Bravdo Winery – Round 2 with the new 2010 and 2011 wines

Unless you have been living under a rock for some time, you would know that I am a huge fan of the Bravdo winery! The winery is a family affair, with Professor Bravdo making the wine and his daughter, Hadar managing the winery. I really enjoyed visiting the winery, late last year, and re-tasting the 2010 red wines, that I tasted at the Gotham event in 2011. Well, recently at the 2012 Gotham Wine Extravaganza, I had the chance to meet Hadar again and taste through the new vintages of the wonderful wines!

Bravdo is imported into the United States by Happy Hearts Wine Importers, who has kept the prices on these wonderful wines at a reasonable level, while also continuing to make the newest vintages available, and not bringing in old wines. While, I was talking with Hadar, which is always a joy, Benyamin, manager of Happy Hearts, swung by and proudly stated that Happy Hearts had suggested they make a blend – and the output was Coupage! WOW! That is quite synergistic, if I say so myself, the importer suggesting a different wine, and the Professor delivering, with what I think is the best bottle, along with the Shiraz, that Bravdo makes.

There was one slightly under performing wine and that was the 2011 Bravdo Chardonnay, but given the trouble that 2011 presented, in Israel and the US, the wine is just fine thank you.

I must excuse myself for the lack of pictures, but I seem to have forgotten to take pictures of the 2010 wines! I am very sorry. The bottles look the same as the 2009 vintages just of course with a different year. You can find those, along with the wine notes here.

So many thanks to Hadar, The Bravdo Family, Happy Hearts, and of course Costas for the wonderful opportunity to taste through these fantastic wines. I hope to be tasting through these wines again soon, at a shabbos table, where I can have a bit more time to enjoy them and actually drink them.

The wine notes follow below:

2011 Bravdo Chardonnay – Score: B+ to A-
This wine only had 30% oak influence, while the 2010 vintage had almost 50%, though oak still plays a nice role in rounding the mouth and adding in some characteristics to boot. The nose on this dark straw-colored wine, with a green tinge starts off with bright citrus, lemon, light toast, green notes, and crushed herbs. The mouth is round and full with green apple, light quince, good acidity, light oak influence that comes together nicely. The finish is toasty with hints of butterscotch, crazy tart pink grapefruit, green notes, and on the rise a nice dollop of lemon zest. Drink this till 2014.

2010 Bravdo Merlot – Score: A-
The Bravdo Merlot continues to impress me by being a wine that is more true to its varietal. Overall I think it was the weakest of the four reds, but that is nitpicking. The wine is lovely and one that any winery would dream to have in its portfolio.
The nose starts off with lovely green notes, light hints of butter, blackcurrant, blackberry, and lovely raspberry. The mouth is full, expressive, and richly buttered with good mouth coating tannin that is slowly integrating, nice spicy wood influence, black cherry, and focused fruit that comes together into a pleasing mouth. The finish is long and spicy with mounds of vanilla, good spice, and a lovely hint of leather at the end. Best from 2013 till 2016, though in a pinch you could start now as well.

2010 Bravdo Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: A- to A
Hadar told me that Professor Bravdo believes this may be a better Cabernet than the 2009 and I would have to say for now that it is as good, and in time may be better. This is another great example of how wonderful a wine can taste with ripe jammy fruit that does not taste over ripe.
The nose starts off with crazy rich blackcurrant, crushed herb, blackberry, cassis, lovely green notes, and menthol. The mouth starts off with big in-your-face menthol, focused and concentrated ripe jammy black fruit, big and heavy extraction, and massive tannin that needs time to settle down, all slowly coming together into a luscious mouthfeel. The finish is long and lovely with classic graphite flavor, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and light leather. Quite simply a lovely Cabernet with ripe jammy fruit that is balanced and lovely and one that will be best from 2013 till 2017.

2010 Bravdo Shiraz – Score: A- to A
The nose on this deeply black colored wine starts off screaming with black pepper, blackcurrant, and black plum, that gives way to beautiful and ripe blueberry and spice. The mouth is massive and extracted with good mouth coating tannin, nice ripe blue and black fruit, black cherry, and nice oak that comes together into a velvety mouthfeel. The finish is super long and spicy with chunks of chocolate, spice, cinnamon, cloves, tobacco, and nice soft leather at the end. Drink from release till 2016.

2010 Bravdo Coupage – Score: A- to A
This is the second vintage of this wonderful blend that continues to impress and make me a believer in the ability of Cabernet Franc to thrive in Israel. The blend is once again a combination of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is another example of what I call the Israeli blend, as there are truly few countries and wine regions where you can ripen Bordeaux varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, while also being able to ripen Shiraz which normally ripens much later on. You need the proper heat, quality, and age of the vines to make a blend like this work, where the ripe flavors can all blend well together.

The nose starts off with lovely Cabernet Franc notes of asparagus and zucchini, along with light floral notes, crushed herb, and blackcurrant. The mouth is full bodied, round, and rich with layered attacks of focused black cherry, raspberry, ripe fruit, along with mouth coating tannin, and good spicy oak that makes for a delightful and complex mouth. The finish is long and spicy, and continues with more lovely green notes, vanilla, and a hint of leather. Drink this from release till 2017.

Posted on March 16, 2012, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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