RCC Israel #5

After last month’s massive RCC, I  thought it would be a smaller quieter affair this month – no luck as we again had special guests from abroad. This led to the same problems as last month in terms of keeping track  of wines  – even missing some as I was also helping in the kitchen on and off throughout the night.

One note before I start – the takeaway for me was that 20 bottles is TOO MUCH to drink through and ENJOY with a meal. But the night was truly epic – and I think everyone had a great time!

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de blanc, 2008 – This wine has totally come in to it’s own. In perfect balance. The lemon, apple and toasty notes all play well together.

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Katzrin, Chardonnay, 2014 – This wine was a little young – but I think it’s going to be great. On the palate, pear and citrus. Acid and oak need to both settle a bit though. I won’t open another bottle for at least 8-10 months

Gvaot, Cabernet Chardonnay, 2014 – nothing new really to report here – good solid wine

Yaakov Oriyah, Iberian Dream, Gran Reserva, 2011- This was a bonus bottle.   Wow! What an excellent refined wine. I’m a sucker for Tempranillo. This wine does not disappoint. It tasted better than any other Tempranillo I have ever had (yes it’s a blend, but the Temp HAD to be a high percentage – didn’t really get to see the bottle – or taste much – gonna have to procure a few of these ASAP!

Ariel B’Yehuda, Merlot, 2012 – This was a surprisingly good bottle of wine. I am so happy we relaxed the rules for this month and I got to taste it. Well structured with some nice tannin – Probably has another couple of years ahead of it. Only had a few sips of this one – wanted more which of course is a good sign. Definitely worth trying to find again – however unlikely that is going to be (plus its important to support this winery specifically!)

Shirah, Power to the People, 2012 – I think a lot of people around the table didn’t like this wine. I loved it. Yes its a little over the top – but in a good way. Most of us are used to Israeli styled Syrah – this hits you in the face with fruit berries I think – and some nice spice mixed in with some nice roasted meat – all in a nice structured package. Tannin is nicely integrated. I would guess this wine is at peak.

Flam, Noble, 2010 – Do I really need to write about this wine? It ROCKED – as expected

Flam, Reserve, Syrah, 2010 – this is one that I either missed or was too drunk to type down.I was certainly too drunk to remember. Sorry.

Shiloh, Vintner’s Surprise, 2010 – This was a very nice bottle. Kept on trying to figure out what was in it. Couldn’t do it. The person who brought it  had no other information other than approximate vintage and that Amichai (Lourie – winemaker of Shiloh) did it either as a private run for someone or as an experiment – with no recollection of what was in it anymore. I liked it – and would encourage Amichai to release his experiments!

Ben Zimra, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon,2010 – All I worte here was – Don’t like.

Gvaot, Masada 2010 – Didn’t get any 

Gvaot, Gofna Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 – I remember tasting – but I definitely forgot to write anything down.

Yaakov Oryah – Hunter’s Valley Semillion,2009 – This was a bonus bottle. SO IMPRESIVE. That’s a 7 year old white that was totally alive and well and AWESOME. Tasted blind We were all asked to guess varietal, vintage and whether or not it was oaked. I only got that part right failing miserably on the first two.  Unfortunately, focusing on trying to figure out what it was, I didn’t pay attention to the specific flavors. But a beautiful round, medium bodied wine.

Carmel, Limited edition, 2008 – Again, no need to write about this wine any more than to say that this wine is firmly in it’s drinking window and of course is excellent. It never fails to impress. Has a good couple of years ahead of it too.

Shloh, Sod Reserve, Petite Verdot, 2008 – This was a wine that I was most interested in tasting. I never had a Shilo PV (in fact I’ll admit it – I didn’t even know that one was ever made) – but it was also not for me. Way too much fruit up front and too sweet.

Yatir, Forest, 2008 – Excellent as expected, but believe it or not, I don’t think this wine is 100% at peak yet with the tannin still way up front.I would think it needs another year to fully reach it’s potential we tasted it back to back with it’s brother….

Yatir, Petit Verdot, 2008 – So this was another huge surprise. Basically The PV and The forest tasted SO miliar it was crazy. But for me the PV showed better as it is at peak. Yes it has a bit less body than the Forest, but it is also NIS 100 less per bottle! Truly the surprise of the night for me – just how close it is related to the Forest. Nice , berries and cherry with some woody warm sweet spice. Really nice!

Shloh, Mosaic, 2007 – This wine has turned sweet. When I had it last – about 6 months ago it was in much better shape. Could be just this bottle – but I would say, drink up for sure – if yours hasn’t turned sweet, it’s probably headed in that direction.

Carmel, Single Vineyard, Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Shaal, 2008 – Really impressive wine. I had never had a 2008 before. Super full body with nice candied fruit flavor, plus some pineapple – very nice nutmeggy finish. Went really nicely with the Lemon Tart!


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