Misc Notes (Aug. 2011)

Pretty good wines in all, but the Auslese is a real homerun!

Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz, Kalstadter Saumagen, Riesling Auslese, 2001

This is finally in a good place once again, with honeyed fruit on a background of minerals and spices, even a hint of kerosene. The palate has a complex texture and fine depth born of bottle age and balances its sweetness with hints of salinity. This is an idiosyncratic style of auslese. There's obvious sweetness, yet it doesn't behave very much like a sweet wine, in fact it behaves almost like an alternative version of an auselse, which is always true of Koehler-Ruprecht's ausleses. Affirmation time: this is why I loved K-K in the first place and while this will live for a long time, I'm sure, it's just so very good now. In fact, the more I think about, the more I'm impressed that it is a moving wine, in its rugged way (that ruggedness being part of its charm) (Aug. 12, 2011)

Giaconda, about 160 NIS.

Pelter, Rose, 2010

Hmmm... I drank this in a crappy glass, but it impressed me nonetheless. Crisp, austere and mineral-laden, with a backdrop of mellow raspberries - in said crappy glass, the fruit is not very audible, but it really worked for me as a whole. This is made of 100% Temperanillo and I applaud the choice of fruit, even though it's hard to tell with the stemware - but hey, any wine that pleases in such a context has to have something going for it, right? (Aug. 13, 2011)

A. Et P. De Villaine, Cote Chalonnaise Rouge, La Fortune, 2009

I needed to take a closer look, after a cursory encounter last month. Thus: black raspberries and beets, with more body than usual, yet that fullness of body is tempered by a welcome tartness. There's a streak of minerals in the background, that grows stronger, on both nose and palate. This really ain't no quaffer, or rather, it's like a quaffer injected with both cannabis and steroids. (Aug. 13, 2011)

Astrolabe, Marlborough, Durvillea, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009

Cat pee, minerals, tropical fruit sherbet, some green apples. Pungent, crisp and refreshing, and way more easy-going than the flagship SB. Buy more! (Aug. 20, 1011)

Imported by Mersch.

Marc Bredif, Vouvray, 2009

It's always hard to know what kind of Vouvray lurks in the bottle, especially with this house, which never labels its Vouvray with any indication of sweetness. This year it's off-dry (which I'm guessing is the mean average they aim for each year), with obvious, but not blatant, residual sugar. It's very attractive on the palate, decently complex, crisp (despite the RS) and well-balanced with a saline finish, and if it's not especially moving, it's actually quite charming. The nose shows Burgundian flint and summer fruits that flirt with both elegance and ripeness, and it is lovely as well. Excellent - amazing when the price is taken into account.(Aug. 20, 2011)

Imported by Hakerem.

Both of the above were purchased for about 75 NIS at discount at Wine Depot. Good values both.

Domaine des Baumard, Savennieres, Clos du Papillon, 2005

I loved this wine the first few times I drank, but an awful showing last year broke my heart. But, always the optimist, I thought that was either bottle variation or dumb period (yeah, yeah, that old excuse) and sallied forth again. And I found the following.

The nose is lovely, cantaloupe bejeweled in that blend of nuts, flint and clay that I usually find in Savennieres. The palate is wide and generous, without undue lack of focus, and there's a very palatable impression of sweetness. The more I drink Savenierres, the more I realize how intense a white wine it can be, but this is actually on the mellow side. (Aug. 27, 2011)

Giaconda, 171 NIS.