Three kosher red wines that hit the spot!
This past week we had a bunch of wines including two Rose wines in my rose wine post, the Dalton Viognier, Reserve, Wild Yeast, and three red wines that really hit the spot. I wanted the evening to be all about Rose and white, but since the Rose wines did not stand up and the whites were a dud, other than the Viognier and a 1996 Four Gates Chard, which once again blew us all away, we had to fall to the reds. The centerpiece of evening was a killer Moroccan Tajine made with Merguez Sausage and lovely dried fruit. The recipe can be found here.
The joy of Tajine is the sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors you get from the lamb, the spices, and the sweet dried fruit. I had hoped that the whites and rose could stand up to the evening, but as the evening went on it was clear that the rose wines were not cutting it (even with plain old lox) and that the white wines were going to have trouble with the tajine.
Of course, there was a plan B and plan C in place and thankfully, we were able to hit the need with the first one. The three reds were lovely and in perfect drinking order, though the Frere Robaire could have used a bit more air time. The first wine was the 2005 Ella Valley Pinot Noir. It displayed clear funk upon opening and that did drop it from the running to start, but as that started to blow off the wine opened to a beautiful black dominated beauty and was quite the wine. The second wine was the best of the evening, a 2009 Eden Wild Red Bordeaux blend wine. I spoke about Eden Winery in my Rose article, check them out here if you missed it. While the Eden Rose was so-so, the Eden red was killer, with crazy blueberry and boysenberry flavors that really grabbed my attention, along with a great body and structure. The final wine was the 2006 Four Gates Frere Robaire, which was closed to start but was quite nice at the end.
The notes follow below:
2005 Ella Valley Pinot Noir – Score: A-
This wine started off with an unquestionable amount of funk or dirty socks, eventually this blew off or became irrelevant, but that was a rather large amount of time. This wine is in drink-up mode, though the tannins are unwavering and the wine is still a bit tight. Another masterpiece from Doron Rav Hon, the winemaker, and one that will please all those with a desire for a solid Pinot from Israel.
The nose starts off with funk, ripe blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, raspberry, nice loamy dirt, licorice, and beautiful smoky notes. The mouth of this medium to full bodied wine is round, layered and concentrated with nice mouth coating tannin, good cedar, and a perfect balance of green bell pepper and black fruit to grab your attention. The finish is long and spicy with cloves, good mineral notes, and tobacco that goes on forever, and one that has a nice dollop of chocolate and vanilla on the rise. Quite a lovely Pinot and one that should be enjoyed now or in the next couple of months at the most.
2006 Four Gates Frere Robaire – Score: A- to A
This wine is a blend of 49% Cabernet Franc, 46% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. At this point the wine has moved from being a black fruit dominated wine to one that is balanced with red and black fruit. The nose and mouth are still closed and tight but starting to open up with lovely blackberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, and mounds of graphite that give the nose a very elegant style, once it opens. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine starts off with mounds of concentrated fruit, black plum, lovely green bell pepper, sweet cedar, and licorice all wrapped together with mouth coating tannin, and nice balanced acidity. The finish is long with black pepper, cloves, lovely tobacco, hints of chocolate that all come to a vanilla finish with some herbs on top.
2009 Eden Wild Red, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A-
Where the rose from this winery failed, the Bordeaux blend succeeded beautifully! All the table guests said it along with me that this wine is a Bordeaux blend that tastes and smells like it came from France. The nose starts off quickly with beautiful notes black cherry, ripe raspberry, blackcurrant, wonderful graphite, coffee, mineral, and loamy dirt. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is luscious and round and is packed with blueberry, boysenberry, really nice and sweet cedar, and nice balanced tannin that goes on and on. The finish is long with cloves, tobacco, green notes, a hint of chocolate, and herb that lingers. This is quite a lovely wine that shows that you can make a Bordeaux style wine in Israel, without the overly sweet notes, and with the blend of fruit, nice controlled hand of oak, and lovely mineral notes that helps to bring the wine together.
Posted on July 20, 2012, in Food and drink, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Wine and tagged Eden Winery, Ella Valley Winery, Four Gates Winery, Frere Robaire, Pinot Noir, Wild Red. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.