This past week’s wines…

Well we went out Friday night and I brought two bottles with me:

2002 Carmel Mizrachi Cabernet Sauvignon Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A-
This wine is currently at its peak (or just missed it). The color is a beautiful deep red – purple wine. The nose is filled with dark fruits, strong oak flavors, mint, and hints of vanilla. The mouth on this full bodied wine was super smooth. Wonderfully balanced. The slight amount of tannins were absolutely in perfect harmony with the strong cassis, blackberries, and eucalyptus flavors. It is heavy and velvety in the mouth yet smooth with just the right touch of vanilla. The finish is filled with toasty wood in a light chocolate backdrop

2003 Carmel Mizrachi Syrah Single Vineyard Kosher Kerem Ramat Arad – Score: B+
This bottle was opened some 3 hours in advance and it was still not there when we finally got to drink it later in the evening. It was just throwing off its evening shawl and getting ready to hit the dance floor when we had its last drops. A shame, but I cannot talk to what there were hints of, I can only talk to what we had.

The wine has a deep and brooding purple color. The nose is filled with strong aromas of sweet oak and green grass. The mouth of the medium bodied wine was light on the tannins – though not fully integrated. The fruit was not so prominent but the sweet oak and green flavors almost dominated the mouth. The finish was long with hints of red fruits that were almost too scared to come out.

For lunch – we opened this for ourselves:

2004 Borgo Reale Primitivo di Manduria – Score: B++
For lunch we opened this bottle. At first it showed strong Zinfandel characteristics (of course because it is a Zinfandel wine). There were STRONG notes of mint and rose characteristics. They turned me off so much, that I wanted to toss the wine. Good news – I relented and drank more! The wine opened in the glass and balanced itself out quite nicely. Being used to a California Zin, I expected the pepper or the spice (of which there is none), but in its place is this wonderful smoky flavor. It permeates the wine and gives it a special Aura and uplift. The nose is filled with red fruit, tobacco, and mint. The mouth of the lively and balanced medium – full bodied wine starts with flavors of dates, cherries, raspberries, and finishes with a medium long finish that is wrapped in smoky flavors and has a fat stogie tucked between its teeth.

I know the wine has a lower score then the Carmel Cab 02 and that it has a very funny score of B++ – but I could not shake the fact that it was really good. It did not have the stature of the Carmel Cab, but the Primitivo was so lively, playful, a wine almost daring you to ignore it – without beating you over the head, that I had to denote it in some way. If you can find one – I would recommend it – though drink up – they are meant to be drunk young.

At night we also had the chance to drink a bottle of Baron Herzog Zinfandel Old Vines 2006, that had been open for quite a while.  I am not scoring it because I did not drink it in a controlled manner.  However, it had many of the characteristics of the Primitivo before it opened up and became playful.  I must admit, that I am not a fan of the Baron Herzog Zin since 2003.  It has become FAR TOO floral and green.  There is less ripe fruit and there is a ton of pepper that throws the whole wine off.  I prefer the Zins of old, that were lively, oaky, with just enough pepper to round the wine out, but not take it over.  We hope that the next incarnation will return to those Zins of old.

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Posted on May 11, 2008, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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