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    Haifa, Israel
  1. Wonderful! Thank you for the recommendation.
  2. Israeli Top Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Special Reserve Thursday October 19th 2008 Nearly ten years after the eruption of Israeli wine boutiques, one can clearly state that Israel is on the right track in its search to discover its own identity, perhaps the most important mission to gain any international recognition. The world's finest Cabernet wines, whether a traditional Medoc, A well invested modern Californian Cabernet, A classical single vineyard Chilean Super Cab, A full bodied Argentinean chewy Cabernet, A perfectly balanced South African oak aged style or an Italian Super Tuscan, Terroire, craftsmanship and dedication brings the best out of mother nature. Over 200 Israeli wineries are in search for this winning combination, experimenting, re-experimenting and experimenting again. Cabernet Sauvignon Segal, Single, Marom Galil 2004 Free spirit, insight and dedication lead talented Avi Feldstein to the Marom Galil vineyards in Northern Israel long before theories about the fine Galilee terroir became a practice. Today this talented winemaker is responsible for some of Israel's best value quality wines. A medium to full-bodied wine, chewy and very well balanced, oak being in the background with nearly no interference with the wines ripe and mouth-filling texture. Balanced and tasty properly spiced by tannins and oak. Enjoy now – 2011. Cabernet Sauvignon Bravdo, Carmei Yossef ( winery and vineyards ) 2006 Two of the best known wine educators in Israel are Professor Ben-Ami Bravdo and his student Professor Oded Shosayov. In 2001 turning theory into practice, their first wine was born, technically perfect but with no character or distinctive traits. Carmei Yoseef's 6th vintage is an expression of their desire to bring ripe flavors into the glass. 10% Merlot added, this medium bodied cabernet shows a very subtle, ripe and well balanced wine, well defined aromas and flavors to be enjoyed now or in the 3to 4 years to come. The Bravdo seems a bit ambiguous providing a dry texture with a somehow sweet feeling aftertaste. It will be interesting to follow this wine though depth, complexity and layers will doubtedly be a part of the aging result. The winemakers did a successful job capturing the aromatic aspect of the grapes in an appealing and friendly manner. Drink 2008-2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Tishbi Estate 2005 Golan Tishbi's 1st official wine continuing three generations of viticulturists and now winemakers. Finishing his New-Zealand wine studies Golan brings freshness to both whites and reds to his family's winery. 10% Cabernet Franc compliments a medium + Cabernet Sauvignon body adding a lively green tannin notion to a very well balanced and fairly friendly wine. Mildly toasted oak compliment the fruity flavors ending a consistent wine with a good and pleasant feel. Drink 2008-2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Yarden, Single Vineyard Elrom, Golan heights 2004 This massive winery going single vineyard is a trend to be seen in other wine making hulks of this tiny holy land. Victor Schoenfeld focuses on one of his oldest vineyards to bring a well expressed fruity, subtle and even friendly wine. This newly released 2004 cabernet Shows better balance and harmony than any leading cabernet previously released from this infamous winery. Less oak, more fruit and balance – perhaps a new era for the Golan Heights hulk and by far one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the Yarden series so far. Drink 2008-2014. Cabernet Sauvignon Kayumi, Single Vineyard Carmel 2004 In this age of quality and search for value, multi-million bottle wineries are in need of a showcase and Israel's largest one chose "Kayumi" in the upper Galilee. Deep and concentrated bordeaux color with hints of amber at the rim. A rich and concentrated nose including anything from fresh ripe fruits, dried prunes, spice, toasted oak and leather in a fairly subtle and enjoyable manner. Ripe and rich the mouth is an array of different flavors ranging from wild and chewy to smooth and elegant. This medium bodied wine shows a very good potential for the Kayumi vineyard portraying more ripe flavors than most Northern Israeli vineyards. Drink 2008-2012 Elul Sea-Horse 2005 73% Cabernet, 18% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah 20 months in French and American oak. Subtle and consistent fairly balanced bouquet blending oak and fruit into one entity. Spicy and fruity with a smooth silky feel halted by a good acidity, and new oak joining he older adding green tannins and spice. This is a fairly balanced medium + body that will need a couple of years to fully develop yet will fail to develop further depth and layers. Drink 2009-2014. Cabernet Sauvignon Amphorae 2004 95% Cabernet Sauvignon 5%Cabernet Franc aged 24 months in French oak. Powerful the whole way. This wine starts with a concentrated dark red color, a concentrated nose of raspberries and black cherries, mildly toasted oak and and sweet scented spice. The mouth showed little fruit, spicy tannins with a well balanced acidity promising a future for this wine but doubtedly interesting. Powerful and chewy yet lacking complexity and flavors failing to stand up to expectations Drink 2009-2014. Cabernet Sauvignon Altitude 624, Barkan 2005 Israel's 3rd largest winery had been struggling with a mediocre image for quite some time now. The new Altitude series ( 2nd vintage ) is an excellent try of a modern well made cabernet putting Barkan on track towards better quality standards. Red Bordeaux color with some depths A beautiful ripe fruit, vanilla, chocolate and very mild spice bouquet with hints of nutmeg lingering after the fairly concentrated fruit and chocolate mix. A bit young now the acidity leads the feel of the wine over layers of fruits, hints of chocolate ending in a fairly gentle spicy feel. This is a well made cabernet with an impressive structure, very good balance and harmony and a promising future. Drink 2009-2015. Cabernet Sauvignon Mescha Tavor 2005 Recently owned by Coca-Cola, Winemaker Arie Nesher and his team had shifted from tens to hundreds of thousands bottles produced on the Tavor Estate. The Mescha series is supposed to represent the Top notch wines of Tavor and to be released only in selected vintages. The 2005 is the second vintage Mescha dry red of this winery. The wine is due to be released March-April 2009. A clear and appealing Bordeaux color with some depth The nose portrays a fairly balanced nose sweet raspberry liqueur mildly toasted oak and mild spice, consistent, yet lacking layers or complexity. Smooth on the entry with appealing silky fruits, spices, good acidity and a dry lightly toasted oky finish. This wine will prove balanced and quite pleasant to drink but I doubt it should gain further complexity and layers to head the best wines of the Tavor winery. Drink 2009-2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Avidan Limited Edition 2005 85% Cabernet 15% Merlot, Ella valley vineyards aged 16 months in French and American oak. This young quality boutique winery is undergoing rapid changes and if to judge from the 2005 vintage – from average to better. The nose seems somehow closed with slight hints of vanilla, medium toasted oak and some dried and fresh fruits. The mouth portrays almost a full bodied, chewy and quite balanced cabernet joined by some greenish and immature tannins. The finish is chocolaty with some sweet notions that linger for some time. This is wine to keep for several years for hot climate cabernet lovers as a medium to full bodied, fruity wine of a chewy aspect. Drink 2010- 2017
  3. Many wines arriving from Chile in the Mid- eighties towards the early nineties had an air of saltiness to them. The "old style" Chilean rustic winemaking had a distinctive dried sea-salt aromas that had clinged to many of the wines that I had tasted. Irrigation with Sea-Water had been experimented with in the Southern Negev of Israel. Vines had been successfully cultivated using salty water with very low yield and high sugar concentration and color results . Over time this could prove problematic with higher salt contents in the ground though NO3 was used as a partial solution. Wine had been made from the grapes of these vines with fairly poor results. Alcoholic wines that lack fruit concentration and balance.
  4. I would say the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux but here are some older ones... Chardonnay Mount Helen, Central Victoria, Australia 1997 Don Antonio Morgante, Sicilia, Italy 2000 Gaudium de Marques de Caceres, Gran Vino Spain 1994 Kanonkop Estate Wine Paul Sauer, Stellenbosch RSA 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor,Maipu, Concha Y Toro, Chile 1991 Cuvee Ilham, Stone Ridge, Tsoraa Israel 1997
  5. Andre

    Pinot Envy

    Pinot Envy, Channing Daughters Long Island 2004 So much for attention grabbing names to mention this wines eye popping red label. Lighter red towards purple color Mostly older oak barrel aromas with hints of fruity aspects trying to surface during the first 5 minutes in the glass. Ten minutes later and the wine proves as a smooth light-bodied wine with a reasonable acidity intermingling with some peppery notes to end with a smooth well-rounded finish. Fairly interesting wine with an up-front acidity and a good feel. A pleasantly drinking and barely interesting wine Ah yes. Did I mention this was a Pinot Noir-Merlot combination ? Drink 2007-2008
  6. Andre

    Gift-wrapping wine gifts

    I love see through packing for the wines. I had been using a lot of it in my wine shop and it really looks good with the propper tie. Today producers are coming up with beautiful bottles and labels...why hide them. As far as the wooden boxes are concerned; there is really not much use for them unless you would like to keep the wine in the original gift box for whatever reason.
  7. Andre

    Grandjo 2002

    Grandjo Colheita Tardia, Real Companhia Velha, Douro 2002 Portugal's Botrytis Cinerea version from Semillon grapes The wine has all the characteristics of a well made Botrytis wine: Yellow shifting into light golden lively color. A nose reminiscent of dried apricots and citrus blossom. The flavors are repeated in the mouth with a slightly overpowering sweetness. The wine is indeed tasty yet simple and not complex. Enjoy 2007-2018.
  8. The regular bottling and perhaps my favorite of the two.
  9. Vertical tasting Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998 Tasted January 6th 2006. Friends, cold weather, hot food and of we go: Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Sablet Chateau du Trignon, Blanc de Blanc 1994 Waited just a bit too much on this one. Fond memories of this rare breed of white amongst the reds leaves a numb straw color, a nose combining pecan nuts and honey with hints of an oaky vin jaune, soft fading body and a now dominant wet oak ending. Way past its speak to leave us only with oak and memories. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau de la Gardine 1998 Although still deep and lively color, this is a quite simple, far from complex Chateauneuf with an appealing fruit driven nose and mild lingering spice. The wine fails in terms of feel and complexity in the mouth and is a somehow disappointing example of the vintage. Try the Cuvee des Generation from the same producer as it prove to be of a much bigger body and more promising feel. The wine is better enjoyed by itself or with a simple red meat dish and shows quite a bit of sediments. Drink now 2008. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Bosquet des Papes 1998 This is a great drinking, ripe and extremely well balanced Chateauneuf-du pape. A dry consistent nose with slowly developing fruit, fully mature and slowly revealing a second and third layer. Medium bodied with a fair amount of acidity, this wine can hardly be termed impressive when entering the mouth. Half an hour later and this wine still maintains consistency and flavors of ripening fruit spice, and complimenting older oak, in an admirable manner. A great medium to full bodied food companion with perfect balance and consistency. Very well made and enjoyable Chateauneuf of a dry characteristics. Drink now – 2011. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domaine La Crau des Papes 1998 An appealing nose opens up with a dominant fruit driven Grenache nose with hints of concentrated fruits lingering for a while. Good concentration though a rather basic Chateauneuf without the complexity of this fine vintage. Medium bodied and fruit driven once allowed to open-up with the right amount of spice adding balance to the almost sweet fruity texture, good enough acidity and medium long constant though not complex finish. A well made modern Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a good concentration yet not complex and perhaps in need for further development for better balance. Drink 2008-2011. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domain du Vieux Telegraphe La Crau 1998 Dark dense very deep color, somehow darker than most Chateauneuf of the 1998 vintage. An expressive concentrated black cherry and raspberry liquer nose with hints of black pepper and medium aged well-felt oaky bouquet. This massive and concentrated wine is a great first impression on a first sniff or taste. Seconds , and minutes later the wine's dense fruity expression fails to develop further layers and complexity. This is a hot climate fruity modern expression of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a well built structure that consists of fruit and spicy oak that lingers on to a fairly long aftertaste. The wine proves a bit alcoholic and is an unfriendly food match . A modern dominant Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Drink 2007-2015. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos des Papes 1998 As good as it gets. This is the best expression of traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape that I have tasted. A slow to open multi-layered nose full of spicy fruit, herbs, some more spice and minerals perfectly balanced slowly surfacing layer after layer. This perfectly equalized wine may only be the outcome of many years of traditional dedication. In the mouth the wine starts with a smooth dry and ripe fruity feel with a very good acidity quoted by plenty of ripe tannins that disappear into a spicy / earthy long and complex finish. This is a masterpiece and although I hate to compare wines, not to mention this uniquely divers region, so far, the Clos des Pape proves to be best 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape that I have tasted. Drink 2007-2020. The 1998 vintage is opening up very nicely while those blending in more Mourvedre have managed more complex wines.
  10. Adding to Brad's, naimly 1st choice. Valtelina Superiore 3-4 yeras old, a semi dry german Spatlese
  11. Le Pietre Rosso Veronese Deep concentrated color with considerable depth. Concentrated raspberry and prune nose with hints of spice and fresh acidic Mediterranean herbs. Soft on the entry showing a medium + body, soft fruit and a spicy finish. Not too complex yet surprisingly traditional style with Northern Rhone like flavors. Concentrated round and balanced. Rosso di Montepulciano Carpinetto 2003 A bit slow to open with some olives, ripe and green fruits, interesting with a good concentration. Soft with a very good acidity, traditional and new oak and a medium short finish. Quite alcoholic at the end. The winemaker had abused the skin to the fullest, yet the grape itself lacks concentration. The over extraction of the grapes is obvious after 20-30 minutes resulting in harsh tannins. By the time the wine gains balance, not much remains. Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau de Beaucastel 1995 Deep red Bordeaux color shifting to red-orange rims. A concentrated nose jumps up from the glass with a complex yet extremely well balanced bouquet ending with a mildly dusty finish. Massive and still closed with a huge amount of balanced spice and tannins dominating the back. 30-40 minutes later and the wine shows hints of development yet three to five years is what this wine needs to unveil its true potential. Drink 2010-2015.
  12. Andre

    Beaujolais Nouveau Days

    Happy wine year to all, I am doing just fine with the fruity, easy to drink, smooth Beaujolais Nouveau by Albert Bichot. It seems less acidic this year and somehow smoother.
  13. Andre

    White Rioja

    The Marques de Caceres Crianza white should easily fit with the Grovina while thre Conde de Valdemar, Finca Alta de Cantabria will better belong to the Organza. I do believe white Rioja wines are important to any open-minded world oriented restaurant.
  14. Cote-Rotie Rene Rostaing 1999 Sweet musky nose of mild appealing spice. Appealing cassis and raspberries join in shortly after the wine was poured. Smooth light sweet feel with a mild acidity, herbs and spice. A light bodied Cote-Rotie with a smooth spicy finish. Ripe, tasty, yet simple and one dimensional. An appealing yet disappointing Cote-Rotie in terms of body and complexity. Drink 2006-2007. Tasted October 2006. I realize this is Rostaing's simpler version, yet I find no relation to his top wines, not something I would expect from a viticulteur.
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