The Flashing Bars Of July

Domaine Robert Arnoux, Bourgogne Fin, 2014

This is a curio I'm glad I bought, A long time ago, Wine Route carried Arnoux for about a year. Now, they've brought it back and, for good measure, are seeling this rare Pinot cultivar, Pinot Fin. Despite the lowly designation, it actually comes from decent vineyards: three parcels from Chambolle, Vosne and Nuits proper (a blend of multiple village plots is enough to downgrade the wine to generic Bourgogne) as well as another plot from Premeaux, just outside of Nuits, that was planted in 1959. 

The nose is simply quintessential Bourgogne, an autumnal forest decaying in bliss around an essence of coq au vin and strawberries. And the palate! So fresh and vibrant, carrying an echo of the complexity of aromas, but killing it, just killing, with an undercurrent of tannic black fruit, which is just the ballast any good Burgundy needs to thrive.. I have had my share of greater wines, but I'd guess it's been months since I had such a delicious one. And there's actually enough nuances and weight to lend it a credible nomination for Premier Cru class. (July 8, 2018)

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Premier Cru, Vau de Vey, 2016

I love lithe wines tinged with minerals. I love the scents of the sea that Chablis evoke, the briny breeze laced with salt and sea weeds. What I love the most about the Vau de Vey is that it doesn't stop there. In 2013 it did, but not in 2016. It has flowers and mint and hints of sweetness that remind me of a dry Riesling. A fullness with steely backbone. (July 1, 2018)

Hagafen. About 160 NIS.

Shvo, Chenin Blanc, 2016

Always one of the most challenging of the icon Israeli wines, it shows much variation between vintages and needs time. It's hard to describe a young Chenin. It's all about quince and flint, a lick and a promise, all about the tension between tensile surface and full, ripe fruit beneath. Sniff the nose, take in the lingering bitter/salty finish, and you'll get what I mean about its potential. (July 4, 2018)

Quinta de Saes  (Alvaro Castro), Dão, Reserva, 2013 

This is one of the great value reds that Eyal Mermelstein carries in the Tchernichovsky 6 restaurant/wine bar/store. I drank it during the World Cup Brazil-Belgium quarter-finals, after I just about ran out of wine producing countries to support. Eyal is a great lover of Bourgognes and quite aptly this is one of the most Burgundian reds in the portfolio, the framework soft and lithe, with floral and tobacco flourishes. (July 6, 2018)

Alona, Rose, Harmony, Grenache Noir, Rose, 2017

Very mute at first, we didn't finish the bottle the first evening and it surprisingly kept and developed, evolving into a dry, mineral laced, moresih rose. A welcome addition to my shopping list. (July 7, 2018)

Larmandier-Bernier, Premier Cru, Longtitude, n.v.

This wine is designed to highlight the character of the Grand and Premier Cru villages of the Cotes de Blancs, and so it does, indeed. The chalky texture and saline flavors; the ripe fruit transformed, but not overwhelmed, by the mushroom accents of the autolysis; the linearity of form, the reserve wines providing complexity without loss of freshness. I have just conveyed my take on the Larmandier house style as well. (July 10, 2018)

Williams and Humbert, Amontillado 30 years, Jalifa

It has occurred to me that this probably doesn't sell well enough in Israel to justify bringing in a lot of new shipments so there's a decent chance that the juice in this bottle is much older than the thirty years the label promises. There's real force behind the pungent kick of the aromas and flavors that doesn't ease up even after a full week. What it never gains is any sense that there is anything behind or beyond that kick, as impressive as it is in its own right. I look for just a hint of sweetness to offset that linear salted nuts and iodine character. Sweetness would have both complemented and highlighted that character and without it, the wine feels incomplete.

J.L. Chave Sélection, St. Joseph, Offerus, 2014

Granted, this is sourced from bought grapes, but this is still Chave, so what's in the bottle is the product of top flight wine-making from one of the most venerable names in the Rhone, a name that, based on what's the in the bottle, has rightfully earned its reputation. The Offerus showcases everything that's lovely about young Rhone Syrah; succulent, juicy fruit, velvety, accessible and sexy, tinted by aromas and flavors that speak of bacon and olives. For depth and complexity, though, seek out the domain wines. (July 22, 2018)

Niepoort, Porto Colheita, 2000

The name is misleading. It's labelled as a vintage, but the style is that of a tawny. it's not a bad trade-off, because it's a very excellent tawny, mellow and nutty with a pungent, tarry kick. And knowing the year makes it easier to keep track of when to open it. And the price point, 160 NIS, is also attractive. (July 27, 2018)

Imported by Eyal Mermelstein.