Thursday, December 10, 2015

Taking Care Of Business (Nov. 2015)

I've been noticing my ambivalence towards Piedmont is starting to wear down
but before we get into that, take a look at the first note this month...
Golan Heights Winery, Blanc de Blancs, 2008

It never ceases to amaze me. That a winery that regularly picks in mid October, weeks after the rest of Israel (and most of Europe for that matter), whose red wines weight in at 14-15% ABV that deflates the grapes of much of their typicality and vitality, whose flagship Chardonnay is a throwback to the fat, buttery style of the 90's. That that winery could actually come up with this, a delicious, saline, lean and ripped sparkling wine that showcases many of the characteristic and nuances of the homeland of the sparkling wine. Nuances. Gee, I really thought GHW retired that word when they switched to Californian bottles for the 1996 vintage. (Nov. 2, 2015)

110-120 NIS. Totally worth it!

We now return you to the 2GrandCru blog.

Sebastien Dampt, Chablis Ptremier Cru, Vaillons, 2013

Another excellent work from this recent addition to the local supply of Chablis, it comes off as the conservative cousin of Côte de Léchet. Since we lovers of Chablis are so prone to maritime images, I'd say this is a mercantile captain while the Côte de Léchet is a pirate. In other words, this is just as classical - with lime, green apples, chalk and salt - just less colorful. (Nov. 3, 2015)

Wine Route, 200 NIS (2 for 300 on discount).

Tzora Vineyards, Shoresh, 2013

This Bordeaux++ blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah) hit a peak in 2013. This is really the best version yet - the piercing mineral aromas are especially memorable. The bitter tannins need to soften, though, but this will be really excellent when they do. (Nov. 6, 2015)

130 NIS.

Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco, 2006

I've been noticing my ambivalence towards Piedmont is starting to wear down. A classic showing, with tarry/spicy/dusty red fruit and gum staining tannisn. (Nov. 7, 2016)

Wine Route, 249 NIS.

Joh. Jos. Prüm, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, 2007

Science can't disprove it. I believe the Mosel is where life began. And Prüm would be a living emblem of that faith, crafting ethereal, regal wines with skill, patience and, for a lack of a better word, magic. Take this. The nose is to die for, with full of smoke and rocks, the green apples showing a shade of dill, all with a mystique and wonder that are more than the sum of the parts. The palate marries the acidity and sugar of a fresh apple with just a touch of plumpness. (Nov. 10, 2015)

Giaconda, 180 NIS.

Domaine Ballorin, Côte de Nuits Villages, Le Village, 2011

This was one of the great surprises in Daniel Lifshitz' 2014 catalog, an unknown couple making wines from obscure sites, which was all they could get their hands on, basically. This is from the hamlet of Comblanchien, which doesn't even have its own AOC. I bought a few and this is my third and last. It's lost some of the floral freshness I loved last year, but it's gained some herbal complexity and weight. (Nov. 12, 2015)

Bourgogne Crown, 150 NIS.

Carmel Winey, Kayoumi Riesling, 2013

It used to be called the best Israeli Riesling, back when there were only two contenders to the title. Well, I think it was mainly Carmel that called it that and today there are probably four contenders. It is nice, though, with green apples, but also peaches, spicy, petrol. (Nov. 13, 2015)

Should cost about 100 NIS, your mileage may vary.

At Yaffo-Tel Aviv.

Benoit Ente, Bourgogne, 2013

Classic lime and minerals. Intense acidity. Big like. (Nov. 14, 2015)

La Maison Romane, Macon, 2012

Suave red fruit, just a touch of brett to show what happens when it works. (Nov. 14, 2015)

Sphera, Chardonnay, 2014

While this shows as much grace and delightful salinity as the previous bottle, it's starting to also show a vaguely tropical side as well. Not enough to be off-putting, just enough to make the bottle variation and evolution interesting, (Nov. 15, 2015)

About 100 NIS.

Potel-Aviron, Moulin-à-Vent, Vieilles Vignes, 2011

At first, this is just totally closed, but it opens up to show a demure expressiveness and a dusty black cherry character that vaguely evokes a rustic Pinot. (Nov. 16, 2015)

Giaconda, 130 NIS.

Hirsch, Kammerner Lamm, Erste Lage, Gruner Veltliner, 2011

Melon, lime and minerals combine for an elegant, bracing effect and a singular aromatic profile - halfway between chalk and slate - that's pungent and smoky, yet cool. The palate has a saline texture, cocooning bitter-sweet pears. Quite a piece of work. (Nov. 19, 2015)

Fat Guy, 229 NIS.

Lewinsohn, Garage de Pape, Rouge, 2012

Very fresh red fruit, enveloped and tempered by layers of smoke and minerals. Excellent. (Nov. 20, 2015)

150 NIS.

Selbach-Oster, Mosel, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spätlese, 2012

This wine is about ecstasy, delivering pure unadulterated pleasure, and did it hail from any other region than the Mosel, it might actually have been too much of a good thing. But because it's a Mosel, it delivers the sexy, sweet fruit of an Auslese with the purity and racy, electric acidity of a Spätlese, tempering the visceral core of green apples with a subtly expressive layer of minerals. And then all that pleasure is fed to your nerve endings with such focus and mean intention that it transforms the ecstasy into a haunting, spiritual essence. (Nov. 20, 2015)

Fat Guy, 150 NIS.

A. Margaine, Special Club, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Premier Cru, 2008

Joy in a bottle. One of my favorite Champagne growers, in a great vintage, crafted a classic with deep complexity and effortless power. All the attributes are in place, the signature brioche and sauteed mushrooms, but also chalk and iodine. (Nov. 21, 2015)

Fat Guy, 345 NIS.

Gaston Chiquet, Champagne Blanc de Blancs d'Aÿ, Grand Cru, n.v. (2009 vintage)

This BdB from the Pinot Noir village of Aÿ impresses with explosive aromas of baked apples, layered with chalk and brioche. What's even more impressive is the moreish freshness of the fruit, which strikes a precise balance between pear-ish ripeness and saline acidity. (Nov. 28, 2015)

Fat Guy, 249 NIS,

Karthäuserhof, Moel-Saar-Ruwer, Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg, Riesling Auslese, 2002

Tasty and elegant as this is, typical of Mosel for its granny apples and icy slate, it's not overly expressive. Although, coaxed by air, it is very charming in its demure, discreet way - finally complex and mystifying even if one has to grope for the lovely creature's secrets in its mineral strata. (Nov. 29, 2015)

About 40 GBP.

Margalit, Enigma, 2012

When I started out, Margalit was the boutique winery to beat, and it used to impress my untrained palate, both young and mature (a friend inherited a stock from the nineties so I tasted a couple of back vintages), I hadn't drunk it in a decade, though, and decided to broach it again, with the Engima Bordeaux blend, which I'd hoped would be approachable young (especially since I'd read that Yair Margalit had been swayed, by Bourgognes he'd tasted, towards a more elegant wine-making style). This, however, turns out to be very oaky/spicy, and the oak is too obtrusive for my patience - I can see where it's going, but when it asks me do I want to come along with the ride, I stop to think about it for a long time. Anyway, while I might not be bothered to follow it, if you were to ask me, five years would be a good gestation period for it. (Nov. 30, 2015)

About 210 NIS.

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