A Meal and a La Meal At Halutzim (Sept. 28, 2017)

Gvaot, Gofna, Jandali, 2016

This is yet another wine made of indigenous grapes that predate the plantings of commercial wine grapes in the nineteenth century. It's fresh, floral and saline, but simple and short. The background story is more interesting than the wine itself. It'd make a fine summer wine to sip on a balcony and I suppose if you paid a few euros for a carafe at bistro on a holiday you'd be more pleased with it than had you paid the 100 NIS or so that it costs in Israel.

Roulot, Meursault, Vireuils, 2014

This is a good village wine that doesn't reach a lot beyond its class (and at its list price of 400 NIS it might be expected to show almost Premier Cru breed) but does show a racy, mineral edge and understated finesse I usually associate with Puligny, as well as a fine, smooth texture, with long, persistent grip.

Pierre Gimmonet, Oger Grand Cru, 2004

This is the first single vineyard Champagne Gimmonet had ever made. It is still explosively young, but long with great multi-dimensional presence. A delicious mix of chalk and salty and sweet flavors, it has all the power and complexity of Gimmonet's Special Club wines, except that it's a single vineyard Grand Cru. Unless the concept and bottling is purely a marketing ploy, I would expect to find some differences in a side by side tasting. 

Yves Cuilleron, Cote Rotie, Madiniere, 2008

It has that signature I associate with the North Rhone, black pepper and a core of smoked meat. But it's awkwardly structured, with green tannins in the finish and not a great Cote Rotie, despite my enjoyment .

Chapoutier, Hermitage, La Meal, 1999

A great Rhone really gets me at my core, a delectable siren of aromas and flavors. And this, which had been sitting in my fridge forever, it seems, is one of the best wines I ever brought to a tasting. It has power, it has presence, but for all that it is nuanced - a detailed tapestry of tapenade, pepper and minerals. We pay (or pretend we do) wine writers for their tasting notes, but a grand vin like this is an exercise in futility because words can't really capture or convey its understated grandeur.

Miles, Gewurtzraminer, 2013

This is a very typical expression of the grape, and while it is not really a great dessert wine, its mineral bitterness will at least ward off the casual Gewurtz drinkers out for an easy, flattering drop.