Rene Geoffroy, Premier Cru Brut, Empreinte, 2006
The descriptors number brioche, nuts, oranges, minerals. Most of the interest is on the nose, as the palate starts out sweet-ish, probably approaching the upper boundaries of the sugar levels allowed in a brut. I can understand why this is one of the less famous names in the Terry Theise catalog, but I'm not sorry to have picked this up in the US; it is tasty and decently complex, just doesn't make you want to sit back and savor every sip for hours.
R. Lopez de Heredia, Tondonia, Gran Reserva, Blanco, 1991
We all agreed that drinking a live, twenty-three year old white wine is hardly a common experience. And it is very much alive. The fruit is still lively, and while the oak is obvious, it is very integrated and the package is elegantly embellished by sulphur, minerals and brine. As for me, while I did enjoy it, this bottle suffered by comparison to a spectacular bottle I drank two years ago.
Didier Dagueneau, Pouilly-Fume, Silex, 2006
I really want to be careful about criticizing a late legend, but while it's impressive to drink an eight year old Sauvignon Blanc, there is nothing too special about the place this quite expensive wine wound up in. The nose is quite mineral laden, taking time to divulge anything approaching exceptional interest, while the palate makes a ripe, sweet impression and takes time to resolve and display the dry dynamics I look for in a Loire Sauvignon Blanc. Honestly, for 400 NIS or whatever this costs these days, I'm better off seeking my thrills with Redde at half the price and twice the excitement.
|... and the reds|
I've enjoyed quite a few Marchelles over the years, but this specific bottle carries enough brett to obscure the Bourgogne character, even though it would work better with other grapes. So while it tastes good, it could have been a Saint Joseph for all purposes.
Francois Villard, Saint Joseph, Mairlant, 2010
Now this is bona fide Saint Joseph. Here the Brett works with the black pepper and complements the fruit. The local market for North Rhone has plenty of room for growth, importers!
Niepoort, Duoro, Batuta, 2005
This is a nice wine, but quite modern and top heavy, if you know what I mean - but spicy, lively and savory, for all that.