Disclaimer – do not blame me for posting this AFTER Benyo sold his wines. That was not MY choice. I was asked to wait on my post until after the sale of the wines this year. Also, Four gates Winery and Benyamin Cantz (which are one the same), never saw or knew my notes until I posted them today.
As you all know, I am a huge fan of Four Gates Winery, and yes he is a dear friend. So, as is my custom, as many ask me what wines I like of the new releases, here are my notes on the new wines.
I have written many times about Four Gates Winery and its winemaker/Vigneron Benyamin Cantz. Read the post and all the subsequent posts about Four Gates wine releases, especially this post of Four Gates – that truly describes the lore of Four Gates Winery.
Other than maybe Yarden and Yatir (which are off my buying lists – other than their whites and bubblies), very few if any release wines later than Four Gates. The slowest releaser may well be Domaine Roses Camille.
Four Gates grapes versus bought grapes
It has been stated that great wine starts in the vineyard, and when it comes to Four gates wine, it is so true. I have enjoyed the 1996 and 1997 versions of Benyamin’s wines and it is because of his care and control that he has for his vineyard. That said, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes he receives from the Monte Bello Ridge shows the same care and love in the wines we have enjoyed since 2009.
I have immense faith in Benyo’s wines that are sourced from his vineyard and from the Monte Bello Ridge vineyard. The other wines, that he creates from other sources, are sometimes wonderful, like the 2010 Four Gates Syrah that I tasted recently, and I would have sworn it was a Rhone wine, crazy minerality, acid, and backbone, with fruit NOT taking center stage, though ever so evident, the way is meant to be! Others, while lovely on release may well not be the everlasting kind of Four Gates wines.
The new wines
This year we have the return of 2017 Petit Sirah, along with a new 2017 Malbec, and blend called Mazal, it is Non-Vintage. There is the return of the 2018 Chardonnay but in a far drier format. Along with a new entry a 2015 Ayala Claret wine.
The rest of the wines are the normal suspects, but this year’s crop, like last year, is really impressive. First, you have the return of the 2016 Four Gates Cabernet Franc, followed by the 2016 Four Gates Pinot Noir, 2015 Four Gates Merlot, 2015 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle, and the 2014 Four Gates Frere Robaire. Read the rest of this entry
This wine was used as the base for a wonderful Roasted Butternut Soup that we make. That said, it is still a wonderful wine, it was just the easiest bottle to get to. The wine is showing a bit better (in some ways) than the last time we tasted it, more than a year ago. In other ways, the wine is receding, given its Mevushal status and age. A fair amount of the astringency and green notes have dissipated, but there is still a green halo that hovers over the wine both in color and flavor. I liked it but I think it is drink up time!
2008 Tierra Salvaje Chardonnay Estate Bottled – Score B to B+
The nose on this brilliant golden colored wine with green halos is almost sweet with some vegetal leanings, lemon, green apple, spice, peach, hay/straw, and herbs. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is almost mouth filling with spice, green apple, lemon, orange rind, peach, and pear. The mid palate is acidic and dry, with orange rind, and herbs. The finish is long and spicy with peach, lemon, spicy notes, and a long appealing lingering of orange rind, spice, and cut grass. A nice bottle that has settled down and may now actually be more appealing to more people, but also a bottle on its way down – drink up!!