2004 Yarden Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Single Vineyard – Drink NOW!!!

2004 Yarden Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Single Vineyard_For the longest time the 2004 Yarden Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Single Vineyard, was the wine to have. It was the wine that the late Daniel Rogov called one of the two best Syrah of Israel!

While, I would never disparage the words of such a world class wine critic, I would love to know what he would think of the wine now. The wine may well continue to evolve to 2018, but it will evolve with more of a portish style than a wine style. The wine turned on me and it turned FAST after I opened it this past weekend.

The last time we had this wine; it was tasting fine – but sweet as always, but not showing signs of dying off. This time the signs were clear and made me think this wine will not last till 2014 (fruit wise) let alone 2018.

It continues to be a beast of pure attack with little to any relent. It comes at you with a two-by-four to start and continues until you scream uncle. Its power and its body are not sagging, like many of advanced age. Rather this wine has and continues to have clear over-the-top fruit that comes out as date and raisin that is a bit too much. That was my concern the last two times I had it. However, this past time I opened it and again, it reminded me of the fruit platter we were having for Tu Bishvat. Filled with date, fig, and nuts, along with wonderful fruit, anise, and leather. However, a few hours after that it turned into a more over the top fruit bomb, with clear port leanings – more than I was expecting. The body never failed, but the fruit is failing the wonderful wine and its age is showing in the way the fruit is displayed. What can I say, I would really love to hear what Daniel would say about this Syrah in comparison to the newly released 2010 Tulip Syrah, Reserve or the 2010 Flam Syrah, Reserve. Either are far better wines and one that blow me away.

It is a shame that such a special wine that I was saving has made its slow turn into the sunset. Still, it is another example of how holding wine till it is too late is a far worse crime than enjoying a wine before its peak. Drink up your special wines and please enjoy them while they are still upright and lacking all the flab and defects that come with older age.

We paired this semi-wonderful wine with the killer steak recipe that we wrote about before. Isaac’s kindness (a friend of mine) continues to bless us with this great recipe from food critic and cookbook author – the late Craig Claiborne. The recipe is built for the Shabbos and it worked great.

Also, we had some great Chicken soup that we enjoyed from the crock-pot along with another recipe that I MUST share with you! The recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen. It is a recipe of roasted potatoes. You see if we are having a slab of meat – we need some potatoes with it. Since the oven is busy roasting the meat – it must be a recipe that can handle the heat without killing the potatoes. You cannot open the oven after the meat is cooking – so it must be a recipe that can handle the heat from the beginning till the end of the meat recipe/instructions.

The crinkly roasted potatoes recipe is KILLER!!! It also matches PERFECTLY with this recipe. The idea here is that you cut up the potatoes into a size and shape that is consistent and that makes you happy. Then you par boil these potatoes until they are cooked a bit on the outside and the skin is just peeling up. Than yank them out and bang them around with salt and oil in a large bag or bowl. Than drop them in the roasting pan with the steaks and set-it-and-forget-it!! They are crispy on the outside while soft and moist on the inside!

Well – there you – enjoy and remember OTBN, the brainchild of Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher is only a month away – so start drinking up those Old untouchable wines – remembering that great wine does not need a great occasion to be opened – the night you open one becomes a great memory to remember.

The wine note follows below:

2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard, Single Vineyard – Score: B++
2004 Yarden Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Single Vineyard - back label_This wine continues to disappoint, and is a wine that has not changed its outer coat in anyway here. The wine continues to show its very new world style and has no intention of giving up its overly ripe and date-like flavors. The problem now is that the fruit is flabbing out and it is becoming even more port-like – causing me great consternation.

The nose starts with not dead animal – but lots of smoky notes, blackberry, dark cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant, date, crushed herb, high alcohol, and licorice. The mouth on this massive and brooding wine starts with an attack of sweet cedar, followed by layers of concentrated black fruit, plum, heaps of eucalyptus, and mouth coating tannins that are just now starting to integrate. The finish is long and spicy with tar, leather, black pepper, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla, more date, cloves, and sweet cedar that lasts forever. The wine structurally has many years to go, but what little controlled fruit that existed is now going fast and what is left is port-like fruit. Drink NOW or enjoy this for an after dinner wine.

Posted on January 27, 2013, in Food and drink, Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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