RCC Israel Shevat 5777 was held on January 29th 2017 in Jerusalem. The food at these things just keeps on getting better and better. With a last minute cancellation and a mistakenly swapped bottle, the lineup in the menu did not match the final lineup. Very abbreviated impressions follow. Chodesh Tov!
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blanc, 2008 – No real change since the last time we had it. Wonderful bottle
Flam, Blanc, 2012 (Bonus bottle) – Alive and well – the fruit is a bit more subdued as is the acid, and sweetness. All of this actually projects as more elegant than I remember! Great stuff – but you should drink ’em if you are holding.
Flam, Reserve, Merlot, 2014 – This wine was brought by mistake – we were supposed to have a 2010 – but it was a happy accident. We ended up decanting for 3 hours or so and it started showing beautifully – certainly one of my tops of the night (maybe even the top!)
Tzora, Shoresh, 2011 – Such a great bottle. Also, IMHO on release a QPR pick almost every year as it usually can be found for about NIS 130 a bottle in places ages beautifully punching far above it’s weight. 2011 is showing wonderfully. Tannin is integrated acid an fruit are all in balance. Beautiful. Loved it. This was my bottle and I’m sad that I have no more.
Gvaot, Herodian, Vineyards Dance, 2010 – For me this is also a perennial QPR pick. I believe it is priced the lowest out of what was the Herodian series (which i think ended in 2011 – though vineyards dance is still around) at just under NIS100. But here we are 7 years after vintage and while absolute in drink up mode – still super tasty. Everything is still there the acid, the fruit – but at the end of the night a reatste showed that it was already dead. So pop, pour and drink in the unlikely event that you still have any.
Gvaot, Herodian, Merlot, 2010 – much the same as it’s brother above – I love comparing and contrasting from the same year/same series etc. I usually prefer the blend to the straight varietal here – and this proved true on this occasion as well.
Yatir, Syrah, 2010 – Solid as usual, though it was not a standout tonight.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2008 -Considering it’s age, it held up remarkably well – but it’s a bit over the hill. Was still very enjoyable – but drink up!
Herzog, Special Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2008 – Very solid Cali Cab. Someone at the table complained that it was too fruity and a bit sweet. I didn’t think so. At the end of the night it was gone – so no one was REALLY complaining….
Lueria, Grand Vital, 2008 – So before I start – at this stage of the game these bottles are hit and miss depending on storage etc. Some are just dead. But when they are on – WOW! Lueria in general is underrated IMHO – they put out well made reds and interesting whites and the Grand Vital almost never disappoints. This bottle was firing on all cylinders. Sort of straddles the line between OW and NW in presentation With some wonderful earthy notes, red berries and acid. Tannin is fading though. As I sadi – these are now hit and miss – so drink up – you might be in for a treat!
Hevron Heights, Special Reserve, 2007 – No notes here. I am sorry. Not sure why.
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, NV – A true QPR king as far as kosher port/port style wine goes. Was bought for NIS 70 on special. The only other real port available in Israel is Porto Cordovero which is not much better (if at all) and is over double that price. Went beautifully with the rhubarb.