Thanksgiving (Nov. 27, 2014)

Perhaps my wine year should end at Thanksgiving, the better to enumerate the wonders and discoveries of the passing year. And thank the people who made the wines I savored, the people who imported them and the people sold them.

And, war and all, 2014 was fun! I suffered through work, only to dance through my wines.

Blaufrankisch, the red grape of Austria and the next king of the world. At the hands of Moric, the funnest wine ever!

Michel Redde, fantastic Pouilly-Fume artist, long may he prosper and remain under the radar.

2014 was the year that Daniel Lifshitz' portfolio really exploded. While I had already gotten acquainted with the bigger names in 2013, in 2014 I discovered Guyot, Bizot and, most unlikely of all, Domaine Ballorin, the lovechild of a young couple who bought up parcels in the backwaters of the Cote d'Or's, in villages I'd bet my last Cuvee Rubis you've never even heard of. Their Cote de Nuits Villages, from a vineyard in Comblanchien, was perhaps the best surprise of the year.

The perfect Scheurebe, drunk in the most beautiful guesthouse ever: Andreas Laible, Baden, Durbacher Plauerlain, Scheurebe Spatlese, Erste Lages, 2013.

Tzora, Shoresh, which was likely the best local white wine sold in Israel. Coming in second on my annual list, careening wildly with the most idiosyncratic style produced locally, the Askar, Iqrit, Sauvignon Blanc.

Lallament was the star in the firmament of what turned out to be the year my love for Champagne fully erupted. And when I can't afford the real thing, my favorite 'expatriat'e sparkler has become the Tissot, Blanc de Blanc Cleve en Fue.

Halutzim 3, my favorite place to drink all of the above. And many more. Naama and Eitan, you rock!

And, of course, as another year passes, more and more wines in my collection mature. To wit. Hmmmm, how should I put it? The best GG experience of the year?

Schäfer-Fröhlich, Nahe, Bockenauer Felseneck, Großes Gewächs, Riesling , 2008 

A crystalline expression of the purity of Riesling. As complex as this is (and it is - in time it's beguilingly, movingly, complex), its trump card is terroir laser-focused through depth of fruit, with smoky aromas of red apples, pink grapefruit and decisive sweet/saline flavors, backed by acidity that whispers "hello, I'm ginger". This is regal and aloof in the classic Old World sense, yet shows the vigor of a young adult out to conquer the universe.

Giaconda,  320 NIS.


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