Thursday, July 24, 2014

World Cup Wines


France vs Switzerland, 5:2 (Jun. 20, 2014)

Alain Burguet, Bourgogne, Les Pince Vin, 2008

Funky, mineral nose. Tasty and floral/herbal. No other wine I know of this level of quality is this drinkable, so it pleases both the mind and the senses.

Bourgogne Crown, 160 NIS.

Chateau Troplong-Mondot, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 1998

A very dusty, mature nose with interesting complexity. The palate is tired, even though it's still tasty, and anyway it gains life in glass as the acidity asserts itself. I expected more complexity, but the end result is good, if not inspiring.

About 150 USD.

Domaine Bizot, Bourgogne, La Chapitre, 2011

Once again proving this is a great wine that is a mere Bourgogne only because French bureaucrats were too busy licking their own balls. That may be an exaggeration, but La Chapitre is a unique terroir in a corner in Burgundy that isn't even classified at village level. Amazingly fresh fruit with an earthy complexity that leaves you with a yearning pang. You know that feeling when you wake up with the remnants of a half remembered dream and want to just shut your eyes and reenter the dream world? That's Burgundy.

Bourgogne Crown, 375 NIS.

Olivier Guyot, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, 2007

Another fresh wine that seems as if the winemaker was totally hung up on letting nature do all the work. Great juice. A Grand Cru whose sleight of hand is all about complexity and not power.

Bourgogne Crown, 540 NIS.

Italy vs. Uruguay, 0:1 (Jun. 24, 2014)

Jean-Louis Denois, Limoux, Brut Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs, n.v.

Disgorged Dec. 2012. Fresh and more exciting, at least at half time, than the game itself, this again presents the same facade of apples, oranges chalk and mushrooms as the previous bottle I drank. Simple, yet endearing.

Fat Guy, 105 NIS.

Brazil vs. Chile 1:1, 5:3 in penalties (Jun.  28, 2014)

Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, 1er Cru, Cuvee Gastronome, 2008

A bigger game deserves a bona fide Champagne.  This really has everything I love in a young Champagne on the cusp of maturity: the fresh citrus/apple fruit, hints of brioche, the mature notes of nuts and mushrooms starting to assert themselves. Lovely, albeit without the complexity of a really great vintage cuvee.

Fat Guy, 279 NIS.

Argentine vs. Switzerland 1:0 (Jul. 1, 2014)

Sphera, White Signature, 2012

A flagship blend of undisclosed varieties. A very complex, lightly pungent, mineral-laden (chalk and clay) nose. The palate,too, is pleasantly pungent and, as well, layered. Some grapefruit, peaches, a hint of sweetness offsetting the pungency. Very good, almost excellent, as good as, say, a Village Cru Burgundy, but not good enough to bring cheer to a game dull enough to bring one to tears - a game like this, you'd need a Montrachet to overcome the drudgery, or a Messi to set up the winning goal in a flash of genius at the last minute.

150 NIS.

First Quarter Finals (Jul. 4, 2014)

Germany vs. France 1:0
Brazil vs. Colombia 2:0

Dr. Loosen, Mosel, Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett, 2012

This is always a dependable Mosel Kabinett, apples and slate and all, fantastic acidity, and even if it doesn't have the electric, refreshing thrill of the Selbach-Oster Schlossberg I drank a few days earlier, there's very little to find fault with in a dependable Mosel Kabinett. I mean, it's so yummy that it's not boring even in repetition.

Wine Route, about 130 NIS.

Second Quarter Finals (Jul.  5, 2014)
Argentine vs. Belgium 1:0
Holland vs. Costa Rica 0:0, 4:3 in penalties

Christian Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur, 2008

Lime and stone. Good and tasty, quite savory, yet not especially complex or compelling.

Burgundy Wine Collection, 270 NIS.

On to the big time! And was there ever as appropriate wine pairing as the following one!

First Semi Finals, Germany vs. Brazil 7:1(Jul. 8, 2014)

Weingut Josef Leitz, Rhenigau, Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck, Riesling Spätlese, 2004

It's been a fun ride, but I'm finally down to my last bottle. This is showing ripe red apples and lime with delicate trimmings of stone and petrol, as well as zippy acidity, very good grip, length and depth. This is just as fresh and tasty as it was six or seven years ago when I first tasted it, but age has turned it into a complex statement of place and character.

Giaconda, 150 NIS.

A boring game, but a wine that actually made for an exciting evening.

Second Semi Finals, Argentine vs. Holland 0:0, 4:2 in penalties (Jul. 9, 2014)

Reinhold Haart, Mosel, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Kabinett, 2012

The nose is complex and ever morphing, almost Sauvignon Blanc like with its grassy and tropical (guayavas) notes and minerals, while the palate is pure Riesling: sweet, yet racy, with fine grip and structure, and excellent length driven by green apple acidity. A memorable, lightly funky character.

Fat Guy, 139 NIS.

And then, dear friends, I flew to Boston on a business trip right on the evening of the Finals of this (great? interesting?) Mondial - so no tasting note for the grand event. Which is a shame, as it would obviously have been a great Riesling.

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