Had many exciting wines for (Shushan) Purim, some were big hits and a few were true plonk but as we say, that was "for the cause"
Fasten your seat belts!
Champagne Pommery Brut N.V.: Light yellow gold with on the nose apples, tart nectarines and a hint of brioche. Medium-bodied with nice yet short bubbles with notes of gold floury apples, nectarines and butterscotch with hints of ripe lemon and yellow grapefruit with some minerality as well showing throughout with a nice creamy mouth-feel from the mid-palate towards the moderate and yeasty finish. Not much complexity here but a nice Champagne, terrible QPR though. The Yarden Bdb is incomparably better.
GHW, Yarden Pinot Noir 2007: Was nice and didn't feel past its peak but tasted way too heavy and spicy for a Pinot.
GHW, Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2003: Dark garnet towards cherry red, on the nose ripe cherries, red plums and cassis along with a hint of milk chocolate. Full-bodied and smooth with on the palate ripe cassis, cherries, blackberries, plums, tobacco and some roasted herbs on the long, elegant finish. Was really nice and didn't seem at all to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Bustan, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: Very dark garnet with purple reflections, on the nose intoxicating aromas of sweet cherries, blackberries and cassis along with dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, with on the palate crushed berries, cherries, layers of blackberries and cherries along with black licorice and mediterranean herbs with a dollop of tar and smoky-sweet pipe tobacco, nice bracing acid providing a good backbone with the nice tannins gently coating the mouth on the long and luscious finish. Beautiful wine.
Celler de Capçanes, La Flor del Flor del Primavera, Montsant 2010: 100% Grenache from old vines some being 100 y.o. and more this is a superb wine, bold with dense black fruit on the nose including blackberries, blueberries and redcurrants along notes of smoked meat. Full-bodied with ripe black and red forest fruit as well as layers of smoked meat, toasty oak, lead pencil, kirsch liquor, saffron and spicy vanilla lingering with very nice acid and almost searing tannins on the long, round and elegant finish.
There was an absolutely horrible Cabernet Sauvignon I had never seen before, from Italy and Mevushal that was disjointed, stewed sweet, AWFUL. Another bottle, Cabernet Sauvignon from Har Bracha from a boutique israeli winery I had mysteriously never heard of that was also showing very poor.
Ella Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Dark garnet towards purple with on the nose ripe cassis, plums and vanilla. Full-bodied with on the palate again ripe cassis and plums along with sweet cherries, a hint of loamy dirt and minerals with a touch of graphite, spicy vanilla, sweet cedar and soft tannins on the long and round finish. Very nice, but lacking a bit of acid and by far not as nice as the 2008 I tasted a few weeks ago.
Binyamina, Reserve, Gewürztraminer Late Harvest Cluster Select 2010: The first time I tasted this wine was last month at the kosher wine fair here in Jerusalem and thought it was the best dessert Gewurz of the show (VS Carmel Sha'al 2008 and Yarden Heightswine 2011). It also didn't disappoint this time. Deep gold with on the nose screaming peaches, sweet lychee, honeysuckle and dried apricots with a spicy funkiness also there to remind that 15-20% of the grapes were impacted with botrytis fungus. Full-bodied with on the palate again sweet peaches, tangerines, passion fruit, hints of white pepper coming through with dried apricots, spicy honey and almost a minty touch that gives some freshness on the long finish. Yummy.
Monday, Purim Seuda:
Shirah Wine Co., Power to the People, Syrah 2009: FINALLY! After years of being teased by fellow forumites enjoying this wine I got to enjoy it also myself thanks to Mr Dave Raccah. Muchos gracias Dave!
By the way this was not only the first time (and unfortunately probably the last too) I had the PttP but also my first ever Weiss Bros/Shirah wine!
So, as most of you know that already, this bottle features what I consider as the most awesome label I've ever seen on a bottle of wine, this is a blend of 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier from the Thompson and McGinley Vineyards in Ojai, CA (Santa Barbara County), aged for 14 months in mostly new french oak barrels. Dark cherry red with a light purple hue with on the nose the Viognier providing some surprising (ok not so surprising as this was reported many times on this forum) but obvious notes of fresh flowers and white stone fruits including peaches and apricots. Following that, notes of dark plums, black and raspberries along chocolate and smoky tobacco. Full-bodied yet not so much bold or powerful as opposed to what I was expecting, black and red forest fruit again with notes of cherries on first attack going to reveal sweet cassis liquor and tobacco on the mid-palate and then dark chocolate and cracked black pepper with a hint of sweet wood on the long finish featuring some nicely integrated tannins. My feeling was that the wine is either at or nearing its peak and perhaps that was only my bottle but I don't believe this will age well more than 2 years from now. Anyway it was a great experience and an empty bottle (was emptied VERY quickly and enjoyed by all) that I will definitely keep. Kudos to Gabe and Shimon.
Carmel, Appellation, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: I didn't take notes at that point but it was resembling a bit the Ella Valley CabSav 2008 (TN below) with less complexity and blackbone. Nice wine anyway and excellent QPR.
GHW, Hermon 2012: For the cause.
Carmel, Selected, Merlot 2011: Same here...
Kinor David, Sherry Andalousie: YUM. Huge crowd pleaser.
That's it for Purim. Following is the aforementioned TN for the Ella Valley CabSav 2008 which I tasted 3 weeks ago in Tel Aviv.
Ella Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: Dark purple with on the nose ripe black currants, smoked wood, black pepper. Full-bodied with on first attack ripe cassis and black currants followed by smoked meat, black olives, Mediterranean herbs and more juicy cassis, cracked pepper and a hint of vanilla with silky tannins lingering on the long finish. Superb.
A representative for Tzora winery also stopped by this afternoon to give a taste of the 2011 Judean Hills:
Tzora, Judean Hills 2011: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Syrah from both the Neve Ilan and Shoresh vineyards aged 14 months in french oak barrels. Dark clear garnet with on the nose red cherries, redcurrants, blackberries and toasted oak. Medium-bodied with on the palate cherries, mediterranean herbs, blackberries and redcurrants with notes of toasted oak and smoked meat, soft tannins and a rather short and bitter finish. Lacking acidity, backbone and harmony between the blend's components. Left me unimpressed.