Our second RCC Israel for Tamuz 5776 was held on July 13th, 2016. We had one of my favorite entrees ever and besides the food being incredible – this time, EACH of the wines was either a total knockout or certainly interesting enough to warrant their appearance – what else can you ask for!
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, 2009 – The wine had only been released a short time prior to the RCC (days?). Full of Acid and citrus and missing the toasty yeasty notes that I have come to love in prior vintages. Could be I was expecting one thing and got another. Others will disagree, but I fell it’s a step behind the ’08.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, El Rom , 2003 – If it’s past peak – and that’s a big if – it is JUST past peak (at the back end it sort of drifts a touch) – this wine makes you long for what Yarden once was. A lesson in elegant restrained wine making. Great stuff!
Lueria Grand Vin, 2006 – For me, this was top of the night (I know that others will say that title belongs to the Carmel LE ’08 – and overall the LE ’08 will win, but on any given , Flnight with the stars aligned a certain way….). I mistakenly referred to it as the Grand Vidal on the menu – but it is the now discontinued Grand Vin label. What a bottle of wine. Pretty near perfect for me. Fruit is there but restrained – lots of berry – and an herb I couldn’t put my finger on. Tannin is there – beautifully integrated but still holding it together. Really great.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Single Vineyard, Syrah, Tel-Phares, 2006 – Slightly past peak – but still super enjoyable especially when paired with the lamb we were eating. Dark fruit and spice with a delicate peppery finish. Did I mention how much I miss the way Yarden used to make wines?
Shiloh, Mosaic, 2007 – This one is entering it’s peak now (I thought that last year too though so who knows) – fruit is up front and packs a punch – with a nice spicy finish. Well made and has a few good years ahead of it at least.
Carmel, Limited Edition, 2007 – A really great bottle of wine, still showing nicely. Brett has subdued somewhat, but what was there actually really went well with the lamb. Really nice.
Carmel, Limited Edition, 2008 – Notes from last month stand of course – this wine is just awesome – will just add it was super cool tasting the 07 and 08 in succession. A real contrast in flavors. It might pay to try and arrange a larger vertical.
Carmel, Mediterranean, 2009 – For me personally, the only version of this blend that has ever worked is the ’07. It was nice enough – just nothing special. (EDIT: The ’11 is also very good!)
Flam, Reserve, Merlot, 2010 – This was the weirdest/most interesting experience of the night – and I have a hard time explaining it. On opening The bottle gave off a corked odor – but after pouring, my glass was as typical as can be for this release – on the nose a bit of wood and fruit (by this time I couldn’t be more specific) – and while a little heavy handed on the oak – was super well balanced and enjoyable. People soon started complaining of the corky nose. I disagreed – in fact I detected none of it. Someone asked me to smell his glass – and yeah there was a weird corky aroma. Weirder still is that it varied from glass to glass. People agreed that my glass smelled and tasted fine (so it wasn’t me). I can’t explain it. When smelling the wine left at the bottom of the decanter, the corky smell was overwhelming.
Mia Luce, Rosso, 2010 – Surprising menthol note on the nose. Overall, the tannin is totally integrated into the wine. Really pleasant and light drink. Huge contrast to it’s Recanati Wild Carignan big brother, which is far more aggressive IMHO. Certainly not going to improve though with the tannin disappearing into the body, I would guess it’s time to drink up.
Adir, Admon Mountain, NV – So this was a very one dimensional desert wine. No depth of flavor at all. Wasn’t unpleasant, just not at all complex. What WAS interesting to me was that I could see how they got to their blush port from here. What was nice was clearly they recognized what was missing, worked out the problems and eventually released a much better product. I like and respect that.