Three Adir Winery Wines from the Galilee of Israel and a Covenant Red C
This past Passover was such a real kick, we shared food and wine and time with friends and family throughout the entire Passover and it was such a real treat. For the evening of seventh day of Passover, we were alone and I made some braised shoulder roast and my wife had some brisket leftovers from the Shabbos meal.
To enjoy the meal, I opened a bottle of the 2005 Galil Mountain Yiron, a wine that has let me down twice recently, but not on that day! WOW! That wine is insane! Rich, layered, and full of tannin that coats and dusts your mouth – really nice, but please beware – this wine is throwing TONS of sediment, hand painting sediment!
The next day was a real treat! We had friends come over and one of them shared a bottle of 2006 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon, that he received from another wine aficionado – thank you so much Rafi for sharing!!! We paired that with a bottle of the 2009 Adir A, a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, a bottle I bought in Jerusalem from my guys: Gabriel Geller and Chalom – partners of the Wine Windmill.
To be fair, we started off with a bottle of 2007 Yarden Chardonnay and while it was not flawed, or a dud, it was way too far oak driven and lacking in fruit and oak reaction. After we moved that off the table, we opened the two Adir wines and then we opened a bottle of the 2008 Covenant Red C – a wine that was so apropos for the whole splitting of the Red Sea thing that happened on the same day, some 3000 years ago!
Food wise, we started with the herb encrusted gefilte fish loaf and side dishes that we made and bought. For the main course we had some great vegetable kugel, and a hunk of rib roast that we cooked slowly and simply using Alton Brown’s Rib Roast recipe.
We had some simple dessert and paired it with some lovely Adir Winery Port Blush. I have friends who call it Port Bluff as it is really only made from late harvest chardonnay grapes and some sugar, but who cares! Tons of French wines use Chaptalization, and in this case the wine is actually quite enjoyable. The added sugar or late harvest fruit is clearly apparent, but the sherry like flavors or almond and nuts either turn you off or captivate you. To me Sherry wine is awesome and unique and that makes it interesting to me, but sure many find it offensive – their loss.
I wrote a bit of the history of Adir Winery in my posting on my trip to the north of Israel. The trip was a kick and I had a wonderful time at Adir Winery, even though it was absolutely pouring cats and dogs outside. When I was there I tasted the 2010 Adir A and the Blush Port, and though this was the 2009 Adir A, both wines were really nice.
It turned out to be an Adir Winery and Avi Rosenberg day, which was a real treat, and one that was only made better by the lovely Covenant Red C! The Adir wines go to prove that Israel is continuing to prove its ability to create wines that can age and wines that taste great right now, all the while keeping the flavors and the fruit under control! Of course, Covenant needs no introduction, but Jeff Morgan and Jonathan Hajdu continue to create wines that can also last many years and age beautifully while keeping their core vibrancy intact! Bravo to Adir and Covenant Wineries!
Thank you so much to all my friends who shared the table with us and made for a truly enjoyable Passover! Thanks guys! The wine notes follow below:
2005 Galil Mountain Winery Yiron Kosher – Score: A- (and a bit more)
This was the best tasting of this wine by far! Proving that this is an issue of patience. The wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% merlot, and 4% Syrah, and 2% Petite Verdot. BEWARE – this puppy is throwing CRAZY sediment – hand coating sediment! The nose starts off VERY hot and over the top, but slowly calms. The nose starts with heat, licorice, mineral, tobacco, rich graphite, smoky notes, and dirt. WOW! What a mouth, rich, ripe, extracted, and layered and aggressive, a wine that actually keeps on giving for more than two days – mind blowing!!! The mouth is rich and extracted, layered, and black, with hints of red, softening tannin that is rounded by sweet cedar coming from aging in French oak for 16 months. The fruit comes at you in layers with the tannins caressing your mouth, with blackberry, black cherry, forest berry, plum, green notes, bell pepper, and crazy roasted herb. This wine is clearly showing its Cab and Merlot leanings. The finish is long and rich (interesting that there is no spice on this mouth) with mounds of herb, eucalyptus, vanilla, and chocolate. With mineral, chocolate, black fruit, and dirt lingering long with rich mouth coating tannin showing the way – BRAVO!
2007 Yarden Chardonnay – Score: B
I really did not like this wine this time, the oak was far too pronounced and not integrated. Maybe I could have waited a few more years – but it was time to drink it for me. Maybe, you all can like it – but not for me.
2009 Adir Winery A – Score: A- (plus a bit more)
I bought this bottle at the Wine Mill in Jerusalem Israel, owned by my buddy (Chalom and Gabriel Geller). Anyway, this bottle showed much better than the 2010, which I liked much better at the winery than at the house. Anyway, this is a fascinating wine, another of these Israeli/Aussie blend wines that are a mixes of Cab and Shiraz. This wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. All the grapes come from the famous Ben Zimra vineyards. The wine changed from being blue and animal-istic to black and earthy and mineral – quite entertaining and lovely and rich.
The nose started off with hard Cabernet Leanings, almost no blue or bacon notes to be found with graphite, licorice, mineral, loamy dirt, green notes, and black fruit. The mouth is full bodied and ripe with layers of concentrated and ripe fruit, blackberry, blackcurrant, hints of date, and lovely sweet cedar all kept together by attention grabbing and rich tannin. The finish is long and spicy with great zesty and tart red fruit (like on the 2006 Adir Cabernet), with zesty strawberry and raspberry, all showing great acid and very good balance, along with tobacco, and chocolate.
Over time the wine shows its Syrah side, with the same attention grabbing tannin, and long and zesty red fruit and spice. However, it is joined on the nose and mouth by attention grabbing blueberry, boysenberry, tar, roasted animal, black plum, eucalyptus, and tons of black pepper. This is a lovely and complex wine that grabs you attention whether it is a Syrah with Cab’s clothing or visa-verse. Either way, the wine is wonderful and it needs air and patience to let it show you its true colors!
2006 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A- (maybe a bit lower)
To be honest when I saw this wine I thought it was going to be flat out DOA. However, a nice French friend of mine brought it to my house, and I had to open it side by side the 2009 Adir A that I brought by hand from Israel.
This was one of Adir Winery’s early wines and proves what I found out in Israel on my last trip – that Avi Rosenberg knows how to make wine! This wine was quickly popped and it was ready to go, no air time needed and while it did not improve with air, it did not die away like a quiet wallflower either with air – showing good structure and tannins throughout – until it was drunk up.
The wine had lost most of its complexity, which is normal for an older wine, but it did not lose its poise or body. The wine was hand imported from Israel, by my friend’s friend and was aged in French oak for 12 months. The wine’s color did not show bricking in anyway, it was black to garnet with a nice clear halo around it. The nose starts with rich black fruit, nice licorice, cloves, green notes, bell pepper, and herb. The mouth is medium plus in weight with ripe and concentrated blackberry, black cherry, cassis, and sweet cedar, along with soft mouth caressing tannin that do not intimidate, but rather impress, along with a hint of date and plum. The finish is fascinating with chocolate, spice, great mineral, and graphite, and lovely zesty acid from red ripe strawberry and raspberry that perfectly balance out this wine.
In the end a lovely wine with concentrated fruit, ripe flavors and zesty notes – quite nice for a wine that most thought was DOA – thanks Raph for the lovely experience!
2008 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon Red C – Score: A-
Yet another solid wine from Jeff and Jon of Covenant Winery. This wine was enjoyed on Passover, the day of the splitting of the Red Sea, so it was an appropriate play on word.
This is a classic Covenant with great balance, insane herbaceous notes and red and black fruit that really goes far. This wine reminds me more and more of the Flam Cabernet Reserve and the Four Gates Cabernet – though without the weight of either of them. Reminiscent more of the concentrated herb and extracted fruit of the a fore mentioned Cabernet wines than body or structure. Also, it is starting to throw sediment – so be careful. The nose starts off with more herb than spice hawker in the Shuk, followed by nice licorice, nice red fruit, raspberry, and black currant. The mouth makes you pucker with still searing tannin, insane concentration of ripe blackberry, cassis, black plum, rich forest floor that reaches up and grabs you, followed by black cherry, spicy oak, and more tannin. The finish is long and dirty and spicy with black pepper, mineral, graphite, cloves, tobacco, hints of chocolate, and eucalyptus that lingers long with tannin, black fruit, and herb – BRAVO!!!
NV Adir Blush Port, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A-
I will start off by saying that this is a wine that will liked by some and disliked by many – but I loved it! The wine was made from late harvest Chardonnay and added sugar, using the Chaptalization approach, and then aged in oak for three years outside, like port, but having very Sherry-like notes.
The gold colored wine starts off with a nose that is rich and redolent with a scotch and sherry notes, great oak, white chocolate, peach, mounds of almonds, along with light oxidation – very sherry fino like. The mouth is rich and layered and intoxicating with clear sugar heft and added alcohol, that is rich and oily and textured like viscous oil, showing ripe pear, cooked apple, candied fruit, cherry, plum, melon, all wrapped in a plush mouth of oak, nice tannin, oxidation, and weight that allows for easy drinking with desserts of all types. The finish is long and soft with great acid that brings with it nice balance for all that sweetness and nuttiness, along with marzipan, clear almond extract, fig, and more oak – BRAVO!!!
Posted on April 11, 2013, in Food and drink, Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine and tagged A, Adir Winery, Blush Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Covenant Winery, Galil Mountain Winery, Red C, Yarden Winery, Yiron. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.