This past Purim my friends and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at the synagogue, along with a few wines that I brought along, and a couple of wines that were brought by some other congregants. Some of the wines I tasted have notes, while others have just feelings or memories, sorry, this was Purim after all. My friends still give me a hard time for the one time that I actually took notes on Purim. To me, tasting wine is about friends, memories, along with a bit of a job. To others, especially on Purim, it is about friends, memories, and a bit of a buzz.
Anyway, the wine notes follow below in the order that they were tasted:
Tzuba Port Style Wine – Score: A-
This is a wine that I brought back from my last trip to Israel, one that I bought during my visit to the Tzuba Winery. The nose on this dark garnet to black colored wine shows rich loamy dirt, bright oxidation, rich spicy oak, ripe fig, blackberry, and spice. The mouth on this full-bodied and mouth filling wine, starts with a concentrated attack of spicy oak, rich sweet and ripe blackberry, and fig. The wine is layered and concentrated with ripe fruit and spicy oak, yes I repeated that because it is so nice. The mid palate is filled with nice acidity, integrated yet still gripping tannins, and spice that flows into a lush loam and oak forest. The finish is crazy long with rich chocolate, oak, mounds of spice, rich and ripe black fruit, and a lingering palate of oak extraction, spice, and more black fruit. A nice bottle that can handle just about any sweet desert you throw at it.
2004 Four Gates Rishona (375 ml) – Score: A-
Well, we tasted the larger format of this bottle last week and this week we opened the 375 ml size, which was the originally released format. We still loved it and it is still drinking really well, though the color throws you and the flavor is a bit dingy, the rest of the wines notes are exactly as the previous tasting, and listed here. The color on this brown tinged/dark ruby colored wine, was hopping with chicken cherry cola, coffee, mature oak, fig, and raspberry. The mouth on this intense and full-bodied wine was layered with bright black cherry, coffee, and oak. The mid palate was bracing with bright acidity and oak. The finish was long and tantalizing with more cherry, oak, and coffee, layered under a canopy of mature flavors. This is clearly a wine that needs to be consumed now, but to some, this was one of the winners, which was shocking given the list of wines we enjoyed.
2006 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve, Napa Valley – Score: B/B+
The wine was OK, but it had a huge hole in the middle with almost no acidity to be found. It was OK, but uni-dimensional with almost no fruit and a bit of oak. Not fun.
2006 Baron Herzog Cabernet/Zinfandel/Syrah Special Reserve – Score: B++
Yummy, fruity, acidic, rich, with black fruit showing well from the Cabernet, while standing tall with enough oak and tannins from the Syrah. Nice and one that is probably at or close to its peak.
2006 Hagafen Merlot, Napa Valley – Score: A-
I remember loving it that night for its classic Hagafen soft yet layered mouth feel, along with rich and ripe black fruit and chocolate.
2007 Barkan Classic Petite Sirah – Score: B/B+
This is a nice and lively wine with rich blackberry and smoke on the nose and mouth, along with a firm and structured mouth feel that allows the wine to stand up to meat and rich sauces. A nice and simple wine that is enjoyable by all.
2007 Backsberg Pinotage – Score: B++
The nose on this bright purple colored wine is packed with loamy dirt, mineral, rich black cherry, mulberry fruit, spice, vanilla, oak, and pepper. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich and spicy though not complex in nature, along with mulberry, Kirsch cherry, and a hint of strawberry. The mid palate is bracing and almost tart with code acidity, nice soft yielding tannins, spice, and dirt. The finish is long with layers of smoke and spice, along with red fruit, and a nice dollop of vanilla. A nice wine for the price, quality, and its mevushal status.
2006 Rashi Select Barbera d’Alba – Score: B/B+
The nose on this wine moved from being bright and red to rich and chocolate. Not a bad wine, but one that did not live up to my hopes for it. The tannins were nice and helped to highlight the soft mouth, bright acidity, and red fruit. With air the fruit disappeared, the mouth was still bright but turning fast, and the finish was packed with chocolate and vanilla. I guess it is an OK wine, but drink up fast, and not a wine worth its cost.
Recently we went to a party and I brought along two bottles of wine. The wine notes follow below:
2003 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve – Score: A-
This wine was really nice. The nose of this dark purple wine is screaming with blackberry, cassis, raspberry, and oak. The mouth on this full bodied wine is complex with layers of blackberry, cassis, chocolate, and oak. The mouth flows into the mid palate with nice acidity, oak, and nicely integrated tannins. The finish is long with more chocolate, oak, and black fruit flavors.
2006 Goose Bay Pinot Noir – Score: B-
This vintage is now gone 😦 It was nice before, but then poof it just died. I tasted this one two times within a short period of time, my bottle and a bottle during a wine tasting. The wine is over the hill and watered down. A real shame! That said the notes follow below:
The nose on the ruby colored Pinot is not as large as it once was; it starts off with coffee, cherry and a bit of raspberry. The mouth on this light bodied wine has cherry, and raspberry. The mid palate is almost bitter with earth and no oak to be found. The finish is acidic with flavors of cherry on the finish. Drink this up now if you can.
This past week we had a cheese and wine party with our friends from around the area. The evening started with a mixture of hard and soft cheeses. We had a plate of Asiago, Swiss, and Cheddar cheese. Another plate of Muenster, Baby Gouda, Monterey Jack, Brie, and Chive augmented cheese as well. We had a bowl or two of walnuts. Finally, we had a few plates of latkes that disappeared quickly upon arrival to the table from the oven, and a quiche that a friend brought by.
To match all this yummy stuff we opened two bottles of wine and some friends brought some wine as well (along with more cheese!). We opened two Four Gates Winery wines, a Pinot Noir and a Syrah. Our friends brought over a bottle of Galil Rose 2007, while another friend brought over a bottle of Segal Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve 2004. A VERY important note, the Galil and Segal wines were nice out of the bottle, but became really yummy a few hours after it was opened.
We wanted to thank all the guys that came on over to share our holiday cheer. The wine notes follow below.
Four Gates Pinot Noir N.V. – Score: A-
Our previous notes are holding quite nicely, but I wanted to add that the mouth on the wine this time tasted far more full bodied than before. The tannins are slowing down a tad, and allowing more of the fruit to show through, under the wine’s velvety covers.
Four Gates Syrah 2004 – Score: A-
Our previous notes are holding quite nicely, and this wine was not only the favorite of the evening, but it went exceptionally well with the Asiago.
Galil Mountain Rose 2007 – Score: B to B+
The nose on this vibrant pink colored wine was filled with grapefruit, raspberry, cherry, citrus, and floral notes. The nose is the true highlight of this wine. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is not very complex, but still a nice quaff. Raspberry hits you first, with wave after wave of acidity, citrus, and cloves. The finish is long with more acidity and spice. This is a truly acidic and citrus packed wine, with a bit of fruit to round out the wine.
Segal Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve 2004 – Score: B++
The nose on this dark garnet colored wine is packed with blackberry, cassis, raspberry, sage, mint, cherry, and oak. The nose was really nice and kept going and going, really nice. This full bodied and mouth coating wine starts with blackberry, cassis, sage, and mint. The mid palate has a nice acidic core with integrated tannins, and a touch of coffee. The finish is long with more coffee, oak, and integrated tannins. This is another nice wine for the buck.