Elk’s fantastic Northern California birthday party
My friend EH was in the area and it was also his birthday, so a bunch of winemakers were so kind to grace my home for Elk and they all came bearing gifts, that were enjoyed by all. Sadly, as much as I want to extol about the epic wines we enjoyed, I cannot do that as many of the wines are not yet released, and I was sworn to secrecy until their official grand unveiling.
I did not even plan the whole thing, that was all Elk, all I did was supply a place, some wines and food. The rest was handled by Elk, and as a host I did even less, as Josh Rynderman, handled all the food prep on the grill. All I really did was make Risotto, and help opening some of the wines.
After that, it was really all the winemakers who made the party what it was. They gathered to wish Elk a happy birthday and have a good time tasting great Cali wines! I was the only one who added in a few Israeli wines, but they were well accepted – overall. Still, given the set of Cali wines that were poured (both unreleased and released) – they crushed the Israeli wines by far.
Sadly, I did not get any pictures, and I barely got the notes down before they were either finished or taken home by the folks at the party.
So, I will keep this short and sweet – these are the notes for the wines we can talk about. Also, my many thanks to Gabriel Weiss from Shirah Winery, Jonathan Hajdu from Hajdu Winery, and Benyo from Four Gates Winery for sharing wines with the attendees. Finally thanks to Josh Rynderman for manning the grill.
The wine notes follow with what I can talk about:
2013 Shirah Syrah Santa Barbara County – Score: A- (and a bit)
The last two times I had this wine it was showing far more old school than now. The wine is showing more Cali than in the past and while it still has the saline and dirt, the riper Cali notes are starting to show through.
The nose on this wine is lovely, with earth, dirt, loam, mineral, along with rich roasted animal, blackcurrant, root beer, charcoal, and sweet spice. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is all about the dirt and mineral, along with sweet fruit, layered with insane sweet peach, plum, blueberry, boysenberry, with more sweet spices, nutmeg, and allspice. The finish is long with chocolate, leather, cinnamon, and watermelon. LOVELY!
2011 Tabor Merlot Adama, Bazelet – Score: B+ to A-
GG said this wine was turning fast, and while I did not have a bad bottle, I could see that after a day the wine was really too ripe. To me this wine has a year left and then it is over – so drink up!!
The wine is riper than the 2010, which to me was a masterpiece indeed. The 2011 is riper and more fruity, but it is not a date bomb or anything like the stuff I dislike and rail against. 2011 was a very cold year, and wineries had to leave the fruit on the vine longer, making for a wine that could be seen as out of balance. Still, the ripeness does calm with time, and earthy notes do show with dark fruit and spice. This is still a solid QPR wine and for 18 or so dollars it is a no brainer.
The nose on this wine is rich with dark fruit, blackberry, loamy dirt, mineral, and more barnyard than in the past. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows rich acid, nice tannin and good fruit structure with nice extraction, graphite, black fruit, raspberry, currant, and sweet oak, with tobacco taking front stage now. The finish is long and earthy, with roasted herb, fresh coffee, tobacco, more green notes, green tea, graphite and more barnyard lingering. Showing better!
2015 Shirah Rose – Score: A- (plus)
75% Grenache and 25% Tannat. Lovely floral notes, cotton candy, and rich cherry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is classic Shirah wine, with candied cherry, candied raspberry, and cherry 7up, with rich intense notes, great acid, rich currant, mineral, and great dried fruit. The finish is long and lasting with lovely dried quince, dried grapefruit, and great acid and herb. Bravo!!!
2015 Shirah Vintage Whites – Score: A- (plus)
Another classic hit from the Weiss brothers, this time the Shirah Whites, is really Shirah Vintage White, as it is 100% Viognier! What an intoxicating nose, ripe and juicy peach, honeysuckle, white flower, dried honeydew melon, and rich spices. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is viscous and rich, layered with awesome white pepper, spice, cloves, but showcasing its ripe summer stone fruit, with apricot and peach giving way to dried Asian Pear and green tea. The finish is long and spicy with bitter almond notes, along with orange, pith, and lovely spices. BRAVO!!
2011 Mia Luce Rosso – Score: B+ to A-
I had this wine at the winery and it was far too pushed. This wine after two hours of air is better, with nice nose of brett, barnyard, and lovely dirt. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows lovely earth, blackberry, dirt, coating the mouth with rich mineral, earth, rich sweet oak, and too much sweet notes. The finish is long and spicy, with cloves, searing acid and tannin, with green notes, foliage, tobacco, dried meat, and lovely dirt. Nice!
2013 Shirah Tannat – Score: A- (and a bit)
This wine needs time to open, maybe two hours. The nose on this wine is lovely, with rich fruit, yes it has notes of raisin, but get past it, the nose is all it is, with blackberry, cherry, and dark cassis. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is crazy, yes ripe, but rich, with layers of dark fruit, blackcurrant, rich intense graphite, charcoal, with layers of chocolate and herb, and nice spices. The finish is long and earthy, deep mineral, dirt, hints of forest, with chocolate, leather, and lovely spice. BRAVO!!!
2013 Four Gates Syrah – Score: A- (and more)
One word does correctly define this wine – FILTHY!!! The nose on this ink black colored wine is filled with blue fruit, followed by squid ink, licorice, sweet oak, intense black fruit, and wondrous spice. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered and extracted to the max with intense black and blue fruit, blueberry, blackberry, black currant, followed by lovely barnyard, crazy earth, mineral, graphite, rich extraction, dense concentration of fruit and mineral, and great acid. The finish is long and spicy, with cinnamon, all spice, root beer, and hints of asian spice, and roasted animal, and miso! BRAVO!!!
2011 Hajdu Proprietary Red – Score: A- to A
The nose on this blend of Cabernet and Merlot is intoxicating with lovely mushroom, hints of barnyard, rich earth, with blueberry, black fruit, ripe red fruit, licorice galore, and sweet oak in the background. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered and elegant, all coming together now with rich earth, green notes galore, foliage, with sweet mint, mouth raping and velvety tannins, all wrapped in sweet oak, blackberry, sweet blue fruit, herb, and lovely spices. The finish is long with sweet dill, basil, dark chocolate, all showing well with elegance and power, sweet dill, herb, blackberry, leather, and cloves linger long. WOW!
2012 Dalton Sémillon, Single Vineyard, Elkosh – Score: A- (plus)
The nose on this 100% Semillon wine is lovely and smoky with a hint of petrol, nice flint, floral, with straw, and hay. THe mouth on this full-bodied and mouth coating wine is dry and yet rich and layered, with lovely dried quince, yellow plums, orange, citrus notes, with great acidity, and spice, that comes at you with good focus. The finish is long and sweet, with ripe grapefruit, honeysuckle, honeyed notes, and melon, and lovely mineral. The vanilla and toast from the barrels are apparent but not so much actual oak. Bravo!!
2015 Kos Yeshuos Vin Gris – Score: B+
This wine has turned into smoke, flint, and not much else, besides mad acid. Sadly, this is exactly what I have been saying about rose wines – they last a year. DRINK UP!!!
2014 Recanati Gris de Marselan – Score: B+
Same thing – rink up this is a shadow of what this epic wine tasted like 6 months ago.
2009 Recanati Wild Carignan, Reserve, Mediterranean Series – Score: B+
I did like this wine on release and a few years ago as well, but now this wine is pure date juice. Sure it has lovely structure, but I cannot get past the intense brett and dates. Drink up or just move on.
2008 Falesco Montiano, Lazio IGT – Score: A-
This wine concerned me, as the 2008 Marciliano was a disaster. Sadly, it is not what I hoped for as well. The wine pulls me in each direction. The nose on this wine is ripe, rich, with dark fruit, brooding with over ripe fruit that is close to but not date, with lovely forest floor, mushroom, rich tobacco, and herb. The mouth on this full-bodied wine shows dates, what can I say, ripe, and not what I dreamed of, but the body and structure is crazy, with rich tannin, searing acid, and scraping mineral, lovely rich blackberry, raspberry, currant, with layers of concentrated fruit, all wrapped in a cocoon of dirt and mushroom and elegance. The finish is long and dirty, with loam, tobacco, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, herb, licorice, and meaty notes. I must say I am pissed this wine was close, and it could have been great but it missed a chance. I keep dreaming of the 2006 wines. The 2008 are too ripe for me, both the Cab and Merlot.
Posted on July 8, 2016, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged carignan, Dalton Winery, Falesco Winery, Four Gates Winery, Hajdu Wines, Mia Luce Winery, Montiano, Proprietary Red, Recanati Winery, Rose, Rosso, Semillon, Shirah Winery, Syrah, Tannat, Vintage Whites. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.