Due to some very unfortunate family circumstances, I’ve been unable to post this past month and this month’s RCC was put together at the last minute. For that reason I sort of decided to be super laid back. Uri who cooked solo this month did a Chinese Takeout theme which sort of meshed with the laid back wine theme. What’s really impressive is that Uri did not grow up with many of these dishes as they are uniquely NY based Jewish Chinese dishes – so the Hot & Sour Soup and General Tso’s Chicken were things he heard and read about, but had no real experience with. Having said all that, while I prefer my Hot & Sour soup both more hot and more sour (Uri let diners add their own white pepper and vinegar to the soup as season ing to bring it in line with each person’s taste), the General Tso’s might have been the best I’ve ever had. Same is true for the Banana Fritters – just excellent. The lamb ribs were a call back to the veal spare ri that used to be a staple on NY Chinese menus (and is no longer found at all – last trip in I really got in the mood for those ribs and checked no fewer than 4 Chinese places, none of them make it any more – don’t know why). In any event this was the only time since moving here that I have had anything resembling the Chinese food I grew up with. Time for Uri to open a restaurant. But we are here for the wine so let’s get to it. As noted, the list was a bit more laid back than usual – and I was fine with that.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Brut, Rosé, 2012 – This was the first time this newly released vintage made an appearance at RCC and the second time I have had it. A huge winner. Much prefer it to the 2011 vintage which I found inconsistent. already showing some of the yest that I crave backed by nice acid and a great strawberry lime profile.
Dalton, Kna’an, Rosé, 2018 (Bonus Bottle) – I was super excited to taste this as last year this bottle was an absolute star. Unfortunately, as was the case with the next bottle we tasted, the wine was still suffering bottle shock. Even taking that into account though, my initial impression was not positive. I’ll probably give it another try in a month or so though just to be sure.
Recanati, Gris de Marsellan, Rosé, 2018 (Bonus Bottle) – A perennial favorite and often the best Israeli Rose. Unfortunately this too was bottle shocked. Tasted again at the end of the night and it was starting to wake up. Showed even passably. I would hope that in another month this guy will be a blockbuster. Time will tell.
Covenant, Lavan, Chardonnay, 2013 – This wine has matured very nicely. Oak nicely integrated producing a creamy Cali chard with a nice nuttiness. Really excellent.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Single Vineyard, Syrah, Ortal, 2004 – While not dead – fairly close. Zero acid left and fruit dying.
Latour Netofa, 2013 – This wine divided the table as Netofa often does. Half loved it – half thought it had a bitter note. While there was a slight bitterness at start, it mostly blew off in a minute in the glass and what was left actually added to the profile IMHO. I thought the wine lovely, more elegant and slightly lighter in body that the ’12 with nice blue fruit and excellent spice. Probably 6 months to a year away from peak at this point.
Mia Luce, Rosso, 2012 – This is my 3rd good bottle of this in the last 2 months. When it’s on, it truly shines as an absolutely awesome Carignan – one of the Israel has to offer.
Moreli, Masanto, 2012 – This is the first appearance by the winery at our RCC and it was an interesting bottle. A few words about the winery –
Moreli is a distributors label – specifically Elron Wine who distributes Dada and Ben-Zimra among others and through the 2014 vintage was also the distributor for Mia Luce. This is the distributor’s own label – and this their highest end wine within that label. It retails in Israel for north of NIS 200 (about $55). Right off the bat leet me say that it’s not worth that price. Few wines are. Having said that, it was a well made wine with far less oak and made with more restraint fruit wise than I would have imagined. Don’t get me wrong – this is still an fruit forward Israel. But it is not over the top at all. Medium body with ice red fruit and some floral notes. The wine is a blend of 40% Shiraz, 30% Merlot, 20% Petit Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot and comes in at a very nice 13.9% ABV. Were this wine selling for NIS 125 or so I’d likely pick up a couple. I’ll include a picture of the back label for this one as well in case anyone is interested.
Terra di Seta, Chianti Classico, Reserva, 2010 – This wine showed very nicely this evening – likely becasue it was in more appropriate company than the last time we had it. Super food friendly wine that went really nicely with the Beef Lo Mein
Yatir, Petit Verdot, 2013 – This wine should have been decanted and was not. I had the patience to let the wine sit in the glass and was rewarded . Others did not. Still very young. Excellent extracted almost black fruit with intense spice. Needs at least another year before trying again.
Flam, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – Showed nicely, but is likely entering drink up at this stage as it is a touch diminished from where I remember it being. With nice dark fruit and integrated tannin and some acid still holding it together. The fruit is a little jammier than it used to be and perhaps a touch out of balance. Like I said, drink ’em if you are holding.
Carmel, Single Vineyard, Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Shaal, 2016 – No real change from the last time we had it, still a baby – but nicely matched to the dessert.