RCC Israel #3 in honor of Av 5776 took place on August 16th, 2016. The evening was plagued with logistical issues – the host and 2 attendees canceled last minute necessitating a last minute scramble for replacements. But the evening ended up being a success. As always, my informal notes follow.
Golan Heights Winery, Gamla, Brut, NV – As always, a crowd pleaser. Nothing new to add except that I would say that I actually prefer it to the recently released ’09 BdB.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Rom, 2006 – So I can say that this wine is technically perfect. You can see how much work went in to creating it. I say this pretty much every time I drink one of the earlier Yarden Cab’s – you can literally taste the skill that went in to creating it. The wine is at peak – all flavors acidity and tannin in perfect harmony. The one downside for ME (caps on purpose) is that when comparing it to lets say the Gofna – there was something missing. While I wouldn’t call it “soulless”, it felt slightly engineered – not sure if I am describing that right. But I was in the minority there. I think most other thought this to be the winner of the night.
Alexander, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 – Fruit forward wine that wasn’t bad for it’s style though with absolutely no finish – this wine is drink up. Worked really well as a counterbalance to the spicy watermelon soup though.
Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 (replaced the listed Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009) – As noted below, much more typical in flavor than the ’10 – with the fruit taking a much more central role. Again – you can taste the added Syrah – with a nice spiciness. This wines finish was super short and I am guessing it’s best years are behind it. Drink up….
G’vaot, Gofna Reserve, Cabernet Savignon, 2009 (Replaced the listed Flam Syrah 2010) – For me, this actually might have been my most favorite wine of the night – though I seemed to be in the minority with everyone else preferring the Rom 2006. This wine was just excellent – and probably has another few good years ahead of it. Beautiful dark fruit up front with some rich dark chocolate coming up and well balanced integrated tannin. Really great wine. The word I used last night to describe it was “soulful”.
Katlav, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – Not sure what they were going for here. Tasted overly oaked – overpowering anything else in the glass.
Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – So this was the controversial wine of the night. It had the unfortunate luck of following the truly excellent Gofna – and the flavor profile is not typical CabSav. It was much “dirtier” I would say with some really prominent wet earthy notes, upfront oak and some currant. If I remember correctly there was a healthy amount of Syrah thrown into it (10%?) and it showed. The earth was even prominent on the nose – which I think some misinterpreted as bad – though I am pretty sure that this bottle tasted similar last time I had it – though I really can’t remember 100%. It compounded it’s bad luck by being followed by a much more typical tasting ’08 Yatir CabSav. I think had we tasted it before the Gofna, the reaction would have been totally different. The wine still has a ton of life yet and I will be trying to find another bottle to re-taste if I can.
Yatir, Syrah, 2010 – In the ’10 Syrah/Shiraz duel – this surprisingly was the winner for me. Truly excellent. Stood up to the smokiness and spice of the pastrami – and actually complemented it. Really nice.
Carmel, Kayoumi, Shiraz, 2010 – Very pleasant but was overpowered by the homemade Pastrami. Typical Syrah spice – medium bodied. Would have shown better if it was paired with a less spicy dish and was not followed by a much more full bodied and flavored Syrah….
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Noble Sémillon, 2007 – The most interesting wine of the night for me. Really nice honeyed- nutty taste with a spicy? finish. Not sure how to describe the spice – but there was a pleasant tangyness there. Very nice.