Domaine Robert Chevillon, Nuits St. Georges Vieilles Vignes, 2010
Seems at peak maturity, which is surprising given what I know of Chevillon and 2010. The color is browning already, so it might be a bad bottle. As an experience by itself, it's very good, solidly packed forest floor, long if not especially complex. (Apr. 28, 2018)
Wine Route, 200 NIS on discount.
Zarate, Rías Baixas, Albariño, El Palomar, 2016
Everything I liked about the regular Albarino is here, in a wine made of 150 year old vines. I don't know what the aging curve of the grape is and I don't know whether I should have aged it longer. Curiosity killed the wine fridge. The nose is a little more complex than what I remember of the regular, more mineral yet less exotic. The extra yard it brings is greater intensity and a fuller body, but I can't tell if these are enough for great longevity. (May 4, 2018)
Fat Guy, 155 NIS.
Weingut Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Riesling Spätlese, 2012
I never bought a lot of Haart and that's a shame. This bottle definitely needs five years - or as many as you want to give, it's going to be a "forever" wine. It's quite hedonistic and concentrated, brimming with summer fruits and enough acidity to balance and promise a log life ahead. (May 5, 2018)
Fat Guy, 199 NIS.
Faustino, Rioja Gran Reserva, Edicion Especial, 2001
I check the blog's traffic regularly. There's a bot out there that seems to fancy a note I wrote about Faustino ten years ago. I can't explain why that post keeps getting hits every week. I think the bot has an AI that assumes a correlation between consumers of porn and viagra and Faustino fans. Personally, I haven't enjoyed Faustino much recently., although it used to be a staple at home. And, as much as I love Riojas, as I've grown older, I've stopped enjoying Gran Reservas before the age of 20-30. I often find anything younger too muscular and oaky. This is especially true of this Edicion Especial. The fruit's savory enough, but the smell of roasted coconuts from American barrels is too prominent and the palate isn't very complex or interesting. Or well formed, for that matter. (May 25, 2017)
The kind of wine that Wine Route lists for 250-300 NIS and then routinely sells on discount at two for 300.
Álvaro Castro, Dão, Quinta da Pellada, Carrocel, 2011
It's the Champions League Finals. Real Madrid vs. Liverpool. I don't have any British sparklers and I already drank a Rioja the day before, so Spain was not an option for me. I'm not a Real fan, anyway, and a Spanish wine would have been too obvious. So I opted for a Portuguese wine, one pricey enough to warrant a special occasion. This is too young. I remarked when I drank the 2008 that it was too flashy for me and I didn't think it would ever outgrow that flash. This is less flashy, what flash there is is directed at amplifying the fruit: tart fruit with subtle hints of minerals and less obvious hints of flowers. Elegant and long, its youth showing as broad flavors, same youth obscuring its potential. (May 26, 2018)
Eyal Mermelstein (Tchernichovsky)
I rebooted the laptop without noticing a few notes hadn't been saved. Let me go over them quickly from memory, as I think they're of interest.
It's no surprise that I'm a fan of Sphera. Just look how many notes about this local white wine specialist. Maybe the disappearance of my note for the Sphera, Suavignon Blanc, 2015 is a blessing in disguise as I'm sure I was just repeating my usual praises anyway. I would like to point out that even though no one at the time expected a lot out of 2015 due to the weather, this is a wine that has matured very nicely indeed. The Castel, C, 2016 is, sadly, a different matter. I have a lot of respect for this pioneer winery, the winery that arguably invented the boutique winery industry in Israel, blasting out of the kosher ghetto with near-mythic praises from Serena Sutcliffe. But I was never a fan of this Chardonnay. Like the Golan Heights Katzrin, it pays excessive homage to the old school, oaky Meursault style, a style whose faction is not even that popular in Meursault anymore.
The most interesting of the AWOL notes are from Chablis and its satellites.The Chablis is from a producer I haven't been drinking regularly in years, Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Premer Cru, Vau de Vey, 2013. When I started drinking Chablis, there were maybe three, four producers imported on a regular basis. Brocard was not one of them and I bought a few bottles of Le Clos abroad. Two out of three were off and I gave up on Brocard. It's a small sample, I know, but so was my luggage space. This bottle was a fine way to get reacquainted. 2013 seems to be one of those "business as usual' years in Burgundy: not a disaster, not a star, plagued by the usual headaches - rot, hail - quality strictly a matter of the winemakers' competence and perseverance. Brocard did a good job. They're carried by the Flam family's import business, Hagefen, and at 160 NIS I would buy more bottles. The Chablis satellite I mentioned is the Goisot, Côtes d'Auxerre, Gueules de Loup, 2015. 2015 is the sort of rich, ripe vintage that caters to American tastes, if I'm being crude and condescending. It's not a bad vintage, certainly no 2003, more of a repeat of 2009, and it's really overshadowed by the bracing, classic 2014, by all accounts a great vintage for whites across all of Burgundy. My reading tells me that 2014 offered a much more typical rendition of the Chablis style. Having said all that, the three Goisot 2014's I drank were so bracing and austere that I expected Goisot would stay true to Chablis form even in 2015. And I was right. Give them a chance if you want to experience a slightly different aspect of the Chablis marine mineral style. Sold by Uri Caftory's IPVinum, at 165 NIS this costs as much as a Chablis Premier Cru, so you're paying a markup or the novelty factor - I'm telling you that the novelty, such as it is, is worth the price.