1998 Langer Reserve Szamorodni Takaji and 2005 Galil Mountain Merlot
This past week saw us enjoying a quiet shabbos between the two of us. After the past week, we thought it was a great time to have some Italian food again. With all the Italian Recipes available, we looked for one that would hit the spot. After a bit of thought, we decided to again, go with Pasta Puttanesca. We have done this before, and we really love the altered recipe we have come up with. By adding in the fake ground meat (soy), it thickens the sauce and it also adds meat to body of the recipe, real fun. The sauce is best paired with pasta that holds the liquid, like rigatoni or penne – like we did. Once that was handled, I looked to the cellar for the win to pair with, and I chose the 2005 Galil Merlot. For two reasons, one because it is at its peak (or a bit past it), and two because it has enough acidity and body to keep up with the sauce. The wine started off really funky!! It started to smell brown, and a bit old and dingy, and did not get out of its funk until a day later, when it cleaned itself up and became quite enjoyable. I also got a chance to taste another bottle; the 1998 Langer Reserve Szamorodni Takaji. The wine is really quite pleasant and honeyed along with a nice subtle almonds undertone. It paired nicely with cheese and other smelly/stinky flavors.
The wine notes follow below:
1998 Langer Reserve Szamorodni Takaji – Score: B+
The nose on this bright gold colored wine has strong honey, sweet honeydew, and almond notes, along with a hint of lemon. The mouth on this full bodied wine is glycerol and oily in nature, ripe and rich, is filled with ripe honeydew, rich honey, and almond flavors. The mid palate is bright and balanced. The finish is long and honey sweet with more nice acidity and a hint of lemon tea as well.
2005 Galil Mountain Merlot – Score: B++
The nose on this dark garnet colored wine with brown/dingy edges starts off with a cedar box like aroma along with aged roasted herbs, dirty and dingy cranberry, plum, an herbaceous attack, and a dollop of briery/earth. After this wine opens up, the musty and dingy notes go away, and you get cleaned up cranberry, cherry, and plum aromas, along with a hint of coffee. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine initially has fading tannins, and give way to fruit which is also fading. The mouth feel is almost mouth coating. The mid palate is OK but without enough acidity to brace it. The finish is nice with tannins, fruit, along with an herbaceous attack, a large dollop of spice, and a hint of mint. However, after the wine airs out, the mouth fills out quite nicely, almost velvety. The mouth coats with ripe red fruit and a nice soft mouth. The mid palate is medium long but OK because the fruit is less aggressive and the wine becomes more about the mouthfeel and nice residual tannins, than does the complexity. The finish is long with tannins, red fruit, coffee, and herbs.