Most years, I really enjoy the Flam Classico. Usually it is a well made wine that can hold for a number of years and is complex enough to remain interesting and approachable enough even on release for causal drinkers to enjoy. It ‘s not cheap – the price is usually 80-90 shekels a bottle, but it provides adequate value for the price and is solid.
Keeping all of that in mind, last night when a group of friends and I decided to go out and try the new Harvey’s Smokehouse in Jerusalem, we chose the 2016 Flam Classico as the wine for the evening off of the restaurant wine list. The price at te restaurant was NIS 184 which is not at all unfair and well within the customary mark-up for wine at a restaurant.
While we are speaking about the restaurant, overall the food is OK – but not anywhere near as good as kosher smokehouse BBQ you might get in NY or Chicago. I found the falvor to be good, but a few of the dishes to be on the dry side (I’m looking at you burnt ends!) The service though was really quite excellent – and the waiter was familliar with every wine on the list – impressive! Now back to the wine…
As always, the wine is a Bordeaux + blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah (with the Syrah being the +). It clocks in at a controlled 14%.
On open, the nose was full of ripe red berries and smoked meat (to be fair, the whole restaurant smelled of smoked meat – so that might not be accurate). The wine seemed lighter and fruitier than in years past but came into focus on the finish with a really nice kick of pepper from the Syrah. I decided to let it sit and air out to see how it would develop.
After about 25 minutes, some of the fruitiness has receded – flavors are nicely balanced. a fair amount of acid but there is startlingly very little tannin – and that nice kick of peppery Syrah has faded in to the mid palate – still there, but I actually liked it where it was at the start. There are those that would argue though that it should not have been that prominent to being with in this kind of blend. Still a little thinner than I would like.
Another 20 minutes or so, and the tannin finally felt a little more present – but still less than I would have expected. The acid moved into the middle to. Still ripe fruit up in there but less than in the start. The overall effect was balance in a very New World fruit forward package. I thought that the wine had very little depth though relative to its price and my previous experience with prior vintages. Also, the light core sort of leaves doubt as to how long a shelf life this bottle has….
Still, I don’t regret picking this bottle out of what was available to me. What is most troubling though is that if you look at the progression, there is a real decline in QPR from ’14-’15-’16. I loved the ’14 and I liked the ’15 enough to stock it. The ’16 I’ll probably skip unless I end up in similar circumstance to last night….
- Price: NIS 80-90
- For Aging: No
- Would I Buy Again: Depends on the situation
- QPR Rating: Below Average
- Taste/Depth/Quality: Average
- Overall Rating (1-5): 2