Kosher wine and food madness – New York style
Back In March I had the opportunity to spend some time in NYC and hang with some friends. It was three days of wine tasting in foodie heaven and I wanted to post about the wines and the food, because some of it was just spectacular! It all started on a Monday night after the very average City Winery event, I made my way to SB and DF’s home and continued the wine tasting there. Sadly, I seemed to have misplaced my notes for two of the wines; namely the 2007 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Vineyard Choice and the 2004 Ella Valley RR, Vineyard’s Choice. The RR, if I remember correctly was all over the place and on the other side already in puppy heaven. The 2007 VC Cab was rocking, with rich layers and lovely barnyard, but for some reason I do not have the notes, no idea why! Of what I do remember the 2007 Cab VC was very old world in style with barnyard and lovely dirt and mushroom notes, with blackberry and plum, lovely! The 2007 Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz started off OK, but went all over the place quickly and went into blackcurrant madness and lost all balance, sadly. The 2004 Castel C was DOA, not fun at all. In the end, the first night was ruled by the epic 2007 Hagafen Late disgorged Brut and the 2007 Ella Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Vineyard Choice.
After that, it was off to bed, as we had a long day ahead. I woke up pretty much on time the next day, and we were off to see a wine store in the area, where I picked up a few bottles for the next few nights festivities and then it was back to the house to enjoy bubbly and some insane meat along with two wicked red wines; the 2005 Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2003 Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Leognan. Both were insane, but the Malartic is an entirely different world wine, with filthy layers of fruit, tannin, and barnyard – madness!!! Still, the 2005 Yatir Cabernet (their first varietal cab) was really impressive and had no flaws.
The next day I jumped on a bus and made my way to Brooklyn where I hung out with friends of ours, and for dinner I made my way to YC’s house, where a crazy dinner was being setup. By the time I arrived, YC and YB were going mano-a-mano, side by side, with varying types beef tartare, and rib roasts, while YB handled the burgers exclusively. Humorously, looking back at the dinner it really turned out to be an entire night of uncooked fish and beef tartare – really! When I arrived I was famished so we ordered in a LOT of Sushi for the guests who were already arriving, while the two cavemen “prepared” the meat, there really was no cooking going on here! Once we had inhaled the sushi (or most of it) and were accepting of a time-out, I ripped through a few of the white and bubbly wines described below, for note purposes only (they were not that enjoyable) and then we were ready for the serious food, cooked or not! On a total aside, the sushi came from an establishment called Five day sushi! Now, I am not into marketing, seriously, but who the heck came up with that name?? Do you think anyone who looks at that name, would care that fish were created on the fifth day of creation?? NOT ME!! All people looking at that name, for the most part, will think they sell sushi that is five days old, how safe or appetizing do they think that sounds?? With that said, the sushi was great, albeit the horrific name.
The meat evening started with two courses – one made each by YC and YB – of beef tartare, YC’s was more Dijon mustardy and spice, while YB’s had smoked tongue rilletes, oil, and lots of herb – if I remember correctly. From there they went to rib eye two ways, which was essentially raw meat with a slight sear – LOL!!! Actually, YB brought this sick looking chunk of meat and that went on the girl for about 30 seconds, maybe a drop more! The inside was still moving and blue while the outside was well seared, as I said raw meat night! Next, there were burgers, of which I cannot remember, but again it was well seared raw beef patties, really beef tartare but in a ufo shape! Finally, YC brought out a huge chunk of rib eye meat (AKA roast) and I grabbed the bone, and finally there was actual cooked meat! However, to be honest, by then I was cooked, I was not spitting much and the raw meat was fermenting in my stomach and I was out for the count.
While the food was lovely, and equally beautiful to look at, the true stars of the evening were the wines. I started with a bottle of Rambam Prosecco, which was drinkable, I spat that one! The next was another white wine, a bottle of 2012 Giersberger Riesling, and it was nice enough, clearly the best of the lineup they bring to the US, but a B+ at best. Next we moved to the 2007 Yarden Pinot Noir, and while it is nice, it is nowhere near the epic 2008 PN. The 2007 was a solid B+ wine that is in drink up mode. Next was the 2012 Hajdu Cabernet Franc, which is a lovely wine, but it is starting to show a bit more ripe than I remember last, and while it is not flawed it did not show well that night. That was followed by two wines that are clearly lightning rods for me. I posted before about the two new Lewis Pasco wines, and while they are clearly ripe, some do not think they are over the top. To me, they have power but they are unbalanced and not wines I would stock up on. The 2012 – project #1 is going sweet, so watch out. The Liquidity 2012 is sadly over the top, and when I had it in 2013, from barrel, at sommelier it was beautiful. When I had it in 2014, from bottle, at sommelier – I posted that I thought they were over the top. I wanted to get a bottle here in the USA and get a chance to sit down with them and taste them over a dinner or more, and sadly after doing so, my opinion of them is worse than it was in Israel. Yes, I am in the minority, and I have no issue with that. I find them rich and extracted and unctuous, but also too ripe, unbalanced, and date like. I understand this will not be accepted well by many, but these are my notes, for my tracking, and do with them as you see fit.
From this point it went straight up and flat-out insane, with a bottle of a Napa wine that is not to be spoken about (no names), crazy rich and unctuous wine with layers of rich mineral, blackberry, cassis, insane extraction, and graphite that does not stop, a crazy wine which is a once in a lifetime wine. Next was the 2007 Mirvis Creek blend, which was the same fruit that Four gates used to make the 2005 Four Gates Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2007 version of the Mirvis Creek wine was better than the 2005, a solid wine, but nowhere in the same planet as the Napa wine or the next wines. Next came the 2006 Falesco Marciliano – MADNESS in a bottle! YC invited a few guests and one of them asked what we would like, I begged for some Falesco and this was the reward! WOW! The Falesco versus the Napa, the Napa wins, but sheerly from its aggressive and in your face style. If finesse, elegance is what you are looking for with a lovely balance of power, then the Falesco is your winner. Either way you would not be unhappy, If you are looking for a winner when two epic wines are on the table, just look at what gets finished first, when there is unencumbered and unfettered access to both bottles – winner: Falesco by a mile. Maybe the roughness and graphite mineral attack of the Napa wine was too much, but either way they were winners!
It did not stop there, next was the 2006 Ella Valley Merlot – epic! A lovely barnyard and mushroom heaven with black fruit, green notes, and mad funk. It is lovely to see a properly stored and well made wine evolve, and this is a perfect example of that! I wish Israel still made wines like they used to! Next was a 2003 Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz, and here it showed much better than the 2007 I had two nights before. Here the wine was perfectly balanced with rich age, barnyard, funk, and balanced beautifully with blackberry, plum, and raspberry – very impressive wine. My many thanks to YC and YB for hosting and serving up a plethora of good food and wine. Then it was back home to get some sleep and get ready for another day of food and wine.
The next day I took my time getting up and out, and made my way to Five Day Sushi for lunch, and I must say they were once again solid sushi. After that I walked back to where I was staying, packed up my things and made my way to the next and last wine and food event, in Manhattan, with food made once again by YC. The wines were quite impressive, with a list of old french and Cali wines, with only one Israeli date wine to speak about, and the rest were rocking, except for a corked wine that sadly was the epic 2003 Covenant Cabernet, but that is what you get with cork, Russian roulette with great wines!
Food wise, the event was really about the wine, with some wonderful food interspersed into the festivities. To be fair, I do not think the wines and dishes were throughly thought out in advance, though many worked well. This event is more about enjoying lots of wine, and getting YC to serve his food!
1) The party started with gribenes, which while I tasted one piece, I left the rest for the other guests! This dish was paired with 2001 Haut Condissas.
2) The next dish was Chicken and waffles, and as the affable donkey in Shrek said (though some 12 hours off), “and then in the morning I’m making waffles”! – who does not love waffles! Throw in some deep fried animal protein and we have a winner! Not the winner of the night mind you, but a very solid dish indeed! Wine was the pairing was a nice bottle of 2000 Sarget De Gruaud-Larose. It was nice, but paled in comparison to the epic Haut Condissas.
3) The next dish was Veal Scallopini, which is really fried veal, and while I love veal, this one did not tickle my funny bone, but it was very nice none the less. It was paired with a bottle of 2003 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon – which was sadly corked. Such a waste of lovely wine, but as stated, there is nothing on e can do about a corked wine (yeah I know about the plastic wrap trick). Sadly it was DOA.
4) The next dish was one of the five winners of the night; Beef Prosciutto, AKA cured and smoked beef rib and it was filthy! Salty, smokey, earthy, with good meaty umami flavor all over! It was paired to perfection with another earthy dirty beast – the 2005 Carmel Limited Edition (Israeli label). Lovely – truly lovely pairing!
5) The next dish was Beef Jerky and it was another of the winners of the night, it worked great for me, I was nibbling on that all night. Wine wise it was paired with a bottle of the 2007 Carmel Limited Edition. The 2007 vintage was supposed to be better than the 2005, but not these bottles.
6) The next dish was Beef lardo, and this did remind me of YB’s beef lardo to some extent, either way it was a lovely dish indeed! It was paired very well with a bottle of 2005 Four Gates Syrah.
7) The next dish was another great use of a pot of oil; Pastrami egg rolls! I loved them, but then that is a sickness I have with taking almost any protein and adding a bucket of super hot oil – and you get meat heaven! Add in some flour (or store-bought wrappers – who cares), and you take the meat to another level! Flour, meat, and super heated oil – is all you need to make this grown man happy! Wine wise, it was paired with one of the next super winners of the night; 2005 Hagafen Melange, Prix. It is a crazy rich wine and its elegance can be seen for miles, even if it is mevushal!
8) The next dish was very nice but barely made the top five; shredded beef slider, beef pastramii that was sous vide and would normally go so well with a lovely glass of red wine. Sadly, my glass on this dish was the 2007 Yarden Cab, which was date juice, but hey who is complaining – one glass of date juice versus 10 other impressive wines – I can handle a little date!
9) The next dish was corned chuck eye, which while I like chuck eye meat, this one was just ok for me. It was paired with another of the best wines of the night; the 2008 Yatir Petite Verdot (shmitta). Epic insane wine – BRAVO to Yatir on another smash wine!
10) Finally, the last dish was the best by far, and yes I helped with its peroration by using a blow torch on it, which is like living in meat heaven! Give me 72 hour sous vide beef ribs, throw in a mean smoked BBQ glaze, and then hand me a pyrotechnic device – are you freaking bleeping me! I loved it! I may have gone overboard on a slab or two, but no one seemed to mind! The more sear the better – just joking! The wine it paired with was a perfect match; 2008 Yarden El Rom Cabernet Sauvignon. It was rich and earthy and perfect for the rich and sweet meat that was finger linking good!!
11) Desert was a glass of 2013 Tzora Or which was just fantastic as was the entire evening!
My many thanks to the host and hostess of the event and YC for letting me mess with his food, and to the many people who brought wines they have saved for a long time – to share with us all!
Wines from first events:
2003 Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Leognan – Score: A- to A
WOW what a wine, nothing new here, this wine has been crushing it for years. The nose on this wine is dreaming with dark fruit, black cherry, currant, lovely funk. barnyard, mushroom, along with lovely mineral. The mouth on this full bodied wine is richly extracted with layers of lovely dark fruit, wrapped in intense mineral core, rich blackberry, along with more black fruit, still searing tannin, and all buoyed by a wonderful fruit structure. The finish on this wine is ripping with core acid, mouth coating and draping tannins, along with lovely leather, tobacco, intense graphite that scrapes the mouth, and dark bittersweet chocolate. BRAVO!!! This wine has 8 more years ahead of it easily.
2005 Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: A-
What a lovely wine – this wine is still screaming with intense tannins and smokey notes – lovely!! This was the first true varietal true Cabernet Sauvignon from Yatir, until then all the Cab was blended into the blend of the Forest. The wine is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Shiraz. The wine is a solid hit with nice dark fruit, good mineral, blackberry, along with crazy licorice, and nice green notes. The mouth on this full bodied wine is nicely extracted, with blackcurrant, nice tannin, along with rich chocolate, sweet notes, mineral, graphite, and nice green notes. The finish is long and green, with a lovely mineral core, mounds of tobacco, raspberry, herb, and oriental spices – Lovely! Drink UP!!!
Wines from second event:
NV Rambam Prosecco – Score: B to B+ (mevushal)
This wine shows nice yeast, good acid, lemon and medium sized mousse. A nice enough wine and mevushal.
2007 Yarden Pinot Noir – Score: B+
The nose on this wine is classic in nature, showing dark cherry, kirsch, and candy corn. The mouth on this nice medium bodied wine is nice, with sweet notes, bordering on date, with sweet raspberry, candied plum, and mushroom that appears over time. The finish is long with impressive acid, good tannin, sweet cedar, chocolate, and oriental spices. Nice! Drink UP!!!!
2013 Lewis Pasco #2 – Score: B+
I tried the wine again, as I said I would, with bottles bought in NYC, and the best I can say about them is that they are still in your face, but man are they sweet and ripe. This wine is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 7% carignan thrown in instead of Petite Sirah like last year. The nose on the wine is ripe, with blue and black notes, nice green notes, along with earth, and red fruit. The mouth on this full bodied wine has a nice fruit structure, but it really has gone sweet, really sweet, with super sweet black fruit that dominates, nice mouth coating tannin, with nice spices and herb. The finish is long and tannic with a softer side than the 2012, but not close to the elegance or control that the 2012 shows.
2012 Lewis Pasco Cabernet Sauvignon, Liquidity – Score: B++
I tried the wine again, as I said I would, with bottles bought in NYC, and the best I can say about them is that they are still in your face, but man are they sweet and ripe. The nose starts closed, but opens to show anise, roster herb, blue and black fruit, along with toasty oak. The mouth on this full bodied wine is very much in your face, with clear date and ripe fruit leanings, along with wild mouth coating tannin, richly extracted with blackberry, plum, cassis, date, and green notes. The finish is long and spicy with nutmeg, cinnamon, roasted coffee, and tar.
2007 Mirvis Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Cuvée Yitz, Rowe – Score: B++
The wine is a classic mineral bomb wine with the mineral sticking out, but it has now calmed down and is integrating well. The nose starts off a bit closed, but with time it opens to brooding black fruit, candied plum, mounds of mineral, graphite, slate, and loamy dirt. The mouth on the medium to full bodied wine shows clear rich mouth coating tannin, along with raspberry, blackberry, cassis, and the barest of blueberry ribbons, along with nice oak, intense mineral, graphite, herb, and green notes. The finish is long and lasting with more mineral, nutmeg, leather, coffee, chocolate, black pepper, and eucalyptus. This is a nice wine that is a younger brother to the 2005 Four Gates Napa Cabernet that was created from the same grapes.
2006 Falesco Marciliano – Score: A- to A
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, from the Umbria district in Italy. What can I say, I have been craving this wine for a long time, and when YC said a friend could bring it over to share during the evening’s festivities, I begged for this bottle. This was the best wine of the evening or the second depending on what you defined as best. This was the only wine that was 100% empty at the end of the night, but from a perspective of pure power, the Napa wine was a bit more in your face. From a perspective of elegance or complexity, this was the best of the night. Either way it was a true treat and one I hope to be able to enjoy again one day!
The nose on this fantastic wine is redolent with lovely mushroom, loamy dirt, and hints of brett, with crazy earth, forest floor, strawberry, and raspberry. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is balanced with intense acid, lovely funk, barnyard notes, along with spice, lovely tobacco, wrapped in crazy mouth drying tannin, along with layers upon layers of concentrated dark fruit, blackberry, plum, lovely green notes, rich mineral, with more forest floor. The finish is perfectly balanced balanced with mad mineral, cloves, more tilled earth, intense spices, chocolate, and tannin that rises long. BRAVO!!!!!!
2006 Ella Valley Merlot – Score: A- (and more)
What a beautiful wine, showing lovely age with grace and elegance! The nose on this wine shows beautiful dirt, earthy goodness, mushroom, and mounds of barnyard, lovely! The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich and nicely extracted with mouth coating tannin, more mushroom, dirt, green notes, along with sweet herb, crazy sweet tannins, along with searing acid, blackberry, plum, and more black fruit. The finish is long with green notes, funk, lovely graphite, mineral, and earth. The wine is proof that great wines can and have been created in Israel, if care is there. What a lovely elegant wine indeed – BRAVO To Doron!!!!!
2003 Carmel Shiraz, Kayoumi Vineyard – Score: A-
Another old Israeli wine that keeps on giving – how we miss you. The nose on this wine is lovely with ripe blackberry, dark plum, lovely funk, mushroom, smoke, and roasted meat. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich with more mushroom, leather, earth, impressive tannin, dirt, and spices galore. The finish is long and rich with layers of boysenberry, blackberry, and earth, with lovely coffee, licorice, and sweet notes lingering long. Bravo!!!
Wines from third event:
2001 Haut Condissas, Prestige Medoc – Score: A- (and then some)
Well, if this was not the winner of the night, it was in the top three for sure, but it had stiff competition. The nose on this lovely wine is redolent with lovely black tea, rich and crazy barnyard notes, dirt, and black fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is richly layered and elegant with rich dirt, blackberry, currant, dark cherry, along with green notes, and lovely mouth coating tannin. The finish is long and rich with more earth, good bracing acid, lovely mineral, graphite, coffee, and leather – BRAVO!!!! Another three years or so, but at peak.
2000 Sarget De Gruaud-Larose – Score: A-
This wine was once but clearly showing its age and on the way down. The nose on this wine is lovely with mad mushroom, barnyard, and intense dirt. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with rich dirt, nice tannin structure, along with sweet herb, more barnyard funk, blackberry, plum, cherry, balanced well with rich mouth coating layers mushroom and acid. The finish is long and acidic with more dirt, green notes, lovely mineral, coffee, anise, and rich vanilla. Bravo! Drink UP!!!!
2003 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: NA
Sadly this epic win was corked.
2005 Carmel Limited Edition (Israeli label) – Score: A- (and more)
What a lovely and dirty wine this is. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, 15% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine explodes with dark fruit, lovely blackberry, dark plum, and anise. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich with mushroom, mouth coating tannin, lovely mushroom, all accentuated by an impressive fruit structure of black fruit, raspberry, and cassis. The finish is long and mineral based with lovely supple tannins, chocolate, leather, lovely sweet tobacco, mineral, fresh coffee, vanilla, and oriental spice. Bravo!! Drink Now!!!
2007 Carmel Limited Edition – Score: A-
This was another lovely wine, but the 2005 vintage was better, whether that was bottle variation, storage, or the vintage, I am not sure, but this wine had clear date and over ripe leanings. This wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Petit Verdot, and 5% each of Merlot and Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine showed date, blackcurrant, lovely dirt, and nice mushroom notes. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has good structure, with a plush and supple mouthfeel, wrapping plum, blackberry, dark cherry, lovely mineral, and balanced well with good acid, but the sweet notes do come through. The finish is long and herbal with roasted herb, spice, and more mushroom and barnyard on the long finish – Very Nice! Drink UP!!!!
2005 Four Gates Syrah – Score: A-
The nose on this black colored wine filled with tar, chocolate, black pepper, licorice, alcohol, oak, black plum, blackberry, and thyme. The mouth of this full bodied and layered wine is filled with mouth coating tannins, black plum, blackberry, and tar. The mid palate plays off the mouth coating palate with more tannin, acidity, oak, and chocolate. The finish is long and smoky, with tar, black pepper, plum, and acidity. Drink up!!
2005 Hagafen Melange, Prix – Score: A- to A (and more) (mevushal)
The nose on this Bordeaux blend is insane and lovely with a rich elegant nose showing crazy mineral, menthol, pencil, and herb. WOW What a lovely wine with crazy fruit structure, with still searing tannin, rich fruit with blackberry, and insane acid, that balanced with chocolate, cassis, and raspberry with layers upon layers BRAVO! The finish is long and sweet, yet tart and acidic with lingering tannin, mad spice, chocolate, sweet dill, roasted herb, oregano, and mint.
2008 Yatir Petite Verdot (shmitta) – Score: A- (and then some)
A truly impressive wine from one of the best vintages in recent memory. The wine is a blend of 85% Petit Verdot and 15% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this lovely wine is redolent with crazy earth, dirt, dark fruit, and intense vanilla. The mouth on this full bodied wine is richly extracted with mad hedonism, lovely roasted animal, dirt, blackberry, black fruit, along with roasted herb, and hints of green notes, all supported by rich draping tannin and mad fruit structure. The finish is long and extracted with rich smoke, roasted coffee, mineral, bittersweet chocolate, and lovely sweet cedar. BRAVO!!!!
2008 Yarden El Rom Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: A- (and then some)
The last time I had this wine, it was very closed, while this wine was far more open and accessible. The nose on this lovely wine has already started to show mushroom and loamy dirt notes, just like its 8 year older brother, the 2001 El Rom. The continues with dark fruit, with rich chocolate, sweet raspberry, and dark plum. The mouth on this full bodied wine is ripe, and richly extracted with layers upon layers of mad dark fruit, blackberry, followed by dirt, some sweet notes, hints of blueberry, lovely sweet spices, along with intense mouth coating tannin that have yet to start to integrate. The finish is long and sweet with blue and black fruit, lovely rich supple leather, licorice, and dried tobacco. Bravo!!!!!
2013 Tzora Or – Score: A- and more
What a lovely wine made from “iced” Gewurtztraminer grapes that were picked late. The nose on this golden elixir is ripe with juicy pineapple, crazy sweet guava, melon, jasmine, floral notes, and an intoxicating perfume of tropical sweet fruits. The mouth on this full bodied assault vehicle is viscous, rich, mouth coating and crazy with an oily texture that coats along with honeyed fruit, honeysuckle, sweet white chocolate, white peach, and candied kiwi. The finish is long and well balanced and all together fantastic, with bracing acid, candied fig, and mineral, stone, and lovely pith – BRAVO!!!
Posted on August 13, 2015, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmel Winery, Chateau Haut Condissas, Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, El Rom, Ella Valley Winery, Falesco Winery, Four Gates Winery, Hagafen Winery, kayoumi, Lewis Pasco, Limited Edition, Liquidity, Marciliano, melange, Merlot, Mirvis Creek, Or, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Prix Reserve, Sarget De Gruaud larose, Shiraz, Syrah, Tzora Winery, Yarden Winery, Yatir Winery. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.