Getting Better All The Time

Vitkin, Grenache, 2017

It's quite remarkable how well Assaf Paz has mastered the grape in the span of four vintages. Well, "mastered" makes the wrong impression, as it implies man in control of the grape whereas what I sense here is a winemaker working with the grape. It's very lovely and floral, the texture of Pinot with the flavors and herbal, mentholated spiciness of Grenache. Excellent aromatic complexity, moderately sweet, sappy fruit balanced by refreshing acidity. (Sept. 15, 2020)

Vitkin, Grenache Blanc, 2018

I'm hardly a lover of Rhone white grapes. They're the superficially sexy high school cheerleader who grow up to become flabby, bimbo housewives.  Vitkin turned at least one of them into a Kathleen Turner. This is the sixth vintage and Assaf actually hit his stride almost from the very beginning. This is, it always was, a  very distinctive wine. I think Assaf has eked out every little bit the variety can give. Good acidity with nuanced fruit of subtle and savory flavors and a very compelling note of sculptor's clay. (Sept. 19, 2020)

Vitkin, Riesling, 2019

Depending on my mood, I sometimes keep a wary distance from Israeli Rieslings. Here I surrender. This is excellent, in a dry, Grosses Gewachs style, with a green apple skin and a chalky funk that takes me to Austria. The tautly reined in sweetness is all land of milk and honey and it's coupled with great acidity, wonderful form, delineated with a precise touch. (Sept. 24, 2020)