Niepoort, Duoro, Redoma, Reserva, 2014
The winery site says this is made of "Rabigato, Códega, Viosinho, Arinto and others". I greatly enjoyed the phrase "and others". The vines are 80 years old and the winery says it aims "to express the character of the Douro old vineyards". I don't know what that means, it's really generic marketing speak, but the end result wouldn't be out of place in a Chassagne blind tasting. It's about the level of a decent Chassgane Premier Cru, a little foursquare, yet complex and broad, with minerals and dried grass backed by decently applied oak, a fruit profile that hints at flowers and pears, and lots of flint and Atlantic salt. I don't know what the flavor and aromatic profile of these grapes is supposed to be. There is nothing about the wine that pointedly speaks of Duroo, or even Portugal (the way the wines made by Pato or Castro do), but I liked it enough to buy a bottle to age a couple of years. It's very good now and I sense potential for a more unique character down the road. (Jul. 10, 2017)
Not formally imported, but would be priced around 200+ NIS if it were, most likely. Anyway, Niepoort is imported by Eyal Mermelstein from Tchernichovsky 6.
Domaine Duroché, Gevrey-Chambertin, 2015
The smart thing would have been to wait a bit with this, but the basic village wine is usually approachable, and more, early on. Generally speaking, the domaine's wines always show a floral element and it is the case here as well, although it was more prominent with previous vintages I've drunk. In addition, it also hints at forest floor, and there is, as well, a warm, vague suggestion of village's trademark feral, animalistic notes. It's a very lithe, balanced wine - one where you never have to pause and wish for more time to tame oak or tannin - and the finish, while not exceptionally long, is very precise. (Jul. 1, 2017)
Bourgone Crown, 170 NIS.
Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet et Fils, Puligny-Montrachet, Les Aubues, 2014
I wish I had more Puligny. A while back, I stopped buying white Burgundies (reasons: oak, premox et al) until the new wave of producers came along, with their edgier wines, their vigor almost combustive, certainly contagious. Wines you could enjoy young, yet left you optimistic about their future. Bachelet is a new producer, for me. I tasted an okay Chassagne Premier Cru last year, but this seems more promising, a little tight now, intuiting at elegance, framed by oak but not blocked by it. If you wait a couple of hours, you will be rewarded by a hint of a glint of flint, otherwise, it's mostly apples, pears and dry grass. (Jul. 2, 2017)
Bourgogne Crown, 270 NIS.
Luis Pato, Vinha Formal, 2009
Last year, this pale sparkling wine (mostly Touriga Nacional and about one third Bical, a white grape) showed an overt mineral aspect, almost that of scorched earth. A year later, it is shows an offhanded exotic side, with a touch of peppermint and apple cider. It still both invited and then defies comparisons with Champagne or even Cava. (Jul. 10, 2017)
About 100 NIS. Imported by Eyal Mermelstein from Tchernichovsky 6.
Le Domaine d'Henri, Chablis Premier Cru, Fourchaume, Alees, 2013
If Chablis brings an oceanic essence, then Fourchaume, a vineyard of elegant wines, is the calm after a stormy night. However, as much as I love the domaine, this cuvee is too calm, not lively enough, its flavors one dimensional. The nose, however, is very congenial. (Jul. 11, 2017)
Bourgogne Crown, 145 NIS.
Domaine Denis Berthault, Fixin, Les Crais, 2014
This is green, but the greenness here is not that of under ripe fruit, but rather the leafy greenness of a forest. It's not very lush or sexy. Right now it's in the tough, harsh state the colder, rustic appellations can go through. It softens up but still needs time. (Jul. 12, 2017)
Bourgogne Crown, 145 NIS.
Michel Redde et fils, Pouilly-Fumé, Les Champs des Billons, 2014
For all its reserve - seemingly all bunched up, every erg of potential complexity and jism still in check - this is the epitome of the Pouilly-Fumé style: smoke and minerals, saline, straight-laced fruit. (Jul. 20, 2017)
IProVinum, 220 NIS.
Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Rouge, Belle Dame, 2014
Wow, this is just as good as a Burgundy village red, and actually, the elegance and focus would even lend credibility to a comparison with a Premier Cru. It certainly unfolds to show enough complexity and depth. The red fruits have the same soothing autumnal fragrance as the progenitor of Pinot Noir, the same singular clarity, the same sensual freshness. (Jul. 22, 2017)
Wine Route, about 300 NIS.
Then again, here's a bone fide premier cru that trounces the Belle Dame. And it's not even a really great premier cru .
Gerard Julien, Nuits St. Georges, Premier Cru, Les Bousselots, 2013
Expressive enough to enjoy young, showing typical Nuits with a sort of rustic elegance - feral with the greenness of wild flora and fresh red fruit - and a rich complexity of aromas and flavors that belies its lithe frame. (Jul. 24, 2017)
Bourgogne Crown, 285 NIS.
Olivier Guyot, Marsannay, La Montagne, 2012
A good village wine, but at this point not a whole lot of complexity or length, even for the village level, just black, earthy fruit, with a hint of spices. (Jul. 28, 2017)
This particular wine is not imported to Israel. I bought it for 40 euros in Amsterdam.
Kishor, Savant Red, 2014, as usual, is a reserved wine, with soft, persistent tannins, and a savoury, succulent tang. The GSM, 2015 is more interesting, even better than the 2014 version, with a meaty nose and sweet, but not overtly ripe, fruit. Both, as usual, display the winery's friendly, unpretentious house style. I would not claim this is one of the country's top wineries, but if I were to compile a list of elegant, food friendly reds for summer, these two would be right up there in the top ten, and both hover around the 100 NIS price point. (Jul. 30, 2017)