Another Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon Friday night with friends
Three weeks ago friends came by for a shabbat as they were visiting the area for a doctor’s conference. The most entertaining part of the shabbat (food wise) was JP’s dietary requirements. The good news was these requirements were not a full group requirement (three total in the posse), but rather a diet need of just JP. The group was fantastic, and the table dynamic was really quite interesting. One of the other guests at the table, who was also hosting the group for lunch the next day, thanked me for introducing the group to them, so yeah they are ok folks.
The interesting fact about JP is that not only is this man vegan (100%), but he is also gluten free. Those two requirements combine to make quite a potent 1-2 punch! Still we worked it out! Once again I went with two pots of trusted Sausage Stew, one with sausage and one sans the sausage! To pump up the Umami flavors I pan fried portobello mushrooms and Tempeh, separately that is. Overall the food approach worked well I think, but the wines were the real winner of the evening – it was a dinner of beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines along with a couple of outliers.
The last dinner we had with guests was also a Cabernet night, but we still had more wines we wanted to try. So, JP was very kind to bring a fantastic wine – a bottle of the 2007 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin, what a wine! It was velvet in a bottle, with still gripping tannins, but mouth coating and plush with layers of complexity and secondary notes coming into form.
Before I rant on my epic fail wine, the two 2007 wines were both brought by guests and they are insane wines. The 2007 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin is pure heaven. The 2007 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon is lovely, really special – but a step behind the Castel GV.
Now on to my rant, the entire night was a home run (at least wine wise), except for my one EPIC fail! You see I trusted people who told me that a wine was really good, and having had an earlier vintage of this wine, I assumed this they were correct. Well, what can I say, I wasted a TON of money of wines that are really not that special at all (with clear date leanings). Look, I know I am a bit more old world in nature than some, but when the entire table, JP, JR, Benyo, and others just say NO (think the upcoming elections), the wine was barely touched, all I can say is EPIC FAIL! The wine was the 2008 Falesco Marciliano Umbria IGT, which pales horribly in comparison to its younger sibling the 2006 Falesco Marciliano Umbria IGT, which I had in NYC last year. The wine is NOT flawed structure wise, but it is overripe, parker-ized, and pushed so hard that it shows. Interestingly, I was given a bottle of the same wine, from a different channel (hand imported it from France to Israel and then home). It will be interesting to see if the issue is the wine or the import/storage manner of the wines I bought – before I got my hands on them.
The outcome of this unfortunate purchase, is a new and I hope fruitful direction I will use in wine buying going forward. I WILL NEVER BUY A WINE I HAVE NOT TASTED. PERIOD! It does not matter if the wine will sell out, nor does it matter if my closest wine confidant says it is good, DO NOT CARE! I have had too many large losses, this past 12 months, from using my old approach, to continue using it any longer. Last year alone I spent countless dollars on promises of my friends and wine aficionados, BAD MOVE! The only person who knows what I like, is me, and therefore, I am happy to have less good wine than more bad wine.
Now back to the good stuff! The day started off with an early wine, the 2014 Shirah Gruner – the only kosher Gruner that I know of (at least in the USA anyway), and a great wine with crazy QPR! When we came back from shul, the evening started with a 2010 Four Gates Chardonnay – a wine that is still far too young, but very enjoyable now. It was brought over by JR, and bravo my man for holding on to a wine for a few years!! The next wine we opened was another Shirah wine, the 2013 Shirah Mourvedre, Har Hamoriah, Kiler Canyon Vineyard. Wow! What a lovely wine, richly California in style, but controlled. This is their first pure Mourvedre and it is a really nice wine. The next wine was the 2007 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, and as I said when I tasted this in a vertical – this wine is really impressive. The next wine was the dud Falesco, which was mine, what can I say. Next was the epic 2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, his first from the Betchart Vineyard on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The next three were wines that were majority Cabernet Sauvignon. First we had the 2007 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin, Judean Hills – WOW WHAT a wine! Seriously, this wine is richly layered, extracted, and beautiful! The next two were my French go to wines, the 2011 Moulin Riche and the 2010 Fourcas Dupre. Both are left bank wines – meaning they are majority Cabernet in general.
My man thanks for the guests that brought the epic 2007 wines and the 2010 Four Gates Chard – the wine notes follow below:
2014 Shirah Gruner Veltliner, John Sebastiano Vineyard – Score: A- (QPR)
This is a lovely wine that comes from the Weiss brothers, AKA Shirah Winery, and it is so not Cali it is wonderful!!!! This is a no brainer go to white when I am in the mood for cold fruit and mineral.
The nose on this wine starts with cold summer fruit, along with mounds of mineral and dirt. With time, the nose turns to vanilla, smoke, and flint along with floral notes of rose hip. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich with Alsace style approach, mineral, slate, rock, dirt, and some very cold fruit, mad quince bomb with some pepper/spice/smoke, along with green apple as well, herb and hints of nectarine. The finish is long and dirty with lovely dark fruit pith, more floral notes, straw/hay, and hints of sweet fig. Lovely and Bravo!
2010 Four Gates Chardonnay – Score: A- (and more)
The nose on this light gold colored wine is filled with bright fruit, but hits you with sweet oak, butterscotch, and then follows up with mango, melon, green apple, tart pear and spice. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is rich, creamy, buttery, and mouth filling with lovely toast, brioche, fresh baked apple pie and a fantastic attack of summer fruit and bracing acidity. The finish is long with white plums, mineral, butter notes, along with almost saline notes and slate – BRAVO!
2013 Shirah Mourvedre, Har Hamoriah, Kiler Canyon Vineyard – Score: A- (and more)
This is Shirah’s first pure Mourvedre wine. WOW! What a classic Shirah wine, showing ripe fruit, but perfectly balanced – cali fresh and fruity. The nose on this wine is lovely and blue with ripe red fruit, juicy strawberry, raspberry, with lovely floral notes. The mouth on this layered and full bodied wine is ripe with rich extraction, lovely fruit structure, and great acid that shows ripe blueberry, boysenberry, followed by dark black fruit and lovely graphite. The finish is long and plush with tannins that linger, with root beer, watermelon, and dark chocolate on the long finish. BRAVO!!!
Cabernet Sauvignon, Larkmead vineyard – Score: A- (and a bit more)
The nose on this lovely wine is dirty and earthy with nice herb, dark cherry and dark currant. The mouth on this medium body shows impressive fruit structure, with lovely mouth coating and drying tannin, along with blackberry, rich mineral, herb, graphite, and green notes. The finish is long and green with sweet dill, tobacco, chocolate, showing green notes, and an overwhelming feeling of sweet notes, more sweet fruit than previous vintages, but finishing with leather and mineral.
2008 Falesco Marciliano, Umbria – Score: B+
This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine starts off very sweet with lovely mushroom, hints of date and sweet notes, dark cherry, blackberry, with tobacco, and crazy dark chocolate. With time the dates and over ripe notes take over the wine – truly sad!! The mouth is rich and layered, mouth coating with lovely black fruit, sweet oak, with dark fruit, cassis, more mushroom, with layers of graphite, date juice, prune, anise, herb, and lovely acid that brings the wine together. The finish is long and green with lovely foliage, plush tannin, and lovely fruit structure.
This wine reminds me much more of an average over the top Israeli cab with crazy good structure – this is not the Falesco wines I have had in the past. This is an over the top Parkerized version. SHAME!
2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: A- to A
The fruit for this lovely old-world Cabernet comes from Betchart Vineyard on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I have been able to watch this progress from press to bottling, and it has gone from a rich red fruit wine, to a hybrid rich old-world wine with big red fruit along with some lovely black fruit.
The wine has evolved a bit from my last tasting. Still, this is a unique Cabernet that is rich, extracted, balanced, yet oak influenced in a lovely manner, this is not a big black new-world Cabernet!
The nose on this purple to black colored wine, with blue streaks through it is screaming with cloves, graphite, kirsch cherry, raspberry, blackberry, red fruit, tobacco, mint, and anise. The mouth on the full-bodied brute of a wine is super rich, extracted, layered, and concentrated, with nice black and red forest berry, ribbons of blueberry, plum, currant, eucalyptus, and green bell pepper, all wrapped up in a cedar box filled with spice and still big round and mouth coating tannin that makes for a rich and spicy mouthfeel. The finish is long, lovely, smoke, with rich extraction, intense tar, and spicy with more tannin, chocolate, tobacco, cinnamon, red fruit, black pepper, and a nice hit of vanilla. The chocolate, oak, tar, smoke, herbs, red fruit, and vanilla linger long. The wine is starting to open, but still needs time. I would start drinking it within the year and then finish it by 2021. BRAVO!!
2007 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin, Judean Hills – Score: A- to A
This wine is a blend of blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. What a nose, intoxicatingly insane with rich layers of mushroom and truffle, followed by lovely graphite, dirt, earth, and depth with dark fruit, cherry, and herb. Wow what a body with deep structure, searing tannin and acid, showing perfect balance with layers of concentrated rich blackberry and cassis, showing still nice extraction and power, with leather, spice and mouth draping velvety and insane tannins and structure WOW. The finish is super long, with truffles, mineral, dark chocolate, pencil shavings, and lovely leafy tobacco lingering long. BRAVO!! This wine needed three hours in bottle to open, this wine has another 4 to 5 years but it is at peak and will stay for sometime. IMPRESSIVE!
2011 Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint Julein (QPR) – Score: A- to A
This is a wine made by the same producer and with the same care as the famed Chateau Leoville Poyferre! The wine may be called a younger sibling or smaller sibling of the Leoville Poyferre Grand Vin, but it is not true in any way! I have now tasted this wine three times, in the short time period of a month, and this wine is ripped and muscled with deep and rich mineral notes that blew my mind along with acid and fruit that makes for a wine that will clearly be around for at least another 8 years.
This wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Though I doubt there really is any PV, as others have told me the PV is not added in the kosher cuvee. This wine needs time, it needs three hours in a decanter to really open to its true potential.
The nose on this black colored wine is lovely and rich with barnyard notes (interesting for such a young wine), graphite, along with fresh black fruit, lovely red fruit, raspberry, dark cherry that comes together with perfumed sweet herb, and crazy smoke. The mouth on this crazy rich and layered full bodied wine, comes at you with layers of crazy mouth drying tannin, rich blackberry, cassis, rich minerality, charcoal, all integrated into the wine’s rich fruit structure making for a wine that can handle anything you throw at it. The finish is rich and long with crazy mineral and fruit, leather, coffee, roasted herb, and intense smoldering charcoal madness. BRAVO!!!!
2010 Fourcas Dupre, Listric – Medoc – Score: A- (CRAZY QPR)
I have to say, I never add price into my notes, and to be sure, this one is no different, but a year ago I thought this wine was not ready to play, this year it was awesome! Also, the price never defines the scores I give, but it is a huge component to my QPR score – and in this case this wine is a 100% NO BRAINER!
The nose on this wine is lovely with rich dirt, nice mushroom, hints of barnyard, and lovely black dirt. Sure 2009 was the year of Bordeaux, but 2010 was still a very good vintage and this wine is a great example! The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is lovely with rich saline, nice spice, lovely blackberry, along with crazy mushroom, mouth coating tannin, and layers of fruit and earth and forest floor that come at you and do not give up. The finish is long, with balancing acid, more earth, dirt, rich dark cherry, plum, cranberry, and lovely mineral/graphite. The fruit and mineral lingers long – BRAVO!!!!
Posted on June 9, 2016, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chateau Fourcas Dupre, Chateau Moulin Riche, Covenant Winery, Domaine du Castel, Falesco Winery, Four Gates Winery, grand vin, Gruner Veltliner, Marciliano, Mourvedre, Shirah Winery. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.