Crazy night this was. The food rocked as always thanks to Uri Zaltzman & Bracha Arnold. My thanks to Penina & Jack Kustanowitz for hosting an unruly bunch of drunks. And the wines – well first the bad – we had 4 flawed bottles 2 of which were corked (TCA) and 2 of which probably had faulty corks IMHO. On the other side of the spectrum, we had some of the most incredible kosher wines ever produced. Here is the rundown:
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Brut, Rosé, 2011 – I have to guess this was an off bottle – for a wine so young, it seemed to be totally missing the acidity. Also, it seemed to flat within minutes after pouring – which has not ever been my experience with any of the prior vintages or ANY GHW bubbly for that matter.
Mia Luce, Bianco, 2011 – Dead AND Corked – winning combo
Latour Netofa, 2014 (Bonus Bottle) – Wine was very tight on open and had a number of bitter notes at the end that I found held common ground with this year’s just released Tinto though sharing none of the same varietals (from the barrels maybe?) – With enough time and air, the wine calmed down and slowly started to show better & better IMHO – though I know others did not care for it. Also this wine was tasted blind for everyone other than myself and one other guest
Carmel, Appellation, Reches Adom (Ridge Red, 2014 (Bonus Bottle) – Tasted blind for everyone but the guest who brought it. I guessed the winery, series, wine and 2 out of three varietals used in the blend on this one – missed the vintage and the Mourvedre – Drinks really, really well for a NIS 30 bottle of wine.
Adir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kerem Ben Zimra, 2011 – Nice fruit forward cab – with some excellent acid – tons of red berries and sweet herbs and wood. Could have used a bit more body I think – but pleasant nonetheless. I was actually surprised at how well this wine is holding up.
Adir, A, 2011 – tasted right after the Adir Cab – I much preferred this – more rounded and balanced – though I would have preferred more acid (maybe I should have blended the 2 Adirs ) – but overall a very nice fruit forward blend with some excellent tannin – cherry and red berry were the notes that I got with a hint of something bitter on the finish though I couldn’t place what.
Carmel, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, Shiraz, 2011 – While not corked – this bottle was seriously flawed tasting like Styrofoam and packing tape. The cork looks like it might have been defective. Whatever. A real bummer as I brought this bottle….
Flam, Reserve, Syrah, 2010 – This wine has developed nicely over the years. The chocolate previously present has faded – but other than that (and that is not necessarily a flaw anyhow) I think the wine is in excellent shape – drinking beautifully with the berries and earth taking more of a prominent role. Still holding up well and other than the faded chocolate – showing no signs of decline.
Yatir, Petit Verdot, 2011 – Corked
Terra di Seta, Chianti Classico, Reserva, 2010 – Everyone loved this. I thought it was just OK – missing the earth that I really like on the regular classico – it thought there was way to much cherry and sweet wood and spice. Again – not a bad wine – just nothing to write home about.
Yaacov Oryah, Iberian Dream, Gran Reserva, 2011 – Continues to improve gaining even more depth. Tannin is softening – but really only ever so slightly – tons of ripe red fruit, sweet spice, all wrapped up in a nice layer earth – plenty of time ahead of it – peak in another 2 years?
ElviWines, Clos Mesorah, 2009 – I LOVED this wine. A dearth of decanters meant that this guy needed a little time in the glass to get going but – there are layers and layers and layers of flavors here. Tons of Berries and herbs and tobacco and earth – with some excellent acid to hold it together. Tannin is integrating though still very assertive. Probably still hasn’t even reached full potential .
Château de Valandraud, Saint-Émilion, 2001 – This wine is lovely. Silky and smooth – with integrated Tannin and a touch of acid still keeping things balanced. Some forest floor, cherry and tobacco. The wine is super soft and enjoyable – though I would doubt it has many years ahead – so if you are lucky enough to be holding, time to start treating yourself.
Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, 2003 – What a dirty, dirty, beast this wine is. I have been only able to admire this wine from afar until now – well worth the wait – nothing really to add to the volumes already written here – the wine is a POWERHOUSE – decanted for a few hours and still showed searing tannin. Bold and muscular – with a finish that goes on and on. This wine is in its infancy. I hope to be zoche to taste again in 3 or 4 years when I expect it will be even more mind blowing.
Flam, Noble, 2011 – Wow. That’s all I can say. For me this was the most impressive wine of the night – not the best (though not far off) – but the most impressive. If you tasted this blind, I am sure you would guess French – stood up to the 2 aged Frenchies that we were served PRIOR to it – which makes it even more impressive. This was the last wine before desert and it was a really wonderful way to close the evening.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, T2, 2011 – Certainly an improvement over the disjointed 2010, this wine still doesn’t really come close to the 08/09’s – rather soft for a wine that was just released – and uni-dimensional.