Taking Care Of Business (May 2015)

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

My last bottle, of six or so. Never truly great, but always very, very good, and classic - brioche, mushrooms and minerals backed by green apples. Having said that, the last glass was a delicious pull on my heart strings: funky and brothy in a manner I can only describe as the French trying to turn the population of the world into happy, lazy sloths. (May 5, 2015)

Fat Guy, 279 NIS.

Domaine de la Vougeraie, Beaune, La Montée Rouge, 2012

While this is priced slightly higher than the Cote de Beaune, Les Pierres Blanches, I don't find that big a quality difference between the two. But who cares, really? This shows similar succulent, savory red fruit - sweet and fat, yet lithe and restrained at the same time - with perhaps slightly more delicate earthiness, and marginally less room for improvement. So far, 2012 is looking promising.(May 13, 2015)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 200 NIS.

Vitkin, Carignan, 2011

This wine just keeps getting better and more focused with each vintage. The nose has hints of Old Word meat stink and minerals, rich, yet not excessive, while the palate is very fresh and savory, the sweet fruit masking the tannic brawn. (May 14, 2015)

About 100 NIS.

Somewhere down the Garonne River
Elian Da Ros, Côtes du Marmandais, Chante Coucou, 2010

A Bordeaux Bourgeois Cru ringer? Travelling southeast on the Garonne, one reaches Côtes du Marmandais, a backward AOC whose only claim to distinction is Elian Da Ros, which Uri Caftori has recently started importing. I'm slowly making my way up the Elia Da Ros offerings and have finally reached the point where things have gotten really interesting, The nose is rustic in an appealing way, with sweet currants, minerals and leather. The tannins still need to be tamed, but the fruit is supple and savory, aptly framed by the acidity, and given the price, this is a terrific value. (May 15, 2015)

Is Pro Vinum, 155 NIS.

43 euros.

Mia Luce, Rosso, 2012

I told you about this a couple of months ago and I like it even more now, with a long sanguine finish and languid fruit that feels like a love train connecting all the people of the Mediterranean basin. (May 21, 2015)

Tzora, Or, 2013

This Gewurztraminer dessert wine manages to transcribe the virtues of the grape (rose leaves, ginger spiciness) and finally comes off as a Sautrernes ringer sans botrytis. I'll have to return to my second bottle in the future to decide whether the sweetness is too much. (May 22, 2015)

Bernhard Huber, Baden, Malterdinger Spätburgunder trocken, 2011

Huber has been on my radar ever since Romana Echensperger gave mini seminar on German Pinot last year. Unfortunately, when we visited Baden last summer, Huber had just passed away and when I finally found a bottle, the store owner wouldn't sell it to me. A year later, I scores this bottle in Berlin. They say Bernhard really loved Burgundy and it shows in the languid red fruit and sous bois character, supported by the focused tannins and leading to a finish that would not be out of place in a decent Premier Cru. Although I couldn't tell you which Premier Cru: one of the clues I use for sniffing out jokers in a blind Burgundy tasting is they remind me of a hybrid of different villages and thus befuddle me unnecessarily. In this case, I find Volnay minerals, Chambolle flowers and Nuits sturdiness. Lovely. (May 29, 2015)

23 euros.

Tzora, Judean Hills, Blanc, 2014

This is a Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay blend, and is, as always, loaded with minerals, with a savory finish - grapefruit and chalk, basically. I seem to have underestimated it at the winery last week. (May 30, 2015)

About 100 NIS.