Shavua Tov Harry!
I wanted to do some interesting comparative tastings between 2 high quality and unusual blends, the 2010 Latour Netofa and 2010 Shirah Syrah-Mourvèdre, the Netofa being also a blend of these varieties. They could hardly be more different one from the other.
Domaine Netofa, Latour Rouge 2010: The second vintage for the flagship red wine of Miodownick's winery at Mitzpe Netofa in the Lower Galilee. A blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre that spent 13 months in french oak barrels. Very dark garnet towards purple with on the nose blackberries, plums, saddle leather, cigar tobacco, wet dirt and freshly ground pepper. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate blackberries, loamy dirt, black pepper, plums, graphite and more minerals, roasted game meat with a note of oregano, smoked wood and nice supporting acidity and tannins that linger on the long and earthy finish. I can't think of a single israeli wine that resembles this one (aside from its "little brother" Domaine), it has matured nicely since I first had it about a year or so ago and its elements have finally come together. Very old world in style, quite restrain. I'd be really interested to give it another shot in some 3 or 4 years.
Shirah Wine Co., Thompson Vineyard, Syrah/Mourvèdre 2010: A blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre, both sourced from the Thompson Vineyard in Santa Barbara County and aged for 24 months in french oak barrels out of which 1/3rd were new. Dark, very thick garnet in color with a purple hue. On the nose, some tropical and white stone fruit including citrus notes, fresh wild blueberries, cinnamon and ripe blackberries. Full-bodied and layered with the highest (bracing) acidity I've encountered so far in a (bottled) Shirah wine with sweet ripe (but not overripe) red and black fruit with loads of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and a hint of cherries with warm and sweet spices such as cinnamon and cloves, chocolate, leather and tar with sweet vanilla-flavored tobacco and almost chewy tannins that gently rise and coat the mouth on the very long finish. So different from the Netofa, so new world, so fruit-forward, so good! By far the best Shirah wine I've tasted so far structure-wise. Awesome wine!
Carmel, Appellation, Petite Sirah Old Vines 2005: Dead. Drink up.
Thank G-d I had some leftover from the Netofa.