Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Blanc, 2009
How objectively can you approach a wine that has already sparked specific comparison, on the local scene, to all things Bourgogne - from Chablis to Puligny? Not that I haven't been disappointed by acclaimed Israeli ringers (not to mention the real deal), but I find myself on such occasions falling into two traps. I'm either too optimistic and keep spotting the similarities or I'm hyper-critical. Anyway, since this wasn't tasted blind, I just have to deal with the circumstances and do my best to contextualize the damn thing.
The nose has the same pungency of citrus fruit that I find in Chablis, as well as in the AOC's in the south, where traditionally the oak has been kept in rein. There is also a note of flint and just a hint of toffee in the background, that develops into a more prominent note of tropical fruit. The palate is crisp and driven by citrus acidity and winds up with a saline touch. Here, too, time brings out a tropical color, but it's not close to overwhelming. It could use more focus, and, while the acidity is exceptional for Israel, I think it lacks a touch of flavoring and force.
So that's the descriptors for you. As far as the whole picture is concerned, yes, it's about as good as the village Chablis, the Macons, the Rullys and the Chalonnaises I drink regularly - although it lacks some coherence. Price-wise, at about 140 NIS, it's in the same ball park as those - even if I do expect a local wine, even from a small boutique such as this, to be cheaper than an import. I think that in a blind tasting, I'd guess it were a Bourgogone lookalike, but then again, there's a good chance I'd say the same thing about a bona fide B.