RCC Israel # 25 – Cheshvan 5779

Wow – I can’t believe I haven’t written all month! Between the Chagim and work it’s been a little crazy. There are definitely some cool wines that I have sampled that I will have to try and write up – but for now, let’s stick to the topic at hand – this month’s RCC.

The outstanding dish for me was the Roast Chicken and Green Herb Consomme. Really special – a chicken & herb mousse was delicately piped in under the skin. Super Delicious!  A close second being the Cauliflower and Curry. The Curried grape sauce was truly amazing! Bracha & Uri did a spectacular job as always. On the wine side, a very mixed bag this month with some wines really missing the mark while others were drinking absolutely beautifully.

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, 2009  – As I have written before, this vintage has really come into it’s own and is drinking beautifully now with those awesome toasty and yeasty flavors that I love.

Or HaGanuz, Bordeaux Blend, 2010 – Unfortunately, this bottle’s cork was bad and the wine was fully oxidized.

Mia Luce, Rosso, 2012 – Finally! This was by far the best bottle of the ’12 Rosso that I have had in a very long time. It was firing on all cylinders and was truly awesome with a perfect nose and all of the flavor and depth you would expect – earthy, meaty, with dark  berries and warm spice. Tannin has softened a bit and is integrating nicely. When this bottle is on, it’s on! (looking at the pictures, it seems I left this one out of the lineup shot)

Tzuba, Merlot, 2012 – This wine had no business being brought to an RCC. It was not bad per-se – but it was not good either. At it’s best one could say it was drinkable, but sadly not balanced enough for me to be drinking at a regular meal, let alone an RCC. Pass.

Flam, Reserve, Merlot, 2010 – After tasting such a sub-par expression of Israeli Merlot, it was a true pleasure to move to one of the absolute best. I tasted this wine last in June out of a magnum and predicted that the regular format bottle would likely drink older. While I wasn’t wrong, I think this wine has a good few years ahead of it based on this bottle. Same description as in June, just with a more aged profile tannicly. No rush here, but it is at it’s peak.

Yatir, Syrah, 2010 – While I have liked this wine in the past, judging by this bottle the 2010 is now over the hill drinking pretty flat.

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Syrah, 2012 – I have not been a fan of this wine in the past and this bottle did nothing to change my mind. Super-jammy with almost no spice. Pass for me.

Carmel, Mediterranean, 2011 – No change from last month. Great bottle!

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2012 – This bottle is still super young and likely at least 2 years away from peak, but with enough decanting it was still really enjoyable. Excellent structure and balance, with mostly coffee and chocolate on the nose. In the mouth, this medium+ bodied wine mainly matches the nose on open, with palate unfolding to reveal nice dark but not too overripe fruit and then nice warm spice on the excellent finish. Like I said – give this one some time. It’s got plenty of room for growth.

Yaacov Oryah, Iberian Dream, Gran Reserva, 2011 – When an attendee offered up a Reserva this month, I decided it was time to do a proper side by side whith the Gran Reerva which I hadn’t done in a year and half. The only difference between the 2 wines is how long they spent in the barrel  with the Gran Reserva spending 3 years and the Reserva just a year. As I have written before, this wine is just great and a dead ringer for true Rioja wines. Beautful dirt and umami with great dark berries and some wonderful warm spice. This wine is likely entering it’s peak drinking period and now, and will likely stay there for a good few years.

Yaacov Oryah, Iberian Dream, Reserva, 2011 – It’s really amazing how this wine drinks so differently from it’s slightly more barrel aged twin. As per Yaacov, we tried to give this guy a LOT more air opening the bottle a good 8 hours beforehand and fully decanting for about 3 hours. Profile here is much redder and juicy than the Gran Reserva – which was surprising as I remember it being more dark and brooding. Could be the extra air. This guy drinks SOOO young. Will likely outlast the Gran Reserva- though if I had to choose one, I still pick the GR over the Reserva right now at least. In 5 years from now though, who knows….

Asif, Desert Wine, NV (’06, ’08, ’09) – This is a truly unique wine. It was started by Yaacov Oryah while still at Asif and continued by him as a private project even after Asif was folded into Midbar. The wine is a blend of 3 varietals – each from a different vintage  – ’06 Cabernet Sauvignon, ’08 Syrah and ’09 Zinfandel. I had heard of this wine before, but did not know any more of it existed. Unfortunately, I happen to think it’s past it’s prime. It sort of drank like a very interesting and well made kiddush wine  – not cloyingly sweet with some structure but very little depth. Would love to get another try and hope for a better bottle, because I have heard that in it’s prime it was quite special.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I hope to return to a more regular posting schedule.

A.

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