Hey guys hold on,
Indeed Carmel/Yatir, Teperberg, Gvaot, and others aren't participating this year but many are including Ella Valley, Psagot, Lueria etc. so there were many good wines, Don't be so negative Yakov!
To answer your question Dan I took notes only for the most interesting/outstanding wines (always on my iphone which I synchronize with icloud so that hardly get lost! And no, I don't have an advertising contract with Apple...)
For festivals (Jerusalem, Raanana) I don't drive but I usually spit all the wines that I taste, then I get something to eat (rip off, 25 NIS for 2 mini-quiches...) and get more wine, lots!
, that I swallow.
I still got home safe last night, not sure how exactly but I did...
Psagot, Edom 2010: Dark garnet, medium to full-bodied with on the nose blackcurrants and cigar box, followed on the palate by blackcurrants, raspberries and spicy oak, white pepper with a hint of tar and dark chocolate and still searing tannins on a moderately long finish. Still young with a bit of heat, needs easily 6-8 months in the bottle to really start showing its full potential.
Tanya, Halel Blend red 2009: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. Dark purple toward garnet, medium to full-bodied with on the nose blackberries, blackcurrants and dark chocolate, these showing also on the palate together with good fruit extraction as well as raspberries, spicy-sweet oak and vanilla with mouth-coating tannins on the long and mouth-filling finish. Writing this down has made me hungry...
Tanya, Halel Merlot 2009: Dark garnet, almost full-bodied with on the nose blackberries and ripe strawberries, on the palate also blackberries as well as red currants and raspberries with notes of licorice and dark chocolate leading to a long finish. A lovely Merlot.
So I finally got to taste Gershon Ferency's wines from his organic vineyards. Unfortunately I forgot to taste his reds! As I might go back to the festival either tonight or Thursday, I wont forget then. Gershon, his wife and daughter were pouring the wines, could have made a great picture!
Ferency, Sauvignon Blanc 2011: This pale straw wine (fermented with oak staves) comes with a nice nose of citrus fruit and oak, medium-bodied with some moscato-ish frizzante that calms down after a few minutes in the glass, on the palate lemon and green apple, some toasted oak and thyme on a somewhat short-average finish. Lacked a bit of acidity but interesting indeed.
Ferency, White Blend 2011: Pale towards light gold, also fermented with oak staves, a blend I think (not sure) of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, light to medium-bodied with also citrus fruit and apple but also lemon confit on both the nose and palate. A longer finish and more acidity than the SB made for a nicely refreshing wine.
Golan Heights Winery:
I missed many of the reds so another good reason to go back.
GHW, Gamla Riesling 2011: Didn't take notes but it was very good and dry, not as good as the Carmel Kayumi but a very good wine nevertheless.
GHW, Yarden Viognier 2008: Deep gold in color, with on the nose fresh summer flowers, white peaches and toasted oak, a complex wine combining tropical and stone fruits with pineapple, mango, peaches and a hint of salted butter. Very good but a bit too much oak for me. Most the people really loved it though.
Most the usual stuff with one new wine. Drink up if you still have bottles left of the rose, seems to come to its end.
Domaine Ventura, Chardonnay 2010: Nice, even better than the already quite good 2009. Light gold with on the nose golden apples, pears and honeysuckle, the palate is concentrated, full-bodied and buttery with very good acidity promising for a potentially nice cellaring ability. Some notes of nutmeg and melon as well as mirabelle plums and toasted oak leading to a long finish. One of the best Chardonnay of the show (many were very disappointing with a way too heavy hand with oak).
Tishbi, Estate Chardonnay 2011: Light gold, medium to full-bodied,with notes of nuts, green apples and oak on the nose, with on the palate some tropical fruits, pears and citrus fruit with good acidity and a moderate finish. Solid, Tishbi keeps improving.
Tishbi, Special Reserve Sde Boker 2007: A Bordeaux-blend plus (a bit of Shiraz included). Deep garnet with ruby reflections, really nice and concentrated nose of ripe dark fruit, olives, oak, violets and mediterranean herbs. Full-bodied with on the palate rich and ripe blackberries, blackcurrants and cigar box, mediterranean herbs as well as black pepper and bakers chocolate on a long, tannic and round mouth-filling finish. The best Tishbi wine I've tasted since the Cabernet Sauvignon Gush Etzion 2002.
Lueria, Chardonnay 2011: Light gold with green reflections, a nice nose with melon, fresh flowers and green apples. Medium-bodied, with green apples and notes of honeydew along with hints of oak, good minerality and well-balanced acidtiy leading to a round finish. Very good and refreshing.
1848 were there, pouring many new wines, not as expensive as the Reserve in a new series called Fifth (or Fourth? not sure) Generation but I tasted only the rose which was nice but nothing too special. No notes here.
Recanati, Special Reserve Red 2009: Deep, almost impenetrable garnet, with on the nose blackberries, ripe raspberries and notes of blueberries, this is a full-bodied wine with rich ripe and luscious dark forest fruit as well as raspberries, mediterranean herbs and notes of cedar wood with bakers chocolate, great balance between the acidity and the mouth-coating tannins leading to a long and elegant finish. An impressive wine that is still quite young though already approachable. If you really want to open this one now I'd suggest to let it breath a good 2-3 hours and a vigorous swirl in the decanter.
Recanati, Special Reserve White 2010: Pale straw towards light gold, this blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Viognier aged 8 months in french oak barrels. On the nose tropical fruit and toasted oak as well as citrus fruit, almost full-bodied with on the palate yellow grapefruit, ripe peaches and toasted oak as well as spices and the kind of buttery creaminess that I love in the Castel Chardonnay, very nice acidity that keeps you focused and a long finish that brings together very nicely the fruit and the oak. An excellent white wine and I liked it more than the 2009.
Recanati, Rosé 2011: Deep pink candy bubblegum-ish towards ruby, fascinating color! On the nose fresh flowers and strawberries, the wine is light to medium-bodied with on the palate melon, strawberries, grapes and raspberries, medium finish. Refreshing but nothing too special, resembles the 2010.
Dalton, Alma White 2011: Light gold, medium-bodied with on the nose white peaches, honeysuckle and toasted bread, on the palate, white peaches, pears, lemon confit, brioche and hints of honey with nicely refreshing acidity well-balanced with an average finish. I liked it, it is IMHO much better than the 2010.
Tulip were pouring only one kosher wine, the Just Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. I decided not to take notes for this one.
Binyamina, Avnei Hachoshen, Syrah Odem (Ruby) 2009: Dark, deep garnet, full-bodied with on the nose blackberries, raspberries and notes of leather, these showing also on the palate together with spices, ripe plums and milk chocolate with near sweet tannins coating the mouth on the long finish.
Binyamina, Shiraz Reserve 2009: Dark garnet towards royal purple, full-bodied with on the nose red plums, blackberries and saddle leather, on the palate the plums are more dominant and juicy with some ripe blackberries as well as roasted meat and Mediterranean herbs with good acidity and tannins on a long juicy finish. Very nice Shiraz indeed.
Ella Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2011: WOW! This is the best Sauvignon Blanc I ever had! Light gold, medium-bodied with on the nose, citrus fruit, butterscotch and pears, same showing on the palate along with honeydew, yellow grapefruit, and perfect acidity leading to a long and juicy finish. What a treat!
Ella Valley, Merlot 2006: Dark garnet, full-bodied with on the nose blackberries, raspberries and some hints of black pepper, same on the palate along with red currants and licorice, notes of vanilla as well as backers chocolate and still not fully-integrated tannins on the long finish.
Ella Valley, Syrah 2007: Dark garnet towards purple, full-bodied with on the nose blackberries and plums, blackcurrants and raspberries follow on the palate with a not at all unpleasant light dusty feeling on the tongue along with hints of tar and spicy cedar wood, fresh new leather and notes of dark chocolate on a long mouth-filling finish.
At that point I started feeling quite hungry and tasted a few more wines and then moved on to food with of course much more wine to pair with cheese, olive oil and bread as well as all sorts of uber expensive quiches but it's a bit hard to think so much after so many wines...
Shiloh, Shor, Merlot 2008: Dark garnet, medium to full-bodied with on the nose blackberries and ripe raspberries, these were also on the palate with juicy red currants, spicy oak, vanilla with notes of chocolate and mouth-coating tannins on a long and round finish. Excellent Merlot, reminded me a bit of the Binyamina Reserve 2006.
Jerusalem Winery, Nikanor Merlot Reserve 2009: A Bordeaux-blend of 85% Merlot, the rest of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (exact percentages unknown to me) 15 months in french oak barrels. Interesting nose of blackberries, raspberries with hints of smoaked meat, full-bodied on the palate ripe blackberries along with blackcurrants and raspberries, spicy oak and vanilla with good tannins leading to a moderately long finish.
Jerusalem Winery, Nikanor Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009: It's the other way around here with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, the rest of Merlot and Petit Verdot also 15 months in french oak barrels. Medium to full-bodied with on the nose ripe blackcurrants and blackberries, these showing also on the palate with hints of tar and dark chocolate and near-sweet tannins on a long finish.
GMW, Barbera 2010: Dark garnet towards ruby, good concentration with notes of wet dirt and redcurrants, medium-bodied with on the palate strawberries and redcurrants along with notes of cigar tobacco and near sweet tannins in good balance with sufficient acidity leading to a moderately long finish. Quite good.
GMW, Ella 2010: The new blend mediterranean blend of the winery. 45% Syrah, 45% Barbera, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. I forgot to take note of the time it spent in barrels. Anyway nice bouquet of sour cherries and raspberries with notes of violets, medium to full-bodied with on the palate sour red cherries, ripe red plums and raspberries with notes of tobacco and coffee, good acidity and soft tannins leading to a round and long finish.
GMW, Alon 2010: That's it, the 2010 vintage is already out. 41% Syrah, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, 12 months in french oak barrels. Dark purple, medium to full-bodied with on the nose black currants, blackberries, on the palate loads of rich and ripe dark fruit as well as fresh leather, spicy oak and vanilla on a long finish. Less complex than the 2009 but ready for drinking.
That's it, looking forward to taste more wines tonight!