Luis Pato, Vinho Regional Beiras, Baga Natural, 2012
A fresh red, that is at once vivid and languid, with earthy cum spicy aromas and flavors, that morph into sub scorched minerality and black pepper. Very taut and, for a relatively inexpensive import, backwards and in need of time. (Apr. 4, 2016)
Gin Proof, 116 NIS.
Comte Armand, Auxey-Duresses, 2012
Comte Armand's Clos des Epeneaux is, I'm proud to say, a wine I can and have identified blind. It's a one of a kind, but, alas, very expensive and too long to mature (I'll probably open my bottle of 2010 in my 70's). So I make do with the Auxey, which marries the domaine's stern, muscular style with the village's soft fruit, without the two clashing. It's an easy going wine, a boxer relaxing after a fight in a game of golf, not especially complex or deep - but I like how the forest floor and lithe black fruit are speckled with iron. (Apr. 6, 2016)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 180 NIS.
Joseph Drouhin, Nuits-St.-Georges, 2010
2010 was a great vintage, so I'm still approaching many of my stash with trepidation. But this seems to be starting to open up. The nose has a lot of fresh red fruit, with shades of black, and exotic spices that are almost Vosne-like, except they're just earthier and a little blunter. The palate has that edgy focus that is the trademark of the vintage, from all I've heard and tasted, and is already showing a mellow drinkability on the finish, as well as an almost Chambolle languid softness. (Apr. 8, 2016)
Scottish Company, about 300 NIS. Drouhin is arguably the best of the old guard, big houses. And in 2010, anyway, this specific wine is above the average NSG village wine, even if not up to the level of a Premier Cru,
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Côte de Beaune, Les Pierres Blanches Blanc, 2013
It's almost a Chablis knockoff, with all the seashells on the nose, except there's a hint of flint and more mid-palate fat than you'd get up north, I think. There's some oak that needs more time to complete the already ongoing the process of being integrated, though. (Apr. 9, 2016)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 180 NIS.
Mullineux, Swartland, Syrah, 2012
Eran Pick let me sample a half bottle's worth of leftovers. It's nice and sleek, floral and lightly peppery, and poised on the proper side of over-ripeness. Even a couple of days after opening, it improves with air, showing more even pepper, laced with minerals, as well as a very clean, subtly spicy aftertaste. (Apr. 13, 2016)
Álvaro Castro, Dão, Quinta da Pellada, Pape, 2011
A field blend (Baga and Touriga Nacional). The expressive nose has a lot going on, while remaining focused and concise: red fruit with that tang I always mentally label as tobacco leaves, forest floor. The palate has richness but doesn't meander, remaining focused as well, with the richness balanced by integrated tannins and savory acidity. There's a modern polish to it that I don't find in the lower prices Reserva red, which is a shame, but I think I tend to try the top Castro wines too early, so I'll try again. (Apr. 19, 2016)
Gin Proof, 220 NIS.
Leo Alzinger, Wachau, Loibenberg, Riesling Smaragd, 2010
An outstanding wine, at the start of its maturity, that lives up to all my expectations. Long, dry without in any way being overwhelming, crisp and saline. Simply awesome minerality on the nose, and then spicy yellow apples, grapefruit and lemon zest. (Apr. 18, 2016)
Fat Guy, 239 NIS.
Avignonesi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Grandi Annate, 2004
This wine deserves to be scored: 75. And I'm being generous, because I'm giving it some points for being made of good fruit - artistically, this is a disaster: ripe, unbearably sweet and extracted, impossible to drink. Yet impossible to put down, sniffing and sipping it is like stopping to photograph a car wreck. (Apr. 18, 2016)
Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Rouge, 2014
Continues and refines the style of the previous vintages. Lithe, floral and peppery. (Apr. 22, 2016)
Dalton, 20th Anniversary, White Wine, 2014
Dalton is the smallest of the large Israeli wineries - or the largest of the medium-sized ones - and they celebrated their birthday with two limited editions, a red and a white. The white is a throwback to the days when the New World was aping Burgundy, before they went overboard with the oak. Which means you get obvious minerality with obvious oak eyeliner and rouge, but at least the oak isn't suffocating the fruit. A good wine, it's just that I can think of at least four local wineries that make better wines every year, not just when they're setting out to accolade themselves. (Apr. 23, 2016)
90 NIS. A decent price, I'll give them that.