Recanati Winery’s latest releases
As I stated in my last post, I landed in Israel and I had very few days to see a lot of wineries. Recanati Winery was the second winery I visited. Kobi Arviv, who is now the head winemaker at Recanati Winery. He is also the head winemaker at his own winery, Mia Luce Winery, and had been the associate winemaker at Recanati Winery, until June this year.
I have posted in the past about Recanati Winery, and the only real change since that post is that Kobi is now the new head winemaker and that their wines had moved riper in the past few years, my hope is that they return to the control they showed in 2010 and 2011. Since then, it seems they have moved to riper wines, like the rest of Israel.
The wines have stayed the same for the most part, with slight changes to the makeup of some of them. The biggest change overall is to the labels and some new fun and easy drinking reds and whites have been added in.
- Yasmin/Jonathan – these are the entry-level labels, that are also mevushal
- Upper Galilee Series – these used to be the diamond series or the baseline series. Not much has changed here other than the labels, though they have been a bit riper these past few years.
- Then the roses along with this new French Blend wine. The roses have become dryer and are lovely, but the French blend is too sweet for me.
- Specials – these are fun and well-made wines that are made for either restaurants or the Derech Hayayin stores in Israel.
- Single Vineyard Wines (Also called Reserve Wines) – this is the largest change of them all – labels wise. Here they have moved the Med series under the single vineyard label concept, though the labels themselves have not really changed. Actually, the reserve wines of old have folded under the Med series and now all the wines show the vines from which the wine was made. This is where the new Marawi wine lives.
- Flagship wines – what used to be called Special Reserve wines are now flagship wines. It consists of the red and white Special reserve wines.
While the number of labels may have expanded and their look changed, the essence of the winery which was the thrust of my previous post has not changed at all. The winery’s main focus is quality, and for most people, that continues to be the winery’s rallying cry. The prices of the single vineyard wines have gone up, which to me is a real problem because another of Recanati’s rallying cries was price control, and to me, they have lost control of that one, at least here in the USA. I think that issue is a combination of Palm Bay making hay while the sun shines (Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, and others), and Recanati moving its prices up a bit as well.
Where that leaves us is that it is really hard to find a single vineyard wine, other than the cab or merlot for under 50 dollars! The Cab and Merlot can be had for less than 30, and those are the best deals. The Specials are hard to find wines in Israel, and that is on purpose. While the flagship wines are 45 to 50 dollars as well. So unless you are talking about the Yasmin wines or Upper Galilee wines, you are looking at 28 or so dollars or 50 and up here in the USA.
I asked how the wines are selling and from what they know they are selling well here in the USA, but hey Kobi’s job is to make wines, not to give me sales statistics. Still, I would take his word for it over any chatter I hear in stores or chats.
So, to me, if you are in Israel, please make it your due to finding some of the special wines. They are fun, easy going, but well-made wines. In the USA, I would stick with the reserve wines and the nice Shiraz in the Upper Galilee Series.
My many thanks to Kobi Arviv for taking the time to taste wines with us, while he was insanely busy with the 2017 harvest – deep in the middle of harvest, crush, and mad work! Thanks so much!
We were in a huge rush so my notes are shorter than usual. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:
2016 Recanati Sauvignon Blanc, Upper Galilee Series – Score: B+
This is a classic Sauvignon blanc styled wine, it lacks the complexity I crave but is nice and very true to its varietal. The nose is nice with solid bright fruit, classic gooseberry, grapefruit, citrus, with pineapple on the mouth, followed by pear. A nice overall, simple, but quaff like wine.
2016 Recanati Blend #3, White – Score: B+
This wine is a blend of 95% Colombard and 5% Chardonnay. This is a very hard wine to find, it is available at the winery or at restaurants. The wine is unique and really nice, showing what Israeli wine can be, bright, unique, and mineral-focused! The nose is lovely showing nice dry notes, with spice, pear, and grapefruit. The mouth is medium bodied, and truly mineral focused, with lovely saline, green olives, good citrus, but still tart and rich with orange and nectarines. The finish is long with more caid and straw. The only real issue I had with this wine was the fact that it felt slightly unbalanced and while it was fun, it lacked the holistic control I like. Nice! Available only at the winery or restaurants.
2015 Recanati Marawi, Reserve – Score: B+ (Shmita wine)
This is the second vintage of the Israel local varietal. The nose is intensely smoke driven, with nice flint, good floral notes, rich toast, and brioche. The mouth shows the nice acid that has been promised from this varietal and was missing in the 2014 vintage, backed with more toast, with a nice focus of pear, lovely lime, citrus, green apple, rich saline, and earth. The finish is mineral based, with rock, and straw lingering. While the wine was nice, the real issue was that it lacked complexity and the kind of focus that brings a wine together. It is showing better promise than the 2014 vintage. Available only in Israel – 2015 is not imported.
2016 Recanati Gris de Marselan, Rose – Score: B+ to A-
Lovely rose hips, orange blossom, really nice with great tart fruit and gooseberry and grapefruit. Nice medium wine, but lacking the bracing acid, with good spice and lemon, with pepper and tart spicy notes, passion fruit and guava. Nice long finish with good acid and slate galore. Available only in Israel.
2016 Recanati French Blend – Score: B to B+
This wine is a blend of 93% Colombard, with Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc
The best part of this wine is the nose, showing dry notes, with rich sweet fruit all twisted together, showing ripe pineapple, guava, and nice tropical fruit. Sadly, when the wine hits the palate, the weight may be nice, but the lacking of bracing acid makes the still residual sugar show in clear contrast to the nose. The finish is a bit short and too round for me. Available only in Israel.
2016 Recanati Shiraz, Upper Galilee Series – Score: B+ (not-mevushal version)
This is a fun wine, but the USA version is mevushal – so be careful. The nose is nice and smokey, showing lovely blue fruit, with classic black pepper, spice, and roasted animal. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich and spicy, with sweet oak, good fruit focus, with nice and ripe fruit but well balanced with good acid and nice tannin. The finish is long and smokey, simple but solid. Nice!
2015 Recanati Purple Blend – Score: B+ (Shmita wine)
This wine is a blend of 95% Petite Verdot and 5% Syrah
This is another fun wine, that is simple but enjoyable, showing good tart blue fruit, boysenberry, blueberry, and nice raspberry. The mouth is medium bodied, fresh, tart, and enjoyable. Available only at the winery or restaurants.
2015 Recanati Merlot, Reserve – Score: A- (Shmita wine)
This wine was the clear winner of the tasting, though the RSR was close, showing a lovely green merlot nose with bell pepper, foliage, and black fruit. The mouth on this full bodied wine is balanced and really nice with green notes, earth, with green fruit, raspberry, backed by blackberry, and lovely mouth coating tannin, that is kept afloat by great acid, with toast and nice smoke. The finish is long and green and rich with earth, mineral, mushroom, and nice loam. Nice!
2015 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve – Score: B+ (Shmita wine)
An interesting nose of green and earth, with mushroom, and nice red fruit, with black fruit in the background. The mouth is rich and inky and dry with ripe fruit showing through with dark blackberry and smoke. Nice mouth coating tannin and structure. The finish is long and green and dark with chocolate and sweet fruit notes, very ripe.
2015 Recanati Syrah, Reserve – Score: B+ (Shmita wine)
The nose is pushed with white pepper, smoke, roasted animal, and tar. The mouth is too much for me, really out there, very fruit forward, with ripe blackberry, dark plum, blue notes, chocolate, herb, and green notes. The finish is long and tannic, with drying tannin, nice acid, but not enough to pull this very ripe around.
2014 Recanati Marselan, Reserve – Score: B+
Lovely floral nose of rose and chocolate with blue notes and rich red fruit. The mouth is full bodied and pushed with blue and black fruit, blackberry, ripe juicy boysenberry, really very fruity, with smoke, leather, spice, and black tea on the long finish.
2015 Recanati Carignan, Reserve – Score: B+ (Shmita wine)
This wine is another of the old Mediterranean series, and maybe it’s most revered. Sadly, this wine has been getting riper and riper over the years. This vintage is really pushed for me, showing ripe fruit, almost literal sweet notes, of sweet nutmeg, vanilla, chocolate, and date. The mouth on this massive and full-bodied wine is layered and really fruit forward, with more date, jammy fruit, sweet blackberry and blueberry jam, with red fruit, and graphite. The finish is long and black, with tannin lingering long, with leather, and rich spices.
2014 Recanati Special Reserve Red – Score: B+ to A-
This wine has long ago moved from being a purely Bordelaise blend and has slowly moved its Mediterranean varietal percentage higher and higher. It is now 70% Mediterranean varietals and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is lovely, showing classic Cab notes of pencil shaving, mineral, graphite, really nice cab notes, with a solid fruit focus, black fruit, and earth. The mouth on this wine is full-bodied and balanced, with really black fruit and slightly jammy with nice dark fruit and control, blackberry, plum, raspberry, and green notes, with leather, spice, and mint. Nice!
Posted on October 18, 2017, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery Visit and tagged Blend #3, Cabernet Sauvignon, carignan, French Blend, Gris de Marselan, Marawi, Marselan, Merlot, Purple Blend, Recanati Winery, Reserve, Rose, RSR, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Special Reserve, Syrah, Upper Galilee Series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.