Life can be amusing. My first phone call of the morning was at 09:30 and was from a junior reporter at one of the local newspapers. The question was asked and I nearly burst out in laughter. "Curious One" of our older forum may no longer be with us but his/her soul lives on, for the inquiry was about why I did not attend the last night's unveiling of Recanati's 2005 Special Reserve.
Quite simple – the unveiling party was held at the home of Lenny Recanati. All of which is just fine because Lenny, the chairman of the board of the winery, is a very pleasant man and has a reputation for being a gracious host and I am certain that the evening event was a most pleasant one. My problems - and entirely mine perhaps – are several fold.
(1) I attend such events when and only when I can learn something and/or do serious tastings. To attend an unveiling held in a garden and surrounded by the aromas of flowers, grass and food, no matter how lovely that may be, does not allow for serious tasting. Such can make for great fun, but truth be told I do not attend such events for fun. "Fun" is something I reserve for my private time. As much as they may offer pleasure, tastings are work.
(2) I have a personal policy of not visiting the homes of winery executives. Accepting such personal hospitality, no matter how well intended, can indeed impact on one's objectivity.
(3) I had already tasted this wine three times in the past – first as components from barrels, twice from the barrels, and once in an advance tasting. And, to make things even "nicer", yesterday I received a bottle of the wine for tasting blind in my own tasting room. That tasting was done this morning and my updated tasting note follows. Along with that, my compliments to Lewis Pasco who was the winemaker responsible for this wine.
Oh yes...As much as I am all in favor of those just starting on their way in journalism, I suggested to the reporter in question that on the next occasion she phoned me it would be a good thing for her to have at least one intelligent question to ask.
Recanati, Special Reserve, 2005: Full-bodied, dark garnet towards royal-purple, with once firm tannins now integrating nicely with spicy and vanilla-rich wood. Aged in barriques for 19 months, this blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, all from the Upper Galilee, shows fine balance and structure. On first attack blackcurrant, blackberry and a hint of anise, those followed by lightly toasted, near-sweet cedar and oak along with an appealing hint of black licorice. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2014. NIS 180 (about US$ 50) Score 93. K (Re-tasted 14 Aug 2008)