Thank God It's WineDay!

Domaine Ninot, Rully Premier Cru, Marissou, 2019

The Marissou 2018 was a good example of what a great shopping ground the lands south of the Côte d'Or are. The 2019 is step up .While the Premier Cru moniker may be a seal of approval of quality down here, same as in the Côte, it doesn't quite carry the same weight. The fruit in the Côte Chalonnaise appellations are darker and more rustic than their more prestigious brethren in the north, and, indeed, the initial impression here is that of dark black cherries, with earthy and spicy nuances 'round the edges. I had an even more terrific bottle of the 2019 last month, but this doesn't hit the same height. It still a good bargain, just not a great one, and better than the 2018.  (Dec. 17, 2022)

Domaine Olivier Merlin, Bourgogne Les Cras, 2020

A single vineyard site in La Roche Vineuse in the Mâcon. Sauvage à la Gevrey transposed over cranberries, the tannins are soft yet pungent on the finish. It's arguably better than the Marissou and further proof that formal AOP's are probably less relevant down south. (Dec. 22, 2022)

Domaine Rapet Père et Fils, Savigny-lès-Beaune, Aux Fournaux, 2019

I've always adored this domaine for their brilliant and well-priced Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru, En Caradeux. The only red wine I've tried so far was the Chorey Lès Beaune, which was quite nice, but not very striking in its youth. This comes from a village lieux-dit called Aux Fournaux, which is adjacent to a Premier Cru called, well, Aux Fournaux. The wine is all sour red cherries to begin with, with a mellow ambience of steaming herbs. But there’s nothing going on right now except primary fruit. (Dec. 25, 2022)

Mauro Sebaste, Barolo, Cerretta, 2017

Opened two hours before the World Cup Final and then enjoyed for hours after the game ended. The nose displays a complex, perfumed richness: ripe cherries, rose petals, tarry nuances, rust, a meaty savouriness and a wild herbaceousness. The fruit initially feels ripe and big, blanketing and hiding tannins that are just as big. It's very lovely after four hours. The tannins assert themselves enough to give the fruit structure and a semblance of expression, but not to the point where I’m convinced that this is a great wine or a great year. I’ll wager that this is a wine that will be a very warm companion some winter evening five-ten years from now. Some wines are not meant to participate in group feasts, that's a sad fact party animals need to familiarize themselves with. (Dec. 18, 2022)

Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Etna Bianco, Calderara Sottana, 2019

I got sucked into Etna whites this year, mostly Terre Nere, which is what is most readily available in Israel. As usual, I adore the aromas of roasted nuts and the smoke reminiscent of hot water baths. The fruit is a secondary player, mostly melons, and there are hints of fat and bitterness on the finish. Acidity and air are the aphrodisiacs that sculpt the finish into a chalkier, more interesting texture. There's definitely an upside here. (Dec. 24, 2022)

Roland Lavantureux, Chablis Premier Cru, Fourchaume, 2020

A new producer for me. For me, Fourchaume is always one of the more well-behaved Chablis Premier Crus, although I prefer the ones that seem to spring upon you like a kraken. Given air, this develops texture and marine character. Every importer needs at least one Chablis producer in their portfolio. This is HaKerem's. (Dec. 28, 2022)