Taking Care Of Business (Mar. 2015)

Weingut Hirsch, Zobinger Heiligenstein, 1er Lage, Riesling, 2009

This is almost ridiculously at ease with the Grand Cru designation, starting with the complex, mineral-laden nose with that lures you in with granny apples, hints of dill, petrol and hot water baths and an icy veneer - and ending with the elegant palate that is so drinkable and moreish that you want to just sit and finish it off, only it's so classy and intriguing that you slow down to relish the view. Falstaff says this has great aging potential. I say it's great now and feels as though you're drinking an immortal. (Mar. 4, 2015)

Fat Guy, 225 NIS.

Sphera, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014

Sphera is one of the five or so local wineries I buy from regularly. This is an extremely young Sauvignon, currently leaning towards the New Zealand tropical, gooseberry style, yet with enough smoky mineral aromas and aftertaste nuances to satisfy me. More than enough, in fact. Above all, what captivates me is its purity. (Mar. 10, 2015)

105 NIS.

Moccagatta, Barbaresco, Cole, 2001

I bought this for about 60 USD, five, six years ago. I think it's all too typical, with truffles and tar and dusty tannis. It's fairly elegant - I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it's lovely artifact, with a mellowness reminiscent of herbal tea. (Mar. 11, 2015)

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

Like an infatuated lover showing off his woman, I'll make a bore of myself telling you what a treat this is. It's always the same, yet always... different. This time, while I still find the chicken broth, roasted nuts and sauteed mushrooms I love so much, the minerals and juicy fruit are much more prominent, almost as though the fifth of Chardonnay was pulling its weight. (Mar. 13, 2015)

Fat Guy, 269 NIS.
If you can dream it, Donnhoff can make a wine out of it
Donnhoff, Nahe, Norheimer Dellchen, Grosses Gewaches, Riesling, 2007

As is always the case with Donnhoff - any pradikat, any vineyard - this is a precise wine, expressive in an insinuating manner. The aromatics are complex, leading with apples and minerals, and hinting at tropical summer fruits as well. Other things, too; this is the kind of wine that gives and gives, a small handful at a time, so it takes a while until I find ginger and mint tea. What about the palate, you ask? Refined breed, with the coy dryness of a Grosses Gewaches and the ineffable friendliness of a Spatlese. (Mar. 14, 2015)

Giaconda, 300 NIS.

Chateau Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 1998

Not the ripe blockbuster I've come to expect - and and fear - in a CdP. In fact, I rather see it as a complete failure in that idiom (is this particular bottle a Parker 79 perhaps?), which makes it very suitable for me. The nose is deeply nuanced, with garrigue and clay, but little barnyard/leather funk, while the palate is surprisingly subtle, albeit drying out. (Mar. 16, 2015)

Wine Route, the original price was 210 NIS, which is very irrelevant these days.

Potel-Aviron, Beaujolais-Villages, 2011

Continuing my exploration of Pote-Aviron. Tart, floral fruit with a hint of minerals and white pepper. A tasty, enjoyable wine. (Mar. 20, 2015)

Giaconda. It's a style of wine I really enjoy, but whereas the Vieilles Vignes are terrific values at 120-130 NIS, this is only so-so QPR at 100 NIS.

Marie et Paul Jacqueson, Bouzeron, Les Corderes, 2011

I'm a fan of Aligote. If you choose wisely, you can find some very interesting wines at decent prices: Leroy, Ente, Buisson up at the Cote, de Villaine at Bouzeron - and now this. This has nutty, citrus aromatics of decent complexity with hints of gunpowder, and what is, for Aligote, an almost fat body that is balanced by the grape's limey acidity. With all that nuttiness to the fore, it almost comes across as a Meursault, but I actually prefer the Aligotes from up north, even though Bouzeron is legally the Aligote AOC. (Mar. 21, 2015)

Giaconda, 120 NIS.

Marie et Paul Jacqueson, Roully Premier Cru, Margotes, 2011

Sometimes a wine jumps at you and says, I'm good. Not excellent, mind you, but good, If you love white Burgundies, then you know what to expect, and this delivers: green apples with the pungency of their skin, a touch of oranges, an overlay of chalk, a hint of dried grass and iodine. This is not especially complex or unique, but it's cute in the best sense of the word, well crafted and deftly balanced, tasty and pure, with no untoward intrusion of oak. (Mar. 23, 2015)

Giaconda, a lot of honest fun for 150 NIS.

Recanati, Reserve, Marselan, 2012

This Grenache-Cabernet Sauvignon hybrid is showing a rich nose, with black and blue fruit, but surprisingly, the richness doesn't put me off, as it's complemented by an mineral layer that is reminiscent, as well, of olive brine, The palate, too, balances its own richness with a very healthy dose of acidity. Tasty. (Mar. 24, 2015)

149 NIS.

Marie et Paul Jacqueson, Roully, Les Chaponni√®res, 2011

2011 is a really fun Bourgogne vintage to drink now. Indeed, I am not sure I see a great upside in cellaring this Roully, for instance, but it sure is deft, fresh and vivid lightweight now, with a heart-warming earthy overlay. (Mar. 26, 2015)

Giaconda, 150 NIS.

Vitkin, Carignan, 2010

I was more impressed last time. It's still a very good wine, but the heat of the 2010 vintage is more obvious in the sweetness of the fruit. It's still well balanced and tasty, with charming aromas of earth and leather, but the last bottle gave the impression of pulling far ahead of the pack, and this bottle isn't in that place. (Mar. 27, 2015)

Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs, 2002

The 2002 vintage, with its freshness and precision of the fruit, combines with the clarity of Chardonnay to produce a very refined, pure and elegant wine, This bottle is still young, with green apples and complexity derived from minerals and freshly baked bread, and only slowly opens up to reveal the more mature nuances of mushrooms and nuts. (Mar. 28, 2015)

About 50 GBP.

Marie et Paul Jacqueson, Roully Premier Cru, Gresigny, Blanc, 2011

This immediately impresses as a heavier style of white Bourgogne than the Les Chaponni√®res, the same elements combining with notes of spicy pear for a Chassagne-like effect. What might elevate this beyond the four-squared character that you might expect from the comparison is if the clean, fresh green apple and citrus fruit asserts itself in a couple of years, as development in glass seems to prophesy. But even now, it offers good, solid drinking at a nice price. (Mar. 29, 2015)

Giaconda, 150 NIS.