Sukkot 2011 – first days…

This past Sukkot we hung out with family and enjoyed a bunch of great wine and food. It was a potluck of sorts, each one of us bringing some food, and it was a grand ball. Sukkot is one of those truly happy times of the year, all the heavy and deep inner inspection is over and now you get a chance to let loose of all of your pent up concern and angst. In its place you find joy and contentment from your efforts over the past 6 weeks, a time truly made to be shared with friends and family.

For our part, we brought the second chunk of meat that we cooked for Rosh Hashanah (and froze immediately after the holiday) and some lovely brisket. We also brought a BUNCH of wine! Hey it is a let loose holiday – right? I was in such a rush to get the wines that I went to my local wine shop and all they had were Galil and Yarden wines – so we brought Galil and Yarden wines. Many turned out really nice, and others were OK, but they were all enjoyable. In case it is not obvious, Yarden and Galil Wines source their grapes from the Galilee. This tasting was a true Israel Galilee tasting. We also went through some 6 bottles of Sara Bee Muscat. Galil is one of the top QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) wineries in the kosher market. Yarden is an OK QPR winery, especially in their basic line, but some of their upper echelon wines are so out of reach that they lose a bit of the QPR luster.

So, here are all my wine notes – enjoy and remember, wine is not just about the flavors, it is also about the happiness and memories you get to keep when you enjoy them with friends and family.

The wine notes follow below:

2005 Galil Mountain Winery Yiron – (Israel, Galilee) – Score: A-
This is a seriously lovely and opulent and redolent wine that is initially hot out of the bottle, but quickly shakes off the alcohol coat and shows super rich and ripe black plum, toasty cedar, black cherry, blackberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, and herbs. The mouth on this rich and concentrated black colored wine is screaming with what initially feels like searing tannins, but then quickly your mind gives way to the true source – toasty cedar, blackberry, black cherry, and super ripe plum, all wrapped up is a velvety package that cuts through almost anything you throw at it. The mid palate is packed with black cherry, cedar, chocolate, tobacco, and nice integrated tannin. The finish is super long and very spicy with rich plum, toasty cedar, blackberry, chocolate, tobacco, black cherry, and a nice dollop of vanilla. The black cherry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, blackberry, and herbs linger.

2006 Yarden Syrah – (Israel, Galilee, Golan Heights) – Score: A-
The nose on this purple to black colored wine is not a classic syrah, excepting for the roasted meat, along with blackberry, ripe cassis, chocolate, plum, raspberry, cherry, and oak. This wine starts off super hot and need a good hour to open up and blow off its coat of alcohol. I must admit that I enjoyed this with friends in a house that was being used as a barbeque pit, as the outside was too wet, still, the nose showed well with the black and red fruit, along with the oak and chocolate. The mouth on this rich and muscular black wine was opulent and powerful with more blackberry, inky black, ripe and rich cassis, and plum, and tannins that are still finding their way around the house, but are slowly learning the premises. The sinews rippling on this bad boy easily handled the char broiled meats that were superb! The mid palate was balanced with acid, chocolate, nice oak, still tight tannins, and more inky black. The finish is super long and crazy spicy with a hint of leather, chocolate, blackberry, ripe plum, and more inky black density.

2007 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard – Israel, (Galilee, Golan Heights) – Score: A-
The nose on this light gold with green and orange reflections is screaming now with rich toasty oak, pineapple, brioche/toast, fig, baked green apple, grapefruit, rich fluffy creme, almond, citrus, and pear. The mouth on this rich full-bodied wine is filled and coating with nice toasty oak, pear, pineapple, fig, and citrus. The mid palate is balanced with mounds of acid, almond, rich oak, and brioche. The finish is super long and spicy with fig, toasty notes, almond, pineapple, and mounds of lovely acid and oak. A truly super rich and lovely wine that lingers long on the palate and one that can linger for 4 or so years in your cellar. This wine is finally coming of age with a wine that is rich with toasty oak, ripe fig, pineapple, and brioche.

2007 Galil Mountain Winery Shiraz – (Israel, Galilee) – Score: B+
The nose on this purple to black colored wine is tight out of the bottle and not yet easy drinking, after time the wine opens to show rich ripe blackberry, black plum, raspberry, chocolate, and rich black pepper. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is filled with rich and almost concentrated with plum, blackberry, and raspberry, and still tight tannins that are not yet integrated, but showing nicely. The mid palate is balanced with acid, rich black pepper, chocolate, and nice tannin. The finish is super long and spicy with black pepper, chocolate, rich plum, blackberry, and slight heat. This wine is a nice example of a shiraz that does not need to be over oaked to make s lovely wine.

2010 Yarden Gewürztraminer – (Israel, Galilee, Golan Heights) – Score: B to B+
The nose on this dark straw colored wine is rich with kiwi, guava, lemon, mineral, light honey, nutmeg, and fig. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine was missing in what I expect from a Gewurztraminer, oily rich perfumed texture and nose. Instead it was more of a honeyed Sauvignon Blanc than anything else. Yes is had some nice spice, but no tell tale signs of its true grape source. The mouth followed the nose with more tropical fruit, lemon, and fig. The mid palate was balanced with nice acid, spice, and mineral. The finish was long and spicy with more mineral, lemon, kiwi, and spice.

2008 Galil Mountain Winery Merlot – (Israel, Galilee, Upper Galilee) – Score: B to B+
The mouth on this purple to black colored wine is nice with rich blackberry, black plum, black cherry, raspberry, and chocolate. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is unoaked with a nice velvety mouth feel, soft almost plush, but not much to grab your attention (reminds me of a Weinstock Cab without oak), plum, blackberry, and raspberry. The mid palate is balanced with nice acid, black fruit, integrated tannin, and a hint of chocolate. The finish is long and soft with more chocolate, blackberry, cherry, raspberry, and herbs.

2008 Galil Mountain Winery Chardonnay – (Israel, Galilee) – Score: B to B+
The nose on this light gold colored wine is filled with peach, oak, lemon, apple, butter, and minerality. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is lightly rich with lemon, apple, peach, kiwi, and mineral. The mid palate is toasty with oak, butter, and slightly bitter with peach pit. The finish is not so long with minerality, butter, toasty oak, and peach. This is a wine that is OK but could really have used more weight and a better finish.

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Posted on November 6, 2011, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Semi Sweet Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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