Taking Care Of Business (Jun. 2015)

Shvo, Chenin Blanc, 2012

Hey, I try to avoid white wines weighting in at 14% ABV, but this is fascinating, in the rough, grainy ways that Gaby Sadan's wines sometimes present because he lets the vintages speak. It's a fat, round wine, but the roundness is thrillingly rough, the kind of wine where you find yourself drinking rocks rather than drinking fruit,  There are oranges and their lightly bitter peels, flint , and finally, a 'color' reminiscent of rye, which I sometimes get in Loire Chenins. (Jun. 4, 2015)

About 100 NIS.

Gerard Betrand, Picpoul-de-Pinet, 2013

A very refreshing bistro white. Lime, minerals and oysters and that's just about it. Pair it with salads and fish.

Wine Route, 75 NIS. (Jun. 6, 2015)

Tua Rita, Toscana IGT, Rosso Dei Notri, 2013

The winery's entry level red shows typical Tuscan character filtered through a modern prism, so it's black fruited, ripe and smooth - with a Tuscan personality that is all about herbal/dusty aromas that are the Italian version of garrigue and evoke a working kitchen. I recall previous vintages of the Guistri di Notri (the affordable of the upper echelon of the winery's lineup) needed a few years to show their best, so possibly even this could use a year or two to shed its more modern aspects.  (Jun. 6, 2015)

Dani Galil, 97 NIS.

G. D. Vajra, Nebbiolo, 2013

This offers complexity of Barolo with a light flair: roses, tea leaves and iron on the nose, the latter reflected in the rusty, yet tasty, tannins. This is an excellent value, and wins over the Rosso dei Notri for its purity and general interest level. (Jun. 6, 2015)

Dani Galil, 90 NIS.

Shvo, Sauvignon Blanc, Gershon, 2011

I was intrigued by the bottle I drank at Halutzim a few months ago, so when bottles finally reached the stores, I immediately grabbed one. This is terrific right now, one of the best local whites, with juicy acidity and a bouquet of flint and dry grass straight out of the Cote de Beaune. I still fret over apparent traces of oak, but I think it will be fine in a year. And I can't believe I just wrote that about a four year old Israeli Sauvignon Blanc! (Jun. 9, 2015)

130 NIS.

Jean Foillard, Morgon, Cuvée Corcelette, 2012

Like Rene Engel and Oronce de Beler, Jean Foillard crafts wines that combine iron fillings and earth with a fresh, yet funky, fruitiness. This, especially, is close to the Platonic ideal of Beaujolais, and offers aromas of exotic spices and a very juicy core that leads to a long, saline finish. (Jun. 10, 2015)

Burgundy Wine Collection, 150 NIS.

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, 2008

An enjoyable, albeit primary bubbly: apples and chalk abound, with little of the accouterments of maturity that make Champagnes so enjoyable, such as brioche and mushrooms, But the fruit is so vibrant that this wine affirms my belief that the BdB is Golan Height's best wine. (Jun. 13, 2015)

Domaine de l'Arlot, Nuits St. Georges Premier Cru, Clos de l'Arlot, 2009

I wasn't really sure how much I'd really like Arlot, since I never tried the high end plots, so I thought I'd just indulge and check a big name from their portfolio. Actually, what happened was I had moved the Clos de l'Arlot from long term storage to short term, changed my mind and was then too lazy to put it back - so it wound up on the "to drink" queue. Anyway, this is excellent, with smoky earth on the nose, very savory fruit and crunchy tannins, and a piercing complexity. It's so forward and drinkable now, the acidity so relatively low keyed for Burgundy, that it's easy to miss the need for slow fine tuning the balance of sweet fruit and the tannic bitterness. I have a bottle of the Clos des Forêts-St-Georges 2009 that I will definitely wait a decade on.(Jun. 13, 2015)

Burgundy Wine Collection, about 350 NIS.

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

There's a moment within this wine that is indescribable. Mind you, Champagne has greater wines, but this Champagne captures the saltiness of Leroy's Aligote and blends it with the weight of a Chablis Grand Cru and tops it off with Pinot funk. All of which I can describe and just did, but at the core is a backbone, much less readily encapsulated, of truffle oil and chicken broth, which twists and turns like a roller coaster. Rave on. (Jun. 16, 2015)

Fat Guy, 269 NIS.

Michel Redde et Fils, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Cornets, 2011 

I love Redde, we all love Redde. Based on this, if Sauvignon Blanc were grown in Chablis, it could easily rise to the level of a Grand Cru. Les Cornets has a similar profile of rain waters and salty minerals, with subtle, yet distinctive, complexity and power and is one of the best values you can find in Israel. Which is true of Redde at all price levels. (Jun. 18, 2015)

Fat Guy, 259 NIS.

Ecker-Eckhof, Wagram, Zweigelt, Brillant, 2013

Fun and friendly, interesting aromatic fingerprint, dusty and minty. If you know where to look, Austria makes terribly moreish lunch wines. (Jun. 20, 2015)

Fat Guy, I don't see it in the price list on the site, I assume it's about 100 NIS.

Weingut Wittmann, Rheinhessen, Scheurebe, trocken, 2012

I once called Scheurebe the Dusty Springfield of grapes and I'm sticking by that moniker. This shows a spicy side of this lustful grape, with a modicum of flowers rather the full blown effect I usually find, complemented and abetted by guayavas. Lovely, really, and you all should be doing drinking more Scheurebe. (Jun. 20, 2015)

Giaconda, 80 NIS.

Domaine du Rochouard, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Les Argiles a Silex Vieilles Vignes, 2009

A typical, tasty Loire Cab, with a saline, juicy finish, Even though it's not one of the big names in my fridge, I was disappointed by the lackluster aromatics: it checks off the typical herbal greenness but doesn't go much beyond that. (Jun. 20, 2015)

20 USD.

Moric, Burgenland, Blaufränkisch, 2013

A year and a half ago, I tasted a seven year old version of this same wine. The savory, crunchy, peppery reminded me of a Saint Joseph and I vowed to score a bottle. Two trips to Austria proved fruitless but I was so enthralled by the magic of this red wine that most of my purchases were of various red wines (in lieu of the more obvious choices, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner), but most were overdone, overextracted or overoaked, without the simple charms of this basic bottling. Only a very simple Brundlmayer Zweigelt rose up to my expectations. And now, Eldad Levy has once again saved the day by importing Moric to Israel. You could say I've earned my dues waiting for Moric to arrive at my home. This youthful version is just as charming as I'd remembered, with clay and black pepper complementing the red fruit, the soft, dusty tannins and the ripe acidity that props the plump fruit without being too prominent. Drinkable by the gallon with more than a modicum of interest. (Jun. 23, 2015)

About 120 NIS.

Ahat, 2014

Ahat ("One") Winery is the lovechild/boutique of Nitzan Swersky. Eldad Levy recommended her debut wine on Facebook, and even though I usually keep away from Rhone whites, I have faith in Eldad's palate, so I bought a bottle of this Viognier/Rousanne blend.

Turns out a little faith can go a long away. It's fresh and fruity, but the fruit (grapefruit and pears) concedes center stage to a light earthiness and even more subtle nuttiness. There is none of the opulence that Viognier gives in Condrieu, which I never liked, and, thank God, the alcohol is down to a very reasonable 12.8%. What else? Oh, the fat, round body you'd expect from Viognier and Rousanne is there, but it's tempered by very good acidity, so the wine is very fresh - and I already wrote that. If I needed to tweet a note, I'd say that Nitzan captured the Dr. Jekyll face of the Rhone whites. (Jun. 25, 2015)

120 NIS.

Faustino, Rioja, Edicion Especial, 2001

I love Riojas when they're good, but there's a point in their adolescence that I'm indifferent to, where the impact of the American barrels is still obvious and rough (coffee and drying tannins in this case). And that's where this wine is at, and not only that, being a special edition produced for the winery's fiftieth anniversary, it feels as though it's trying to make the best of all worlds: make an impressive first impression as well as insinuate that it needs to be cellared for a long time. I hope for the best, because even though I worry the tannins will outlast the fruit, I have great faith in Tempranillo and this does already hint at Rioja character, showing earth, sweat, crushed raspberries and tobacco leaves.  (Jun. 28, 2015)

Imported by WineRoute, I bought it for about 230 NIS at Bin 281.