|Oh, is October over already?|
Weninger, Mittleburgenland Reserve, Blaufränkisch, Alte Reben , 2007
Weninger rates four stars in the Austria chapter of Hugh John's Wine Pocketbook, and I've yet to understand why, after tasting and drinking through three bottles, including this one. After seven years, the oak is still obvious, and while it's not awful, the final effect is one-dimensional and too eager to impress. failing at even producing superficial flash. I'll just wait until Eldad Levy starts to import Moric, I guess. (Oct. 1, 2014)
About 25 Euros.
Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage, 2011
The initial impression of olive brine quickly resolves into typical fresh Syrah fruit with trappings of black pepper and raw meat. The palate, while still nubile, offers a savory mix of acidity and salinity. Like the 2011 Saint Joseph, this could use three years or so. (Oct. 3, 2014)
WineRoute, about 200 NIS these days.
Gunderloch, Rheinhesses, Nackenheim Rothenberg, Riesling Großes Gewächs, 2007
Got it now: seven years is the sweet spot for GG's. This smells and tastes like someone poured grapefruit and apple juice inside an oyster shell. There's only fair complexity here, but great purity and breed. (Oct. 4, 2014)
Giaconda, 260 NIS.
Weingut Ralf Trautwein, Baden Kaiserstuhl, Spatburgender Kabinett Trocken, 2011
This is the only Spatburgender I brought back from Germany this summer, and the reason is I really enjoyed its light, lithe frame, making me think I should seek my Teutonic Pinot pleasures at the Kabinett level. This comes off as reminiscent of the colder areas of the Cote de Nuits, perhaps Marsannay or a feminine NSG. Except that, where a fine Bourgogne caresses you on the finish with the famous peacock feather effect, this will make you sit down to do your homework before you frolic off to have your fun. (Oct. 5, 2014)
Christian Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur, 2007
Cool. A bottle that I forgot to enter into Cellar Tracker and found in the fridge. The nose is typical of what attracts me to excellent Burgundies - minerals, apples, citrus peel, a hint of baked spiciness - and a touch of pungent, salt flecked beach sand that is trademark Chablis. The palate shows sweet-sours apples framed by salt and dust, and the granny apples persist on the finish. Very good, excellent at spots, but not great. (Oct. 7, 2014)
Selbach-Oster, Mosel, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Riesling Spätlese * trocken , 2012
A Giacometti sculpture made of apples and granite. (Oct. 9, 2014)
Fat Guy, 169 NIS.
Segal, Unfiltered, 2008
Earthy red and black fruit, with a light note of vanilla, that is very typical of Avi Feldstein's at Segal. Quite tasty and balanced, very Israeli, without any overhanded oak. Good job. (Oct. 11, 2014)
Recanati, Reserve, Merlot, Manara Vineyard, 2011
This is a delightful local version of Merlot, with a unique herbal/earthy fingerprint. It really is too young, right now, with traces of oak on the nose and dusty tannins, but I enjoyed it. (Oct. 13, 2014)
About 110 NIS.
Reinhold Haart, Mosel, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Kabinett, 2012
One of the few times where I could just quote my previous note: "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." (Oct. 14, 2014)
Fat Guy, 139 NIS.
Dopf Au Moulin, Schoenenbourg Grand Cru, Riesling, 2010
A very fine Grand Cru that could seduce me into buying more Alsace Rieslings. Or at least, more Dopf Au Moulin Schoenenbourgs, assuming it was imported without a huge markup and assuming it improves with age. Mineral lead, with apples and quince and terrific acidity. (Oct. 17, 2014)
About 30 Euros at the winery.
Jean Paul et Benoit Droin, Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur, 2007
A complex and intense display of iodine and minerals, pungent and convincing, with a deep foundation of citrus fruit and major league salinity. (Oct. 18, 2014)
Giaconda, 320 NIS.
Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz, Kallstadter Saumagen, Riesling Auslese trocken, 2005
I was bound to eventually find a decent Koehler-Ruprecht. Maybe it's due to the qualities of the vintage. I was just discussing my bad luck with K-R with a friend the other day. I told him they don't age and he said maybe my taste had changed over the last seven-eight years. Well, this bottle proves it's a little of both. While I prefer my Rieslings more vibrant, this has matured relatively well (even if not exactly what you'd expect from a nine year old Auslese) and offers a subtle minerality and really unique aromatics, one that offers an almost obscene quotient of kerosene. And yet, not particularly fresh. (Oct. 22, 2014)
Giaconda, 170 NIS.
Elio Altare, Barolo Vigneto Arborina, 1999
I deserved an expensive wine after a hard week. I'd heard this was fairly modern, and I think it is, and marked by oak, but it also has an undeniable affinity with the classic mold, with red and black fruit spearheaded by that telltale spicy/dusty nose that nods at garrigue. I believe the tannins will remain dry forever, but the aromatics are just great, deep and complex. This needs a cow. (Oct. 23, 2014)
Wine Route, I believe about 350 NIS.
Francois Raveneau, Chablis, 2010
I bought this because, having grown frustrated at the scarcity of Raveneau and Dauvissat in Israel (which basically means I'm very low in the pecking order and other customers have an on-going permanent allocation), I wound up begging the importer to let me have at least one bottle of the village bottling. And it's not an inexpensive bottle, but as good as other producer's premier crus, I'll give it that, so I won't complain about the price. It's quite typical of all good things Chablis, with pungent marine/oyster-shell aromatics and palate that feels fuller than it probably is in actuality, with fruit halfway between apples and lime. (Oct. 24, 2014)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 250 NIS.
Recanati, Reserve, Syrah-Viognier, 2011
Last year, I thought the 2011 was too low in acidity for my tastes, and it still is, but nonetheless, the two previous vintages were so much my Israeli wine mistresses that I'm still willing to give this the benefit of a doubt. And so, yeah, my objections stands, but the peppery/smoky/funky nose is still such a Syrah poster child and some nuances do manage to get through the barrier of the low acidity. And, after a couple of hours, I start to get a feel where this might wind up in a couple of years. (Oct. 26, 2014)
Georges Descombes, Fleurie, Vieilles Vignes, 2010
This is quite earthy and sulking, red fruits with soft tannins akin to Pinot, yet without the silken envelope of the Cote d'Or. I enjoy tracking the nuances that emerge: clay, flowers. (Oct. 28, 2014)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 130 NIS.
Comte Armand, Auxey-Duresses, 2011
I usually prefer the vegetal aspects of Bourgogne to show prominence: flowers, sous de bois, spices. Comte Armand, I've found, is more about iron, Clos des Epeneaux being the quintessential showcase of the house style - although the signature shows even in the lesser, lighter, softer wines, such as this. Sometimes I suspect the house style may be forced upon lesser fruit, and I took that into account when I opened this bottle. I wanted to chew on Beaune rocks, and I got that, complemented, as it turned out, by red fruit and a touch of spices. Nothing earth shattering here, but I enjoyed and got exactly what I wanted. (Oct. 30, 2014)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 170 NIS.