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Penfolds, Bin 389..... Guigal, Cote Rotie.....


My favorite Israeli chef, Yonatan Roshfeld, has finally opened a place of his own in Tel-Aviv.
A large group of nine friends gathered to sample his fare. As this was our first visit, and we heard that the wine list is comparatively varied and reasonably priced - we didn't bring our own wine this time.
The restaurant is very nicely decorated, the food is on the simple side (relatively speaking) - not great, but extremely tasty.
I won't detail what nine people ate, but I had delicious stuffed fried Sardines, suckling-veal liver with bacon and puree, and Savarin sponge for dessert.
The wine list is indeed varied and rich. And the wine prices, though terrifying in absolute terms, are still on the moderate side in comparison to what is charged by other 'top notch' restaurants in Israel.
Good dinner there without wines will cost $100-$120 per couple.

Cabernet-Shiraz, Bin 389 1994 Penfolds

7/98. This winner from the great Australian winery cost $60 at the restaurant. Not too bad for a wine that costs (in a shop!) about $20 in civilized countries.
COLOR: Dark vibrant garnet color. No clearing around the rim and no sediment.
NOSE: Assertive fruity and spicy nose. Much more complex than a simple fruit bomb. Young, but very pleasant.
TASTE: Vibrant and mouthfilling. Feels warm on the palate as most Syrah-based wines do. Good fruit and winyness though not immensely deep. Very tasty with a lot of personality.
LENGTH: Medium long discernible and pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied, young and flavorful. Good acidity, fruit and winyness. Soft tannins and little or no wood. Superbly balanced.
OVERALL: Excellent! Wonderful food wine that will yet improve in a couple of years.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.

Cote Rotie 1993 Guigal

7/98. We paid $70 for this one and I think it also costs about $20 abroad.
Cote Rotie can be a wonderful wine, even at the basic Appellation level. I have tasted a few gems in the past, both by Guigal and by Chapoutier.
COLOR: Deep dark red too, though a bit lighter than the Bin 389.
NOSE: Relatively weak bouquet. No mistake about the wine, with black forest fruit, spices and all that. But the nose lacked the punch it ought to have.
TASTE: Smooth and elegant on the palate, but here again - a softie. This wine should have much more substance. Is Guigal puts all that he knows only into his coveted single-vineyard Cote Rotie?...
LENGTH: Medium length but pleasant aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium body and medium stuffing. Fruit and elegance are there, but the wine simply did not sing.
OVERALL: Very-good but frankly a bit disappointing for a Cote Rotie. No match for the Bin 389...
MARK: 16/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? No.

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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.