Taking Care Of Business (Mar. 2014)

Alzinger. Leo Alzinger.
 A. Margaine, Special Club, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Premier Cru, 2004

This was a hell of a steely Champagne in its youth, but now it shows the nutty and mushroom aromas of bottle age as well as a faintly biscuit-y mouth-feel, with acidity that is thrilling and understated at the same time. A complex, special creature that is almost too tasty for its (or my) own good - even if the mousse is not very persistent - because while it pairs excellently with food, it is in many ways a contemplation wine. (Mar. 1, 2014)

Fat Guy, 310 NIS.

Chéreau-Carré, Comte Leloup de Château de Chasseloir, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine, Cuvée des Ceps Centenaires, 2009

Clean and pure, lime with clay notes. Tasty, with hardly a hint of the complexity these are reputed to have with age, a cross between Bordeaux and Macon whites. (Mar. 4, 2014)

Wine Route, 84.90 NIS.

Simon Bize, Bourgogne, Les Perrières, 2010

The nose is less expressive than I'd hoped, dusty cranberry with a touch of spice and hide, as well as an obvious, if not overdone, touch of oak. The palate has greater presence and length than I'd imagined, though, as well as tasty, sappy fruit; however, since here, too, the oak is felt (albeit not too obviously, again), I'd give it another year. A raw, nubile, overachiever. (Feb. 6, 2014)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 140 NIS.

Henri Gouges, Nuits-St.-Georges, 2006

Another 2006 with low sex appeal factor, this is ready to drink, with earthy red, but mostly black, fruit and sweat and spices that suggest the Nuits brand of masculinity. The palate is fairly complete, not especially long, with supple, mellow fruit and low keyed acidity. As is usually the case with many Villages, the complexity is mostly in the bouquet. (Mar. 8, 2014)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 200 NIS.

Roger Sabon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvee Prestige, 2004

I'm almost through my CdPs. Thank God. After this, only the really good stuff (Pegau, Beaucastel, Vieux Telegraph) remain. This is Hell's Angels, muscle-bound, leather-bound stuff with dusty spices somewhat closer to Piedmont than to Provencial garrigue. Not as bad as I'd feared, very good within its style, to be quite honest, with good complexity on the nose and enough old school character and charm to overcome any deficits vis a vis finesse. I may not like Chateauneuf any more, but even though Sabon is controversial in my wine drinking circle, this specific bottle is a good reminder of how the village got its reputation in the first place. (Mar. 9, 2014)

Wine Route, 250 NIS.

Bernard Baudry, Chinon,  Le Clos Guillot, 2010

Red fruit with a pungent streak of minerals and tobacco leaves, and a light touch of brett. A good tannic structure that is somehow coupled with languid fruit for a tasty impact on the taste buds. Although two-three years will give it a much more idiosyncratic complexity. (Mar. 10, 2014)

Wine Route, 125 NIS.

Müller-Catoir, Pfalz, Haardter Bürgergarten, Riesling Auslese, 2007

This might not have the thrilling, acidity-driving pizzazz of the best Teutonic Ausleses, but it sure is a delicious confection, with botrytis and a touch of dill and slate to complement the apricot toffee and marmalade. (Mar. 11, 2014)

Giaconda, 170 NIS for a half bottle.

Jean Foillard, Morgon, Côte du Py, 2011

Oh my, this is in such a good place right now! The earthy fruit is just so full, deep and vivid, the saline finish so tasty. Easily on the quality level of a good Cote d'Or village cru, at the very least. (Mar. 14, 2014)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 140 NIS.

Jean Lallement, Champagne Brut, Verzenay Grand Cru, n.v.

I had this just two months ago and I've been waiting restlessly ever since to come back home again, where salty cashews and chicken broth marry foamy citrus fruit and minerals in an elegant funk of pure umami. I've had better champagnes, but few as unique as this. (Mar. 16, 2014)

Fat Guy, about 280, 300 NIS, something like that.

Domaine de la Vougeraie, Beaune, La Montée Rouge , 2011

Very much in keeping with the Vougeraie house style (never too ripe, clean, with just a touch of offhand imprecision to keep things interesting), this offers perfumed, savory red fruit, with a lithe acidic/tannic backbone and a somewhat earthier tone than the cheaper Les Pierres Blanches, but also arguably more complexity. Another '11 that is very much fun to drink young - and Vougeraie is alwys fun to drink. (Mar. 17, 2014)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 190 NIS.

Selbach-Oster, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spätlese, feinherb "Ur Alte Reben", 2012

A fine, young Riesling, just about all fruit now, lightly tropical with a hint of mint, with a supple structure, great depth and much potential. (Mar. 21, 2014)

33 USD. Will some kind importer pick up the gauntlet?

Terre Nere, Etna Rosso, Calderara Sottana, 2009

This shares the complex dusty/spicy black fruit aromatics of a good Nebbiolo, with the pondering heaviness on the palate, which often takes years to settle down. Instead, this is light and tasty, yet with the depth of a good Barolo. (Mar. 22, 2014)

Fat Guy, 230 NIS.

Hubert Lignier, Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Seuvrees, 2008

Man, I wish we had more excellent Bourgogne vintages that are as underrated as 2008 is, with its freshness, vividness and elegance. This sample is, once again, droolingly tasty. (Mar. 23, 2014)

Wine Route, 250 NIS.

Jean-Louis Denois, Limoux, Chardonnay Extra Brut, n.v.

I've  had this several times and this is turning into a very tasty, savory sparkler that could give some non-vintages a good fight, albeit in the citrus, steel and mushrooms side of the spectrum rather than apples, chalk and brioche. (Mar. 27, 2014)

Fat Guy, 105 NIS.

Leo Alzinger,  Wachau, Loibenberg, Riesling Smaragd, 2012

This youngster comes from one of Alzinger's two top vineyards, the other being Steinertal. I suppose it was early to open it, but I really was curious and I have two more bottles (plus another pair from 2010), so I'm still in a good place with my stocks. The aromatics are still in the green herbs and peas phase, which I find typically Austrian. The palate is full and friendly, with sweetness that is braced by a raspy, spicy, mineral cut, with a only a hint of the complexity and personality that the vineyard's pedigree promises.

But good wines offer a journey, and here, although progress is glacial, there is a wisp, a hint of shimmering, mentholated slate, that serves as an innuendo, a suggestion, rather than an actual road mark, of what's ahead. And heck, the landscape sure looks good - got a lot of baby fat to burn off, though. (Mar. 30, 2014)

Fat Guy, 231 NIS.