Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.
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Daniel Rogov

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WTN: New Giaconda Imports (France,Spain, Austria)

by Daniel Rogov » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:07 pm

Rafaella Ronen and Anat Sela, the partners in the Tel Aviv based boutique wine importing venture many of us have come to know as Giaconda are driving me mad. In recent weeks, for example, in addition to Giaconda wines that I have already written about, they have added at least 38 new wines to their catalogue and if anyone thinks that keeping up with their pace is easy, let me tell you that you're quite wrong.

I do on occasion visit their Tel Aviv "headquarters" for tastings but, because no critic expects to be invited to taste everything, that means that I have to be constantly out-guessing them to see what they'll bring in next, to follow their email releases with care and to attempt to catch up on those wines during my trips abroad. Then, when the wines do arrive, to double check to see what I've already tasted, what remains to be tasted and then to start all over again on the guessing game of what will come next.

Don't misunderstand. I have no complaints whatever and that largely because so very many of the wines Giaconda is importing are not only excellent and interesting, but quite often at prices that are surprisingly competitive with prices in Europe and the USA.

Following are my tasting notes (all within the last five weeks) of some of the new arrivals that I have already sampled. Now all I have to do is inveigle my way to a Tel Aviv tasting of those wines yet to be sampled. To place orders or for further information, see the company's internet site (that including their catalogue) at http://www.giaconda.co.il/ or by telephoning 03 6022746. Prices given are subject to a discount of 10% to members of the importers members' club.

Best
Rogov


Spain – Ribera del Duero

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2004: Super-dark garnet in color, with tannins that manage simultaneously to be firm and soft, and offering up a generous mouthful of plum, blackberry, chocolate and espresso coffee notes. Concentrated and intense. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2013. NIS 120. Score 91.

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2001: Lucious! Full-bodied, with generous mouth-coating tannins, those set off nicely by toasty oak, hints of tar and espresso coffee all on a background of blackberry and purple plums. Drink now-2013. NIS 250. Score 91.

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 1999: Another victory for Arroyo. Full-bodied, with generous but gently mouth-coating tannins parting to reveal plum, wild berry, licorice and dark chocolate notes, all of which linger on beautifully. Mouth-filling and complex. Drink now-2015. NIS 300. Score 93.

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Grand Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 1996: Full-bodied, with its once gripping tannins now integrating nicely with near-sweet cedar wood notes. On the nose and palate generous plum and currant fruits, those with overlays of earthy minerals and tar. On the super-long finish appealing hints of bittersweet chocolate. Drink now-2018. NIS 400. Score 94.

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Grand Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 1995: At this tasting the wine is in its 12th year and still showing remarkably young. Full-bodied, intense and concentrated but opening beautifully on the palate to reveal purple, red and green gage plums, those matched nicely by notes of café au lait and minerals. Long, round and generous. Drink now-2012. NIS 400. Score 92.


Austria – Niederösterreich

Weingut FX Pichler, Grüner Veltliner, Smaragd, Urgestein Terrasen, Wachau, Niederösterreich, 2007: Happily concentrated for a Grüner Veltliner, a medium- to full-bodied white showing generous peach, apple, litchi and spices, all of which go on to a long, spicy finish. Drink now-2011. NIS 140. Score 90.

Weingut FX Pichler, Grüner Veltliner, Troken, Loibner Berg, Wachau, Niederösterreich, 2007: Golden straw in color, medium-bodied, with a rich floral nose and going on to generous pear, Granny Smith apples and summer fruits, all leading to a long, spicy finish. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2013. NIS 185. Score 92.

Weingut FX Pichler, Riesling, Smaragd, Loibner Berg, Wachau, Niederösterreich, 2007: A hedonist's dream wine – medium-bodied, loaded with generously spiced ripe summer fruits and raisins. At this stage of its development a near-creamy finish but as this one evolves look as well for notes of crème patisserie, and minerals. Drink now-2015. NIS 260. Score 93.


France – Rhone

Chateau d'Aqueria, Lirac Blanc, Rhone, 2007: Light golden straw with green tints, medium-bodied, a distinctive wine showing notes of white peaches, yeasty brioche and minerals. Fine with cooked oysters or poached fish. Drink now. NIS 90. Score 88.

Chateau d'Acqueria, Lirac Rouge, Rhone, 2005: A traditional Lirac blend of Grenache, Clairette, Cijnsault, Bourboulenc and Mourvedre. Ruby towards garnet, with generous cherry, berry and currant fruits on a lightly spicy background. Round and generous. Drink now. NIS 100. Score 87.

Domaine le Couroulu, Cotes de Rhone Rouge, Rhone, 2006: Ruby towards royal purple, with soft tannins and generous earthy minerals on first attack, those leading to appealing plum and blackberry fruits. On the long finish tannins rise with a note of near-sweet cedar wood. Drink now-2010.NIS 76. Score 89.

Domaine le Couroulu, Vacqueyras Rouge, Cuvee Classique, Rhone, 2005: Medium- to full-bodied, opening with notes of lead pencils and tar, those going on to reveal generous red and black berries on a background of licorice and orange peel. Drink now-2010. NIS 117. Score 90.


France – Loire

Domaine des Baumard, Coteaux du Layon, Carte d'Or, Loire, 2005: A generously sweet late-harvest dessert wine with fine balancing acidity and showing honeyed orange, pear and quince fruits, those backed up by notes of heather and spring flowers and spices. Long and mouth-filling. Drink now-2015, perhaps longer. NIS 130. Score 92.

Domaine des Baumard, Savennieres, Clos de Papillon, Loire, 2005: Medium-bodied but mouth-filling, showing appealing quince and lime fruits that typify the region, those supported nicely by generous minerality. On the long finish hints of cantaloupe melon. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2010-2014. NIS 190. Score 92.

Domaine des Baumard, Coteaux du Layon, Clos de Ste. Catherine, Loire, 2006: What might be called a double "oh wow" wine, the first exclamation coming with a nose resplendent with figs and apple butter, the second as the flavors, of quince, mangoes and green almonds sneak up on the palate. Concentrated and intense while simultaneously rich, complex and elegant. Drink now-2025. NIS 245. Score 95.

Domaine des Baumard, Quarts de Chaume, Coteaux du Layon, Loire, 2006: Made entirely from Chenin Blanc grapes, showing generous Botrytis spiciness and funkiness that make way for tropical fruits, figs, mineral and candied citrus peel, all of the elements coming together seamlessly with generous sweetness in fine balance with fruits and acidity. Fine competition for the best of Sauternes! Drink now-2035. NIS 375. Score 96.

Domaine de Baumard, Quarts de Chaume, Coteaux du Layon, Loire, 2003: Fine honeyed sweetness and generous spiciness in fine balance with summer fruits, sugared orange and lemon peel, all with an exquisite overlay of wild flowers and cherry blossoms. Exquisite. Drink now-2030, perhaps longer. Score 95.


France – Alsace

Albert Mann, Gewurztraminer, Tradition, Alsace, 2007: As typical as you will get for an Alsatian Gewurztraminer, showing litchi fruits, rose petals, white pepper and a hint of cardomon. Refreshing, with just the right note of complexity to add interest. Drink now-2011. NIS 115. Score 88.


Albert Mann, Gewurztraminer, Vieilles Vignes, Grand Cru, Furtenum, Alsace, 2007: I cannot take an oath to the effect that these late-harvested grapes were impacted upon by botrytis, but it surely does taste that way, with generous exotic spices opening to reveal honeyed litchi and citrus fruits. Full-bodied, probably best categorized as off-dry but showing fine length, liveliness and complexity. Drink now-2018. NIS 225. Score 92.

Albert Mann, Riesling, Grand Cru, Schlossberg, Alsace, 2007: A fuller-bodied than usual Alsace Riesling, at this stage showing mostly a floral nose and apple and peach notes, those almost closed down because of the wine's heaviness. No fear though, for all is here in fine balance and all that is needed is time in the bottle for the elements to come together. As it does look for a mineral rich white with generous ripe peach, green apple and green melon notes, those with generous granite-like minerals in the background. Destined for elegance. NIS 210. Best 2011-2020. Score 95.
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: WTN: New Giaconda Imports (France,Spain, Austria)

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:46 am

Several people have inquired as to how to join the members' club of Giaconda. Simply go to http://www.giaconda.co.il/user/register and fill out the forum. There is no fee for membership.

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Rogov

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