Lookalike Lineup @Coffee Bar (Mar. 26, 2016)

So Eldad Levy had a birthday, Roi had twins, I got a new car and Eran and Avi had a few good jokes between them. There's always something to celebrate.

We started with leftovers of a wine Eldad Levy has started importing that we were all eager to taste.

Vincent Paris, Cornas, Granit 30, 2014

Peppery and lean. Even though this is Paris' "entry level" Cornas, this - as well as the 2009 and 2010 I've had in the past - seems to need more time than I'd expected.

Eldad is, of course, renowned locally for his portfolio of grower Champagne. Since we were celebrating his birthday, he brought a vintage Champagne, a Grand Cru vintage Champagne.

Larmandier-Bernier, Cramant Grand Cru, 2005

An amazing classic, laden with chalk, and a touch of brioche. The key to the best of Larmandier (or even his baser efforts) is that they are full, fruity and powerful without loss of grace and that sense of clean saline dryness that both excites and soothes the taste buds. We're so used to dealing offhandedly with younger aged vintages that's it's easy to overlook the fact that this is an eleven year old vintage champagne drinking like a baby.

At this point, we passed through the looking glass and had a Bordeaux from California, an old time Chateauneuf from Gigondas, a Nuits-St.-Georges from Germany and a Hermitage from Australia.

Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, CS, 2006

Very much a classic claret, with cedar and tobacco and currants on the nose. The palate is slightly riper and fuller than a mid-tier Bordeaux Cru would be, but in all, this is really a reserved, elegant creature and very, very lovely.

Perrin et Fils, Gigondas, VV, 2007

Closed and needs to be drunk in a Burgundy glass, where it shows white pepper and a hint of garrigue. Full and sweet, yet - for all the derision the grape usually gets - balanced, with exquisite freshness.

Bernhard Huber, Baden, Spatburgender, Alde Reben, 2011

Classic Pinot, forest floor - albeit the forest where Hansel and Gretel got lost. Although at first I thought my previous bottle was better structured, that did not turn out to be the case. With its well judged acidity and focused tannins, this should age for five years or so.  

Unique, the Haley's Comet of Australian Syrah

Sami Odi, 2014

A focused wine that delivers ripeness with such precision it does not in any way overwhelm - rather, it is opaque, big, broadcasting fresh fruitiness, while at the same time burying it in cryptic, tannic structures. This is the only wine I can think of that would equally appeal to Parker as well as hardcore, Old World acolytes. Don't be frightened by the packaging - Brandy shaped bottles and hand-made labels that change with every vintage - the fact that it is the most hipster looking wine in the world belies the honest, idiosyncratic content.