau, Chablis Premier Cru, Vaillons, 2010

Very typical, light marine air, chalk,  apples and citrus. Lovely acidity. Not great, or especially complex (I'm not a great fan of Vaillons, for some reason), but fun, with less oak influence than the book on Moreau led me to expect. The gritty, saline finish especially encapsulates all that is Chablis. (Oct. 3, 2013)

Buergundy Wine Collection, 160 NIS.

William Fevre, Chablis Grand Cru, Les  Clos, 2006

Very mute at first, to the point where the bottle is suspect, there is a saline, tangy core nonetheless. There's little to the glory I expect from Les Clos, rather it is more about weight and presence and painting the marine colors of Chablis in bold strokes, with even less finesse that I find in good Premier Crus. It doesn't really work as well as expected, but at least its relative failures are mitigated by its yumminess. (Oct. 4, 2013).

Wine Route, this was on sale at 190 NIS, but the price is usually 350 NIS or so.

Midbar Winery, Semillon, 2009

Light and refreshing, with subtle depths, like a Beach Boys song circa 1965, but it fits autumn very well with its suggestion of rainwater. (Oct. 5, 2013)

This month's discovery!

Two wonderful surprises that Efrat and I had by the glass at NOPI, London (Oct. 11).

Le Coste di Gradoli, Litrozzo Rosso, Gradoli, 2012

What a tasty revelation! This comes from Lazio and is a cross between a lean Italian, such as Etna Rosso, and a focused French, say Chinon. Minerals, sulphur, black fruit, tobacco tang. Fascinating.

10.5 GBP.

Savia Viva, Classico Blanco, Pendes, 2012

This serves the same niche as does a good, basic GruVe, with peas and tropical fruit and a dash of minerals.

6.5 GBP.

And back in Israel:

Domaine du Tunnel, Cornas, 2007

An austere, youthful Syrah. Black fruit, kirsch, olives bacon and black pepper. Lean and focused, and too monolithic right now, with flavor-blockading tannins. I might have opened it too early for its (and my) own good, but reading up on the 2010 vintage in the Northern Rhone had whetted my appetite. (Oct. 14, 2013)

Berry Bros., 40 GBP.

Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco, 2007

Grocery list first: red cherries, dried spices, earthy, chocolate. Really closed initially, and a tannic bitch even when it opens, this offers surprising depth and complexity, and a touch of that magical Nebbiolo mysterioso. (Oct. 17, 2013)

Wine Route, 250 NIS.

Continuing the classic Italian theme:

Poliziano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 2010

Dark cherries, minerals, cedar, with savory tannins that leave an appropriately dry, yet salivating, effect. Quite lovely despite a helping of oak and 14% ABV, both of which are well cloaked, this is a solid wine that should improve with three-five years of cellar time. (Oct. 18, 2013)

Wine Route, 140 NIS.

Reverting to my infatuation/exploration of Loire reds - as I've said before, Loire reds are  relatively inexpensive claret substitutes. Well, perhaps not substitutes, but the real thing, as it was before the days of Parker influenced modernization and globalization.

Bernard Baudry, Chinon, Le Clos Guillot, 2010

Fleshing out aromatically to show depth and detail (raspberries, flowers, leather and earth), but the tannins are still in need of further integration; nonetheless, tasty and lovely due to to the clarity and prettiness of the fruit. This, like the other 2010 Loire Cabs I've tasted, seems to be very Burgundian in character. (Oct. 19, 2013)

Wine Route, 120 NIS.

Recanati, Reserve, Syrah-Viognier, 2011

Another year, another Recanati Syrah-Viognier Reserve, once again weighting in at 13.5% ABV. Seems more sombre than previous renditions, more Northern Rhone than Israeli, with sappy, savory, lightly saline fruit framed by back pepper and leather. (Oct. 24, 2013)

About 140 NIS.

Domaine Buisson-Charles, Meurault, Vieilles Vignes, 2010

Every elegant and pure,  minerals and citrus, with a Chablis like limpidness. (Oct. 25, 2013)

Bourgogne Crown, sold out but available at Elba for 320 NIS (a fair markup).

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Ürziger Würzgarten, Riesling Spätlese , 2009

There's every possible reason to age German Rieslings. They last decades and offer abundant pleasures at every step of their evolution. They're almost impossible to keep away from, so my stocks wind up dwindling. This is my last bottle, which I opened because I was looking for a low alcohol wine to drink before an early morning flight. And I convinced myself it's lush, creamy, hedonistic pleasures are best experienced young, which is a defensible stance. (Oct. 26, 2013)

Wine Route, 160 NIS.