A new producer in town. A simple wine, that gets you with refreshing, straightforward allure, all peaches and quince carried on very lively acidity. (Sept. 2, 2016)
Wine Route, 110 NIS.
Domaine Vincent Paris, Cornas, Granit 30, 2014
The beauty of this plump, young Syrah is how the vivid freshness of the raspberry fruit is adorned by violets, black pepper, charcoal, bacon and lightly tannic, saline finish. (Sept. 3, 2016)
Fat Guy, 199 NIS.
Vitkin, White Journey, 2015
This is probably the wine where Assaf Paz lets loose all the blending skills he picked up at his former day jobs at the big, commercial wineries, his only commitment being to craft a gastronomic wine that expresses his vision of the kind of wine that should be drunk around the Mediterranean basin. This year, it's a blend of Grenache Blanc, old vine French Colombard (which in local terms means what, thirty year old vines? It would be a respectable age around here, anyway), Viognier and some Gewurztraminer. The result is a crisp and fruity wine, with a mineral streak and a faintly exotic florality, which the more insular boutiques would sell at twice the price. (Sept. 6, 2016)
About 70 NIS, your mileage may vary.
|A flock of sheep visiting the Orangerie vineyard|
Barring Ravenau and Dauvissat, Beru might offer the best straight Chablis, or at least, the best value. However, there's so many of them, three Chablis AOC's besides the flagship Clos Beru - and the variation in quality as I climb up the price list is not enough to easily make out without a horizontal tasting. This single-vineyard (from a bio-dynamic plot) seems deeper and fatter than the two less expensive wines and offers the same ripe, lightly exotic version of the Chablis paradigm. Takes longer to open up, but, when it does, it proves to be more electric than the two others. (Sept. 9, 2016)
Bourgogne Crown/Fat Guy, 180 NIS.
Schloss Gobelsburg, Kamptal, Pinot Noir Alte Haide, 2011
This caught my eye at Fortum and Mason, and the low pound after Brexit provided further incentive. This is on par with the good German Pinots I've had over the last few years, with typical Pinot aromas of red fruit and that green autumnal musk of underbrush. On the palate, it's shows the same stern bitterness of its Teutonic peers and I could use the sensual allure that good Burgundies provide. Possibly it's meant for earlier drinking - it's not really a wine you can easily find opinions on online. But honestly? I don't really like it - the nose is good, but overall, it plays out like someone tried to clone Bourgogne without a proper blueprint. (Sept. 10, 2016)
Château de Targe, Saumur-Champigny, 2014
Another Wine Route import from the Loire, all fresh raspberries and end pencil shavings. Despite, or perhaps because of, the austere, earthy finish, this is much tastier and more intriguing than I'd hoped. (Sept. 11, 2016).
Domaine Thevenot Le Bruin, Aligote, Perle d'Or, 2014
Totally lacking any form of mannerism, this is the kind of simple Aligote that pleases for the best virtues of all: purity, freshness and charm. There's just enough rocks and rainwater atop the lime fruit to also provide a modicum of intellectual interest. After years of (and still on-going) abuse, Aligote is still underappreciated - but when Burgundy was making its latter day reputation in the 20th century, few Chardonnays in Bourgundy, anywhere for that matter, were this lithe and tasty. That's probably still the case. (Sept. 22, 2016)
Bourgogne Crown/Fat Guy, 95 NIS.
Quinta do Portal, Dao, Grand Reserva, 2007
A big letdown, compared to the 2009, which I thought a lovely alternative to old school claret. This is hot and jammy and lacks charm and freshness. (Sept. 23, 2016)
Joh. Jos. Prüm, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling Auslese, 2006
Like the Sonnenuhr of the same year, this has deep fruit and complex aromatics marked by obvious noble rot influences and less obvious petrol. Likewise, it is also a fleshy wine with lower acidity than you'd expect from a great Riesling. It serves well as a dessert wine, although I think a great Auslese - which is what I expect from Prüm, no less - should have enough vibrancy to serve along the main meal. Having said that, the richness of the fruit offers sheer hedonistic pleasure I can't and won't want to deny. (Sept. 24, 2016)
Giaconda, 250 NIS?
Vitkin, Carignan, 2011
The character is defined by meaty aromas and flavors, as well as notes of flowers and iodine. At this point, it's a rustic, earthy phase, where the tannins make for a dusty effect. (Sept. 26, 2016)