Weekend Wines (Oct. 5-6, 2012)

Thankfully, I actually remember the wines we drank this weekend.
Hmmmm, how should I put this? No matter what attitude this blog presents, I don't often host dinners at home with wines that are worth devoting a separate post to. Not two nights back to back - that's a first for me.

First, Friday night.

Domaine de Font-Sane, Gigondas, Terrasses des Dentelles, 2005

This is one of the best 15 proof reds I've ever drunk. It's sweet with alcohol and glycerine but there's a layer of minerals and a saline finish that makes me take to it. Nigh surprising balance. And the nose is typical South Rhone with its black fruit pepper, iron and garrigue. Thus it's a beast, but not without its share of finesse.

Giaconda, 189 NIS.

Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes Premier Cru, 2003

When I made my first forays into the world of wine, noble rot wines absolutely fascinated me, and Sauternes were the only option available locally, so that's what I bought for the most part. I started to turn away from Sauternes because I found that the marriage of high alcohol and low acidity, especially in warm vintages such as 2003, made for a a clumsy, bitter effect on the palate. Which is the case with the Guiraud, although there is certainly plenty of complexity and a sense of lush and posh on the long finish. The nose is great, that's for sure, making a power-play of apricot marmalade and that botrytis essence of mustard and spices.

WineRoute, about 180 NIS for a half-bottle.

Then Saturday.

R. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Vina Tondonia, White Reserva, 1991

Of all the classic Old World wine regions, Rioja is the only one that really shies away from discoursing on terroir in its labels, except for Heredia, whose Tondonia and Bosconia labels are single vineyard designations.

Sweetish on the palate, with a Spanish presence in the nose: minerals, a hint of leather,and enough slightly ozidized kink so that no other region could easily claim a stake for. As you'd likely expect, this is a classic - maybe not on the order of a Gran Reserva, but a classic nonetheless.

Domaine De Montcalmes, Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac, 2008

Shiny black fruit with such an overt presence of black pepper you have to wonder what they put in the juice besides Syrah. It's two thirds Syrah - the reminder made of equal parts Grenache and Mourvedre - according to the Michael Skurnik fact sheet, so what you have here is an upside down, min-CdP. Or just call it a GSM blend, if you like. However, the way it tastes (crunchy black fruit, savory tannins), it sure doesn't feel like anyone paid the Chateauneuf model too much attention, more like someone should consider paying Saint Joseph some royalties; .

Returning to a glass full leftover a couple of days later, this is now in Cornas territory, with notes of leather and olive brine. Cool.

Wenzel, Ruster Ausbruch, Saz, 2006

Very Tokay vis a vis acidity, maybe a little thicker, and the botrytis feels different, somehow. Eran Pick, who brought it, says it comes from Burgenland the Austrian side of the Austria-Hungary border and made of mostly Furmint (60% according to the winery, the rest Muskateller). Saz is the name of the vineyard and the winery claims the wine has half a century's worth of aging potential. Seems like it's got a decade ahead at least, although we didn't suffer opening it at six years post-vintage.