Kielbasa Sausage Stew, Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon, and Four Gates Chardonnay

This past weekend we were surrounded by many of our friends, from close and far, and it was a truly lovely evening. I have always said that food and wine are greatly improved by the company that surrounds you. One of our guests was a close friend who left some 10 or more years ago from our area, so it was really great seeing him again. Benyamin of Four Gates Winery joined us as well for the evening and shared some wines with us along with one of our guests who brought a bottle of Psagot Cabernet.

The evening started with one of our consistent hits – Herb Encrusted Baked Fish Loaf, alongside olives, chumus, and jalapeno salsa. The fish was paired with a fantastic 2005 Four Gates Chardonnay and a 2005 Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was perfectly paired with the fish, while the Psagot was a bit too astringent for our liking.

For the main course, the fish was followed by another wonderful dish that we have made a few times – Kielbasa Stew, Brown Basmati rice, and fresh green salad. The Red C followed the lackluster Psagot and was also lackluster to us. The last time we tasted the 2006 Covenant Red C we LOVED IT! This time however there was a lack of depth and body that truly surprised us. That was followed by the two highly enjoyable 2004 Ella Valley Cabernets. These wines are really supposed to be twins at birth, but they seem to have been separated at some time, as they each showed different characteristics. The two wines were the 2004 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2004 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Israel 60 Special Edition. They start off quite different and even with air do not change from their separated paths. However, after a fair amount of time the twines were finally reunited, but lacking some of the concentrated characteristics that make them super special, but still quite lovely. Benyamin also brought a bottle of the 2005 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. It showed as well as the last time we tasted it (also with Kielbasa Stew and Tajine), and was enjoyed by all. The dinner was capped off with a killer dessert brought by another of our guests, who we jokingly call our local artisan bakery! The wonders she creates are always devoured, with crumbs nowhere to be found. This past week she honored us with a rum soaked sponge cake with rum frosting – killer!! It was paired with leftovers of the 2005 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon and a bottle of the 2006 Tzora Or Shoresh Gewurztraminer. This wine was one of the two highest scoring wines when Robert Parker and Mark Squires held their first ever wine tasting of Israeli wines. It was scored a 92 by them both and I scored it a way too high score of A+ when I was at the winery in March 2008. This time it was a lovely wine but not an A+ but very close to a 92, more like an A-, which is a really fine wine. It is clearly at its peak or a drop below it, drink up.

Many thanks to all my friends who shared their wine and food with us and may we all be blessed to share time and food with our friends and family. The wines are listed in the order they were enjoyed:

2005 Four Gates Chardonnay – Score: A-
We last tasted this wine during a winery visit in 2009 and we loved it even more now. The nose on this gold colored wine is screaming with caramel, butterscotch, butter, straw, apple, peach, apricot, cut grass, lemon, and smoky toasty oak. The mouth on this full bodied wine is rich and concentrated with toasty oak, rich full summer fruit, butterscotch, lemon, and peach. The mid palate is balanced and bracing with acid, butter, toasty oak, butterscotch, caramel, and peach. The finish is super long and rich with toasty oak, summer fruit, smoky notes, caramel, nice butterscotch, with a touch and finish of cut grass and hay.

2005 Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B to B+
The nose on this garnet colored wine shows crushed herbs, cranberry, raspberry, plum, oak, black plum, licorice, chocolate, and tobacco. Over time the nose turns blacker with blackberry and black plum. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is spicy and mouth coating with raspberry, plum, and blackberry. The mid palate is a bit astringent with acid, tobacco, nice integrated tannin, and oak. The acid is over the top, but it does seem to calm down over time. The finish is long, spicy, and bright with raspberry, plum, oak, nice tannin, and tobacco.

2006 Covenant Red C – Score: B+ to A-
We had much higher expectations for this wine since the last time we tasted this, but it was not to be. The nose on this purple colored wine is the high point of this wine with rich chocolate, oak, smoky notes, raspberry, plum, blackberry, and herbs. The mouth on this medium bodied wine was missing, clearly lacking though showing raspberry, black fruit, and plum. The mid palate is balanced with oak, nice tannin, and chocolate. The finish is average with spicy oak, chocolate, tannin, raspberry, plum, and vanilla. The wine lingers with black fruit, vanilla, and a touch of herbs.

2004 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Score: A-
The nose on this lovely dark garnet to black colored wine is similar to its near twin Israel 60 Special Edition in structure, with each showing different lovely notes. The nose on this dark garnet to purple colored wine is hopping with chocolate, tobacco, cedar, vanilla, raspberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, herbs, and mint. The mouth on this full bodied wine is rich and concentrated with ripe plum, blackberry, cassis, and a full mouth feel from integrated tannins. The mid palate is balanced with cedar, tannin, tobacco, and crushed herbs. The finish is super long and sensuous with black plum, spicy notes, cedar oak, chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla. The wine lingers long with chocolate, tobacco, vanilla, black plum, and cassis.

2004 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Israel 60 Special Edition – Score: A-
The nose on this dark garnet to black colored wine is exploding with roasted meat, smoky notes, vanilla, ripe blackberry, cassis, black plum, fig, raspberry, and tobacco. The mouth on this full bodied wine is mouth coating and concentrated with lovely tannin, ripe plum, blackberry, cassis, and raspberry. The mouth is concentrated and packed with nice fruit. The mid palate is balanced with acid, spicy oak, spice, tannin, tobacco, and licorice. The finish is long, spicy, and extracted with tobacco, spicy oak, roasted meats, ripe plum, and blackberry. The wine lingers with tobacco, plum, spicy oak, and vanilla.

2005 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Score: A-
The nose on this dark garnet to black colored wine is filled with blackberry, cassis, plum, oak, and spice.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied is concentrated with fruit that follows the nose, blackberry, cassis, and plum.  The mid palate is balanced with oak and still gripping tannins.  The finish is long and graceful, with spicy oak, black pepper, cassis, and a hint of leather.

2006 Tzora Shoresh Or Gewürztraminer – Score: A-
The nose on the gold to amber colored wine is popping with floral notes, grapefruit, pear, guava, mango, honey, and pineapple. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is concentrated with a sweet tooth, ripe rich fresh and fleshy fruit, pear, grapefruit, honey, guava, and a nice floral hit to boot. The mid palate flows off the mouth and is balanced with nice acidity, honey, and sweet mango. The finish is long and fun with sweet rich and ripe mango, guava, honey, and acid with a touch of butterscotch. The mouth on this wine is rich and sweet but is also balanced with enough acidity and butterscotch to make the world go round.

Posted on November 29, 2010, in Food and drink, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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