Locked Down Again (Week 2)

Rizzi, Barbaresco, Nervo, 2013

Eldad imported this a few years ago in partnership with the Yaffo Tel Aviv restaurant. The price was always very attractive for what must be a very frustrating reason, for the Rizzi family: while they are highly regarded, a rising star by common consent, they come from Treiso, the third village in the internal hierarchy in the Barbaresco appellation (in itself, wrongfully in the shadow of the Barolo communes). This is an excellent Barbaresco : stylish, nuanced, supple, whose aromas and flavors that lean towards cherries, menthol and anise rather than tar and earth. Highly sensitive hands crafted a wine where the Nebbiolo tannins are integrated and civilized without being emasculated. Its development during the course of the evening is an amazing tale: the nose unfolding  a complex, fragrant bouquet, one that reveals a new facet every time I think I've fathomed it; the palate showing ever more nuances on a succulent core and a finely textured finish. (Oct. 4, 2020)

Roagna, Dolcetto d'Alba, 2017

I admit I haven't really drunk a lot of Dolcettos, so I maybe shouldn't make comparisons, but I also never liked the grape enough to develop an interest. But this, this is some kind of wonderful! It's wine-y without being ponderous, elegant despite 100 days of skin contact, probably because it comes from some serious real estate in the village Barbaresco. It's all red cherries and hints of leather and truffles, not especially complex but with a stealthy punch. (Oct. 5, 2020)

Imported by Bourgogne Crown, about 200 NIS. I can understand the price, given the quality, but it's a moot point since it wound up going for a discount.

Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre, Les Romains, 2017

I adore this house. It's a venerable family with a collection of vineyards that offer a doctorate in terroir, what with so many different soils and exposures. The Les Romains was one of the first single cru wines the family had bottled, Sauvignon Blanc from silex soils with a full southern exposure, vines that today are 40+ years old. This is a very vital wine, mouthwatering and complex, the fruit in perfect balance between ripeness and bracing acidity. It's big-boned, yet supple, lime and pear etching rivulets of flavors across a slab of chalk and sea salt. (Oct. 6, 2020)

Wine Route, about 200 NIS on discount. Recommended even at a higher price, since it's really a Grand Cru of a wine.

Vitkin, Petite Sirah, 2013

The usual graphite and black pepper on the instantly recognizable nose, the sweet fruit countered by rusty tannins and good acidity. (Oct. 8, 2020)

About 100 NIS, before discount.

Feldstein, Shalem, 2017

This is always a blend - this time, Rousanne, Sauvignon Blanc and Dabuki. There is a prominent bedrock of minerals, summer fruits and hints of nuts. What I've been trying to puzzle out for years, is what Avi's goal is with this wine and its always shifting blend. I don't think he's aiming at a flagship, "the very best I can make" type of wine - not because it isn't a very good wine, it just doesn't come with a jet plane, sonic boom kind of fanfare - but rather trying to have fun expressing himself as he coaxes a synergy between the grapes in the blend. (Oct. 9, 2020)

About 120 NIS, before discount.

Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils, Morey St. Denis, 2014

This is a blend of 7 different village parcels, so its quality and style are more a product of careful vine growing and wine making than geography. It's really an array of rough-hewn aromas and flavors - iron, spices, strawberries, violets - tamed into a rather elegant, nuanced, textured form. Its umami finish would probably support heartier food than you'd expect a village Bourggone to handle. I love it. (Oct. 10, 2020)

Wine Route, close to 300 NIS before discount (I don't remember what the discount was, but the price wound up being very good for a village wine, these days)