RCC Israel # 23 – Elul 5778

Another RCC has come to a close. This month our chefs Uri & Bracha papered us with an Asian inspired menu – and each dish really shined. I would point out the highlights, but really, they were all incredible, the Sashimi had incredible freshness and heat, the Pho had some incredible flavors layered in a bowl of goodness, the deconstructed Bahn Mi was something people couldn’t get enough of and –  to top it all off – the Asian inspired take on Lemon Meringue Pie was nothing short of a slice of heaven. Truly one of our best themed meals ever. On the wine front, we had a mixed bag some absolutely stunning wines and a few real clunkers.  Here are the notes :

Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, 2009 – This wine is now developing those awesome toasty notes that I love. Really coming into it’s own.  Such a pleasure to drink.

Four Gates, Ayala, Chardonnay, NV (Bonus Bottle)  – Rare do we get a wine that every person at the table loves. This one really hit  the spot. Raccah’s description on release is right on the nose. Adding to what he said, the wine also drinks totally clean and unmuddled. The fact that Benyo was able to coax out that creamy buttery goodness – WITHOUT going through malolactic fermentation is a tour de force -as it also allowed the  wine to retain it’s incredible bright profile. Some people online were mentioning a couple of months ago that they thought this was not yet ready and that the oak was bringing it out of balance for now. I beg to differ. Really LOVE this wine!

Kitron, Tigra, Reserve, 2008 (Bonus Bottle)  If you want to know what people mean by date juice, this is it. It was also near dead.

Mia Luce, Rosso, 2012 – This bottle was in OK shape and quite enjoyable, though not in peak form. Bottle variation continues to be a problem.

Gvaot, Herodion, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 – (Note: While the printed menu mentions an Or Haganuz wine, a mix-up resulted in this instead.) Nice enough though nothing special. Impressive that it still held up – but drink ’em if you got em, – this one is certainly not getting any younger….

Gvaot, Masada, 2010 – This wine has not really changed at all since the last time we had it other than it being a touch softer. This wine is really beautiful and should hold another year or so. One of the  most enjoyable wines of the night for me. Unfortunately, my last bottle.

Gvaot, Masada, 2008 – This was interesting to compare to the 2010 we had right before it and the LE from the same vintage year 2008 that we had right after. A clear consistency in overall profile with the 2010, though this wine is now past peak and a bit out of balance with the fruit a bit more pronounced than I remember – but its been a while. While the weakest of the 3 it was still very nice and impressive after 10 years.

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2008 – No real change here from the last time about 6 months ago. At peak and remains one of my favorites. In the top 3-4 for me of the night.

Carmel, Mediterranean, 2012 – Still  a little too young to appreciate fully. Currently I think it’s behind the ’11 but in the same basic style. Will likely revisit in a year.

Adir, Plato, 2012 – Been a while since I had a Plato. Unfortunately this one didn’t do it for me. Fond it  sort of unexciting. Full bodied, chocolate and cherries and sweet wood. Not really the complexity level I was looking for from  a wine in this price range.

Tzora, Misty Hills, 2012 – I last tasted this at a blind tasting in October where it really didn’t show impressively  – it wasn’t bad or anything, just sort of flat and uninteresting. The bottle we had at RCC though was much better showing the depth and elegance and much more in line with what I remember tasting on release.   The nose had plum, herbs and some nice earthy tones. In the mouth  raspberries, herbs, coffee & tobacco wrapped up in some nice earth. The acid and tannin have started to integrate nicely That actually hadn’t changed from my October tasting  – which points to this wine perhaps not lasting as long as one would expect for a Misty Hills. Still – really nice.

Carmel, Kayoumi, Shiraz, 2012 – This wine spent nearly 4 hours in a decanter and it is simply still too young. I mean the basic building blocks are there  – but it’ just a waste to drinking this right now – with the tannin overpowering and the flavors and wood not really integrated. Leave these alone for at least another year before trying .

Château de Valandraud, Saint-Émilion, 2003 -So here is a perfect example of how vintage really can effect the quality of a wine. We had the 2001 about a year ago, and while it showed very nicely, the wine has fully matured and is now time to drink up. I was warned with the 2003 that this guy is not only is he showing young, it would likely need up to 6 hours in a decanter to be approachable. Well, we didn’t have that much time, so a pass through a Vinturi and 3+ hours would have to suffice. Luckily the wine was approachable and absolutely delicious. Wonderful layers of flavor with beautiful dark ripe fruit with plums and cassis, nice toasted herbs and hints of menthol keeping it fresh with tobacco, and more earth on the finish. Easily the best wine of the night for me.

Binyamina, Reserve, Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, 2015 – While not the best or most complex dessert wine around, this remains a solid choice . I chose this as the dessert wine only after getting a peek at the menu and it was perfectly matched if I do say so myself – showing more citrus and a touch of pith and healthy acidity and less of the honey I one might get if this had aged (though I am not sure if this particular vintage is really suited for the long hall)  – it was a match made in heaven.

Chodesh Tov!

2 thoughts on “RCC Israel # 23 – Elul 5778

  1. Awesome. Had the Four Gates Ayala Chard this past Sunday and it was amazing. As with the Mia Luce as I’ve told you numerous times we never had a bottle that was anything short of stellar.

    • What am I gonna tell you – luck of the draw? When you get a good bottle, its AWESOME. My theory is actually that i’s a cork problem and not a wine problem. The 2012 is the only wine that has this issue.
      Regarding the Chard – best Chard of the year hands down for me. A pure joy.

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