Terravino 2008 winners and losers

Friday found me at a wine tasting of the winners and some losers (in my opinion) of the most recent Terravino (Hebrew and English) wine contest.  Terravino is a wine exhibit where wineries are given the opportunity to showcase their wines for a cost, and they get scored blindly by a panel of wine experts.  To say that this contest has its doubters or conspiracy freaks is an understatement.  What is even more interesting is that Terravino is conveniently held at the same time as another wine event called Sommelier (which is for the wine trade only).  To add further spice to this potent intrigue, Terravino is run by Chaim Gan, owner of the Ish Anavim wine shop, in Jaffo.  While the Sommelier wine event is run by another famous wine shop owner of equal fame in Israel, called Avi Ben Ami. Ben Ami is also responsible for Eshkol Hazahav, a wine competition that takes place in the spring each year.

I had the chance to talk with Gan for a few minutes after I finished my wine tasting.  He is a very proud and self confident man.  He is clearly a man who does not suffer the establishment easily.  When asking him; what the impetus was to create a wine store like Ish Anavim and the Terravino wine contest?  He replied by saying, that he has been in the wine business for some 10 years, and was looking to create an objective wine store and contest.  When I asked him further about some of this year’s Terravino winners, he was happy to share his insights in how the industry is biased and skewed to the power players.  How the smaller players like Adir Winery and Gvaot Winery (who both received double gold medals wards for their wines) have a legitimate and unbiased competition to show off their wares.  How wineries of all shapes and sizes can place any wine they want into a competition that is structured and double blind to remove any questions about its validity.

In the end I want to thank Chaim Gan and the rest of Ish Anavim, for putting on a post Terravino wine tasting, and giving a chance for people like myself to taste wines in an unbiased atmosphere.  The wine notes follow below:

Carmel Carignan Appellation 2006 – Score: B
The nose on this garnet colored wine is filled with blackberry, cranberry, eucalyptus, and wood.  The mouth on this full bodied wine shows flavors of cassis and blackberry.  The mid palate is still tannic in nature with spice.  The finish is missing almost cliff like, it has vanilla and spicy wood on the way down.

Carmel Petite Sirah Appellation 2006 – Score: B+
The nose on this electric blue garnet colored wine is filled with blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry.  The mouth on this full bodied wine has blueberry and raspberry.  The mid palate is nice with spicy wood and pepper.  The finish is shorter than I would have liked with leather, cassis, and a hint of wood.  The acidity and leather really show in the finish, if only for a longer one.

Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz Appellation 2005 – Score: B
The nose on this bright garnet colored wine is filled with oak, mint, and cranberry.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is filled with currants and raspberry.  The mid palate is still tannic in nature with spicy wood.  The finish is medium in nature with oak and vanilla.

Carmel wine editorial note – I was really surprised by these wines.  Normally, these are my kind of wines, full bodied and expressive.  There seemed to be a common theme of a short finish and not much life.  I wonder if the tasting had not let them air enough, or maybe they had bad bottles.  I cannot say, just a different set of notes than I was expecting.

Ramim Art Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 – Score: B
The nose on this muted garnet colored wine is filled with blackberry, cranberry, and mint.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is blackberry, and cranberry.  The mid palate is still tannic in nature with coffee accents.  The finish is medium long with leather, slight acidity, and tannin.

Gush Etzion Nahal Hapirim  2005 – Score: B
The nose on this light garnet colored wine is filled with cranberry, dirt and earthy notes, backed by sweet oak.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with cranberry and raspberry.  The mid palate is simple with sweet oak.  The finish is medium in nature with oak and vanilla.

Recanati Petite Syrah Zinfandel (PSZ) Reserve 2006 – Score: A-
The nose on this bright garnet purple haloed colored wine, is filled with raspberry, eucalyptus, and asparagus.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is inky in nature almost glycerin like.  Blackberry and cassis swish in the mouth and lead to a mid palate of tannin, pepper, and lather.  The finish is long with vanilla, and nice red fruit.  Another Lewis hit for sure.

Ruth Shiraz Merlot 2006 – Score: B+
The nose on this light garnet colored wine is filled with earthy dirt aromas, cassis, sweet wood, raspberry, and green notes.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with raspberry and more dirt.  The mid palate has a nice playful mix of integrated tannins and mint.  The finish is medium in nature with oak, eucalyptus, and vanilla.

Teperberg 1870 Meritage 2007 – Score: B+
The nose on this bright ruby to garnet colored wine is filled with raspberry, sweet wood, earth and dirt, and eucalyptus (note: the nose on the Meritage was very close to the Ruth Shiraz Merlot – though the only common fruit is the merlot).  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with cranberry, raspberry.  The mid palate is soft with anise and earth.  The finish is long with pepper and oak.

Zion Erez Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006 – Score: B
The nose on this ruby colored wine is hot with cranberry and earth.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with earth, eucalyptus, and raspberry.  The mid palate is tannic but integrating with spicy flavors.  The finish is short and not intriguing.

Adir Plato 2005 – Score: A-
The nose on this brooding garnet colored wine is crazy, deep, and hot with sweet wood, eucalyptus, and raspberry.  The mouth on this full bodied wine coats your mouth with cassis and cranberry and complex layers.  The mid palate has tannins that are integrating, along with nice wood  flavors.  The finish is long with tannin and vanilla.  This was one of the true winners of the tasting and a nice showing for a the upstart winery that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Alexander Sandro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006 – Score: B+
The nose on this brooding garnet colored wine is a screaming nose that is hot with raspberry, cranberry, and sweet wood.  The mouth on this full bodied wine slightly coats your mouth with cassis and cranberry.  Unfortunately, the heat on the nose seems to come from the wine’s overripe fruit and manifests itself on the palate as a cooked fruit flavor.  The cooked fruit takes away from the power and joy of this wine.  The mid palate has integrated tannins and more cooked fruit.  The finish is medium long with tannin and sweet wood.  The cooked fruit really takes away from this wonderful wine and is a shame that the fruit was not pulled earlier from the vine or not managed better after that.

Barkan Segal’s Merom Galil Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – Score: B
The nose on this ruby colored wine is hot with blackberry, raspberry, cassis, and eucalyptus.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with cranberry and raspberry.  The mid palate is tannic and muddled.  The finish is short and not very intriguing.  I thought when tasting this that wine was flawed or corked.  However, after discussing it with others around me, I think the wine is just not so great.

Binyamina Syrah Hochen Ruby 2006 – Score: A-
Slight commentary to start – I am happy to see Binyamina finally producing wines like they did in the early part of this decade.  This one is a real winner – congratulations to the team.
The nose on this garnet to black colored wine is complex with aromas of cassis, mint, anise, and coffee.  The mouth on this full bodied, inky, and layered wine coats your mouth with cassis, blackberry, and nice spices.  The mid palate has more coating tannins that are lovely with spicy wood accents.  The finish is long with tannin, leather, and tar notes.

Tabor Adama Cabernet Sauvignon Terra Rosa 2005 – Score: B++
The nose on this garnet colored wine is hot with earth, cassis, anise, spice, and raspberry.  The mouth on this full bodied and inky wine coats your mouth with raspberry, cassis, and blackberry.  The mid palate is tannic and spicy.  The finish is long and tasty with vanilla.

Tanya Blend Reserve 2005 – Score: A-
The nose on this ruby to garnet colored wine is hot with cassis, mint, allspice, and raspberry.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine has flavors of raspberry, cranberry, and mint that coat your mouth.  The mid palate is tannic and spicy.  The finish is long with spicy oak and vanilla.

Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 – Score: B
The nose on this garnet colored wine is filled with cassis, blackberry, and eucalyptus.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is filled with cassis, blackberry, and cranberry.  The mid palate is tannic and acidic in nature.  The finish is long with red fruit and tannin.

Gvaot Herodion Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006 – Score: B
The nose on this garnet colored wine is filled with raspberry, eucalyptus, and anise.  The mouth on this soft medium bodied wine is filled with raspberry, and cranberry.  The mid palate is rich with integrated tannins.  The finish is long with sweet oak and vanilla.

Gvaot Masada 2006 – Score: A-
The nose on this deep garnet colored wine is hot with raspberry, cranberry, eucalyptus, mint, and oak.  The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine has flavors of raspberry, cranberry, and spice that coat your mouth.  The mid palate is tannic with sweet wood.  The finish is long and meaty with more tannins and oak.

Recanati Special Reserve 2005 – Score: A-
The nose on this garnet to black colored wine is ripe with cassis, anise, coffee, and raspberry.  The mouth on this full bodied wine is packed and complex with layered cassis, blackberry, and raspberry.  The mid palate coats your mouth with oak, coffee, and spices.  The finish is long with leather and more tannin that lingers long on the palate.

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Posted on November 28, 2008, in Kosher Red Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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