Ella Valley Merlot and a not so good kosher Malbec

This past week we enjoyed some lovely wine from the Ella Valley Winery, which is going through some changes right now. This wine dates back to 2005 when Doron Rav Hon was the head winemaker and the this wine shows his classic Burgundian styling. Of course Merlot is not made in Burgundy, but the restraint and depth of fruit shows the style that he became famous for when he was making wine there.

The other wine was another kosher, baseline Malbec, and I guess you get what you pay for. The 2012 Don Mendoza Malbec is a wine that does little to stem the tide of public opinion around kosher wine. The wine is boring, bland, and within minutes just falls apart in your mouth. You get what you pay for, I recommend you not even try this wine and look elsewhere.

Truly it is sad, because when you type Malbec into Google, you quickly find that it was Argentina that turned the world onto single varietal Malbec. The 2009 Flechas Malbec from Rothschild in Argentina is a nice enough wine, but it can be a bit extreme. If you must buy an Argentinian Malbec, that is your best option by far, even if the 2011 vintage is not as good as the 2009. But this wine, is not even in that league.

Like I posted here about the Kosher Malbec options out there, stick with either the Yarden Malbec, the Tishbi Malbec, or the BEST option, in my opinion the Teperberg Malbec.

The wine notes follow below:

2005 Ella Valley Merlot – Score: A- (and more)
The nose on this wine, a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, is old and mature but not over the hill at all! The nose is rich with dark fruit, candied raspberry, cherry, with insane barnyard funk coming out, along with rich loamy dirt, earthy notes, and spice. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich and layered with lovely funk and mushroom, with good blackberry, forest floor, all wrapped up in a cocoon of green leafy notes, sweet cedar, and mouth drenching tannin. The finish is long and spicy with lovely leafy tobacco, salty notes, rich mineral, graphite, chocolate, and rich dark fruit and leathery notes – BRAVO! The wine is drink up mode and it is throwing sediment – but enjoy!

2012 Don Mendoza Malbec Reserve – Score: C
This wine is mevushal and it shows. The wine shows a simple, not complex, or even very good wine with basic fruit, but a wine that is all over the place. The wine starts off nice, with spicy notes and fruit, but that falls apart very quickly and falls flat to the floor, with stinky socks. Sad, as I was hoping for a better showing from a Argentinian Malbec!

Posted on January 23, 2014, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hey David…forgot again to visit us? And tasteour Malbec 2011. As you liked the 2010, you will like this one as well…hopefully. When are u back to our high noise to signal startup nation? All the best Max Herzberg

    Sent from my iPhone. Max Herzberg


    • Hello Max,

      I must have missed this comment somehow. Very sorry that I could not swing by the winery, just had a bunch of things I had to do the last time I was there.

  2. This is excellent. The Merlot sounds complex for a merlot, i guess that’s the burgundian side of it. I don’t usually drink merlot but may have to search this one out. The malbec sounds dissapointing.
    We just started “Winesday” a weekly wine review on our food blog http://www.2chefs1home.com if you have time to check it out and give us any feedback or ideas we would be most appreciative! We are cork dorks and happy to be your newest followers! Cheers! -Kate

  3. Ramat Naftaly is also a great Israeli Malbec (K) alternative to what was mentioned

  1. Pingback: Lovely California, French, and Israeli Merlots that prove Miles Raymond wrong | Wine Musings Blog

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