It’s been a really long time since I did a standard review formal review. That’s not to say that I haven’t shared my opinion on dozens of wines – but as readers know, I won’t give a wine a grade unless I can spend some quality time with it alone and give it the requisite attention it required and opportunity to show itself at its best. During festivals, or winery visits RCC’s or other events where multiple wines are tasted in quick succession sometimes with food, sometimes without – the proper conditions are not present to fairly judge a wine. Too many wines often eventually overwhelm the palate, food often masks flaws, an outdoor festival often means that wines are served at less than optimum temperatures. That all means that while I can form an opinion at what I am tasting, I just don’t feel comfortable making it 100% definitive. I have friends who have the ability to taste through 40 wines and still accurately grade – I am in awe. (This all reminds me that I have to finish a post on a massive blind tasting that I attended about a month ago that i still haven’t had time to finish. Hopefully this week….)
In any event, Chanukah is here and like many I wanted a wine that would go well with latkes. In my family latkes are always served with apple sauce so I thought of varietals that would go well with the whole package – the oil, apples, salt and rustic earthiness of the potatoes. Roussanne. Not sure why I never thought of it before. Right now Roussanne is having it’s time in the son. Never before have there been this many quality options. Netofa Tel Qasser is king of the heap right now 2 years running. Tavor Adama has provided a quality QPR option for years. Covenant Mensch is also nice, though a step behind. the other two. While last year’s inaugural vintage was nice, the 2017 vintage was all around difficult white wise in Israel and Lueria’s other two 2017 releases I have tasted thus far are a mixed bag with the Unoaked Chardonnay a winner and the Pinot Grigio well ,not (both tasted at the aforementioned massive blind tasting) – so I wasn’t sure what to expect….
The wine clocks in at a nice 13% ABV. On the nose very typical Roussanne with quince, lemon, honeysuckle and straw. In the mouth on first first the wine presented closed and the mineral/slate flavor was very dominant. A few minutes later when the wine had warmed a degree or two, it presented much more in balance – with apples, citrus, pears and followed by that great minerality and a touch of saline. The body was medium-full to full. Bottle mentions that it spent time in steel and makes no mention of oak – though if I was tasting blind, I would have guessed that it had spent a couple of months in wood. If there is a critique here it was that I thought it could have used a bit more acid – but overall this wine is nice – though a half step behind the 2016.
So how did it go with the Latkes? Really well! As the body is more on he fuller side it stood up well to the oil for the most part (though that little bit of extra acid really would have helped here). From a flavor perspective though – you really couldn’t get much better. In fact if I do latkes again this week, I’ll likely try wit with one of the other Roussannes and see how they go as well (likely the Tavor) . In terms of price it’s not on the cheap side at all and that sort of is a bummer as it sort of fits in nicely behind the Netofa and the Tavor. If it was priced 15-20% lower, it would be a real winner. Nice for sure – but stock up? Eh…
- Price: NIS 80+
- For Aging: No
- Would I Buy Again: Probably
- QPR Rating: Average –
- Taste/Depth/Quality: OK
- Overall Rating (1-5): 3