Knowing that I would be tasting the 2016 Grand Vin on the following Sunday I decided it would be nice to spend some time with Castel’s “second” wine this past shabbat, the 2016 Petit Castel. With few exceptions (I’m looking at you 2010 & 2015) , both the GV and PC are good to great each year – with the PC even being the better wine in some vintages (the inaugural kosher 2003 vintage comes to mind). While that is not the case this year, the 2016 Petit Castel is still VERY good (the Grand Vin is GREAT with much more depth).
A problem arose as we were away for shabbat at a hotel in Eilat and they had no spare decanters. Currently this wine really needs a good 1.5-2 hours in a decanter to show well. Between the lack of a decanter and the smaller than average wine glasses that the hotel provided, getting the wine to open up on Friday night proved a challenge. The rest of the family abandoned the wine while I nursed my glass throughout the meal. Finally started to get somewhere at dessert – but really the whole meal only lasted about an hour. I took the bottle back up to the room and saved it for the next day. My patience was rewarded as the wine was super expressive the next morning.
Clocking in at 14%, this Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot spent 16 months in French oak. The nose has dark fruit and lavender. These carry through in the mouth but elegantly without being pushed and are joined with some toasted herbs, tobacco and baker’s chocolate. At first the tannin was really aggressive. With enough air, it sort of settled down and while still mouth coating, was in balance rest of the wine which was really nice and silky-lean with medium+ acidity, My takeaway from this was that this wine while very nice now with air, should improve over the next few years and is an absolute keeper.
- Price: NIS 99
- For Aging: Yes but also enjoyable on the younger side
- Would I Buy Again: Yes
- QPR Rating: Average
- Taste/Depth/Quality: Good
- Overall Rating (1-5): 4