Another great Shabbos at Four Gates Winery with good friends – 2015
This thing is starting to be a habit! Last year we did it with the boys, but that trip we got totally shnockered, and I never did get good notes, but man did we move though a lot of wine! This trip, was a bit more shabbos like, we sang, actually spoke about things relating to the weekend, and yes we drank a fair amount of wine. However, the wines for this trip were purposely dedicated to the west coast, no wines at all from Israel or France of the like. Of course the vast majority of them were Four Gates wines, but we also had a Shirah wine in there, the new Aglianico, and a very nice Covenant Sauvignon Blanc from 2011 that was screaming!!
I will skip the pleasantries and the such, as we all know who Four Gates Winery is and that he is a friend of mine, which is why we have our “yearly” Guys outing there! This year the shabbos was not just friends of mine from out of town but also some friends from here in San Jose! Of course none of this would have or could have happened without Binyamin Cantz, winemaker, owner, cask washer, cellar rat, vineyard manager, and all around dude of Four gates Winery – you get the point!
I was happy that I may have only gotten him angry at me once over the shabbos, maybe twice, which for me is a record!
Anyway, the notes and the pics of the wines follow – have a great week all!
1997 Four Gates Chardonnay – Score: A- (and more)
lovely and screaming! The nose is lovely and citrusy, with sweet oak and oriental spice. The mouth is more polished and elegant with great acid, guava, pineapple and great acid with great sweet fruit and fig. The finish is long work lovely fruit, hints of butterscotch and rich summer fruit.
2002 Four Gates Chardonnay – Score: A-
What a joyous wine the nose is rich with a classic Meyrieux nose of pineapple, sweet fruit and lovely spice. The mouth is lovely and medium bodied with great apple pie, kiwi, pineapple, along with crazt tart fruit, with lovely rich acid and intense layers of brioche and fruit. The finish is long and sweet with nutmeg and candied pineapple, with sweet cedar bringing it all together. The acid is what rocks this wine along with the tart and sweet wine notes. Bravo!!!
2011 Covenant Red C, Sauvignon Blanc – Score: A-
Bravo! What a lovely nose and the wine is really kicking, which surprised me very much. The nose on this wine is lovely and aromatic with crazy gooseberry, cats pee, grapefruit, and floral notes, lovely! The mouth crazy kicking still with nice acid, mad lemon friache, lemon citrus, with wet grass, hay, dirt, and dried apricot. The finish is long and acidic with nice spice, crazy lemon citrus, pith, and intense lemon acid core. BRAVO! This is a ripping acid wine, lovely!
2012 Shirah Vintage Whites – Score: A-
OK, to start this wine is unique, not so much that it is a Viognier/Roussane blend, there are a few folks doing that in the kosher world now (Reccanati and others). The real unique aspect is that the Weiss brothers decided to let the bitter and earthy notes of the Roussane take a center stage for this wine, at least for part of the time. That is not a flaw to me as much as it is a shocking aspect that needs time for some to get used to. Once you are past this issue – this wine rocks my world, and at 25 bucks a pop, many could really appreciate this wine for almost any meal, other than a steak!
The nose on this straw to light gold colored wine is the clear and utter winner of the wine perfume competition! Are you kidding me, this nose is 100% certifiable, with rich and honeyed notes of dripping honeysuckle, lovely jasmine, impressive floral notes, all backed by very impressive earthy mineral components, and ripe melon. The mouth on this medium bodied wine was where some were shocked by the twin competing vertexes of saline and sweet fruit notes. With time this wine has mellowed and is now showing just sweet notes but old world in style – BRAVO GUY!!! The wine shows lovely layers of honey, spice, guava, ripe Asian pear, along with a mineral structure of this wine that exhibits a lovely oily texture, and good sweet apple sauce. The finish is where the shocker starts, crazy bitter citrus pith takes center stage with good almond notes, all finished above a bed of lovely slate/rock and richly mineral focus.
I must say time has been kind to this wine, it shows lovely ripe honey and citrus but not letting go of its mineral core and pith – BRAVO!!
2003 Four Gates Merlot – Score: A-
The nose on this electric red colored wine is vibrant and expressive with rich sweet oak, smoky, black candied cherry, raspberry, blackberry, ripe plum, and lovely earthy and dirty mushroom notes. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is ripping with mad acid, lovely searing mouth coating tannin, with layers of lovely black and red fruit, filled with currant, with a big attack of fruit, sweet dill, and lovely fruit structure and earth. The finish is long and acidic, with bramble, chocolate, tobacco, crushed herbs, spice, nutmeg, and sweet dill on the long finish. BRAVO!
2005 Four Gates Merlot, M.S.C. – Score: A- (and more)
The nose on this still vibrant purple colored wine is packed with blackberry, cherry, plum, eucalyptus, mad mineral, graphite, and some lovely Merlot funk. The mouth on this full bodied wine is richly layered and extracted with waves of concentrated fruit, intense ripe raspberry, plum, cassis, and mouth coating tannins that all come together with bracing acidity and sweet oak. The finish is long and spicy with leather, spice, still tight and searing tannin, sweet notes, espresso, leather, chocolate, and hints of tobacco and cloves – BRAVO!!! This is a wine that is going nowhere anytime soon with more acid and tannin to keep this alive for another 3 years.
2006 Four Gates Merlot, M.S.C. – Score: A- (and more)
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, crazy acid and mouth coating searing tannin, along with dried fruit, crazy cedar, all rounded out nicely with rich mouth coating 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 three years.
2007 Four Gates Merlot – Score: A- (and more)
This wine is 100% Merlot, aged for 24 months in French Oak. Still dark purple in color, the nose shows lovely fruit, luscious blackberry, ripe black plum, ripe raspberry, along with lovely crushed herb, graphite, and mineral. The mouth on medium to full bodied wine, comes at you in layers, with concentrated dark and red fruit, followed by licorice, pencil lead, balancing acidity, mouth draping tannins that grip to your mouth, along with spicy oak. The finish is long and ripe with jammy fruit, lingering tannin, coffee, jam, and vanilla that keep going on and on and on. This a fantastic wine that is not yet at its peak, and a wine that will hold its own for at least another 5 years.
2007 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle – Score: A- to A
This wine is 100% Merlot, aged for 24 months in French Oak. Still dark purple in color, the nose shows lovely fruit, floral notes, perfumed with luscious blackberry, ripe black plum, ripe raspberry, along with lovely crushed herb, anise, mint, graphite, eucalyptus, green notes, and mineral. The mouth on this full bodied wine, comes at you in layers, with concentrated dark and red fruit, with searing mouth coating/draping tannin, showing elegance and power all at once, with perfect balancing acidity, along with spicy oak. The finish is long and ripe with jammy fruit, lingering tannin, bitter chocolate, jam, and vanilla that keep going on and on and on. This a fantastic wine that is not yet at its peak, and a wine that will hold its own for at least another 7 years.
2008 Four Gates Merlot, M.S.C. – Score: A- to A
The nose on this black colored wine was insane and intoxicating with ripe blackberry, eucalyptus, mint, dark plum, followed by intense dark chocolate, and spice. The mouth on this full bodied wine hits you in layers of concentrated ripe and dried fruit all at the same time, raspberry, cherry, red and black fruit, followed by intense dirt, mineral, roasted herb, all wrapped up in crazy mouth coating tannin and sweet oak. The finish is so long I could not clean my palate, with acid that seems to have been born from a lemon, yet perfectly balanced within the whole, with chocolate, oriental spice, intense leather, and roasted notes. BRAVO! FILTHY! This is a wine that is going nowhere anytime soon, and will be at peak very soon. Enjoy until 2018 with the peak hitting soon if not already here.
2008 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle – Score: A- (and more)
This wine is 100% Merlot, aged for 24 months in French Oak. Still dark purple in color, the nose shows lovely fruit, floral notes, perfumed with luscious blackberry, with lovely crushed herb, licorice, mineral, graphite, eucalyptus, and green notes. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine, comes at you in layers, with concentrated strawberry, raspberry, dark and red fruit, with supple mouth coating/draping tannin, showing elegance and plush fruit structure, with lovely mineral, and perfect balancing acidity, along with spicy oak. The finish is long and ripe with jammy fruit, lingering tannin, green notes, jammy red structure, mushroom, and fruit/green/mineral notes keep going on and on and on. This a fantastic wine that is not yet at its peak, and a wine that will hold its own for at least another 6 years.
2013 Shirah Aglianico – Score: A- to A
This wine needs a ton of time to open, it starts off very closed but with 10 hours it will be good. The nose on this wine is crazy with floral notes, ripe blue fruit, raspberry, and juicy strawberry with mad perfume of dirt and sweet spices. This is another Shirah monster wine, another wine from the Weiss brothers that live up to the heritage of crazy big, bold, aggressive Cali wines. SO AWESOME! The mouth on this full bodied wine is a purple/black colored wine with ripe blackberry, crazy acid, followed by mouth scarping tannin and mineral, with graphite followed by layers of juicy boysenberry, strawberry, with sweet tannin, sweet spices, apricots, and juicy fruit that does not stop. The finish is long and mineral with tannin that does not end, with graphite, nutmeg, sweet spices, and sweet basil. WOW What a wine, BRAVO guys!!!
Posted on June 25, 2015, in Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Winery Visit and tagged Aglianico, Chardonnay, Covenant Winery, Four Gates Winery, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Shirah Winery, Vintage Whites. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Pingback: California Wines and friends make for a great combination! | Wine Musings Blog
Pingback: California kosher wine living for 2015 | Wine Musings Blog
Pingback: Covenant Winery Israel – the next step in a spiritual and physical Journey | Wine Musings Blog
Pingback: Age is beautiful – Four Gates | Wine Musings Blog
Pingback: Some Four Gates & Brobdingnagian wines that continue to shine in their age | Wine Musings Blog