Petite Sirah Round Two and a few very nice wines

2006 Four Gates Merlot, M.S.C-small_Two weeks ago, before I left for all of the Royal wine events, I went searching through my cellar for more Petite Sirah wines to make up for the sleeping beauties (at least they were beautiful before) I had to endure two weeks ago. Two weeks ago I posted about my failed attempt to find great Petite Sirah wines. Why? I do not know, these wines used to be great and I doubt they are dead, but rather in deep sleep. So, I tried to open all the Herzog Petite Sirah wines I had to see if they were any better. We did have a Herzog petite Sirah two weeks ago – the newest Herzog Petite Sirah that has been released, the 2010 Princeville PS, and it too was so-so, again I think something was wrong with my bottle or I and the rest of the table had an off day.

So, I tried a different table of people (mostly) and a different set of wines, and these came out better, but not awesome, other than the 2009 Baron Herzog Petite Sirah P.S. Limited Edition! That was a beast of a wine and lovely. The clear take away here is that these wines need a lot of time in a decanter and only then are they ready to play. Along with PS wines we also enjoyed three older wines from the Four Gates Winery, and a bottle of the 2005 Galil Yiron.

There was talk that the 2005 Yiron was going down hill, and I can say that the wine is fine and going nowhere but it was shocking when tasted side by side the 2005 Four Gates Merlot M.S.C. The Merlot was bracing with black fruit and acidity, while the Yiron was full of black fruit but flat in terms of acidity, and I think that is what people are concerned about the Yiron. The Yiron is much like many of the older Yarden or Galil wines, they are flabby, oaky/cedar, and black ripe/sweet wines.

It is a continued theme in Israeli wines, the sweet notes and ripe fruit that overpowers the palate and takes away from the other attributes of wines. Having tasted many Israeli wines during my trip to Israel, I have found many wineries who have found a way to calm the sweet or new world notes and show more bright and ripe flavors without overpowering sweetness or fruitiness. The Yiron wines are not one of those, they normally show sweeter notes, and planks of cedar, but they continue to be bold and enjoyable. This one was no different, very enjoyable but the wine’s clear lack of acidity was truly shocking.

We also enjoyed a bottle of the 2009 Flechas de Andes Malbec. The wine started off black and animal laden, but over time, it moved to blue and the animal calmed, along with the over the top oak. The wine needs to be enjoyed with a huge hunk of meat and should be enjoyed after being opened for a long amount of time.

To pair with all of these wines we enjoyed sweet and sour brisket and savory rib roast, along with roasted vegetables and some lovely side dishes that our guests brought over as well.

Enjoy – the wine notes follow below:

2006 Four Gates Merlot, M.S.C. – Score: A- to A
The nose explodes with ripe raspberry, bright fruit, toasty notes, lavender, and dried fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine, rich layers of fruit, along with dark black cherry, plum, blackberry, and nice hints of date, along with dried fruit, crazy cedar, all rounded out nicely by almost sweet round and rich tannin. The finish is long and rich with great balance, the 24 months of oak show lovely cedar, but all of it is highly accentuated by the bright acidity that adds spice to the wine by making all the flavors pop, followed by chocolate, leather, dark fruit, and tobacco. What a great wine – bravo! Drink in the next two or so years.

2005 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle – score: A-
The nose on this deep garnet colored wine is flush with blackberry, mint, asparagus, and oak.  The mouth on this medium bodied wine starts with black plums, raspberry, rich and unctuous mouth feel, that shocked us because of its weight and richness, all the while the bracing acid nicely balances the wine with cedar and dried fruit.  The finish is long with nice mouth coating tannin that has fully integrated, red fruit, chocolate, oregano, and spice. The wine has peaked and is really showing well, drink now.

2009 Four Gates Pinot Noir – Score: A-
This wine has not changed much from my last tasting a few months ago. The 2009 vintage for California Pinot Noir may well be the best vintage in many years, even topping the great 2007 vintage. Well, this vintage from Four Gates is no slouch either, with the wine showing more extraction and rich fruit than normally, but balanced nicely with core acidity, that has always been the true trademark of Benyamin’s wines.

The nose on this dark ruby colored wine does change a bit in the glass, it starts with raspberry, boysenberry, black cherry, blackberry, and herb. As the wine opens, the unique boysenberry and blackberry give way to Four Gates Pinot Noir trademarks of rich kirsch cherry and chicka cherry cola. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is richer than the last few Four Gates Pinot Noir, and it continues to do well at eating oak up and not showing it on the nose of mouth. This wine is rich and round with mouth coating tannin, along with a layered attack of fruit, and rich extraction that is just now melding nicely with herbal and sweet cedar. The finish is rich with ripe fruit from the nose, along with more tannin, extraction and mounds of black pepper that makes for a spicy and herbaceous finish. Drink by 2016.

2005 Galil Mountain Winery Yiron Kosher – Score: B+ to A-
This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 4% Syrah, 2% Petite Verdot. It is a classic Yiron wine, but while I liked it a lot it was missing in acid. The shocking moment to me was when we enjoyed this wine and then we had another glass of Four Gates Merlot and I realized how little acid was in the Yiron – SHOCKING!

The nose is super ripe with blackberry, date, fig, candied fruit, sweet raisin, crushed herb, menthol, and a hint of orange citrus. The mouth is rich and layered, with concentrated fruit of raspberry, blackberry, plum, forest berry, along with rich tannins that are starting to integrate, bell pepper, green notes, and rich cedar that brings the mouth together nicely. The finish is long but lacking in acidic balance, but loaded with crazy black pepper, spice, smoky notes, cloves, chocolate, mounds of tobacco, cedar, and dirt. Drink in the next year or so.

2009 Baron Herzog Petite Sirah P.S. Second Edition – Score: B+ to A-
All I can say is that this bottle needs TONS OF AIR!! Please do yourself a favor and give this wine the time to show its true and beautiful colors to you! This wine is blue black and dead animal! Love it!

The nose starts off very stunted, as does the body, we thought it was boring. Next day – it was awesome! The nose does not hold back – showing deep earth, floral notes, and lush blueberry, along with dead animal on asphalt. The mouth is huge, bold, and full, not a wine for timid folk, that is extracted and expressive, and full of concentrated blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, spice, eucalyptus, hints of date, rich black pepper, bramble, and loamy dirt, along with still bracing tannin and oak to bring it all together. The finish is long and super spicy with rich chocolate, tar, raspberry, black pepper, cloves, and spice, all while lounging around with a rich leather coat and a big fat stogie. This is truly a powerhouse PS and one that has 3 or more years left in its legs.

2009 Bodega Flechas de Los Andes Malbec Gran Malbec – Score: B+
This wine, like the Herzog needs lots of airtime! Once it opens the wine shows classic blue and animal notes, along with a full body. The nose on this garnet colored wine is super rich with heavy extraction of rich toasty oak, dead animal on asphalt, nice floral notes, blueberry, eucalyptus, and licorice. The mouth on this insanely full-bodied wine is rich and toasty with mouth coating tannin, rich toasty oak, blackcurrant, blackberry, sweet cherry cough drops or liquor, and nice raspberry. The finish is long and spicy with integrating tannin, chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla, the clawingly sweet notes seem to have faded. This wine is super rich and focused but the complexity is what is missing. This is a wine that should be enjoyed with meat and a meal and not tasted by itself.

2010 Weinstock Cellars Petite Sirah – Score: B+
Like all the Petite Sirah wines we enjoyed this past shabbos – PLEASE open these VERY early, say Friday morning or decant them and than decant them again! I can only say these puppies need air! The wine starts with rich coffee, then flows into blueberry, boysenberry, citrus, floral notes, licorice, and bing cherry. The mouth is waning a bit and is less massive than at my previous tasting. The tannins are integrated along with nice cedar, good oak, all coming together nicely still, but with less complexity. The wine is still balanced with nice fruit, tobacco, and black pepper. The finish is short to medium with leather, plum, spice, and coffee. Drink up and it is throwing sediment.

2009 Herzog GPS (Grenache – Petite Sirah) – Score: B to B+
This wine is a blend of 79% Grenache and 21% petite Sirah. The nose on this vibrant purple colored wine is super rich and redolent with light fluffy white chocolate, smoky notes, blueberry, ripe raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, and rich oak. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is fun and ethereal showing black cherry, plum, nice soft tannin, and oak. The finish is medium long with blue fruit, spice, vanilla, and dirt. This wine did not show its best and is a wine that is in drink up mode.

2005 Hagafen Chardonnay Prix Late Harvest Reserve – Score: A-
What a golden viscous glass of joy! This is a super ripe glass of joy, oily, viscous, and sweet all over. The wine is deep gold, creamy rich and viscous, and filled with rich and expressive notes of smoke, toast, along with sweet notes, crazy floral expression, and a bushel of peach and apricot cobbler. The mouth is full-bodied, rich and oily, textured and joyous with pear, fig, and insane honey, all balanced by bright lemon citrus, butterscotch, and oak. The finish is caramel rich, with pineapple, grapefruit, and spice.

Posted on February 11, 2013, in Food and drink, Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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