Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov Harry!
This was quite a wine and spirits' infused shabbat+rosh chodesh...
HHW, Pardes Merlot 2005: Got this bottle for a bargain so had to give it a shot. And I'm very glad I did! Beautiful dark burgundy red with on the nose jammy plums, ripe raspberries and cigar box with a hint of vanilla, full-bodied with on the plate raspberries, ripe cherries, blackberries, sweet plums, sweet cedar wood and notes of spicy vanilla lingering on the long finish with soft tannins gently coating the mouth as the wine developed in the glass over the course of the meal. Whereas the Isaac's Ram CabSav of the same vintage still has some time left and is very old-world and elegant with a much more restrained fruit and without the sweet cedar, this Merlot is very Israeli in style yet very good. Great job though I felt that the wine is clearly at its peak and perhaps even a bit past it so drink up!
Had a short discussion Thursday about Port on facebook and Shay from Midbar winery jumped in saying that the winery made a Port. I replied "I want to taste it!". The following morning, surprise!
Yaakov Oryah himself walks in with a bottle of Midbar/Asif Port and followed a tasting of different wines as well as a long chat on wine business, kashrut etc that was very interesting to say the least. Anyway:
Midbar, Port-style NV "Grande Finale": A not-yet released, not-yet labeled limited edition wine (about 1000 bottles produced) made of both port-style 49% Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (fermentation stopped with added alcohol), 33% late harvested Syrah 2008 and late harvested (raisins in this case) 18% Zinfandel 2009. Dark purplish towards garnet with on the nose ripe blackberries, jammy cassis, dark chocolate and caramelized nuts. Full-bodied with on the palate ripe bramble, jammy cassis and ripe plums with well-balanced sweetness and surprising acidity (no heat at all on neither nose nor palate), caramelized hazelnuts and pecan, with chocolate covered cherries lingering beautifully with supple tannins on the seemingly endless finish. Only 16% Abv. Rich and elegant, superb. Very curious to see how it will develop over a few weeks.
Topped off the meal with some peated Irish whiskey, Connemara 12 years, very nice.
Started with some good scotch: Glenfiddich 18 years and Bowmore 18 years (delicious sel de Guerande feel on the tongue's tip).
Mont sur Rolle AOC 2007: Mmmm, such nice minerality. Drinking as good as on opening 2 days ago.
Lueria, Gewurztraminer 2012: First time enjoying this treat (had the dry version a few weeks ago, might enjoying it again this week). Very very pale straw, could be mistaken as water color-wise if not for the yellow-greenish shade. Very similar to the 2011 on almost all accounts except that the lychee is not showing as much. On the nose tropical fruits with still some lychee as well as lots of pineapple and honeydew, these showing also on the slightly fizzy and light to medium-bodied off-dry palate (exactly like the 2011, that blows off after some time in the glass) together with juicy sweet citrus fruits and apples on the moderately long finish.
Binyamina, Avnei Hachoshen Yahalom (Diamond) 2007: I've waited a while to finally taste the praised (Rogov zl, Raccah and Yossie H) 2007 vintage. It didn't disappoint. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon (Galil), 30% Syrah (Judean Hills) and 20% Petit Verdot (Samson) aged separately for 20 months in new french oak barrels before the final blending. On the nose ripe forest fruits and plums as well as cigar box. Full-bodied with on the palate blackberries, raspberries, plums, herbal notes, sweet cedar, with notes of chocolate covered espresso beans and allspice with silky tannins rising on the long luscious finish. Delightful, gorgeous. Having said that, my feeling was that the wine is already at its peak and might not cellar much longer as opposed to most other reviews. I'd advise to drink now.
Topped off the meal with Carmel 100 Brandy and some other spirits.
Melave Malka, Saturday night: Did a tasting of the following:
1) Tzuba, Pinot Noir 2009 (very nice)
2) Yikvei Haroey, Merlot 2011 (delicious as always)
3) Benhaim, Tradition, Merlot 2004 (incredibly alive and kicking)
4) Domaine Netofa, Latour 2010 (Outstanding!)
5) Teperberg, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (superb)
6) Bravdo, Shiraz 2009 (finally coming ito its own, showing now surprising notes of garrigue on both the nose and palate)
7) Gvaot, Herodion, Vineyard Dance 2009 (great Bordeaux-blend)
8 ) Kinor David, KPort 8 years ('nuff said)
Wishing you all a great week and a great month of Shvat,