Another round of kosher Israeli Wines from the past week

This past week I once again stayed over with friends and family and I had a much better assortment of wines to enjoy, including some real blockbusters and a TRUE and REAL shocker, a wine that is said to be fantastic, but one that did not hold up well at all! Once again, thanks to all for allowing me to hang with you and letting me bring my wines over, the wines follow below:

2007 Bustan Syrah – Score: B+ (at best)
This was a true and scary shocker! This is a wine that all my friends and Daniel Rogov have said is the man! Well we tried it and it was far from it. The wine opened nicely, but was bland and then went into the tank! Rumor has it that days later it was a bit better, but still far from what folks have said about this wine, so if you have these, look to start drinking them up SOON and do not look for a real winner here!
The nose is rich with lovely blueberry, along with a dead animal doing a backstroke in my glass, along with huge black and blue notes, nice black pepper, licorice, and a hit of lemongrass and citrus. The medium bodied wine is nice with soft tannin, blackberry, black plum, and cherry, with a hint of raspberry, nice earth and green notes, with cedar and tannin. The finish is cliff-like with little to no finish with leather, tobacco, nice cinnamon, spice, and insane eucalyptus, menthol and smoke. The wine died with 30 minutes and had absolutely ZERO body, basically liquid fruit juice. – drink up!

2007 Yarden Blanc de Blanc – Score: A- to A
The Yarden Blanc de Blancs is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in the northern Golan Heights, Israel’s coolest viticultural area. The wine is made strictly according to the traditional method (méthode champenoise) including hand harvesting, pressing of whole clusters to increase acidity and fruit flavors, and secondary fermentation in the bottle. Disgorging took place after five years of bottle aging on the tirage yeast.
Are u kidding me! A filthy wine with a nose of intense fruit, lemon curd, peach and apple cobbler, brioche, and nice toast that gives way to ripe green and yellow apple, and crazy insane ripe lemon curd. The medium mouth is wow in a single word. Thanks to Gabriel Geller for selling me the bottle, and sharing it all around. The mouth is insanely ripe and intense and ripe with ripe baked anjou pear, freakish assault vehicle of acidity and small mousse bubbles, with lovely yeast and brace for it – mouth coating tannin!! The finish is long and tart with insane grapefruit, bitter and rich grapefruit pith, and lemon zest. Bravo!!!

2009 Carmel Merlot, Sha’al Vineyard, Single Vineyard – Score: B+ to A-
This wine has a nice nose of ripe green notes, lovely dried black cherry, anise, crushed herbs, sweet plum and mineral. This wine has both a ripe and candied herb nose. The mouth is a richly herbaceous and sweet mouth of dried raspberry, sweet strawberry, along with blackberry, and nice cedar, with layers of concentrated fruit, and a spicy mouth with mouth coating tannin. A round and elegant wine with enough complexity to grab and keep your attention with good controlled sweetness. A long and spicy finish with great lovely mineral notes, rich chocolate, herbal, graphite, and flint that lingers long. After time date appears as does crazy tannin but the wine mellows quickly, so this wine is not one to decant. Have patience and watch it open in your glass, enjoy.

2006 Ella Valley Muscat – Score: B+ to A-
The nose is lovely with spiced apricot, yellow ripe raisin, fresh peach cobbler, and heavily caramelized yellow apple. The mouth is medium is nature with crazy fruit of candied pear, caramel, and nice creamy mouth feel, with good oily texture and nice sweet balance, with solid acid. The finish is rich and spicy with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, lasting long with creme brulee, nut topping, and vanilla. This is a creamy rich wine that is not bumped up in any way with alcohol, but it does show weight and richness of heavy fruit, nice acid, and nice effect of being in French oak for 17 months.

2009 Domaine Ventura Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Vin – Score: B++
This wine shows a deeply rooted nose of ripe green notes, along with ripe blackcurrant, date, and hints of crushed herb. The mouth is medium in body with black and red fruit, showing blackberry up front, along with tart raspberry and strawberry bringing up the rear, with nice sweet cedar, and good mouth coating tannin that lingers on the rise. The finish is long and sweet with clear impact from the 20 months of aging in French oak, with sweet and tart fruit, nice chocolate, sweet tobacco, and mineral on the finish.

2010 Saslove Shiraz, Aviv – Score: B+
This is another example of wines in Israel expressing more animal and blue fruit and less of the black, tar, and dates of old – Bravo! I tasted this twice and got the same notes – so no questions here! The nose explodes with a dead horse carcass doing a backstroke in my glass, followed by toasted coffee, toffee, licorice, black plum, dried fruit, and boysenberry. The mouth is medium in body with pure unadulterated roadkill served on a platter of black asphalt, with blackberry, black cherry, nice mouth coating tannin, along with great spice, but the middle is the weak point where it is hollow. The finish is long and spicy with cinnamon, blueberry, nutmeg, sweet cedar, sweet tobacco, and tart raspberry linger long.

2009 Yarden Syrah – Score: B+ to A-
Filthy nose of lavender, licorice, animal, Lanolin, black fruit, blackberry, plum, rich vanilla, and violet, dark cherry over time, along with a full-out assault of blue fruit and root beer with a lovely sweet perfume crescendo, all coming from a purple-black heart. After more time, the wine turns into a crazed blueberry and boysenberry liquor. The mouth is insanely rich and unctuous, with massive mouth coating tannin that linger forever, with a medium bodied, with rich and layered fruit, with concentrated fruit, sweet cedar, and rich controlled northern California sweet fruit mouth, black plum, and essentially sweet butter mouth texture, massively round and thick, but controlled. Unfortunatel, the finish is the letdown, though ripe and chocolatey, with bright black and blue fruit, the wine is lacking form its almost cliff-like fruit finish. The wine does show spice on the finish, but the mouth ends and the spice lingers. With cinnamon over a long time, with tart ripe blueberry, vanilla ice cream, and ripe blackberry all whipped together (bravo Gabe for this last finish note), and salty, mineral, finish. This one may turn around soon – but it is a beast of a wine and one that is really attention grabbing!

2010 Saslove Shiraz, Adom – Score: B++
This is one of the first kosher reserve wines released by Saslove. This is a blend of 85% Shiraz and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon which is aged 20 months in French oak. The nose was not so open with blueberry notes, black plum, layers of mushroom from a compost pile, followed by loamy dirt and anise. The mouth is medium in body of nice black and blue fruit, with blueberry rich expressions, smooth and mouth coating tannins, along with mounds of spice and green notes that blend well with the sweet cedar. No real flaws but no real joy either. The finish is long and spicy with sweet tobacco, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet herb, that flow into a black pepper mill, along with tart red fruit.

2009 Ventura Cabernet Franc, Grand Vin – Score: A-
This was clearly the best Ventura wine I have tasted so far and it is one that I have had a few times now, tasting very consistently and quite lovely! The nose explodes with crazy notes of green bell pepper, nice ripe raspberry, black cherry, and plum, and herb. The nose is lovely but it is not its only virtue! The mouth is rich and layered and round from the 20 months in French oak, the wine is balanced with good acid, green notes that fill the mouth and with ripe red fruit and clear effects of the oak age, with sweet cedar, and nice mouth coating tannins. The mouth is concentrated, with sweet and ripe green and red notes. The finish is long and green with sweet tobacco, rising mouth coating tannin, currant, dark chocolate, and ripe tart strawberry that lingers long.

2011 Haroey Winery Merlot – Score: B+
This wine has no added sulfites, but does have natural sulfites, as we have discussed many times here. The wine shows jammy fruit, light raisin notes, alcohol notes that blow off, green notes, crazy jam raspberry compote. The mouth is medium plus in weight, layered and ripe with nice concentrated fruit, black plum, raspberry, milk chocolate, sweet cedar, and searing tannin. The finish is long and bitter with graphite, marzipan, bitter olives, and almond. An interesting wine and one that does not seem to be dieing anytime soon, so sulfite free here is not a death knell in any way.

2011 Ruth Dessert Wine – Score: B-
The wine is interesting, it is made from late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon that was pressed quickly in whole bunches, which gives teh wine its unique cool blush color. The wine explodes with heavy notes of oxidation, along with candied citrus and papaya. The mouth is rich with sweet notes, oxidation, along with lovely intoxicating honeyed spices, cherry, melon, and piles of candied fruit. The bosy is controlled but not balanced to bring the whole package around. The finish is filled with spice and candied fruit, along with white chocolate and hints of caramelized banana.

2009 Jerusalem Winery Merlot, Nikanor, Reserve – Score: B++ (QPR)
The nose on this wine is super sweet, filled with date, raisin, plum, and crazy ripe fruit. The mouth on nice medium plus body mouth is filled with blackbery, black plum, sweet toast, almost butterscotch, with crazy mouth coating tannin, along with nice concentrated ripe red and black fruit, along with lovely sweet cedar that blends into a mouth filling and almost plush mouth feel. The finish is long and sweet with more sweet fruit, tobacco, hints of sweet milk chocolate, nice mineral that starts to balance this sweet and overripe wine, with some spices, cinnamon, and herb.

Posted on December 23, 2012, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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