Archive for the 'Israeli wine' Category

14
Sep
11

Dalton Winery Tasting


Aron Ritter, from the Kosher Wine Society, organized last evening’s tasting of Israel’s Dalton Winery with the participation of Alex Haruni – the winery’s owner. While the original invitation only listed five wines, Alex brought in nine, each a truly remarkable selection.

We started the evening with a Dalton Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Straw colored, I found it crisp and very fruity with aromas of grapefruit, pineapples and a hint of freshly cut grass. On the palate it exhibits a rich array of citrus and apple blossoms all lingering nicely for a refreshing long finish.

Next in line was a Dalton‘s new Alma White 2010 – A delightful wine aged in small French oak barrels with hints of vanilla and chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Zinfandel 2009 – With grapes originating from vineyards at the foothills of Har Meron, on red clay soil, it is a somewhat spicy wine with berry flavors.

The Dalton Alma 2009 consists of: Cabernet SauvignonMerlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. Dark, full bodied wine offering nice aromas of cherries, plums and sweet dark fruits; on the palate it shows a buttery combination with hints of vanilla and green tea and rich, yet gently caressing tannins.

Then came their Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009. Dark garnet in color, fruity and with a hint of cigar smoke on the nose, it reveals black and red berries with notes of mint chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009. Dark garnet in color, it has silky tannins, lightly spicy with lots of blackberry, red plums and notes of bitter citrus peel. It shows hints of vanilla and leather.

Dalton Alma Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2009 came next. Deep garnet in color, round and full-bodied,  it displays black currant, dark cherries, and tobacco followed by white pepper and assorted berries. Perfect pairing for a perfect steak!

Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009 followed, very dark in color, the nose is intense with black fruit, plums, berries, liquorice, and pepper tones. It has soft integrated tannins and a long finish.

We finished the evening with a Dalton Reserve Shiraz 2007, dark garnet in color, medium- to full bodied, developed in new French oak. Opens with a floral and nutty nose, going on to show spicy wood and gentle tannins. On the palate it exhibits a well balanced array of black and purple fruits, nicely complemented by notes of Mediterranean herbs and cigar tobacco.

A beautiful tasting with imported crackers and assorted foreign cheeses, grapes and chocolate kisses between the rounds. It proved, once again, how well Aron Ritter and his crew plan an evening of superior wines.

Don’t miss the Kosher Wine Society‘s upcoming New Wines For The New Year , this coming Wednesday, the 21st, again at Sanger House 347 West 34th Street, in Manhattan.

CS

08
Sep
11

Documentaries, Books and Wine – This Evening’s Radio Show


Joseph Dorman - Photo by: Pepi di Giacomo

Our guest this evening on BlogTalkRadio will be award winning documentary filmmaker and author, Joseph Dorman. Mr. Dorman, as founder of Riverside Films has made the award-winning theatrical feature Arguing the World, about the controversial sixty-year political journey of the eminent Jewish writers and thinkers, Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer and how they shaped the American political debate. The New York Times described it as “enthralling…  one of the deepest portraits of… of ideas ever filmed.” Currently, another of his movies is showing around the country and its subject is again a very Jewish one: Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness.

Check out the schedule of screenings around the country here. It’s coming back to New York in a couple of weeks.

Joseph’s work has appeared on PBS, CBS, Discovery Channel and CNN. He will be with us this this evening at 7::30pm (Eastern Time). I found Joseph Dorman to be an interesting conversationalist, someone who loves to deeply research the various subjects he writes and films. You’ll find his subject matter fascinating. I did!

Aron Ritter, President and founder of the Kosher Wine Society, will revisit us next on the second half of the show for a discussion of KSW‘s upcoming wine tastings this month.

Meanwhile, if you missed our show last week with Martin Davidson, you can hear it here.

Please, listen to us this evening on BlogTalkRadio.com at 7:30pm (Eastern Time), I know you will enjoy it!

CS

28
Apr
11

Wine and More… Wine!


Aside from the Arba Kossot on both sedorim, whenever there are large festive gatherings wine is sure to flow. This year I partook of a great collection of potables that showed how far kosher wines had come since the days of my youth, when the choices were extra sweet and even sweeter. No longer were these wines just from Jewish vintners, but many wineries – already renowned around the world – joined the fray and produced kosher versions of their best sellers. What entails making a wine kosher? Not – as the old joke went – adding a few cups of sugar per bottle, but merely following the standard process under rabbinic supervision.

I was privileged this year to taste various superb wines from around the world (which I picked a few days before Passover at Gotham Wines ans Liquors, 2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025-6934 Tel: 212.932.0990) including some from well known wineries that have already made their mark in the world at large.

During chol hamo’ed and the last two days of Pessach, when there were large numbers of people, both at my oldest son’s home in Lakewood (NJ) and at my oldest daughter’s in Providence (RI) I tasted some superb wines which I brought from New York. In the photo above we have a Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild 2007 Haute-Medoc, Binyamina, 2006 Odem Ruby Series Syrah, Mount Hevron 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a Jonathan Tishby 1999 Special Reserve Merlot.

The 2007 Haute-Medoc was superb, complex, yet delicate; fruity and spicy with blackberry accents, it had a long finish. Mevushal.

2006 Odem Syrah had blackberry and black pepper with floral accents on the nose. Full bodied and well balanced it greatly enhanced the lamb dish with which it was paired. Only 5190 bottles were produced.

Mount Hevron‘s 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon offered ripe raspberry flavors finishing with aromatic spices.

Tishbi 1999 Special Reserve Merlot, aged for 18 months in oak barrels, it brims with blackcurrant, berries and plum flavors and aromas. Exquisite! Out of a limited, numbered edition we had bottle number 5123.

Thishbi 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition is an inexpensive wine that tastes far better than its price suggests. It’s a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. It shows forest berries, blackcurrant, plums, cloves and a bit of green pepper on the nose, followed by sweeter notes of spice and dark fruit on the palate. Moderate tannins complete the rich feel to the long, lush finish. Approachable and decadent.

CAPÇANES 2008 Peraj Ha’abib/Flor de Primavera from Montsant in Spain. Robert Parker rated it a well deserved 90. Made from Garnacha, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it has a deep ruby/purple color. It was aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels; it displays sweet blackcurrant notes combined with black pepper. It displays earthy minerals and tobacco on the palate leading to a long luscious finish. Daniel Rogov estimates it will reach its best by 2012 to 2018. I’ve tasted this wine before and through every vintage it seems to get better! Only 1300 cases of 6 bottles each were produced for this vintage.

Borgo Reale 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100% Brunello variety of the Sangiovese grape. Floral and fruity on the nose, its flavor suggests plums, berries and minerals with subtle hints of coffee and tobacco leading to a long finish. Italy’s done it again!

For dessert we enjoyed Willm 2008 Gewurztraminer and Balma Venetia 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

The 2008 Gewurztraminer is made from grapes that reach their full potential in Alsace. These wines are far above those of produced elsewhere. Served chilled, it exhibited rose petals and lychee on the nose; on the palate its very, very subtle sweetness combined with the perfect amount of acidity to make it very refreshing.

The 2006 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise displayed glorious notes of peach, grape, apricot, mango and lychee. We also had it at lunch with a selection of cheeses, this past Monday, its sweetness was balanced by just enough acidity to make me feel I had bitten into the actual grape.

Two wines that we finished off before I got a chance to photograph (yes, they were that good!!!) were Barkan 2006 Superieur Shiraz and Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Barkan was, by far, the best Shiraz I ever remember tasting. On the nose it’s a complex symphony of notes of black cherries, blackcurrant, mulberries, cloves and cinnamon with overtones of coffee, dark chocolate and smoke (typical of Judean Hills wines). It is a full bodied, with a long finish. Winner of France’s Vinalies Internationales 2010 Silver Medal and Israel’s TERRAVINO Mediterranean International Wine Challenge Gold Medal for 2010

Psagot 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, It shows deep black fruit aromas awith generous notes of spicy oak, both the brawn, nicely balanced. On the nose it exhibits blackcurrants, berries and figs, those supported by notes of espresso and roasted Brazil nuts. It was a pleasant surprise and far better than more expensive wines, in fact it easily rated among the best I’ve tasted this Passover.

Next year may we sip the cup of redemption in Yerushalayim Ir Hakoidesh!

CS

21
Feb
11

This Week’s Events


This is a great week! If you like food, if you like wine these events are tailor made for you:

Tuesday, February 22nd

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011

Tomorrow’s the event of the year!

As always, the star of the show is the food and wine on offer. This year over 300 wines from all over the world will be available from wineries including Herzog, Yatir, Castel, Capcanes, Elvi, Goose Bay and more! In addition, Royal Wine will be launching some new wines at KFWE2011 including the Herzog Special Edition Chalk Hill Warnecke Vineyard 2008, the Oak Knoll Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and a new line of Gamla Reserves. Additionally, the wines of Alexander Winery in Israel will be making their debut in the United States market.

Guests will also be able to taste delicious food from some of the top rated kosher restaurants and caterers in the Tri-State area. “This is an opportunity to try some exceptional wines and great food, we don’t hold anything back,” said Mr. Landsman, “KFWE is our gift to our customers. We want to give people a chance to try the wines they are hesitant to buy, the special occasion wines they read about or see in the store.” Another benefit of this event is its proximity to Passover, giving people the opportunity to trywines that they would like to feature at their Seders.

A notable addition to the event this year will be the attendance of celebrity cookbook authors/food personalities Joan Nathan, Jamie Geller, Suzy Fishbein, Lévana Kirschenbaum and Jeff Nathan who will all be available to discuss food and wine pairing and their newest books.

KFWE 2011 will take place on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 6:30pm at Pier 60 – Chelsea Piers, NYC. For more information on the 2011 Kosher Food & Wine Experience or to order tickets, please visit: http://www.kfwe2011.com .

Don’t forget to enter KSCENE10, as your discount code, when you buy your ticket(s).

Wednesday, February 23rd

Israel Wine Lovers featuring: Barkan Winery

9 Interesting Wines, 2 Great Winemakers and 1 Amazing Evening with Barkan Winery

Nanoosh Hummus Bar

Who’s hosting? Avi Ashman, Raphael Sutton
Price: $36.00 per person
Where? Nanoosh Hummus Bar
171 Madison Avenue New York, NY
When? 7:00pm

Barkan, with vineyards all across Israel, is the second largest winery in the country.  The winemaking team’s quest to produce a variety of quality wines results in Barkan making all of the right moves (including large financial investments) to continue improvements in their vineyards and in the winery. You can always count on Barkan, and it’s Boutique winery Segal, to release quite a few interesting wines.

We are honored that Irit Boxer and Yotam Sharon, two of Barkan’s winemakers, will be with us and present a selected wine list that demonstrates the great quality of their craftsmanship.  This tasting is a MUST and we promise a fun night!!  Where else can you taste two styles of Pinotage (never tasted that grape yet? you have to…) and the effect of 100 meter (300 feet) height difference on Cabernet Sauvignon’s flavor?  Other great wines will be explored as well…

All wines and foods, during the tasting, are Kosher.

Israel Wine Lovers meets at the back of Nanoosh and brings their own food, their own wines, since Nanoosh is not under ANY kosher supervision!!!

CS

01
Nov
10

Ella Valley Vineyards


This past Wednesday, October 28th, I attended a wine tasting by the Israel Wine Lovers Group in Manhattan – at the end of two days at Kosherfest. The wines featured, this particular evening, were from Israel’s Ella Valley Vineyards, distributed here by Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.

The wines were presented by Joseph Berkowitz (from Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.). We tasted 7 different potables.

Ella Valley's tasting selections for the evening

We started with a Sauvignon Blanc 2008, pale straw colored, its aroma spoke of lime, pears with a hint of minerals. It tasted very citrusy, definitely showed promise.

Ella Valley Winery‘s Chardonnay 2007 followed. This wine is aged for 11 months in French oak barrels. On the nose one detects pineapple and apricot, with a small amount of minerals. We tasted the first bottle at room temperature and it fell a bit short of perfection. But, that was just the first bottle… Please read on until the end, gentle reader.

Joseph Berkowitz expounding on the qualities of each bottle

Next we had their Cabernet Sauvignon 2005. With 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, this wine was aged in French oak barrels for 16 months. Its aroma shows some unique minerals and plums, with a hint of the French oak’s vanilla. It tasted far superior to the two previous selections, with a beautiful ruby red color and refined complexity that gave it depth and character.

We segued the above with the winery’s Merlot 2005. Aged for 16 months, it is bended from 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose one finds it ripe with red fruits and some seasoning herbs. On the palate the fruitiness becomes mixed with bitter chocolate and a hint of coffee. Very good!

Listening attentively to the individual responses to the wines

The Syrah 2006 was next in line. Blended from 90% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, it was my favorite! Powerful, aromatic, aged for 16 months, Daniel Rogov gave it a 92 rating “outstanding in every way.”

We then moved to the Cabernet Franc 2007, with 90% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. its aroma bespeaks of pepper, blackcurrant, with a hint of tobacco and violets. Though it is usually quite lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, this particular selection had a dark red color. It opened to a distinctive peppery start but yielded to cherry, licorice and citrus peel on the long finish.

We went on tho the Ella Valley VineyardsChoice Merlot 2003. Aged for 17 months, it consists of 100% Merlot grapes. Powerful and gripping, royal purple in color, its aroma has strong notes of black cherry, berries and spices. In the glass it shows a full body and firm structure. Its elegance is obvious! It ends with an appealing spicy oak on the long finish.

After such a powerful wine, Mr. Berkowitz suggested we end the evening with a well chilled bottle of Chardonnay 2007. Unlike the first bottle we tasted (at room temperature),  this one was full of flavor and deliciously refreshing. It compared more than favorably with other Israeli and Chilean Chardonnays I tasted at Kosherfest earlier in the day. This time it showed the true reason Daniel Rogov awarded it a rating of 90.

CS

28
Oct
10

Kosherfest: Day 2


We went back to Kosherfest yesterday and once again it did not disappoint. Interesting products were abundant, a lot of the old classics were improved and there quite a few new ideas as well.

One delicious variation on an old classic was this frozen pizza by Mor Fun Foods

Tastes fresh, not frozen!

Next we passed by Toobro, a distributor of the Golan brand of cheeses, Morning Select, Spreads Instead, Emes, etc., etc., We will, be’ezras Hashem, do a more in-depth review of their products over the next few weeks.

Toobro's portfolio of brands...

Products we got to taste within Toobro‘s lines included a delicious Roaster Garlic and Herbs by Spread Instead. Spread Instead products are succulent blends of gourmet cream cheese, herbs, etc.  Frankly, we couldn’t enough of it… Superb, excellent, delicious… none of these words do actual justice to the taste

Deeeelishious!

Next we visited Lily Bloom’s Kitchen. The owner, Larry Shiller, took his mother’s recipe for delicious macaroons (I’ve never been a fan of macaroons, but these were good!!!), in various flavors: Chocolate, White Chocolate and Raspberry, Chocolate/Almond, Chocolate/Walnut, Chocolate/Peanut Butter, Chocolate/Cinnamon, Chocolate/Cherry, and Chocolate/Orange.

Winner of Kosherfest 2010 Best New Product

Next we passed by the Kedem Marketplace pavillion…

Partial views of Royal Wine Corporations huge selection of wines and liquors

Being an unabashed, uncompromising cheese lover, I was truly excited to see Israel’s Seyman company bringing its huge selection of European made cheeses from such famous names as La Cremerie, Coeur de Lion, St. Maure, Bresse Bleu, etc. I can’t wait for them to find an American distributor…

I can't wait for the moment I walk in to kosher supermarket and pick up a Manchego!

Organic Traditions, had some very interesting items:

Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Poda, Goji Berries, dried Apricots and so much more

Finally I was ready for the talk of show, the pièce de résistance, something quite a few celebrities kept on going back to time and again (don’t worry I won’t name you, you know who you are!)… Jack’s Gourmet Sausages.

Dr. Bronner - Jack's Gourmet's co-owner and some of those incredible sausages or what was left of them...

Frankly, there were quite a few more items we loved and we’ll review some of them in-depth over the next few weeks. All in all, we were excited by what we saw and tasted. Kosher is no longer just gefilte, kasha, or brisket, kosher wine is far beyond Extra Sweet Malaga or Extra Sweet Concord… we now have world class selections!

CS

07
Oct
10

An upcoming wine tasting


Avi Ashman, president and founder of  Israeli Wine of the Month Club has announced its next wine tasting:

What: French Styled Wine from King David’s Valley — Ella Valley Vineyards

When: Thursday, October 28, 2010 7:00 PM

Price: $36.00 per person

Where: Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

The beautiful Ella Valley, the site of the first TKO (David vs. Goliath) is now the home of a young and efficient winery nested among quality vineyards. The French trained winemaker Doron Rav Han continues the ancient wine making tradition in the Valley — biblical wine making facility was discovered near the winery recently — and produces some of Israel’s better wines.

Sit back, relax and join other wine lovers at the Israeli Wine of the Month Club’s interactive wine tasting experience.

What is interactive wine tasting?

* Several wonderful Israeli wines will be explored. Cheese, crackers and fruit also served.
* A panel of our Sommeliers/Wine Critics will describe each wine and guide you in exercising your palate tasting them
* You will be encouraged to voice your opinion about each wine and write elaborate notes — be Robert Parker, Tom Stevenson or Daniel Rogov for a night… Every opinion counts !
* We will collect everyone’s tasting notes and distribute them via a newsletter. The newsletter will also include professional tasting notes as well as detailed descriptions of the wineries, and more…

When? October 28, 2010 at 7PM
Where? Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.)
6th Floor
The buzzer on the ground floor (on the right side of entrance door), # 6

How much? $36 at door
RSVP by October 27, 2010 (space is limited)

RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/15030400/

I’ve been to some of these tastings and I always found (here, here, here and here) the wine selection superlative; the cheeses and fruits specially chosen by Chef Eran Elhalal have invariably been a perfect complement to the potables. I’ll be there, gentle reader, will you? Just come over and say hello!

When you sign up, why not let them know that you first saw it on this blog?

CS

23
Jun
10

Israeli Wine Tasting Tonight


Photo by: Easy Destinations Blog

Announcing a new Meetup for Israeli Wine Lovers!

What: Cool White Night (Israeli Wine That Is)

When: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:00 PM

Price: $36.00 per person

Where:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001

All our tastings started with white wines and generally ended with reds. Now its time to give Kosher Israeli white wines ALL the attention they deserve…. Come and explore crisp Chardonnays, lively Sauvignon Blancs, refreshing Viogniers as well as other wonderful blends….

Sit back and relax and join other wine lovers at the Israeli Wine of the Month Club’s interactive wine tasting experience.

What is interactive wine tasting?

* Nine wonderful Israeli wine will be explored. Artisan cheeses and breads, crackers and fruit are also served.
* A panel of our Sommelier/Wine Critics will describe each wine and guide you in exercising your palate tasting them. Also, the panel will offer wine and food pairing suggestions
* You will be encouraged to voice your opinion about each wine and write elaborate notes — be Robert Parker, Tom Stevenson or Daniel Rogov for a night…
* We will collect everyone’s tasting notes and distribute them via a newsletter. The newsletter will also include professional tasting notes as well as detailed descriptions of the wineries, and more…

When? June 23, 2010 at 7PM
Where? Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.)
6th Floor
The buzzer on the ground floor, # 6

How much? $36 at door
RSVP (space is limited)

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/13756812/

These tastings are fun and informative, you get to meet new and interesting people. Why not bring your spouse or a date?  Please, register at: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/13756812/

We’d love it if you mentioned The Kosher Scene as the blog where you first heard about it.

Tonight’s selection includes:

Dalton Unoaked Chardonnay
Binyamina Unoaked Chardonnay
Tishbi Reserve Chardonnay
Yarden Odem Chardonnay
Domaine du Castel C Chardonnay

Recanati Sauvignon Blanc
Tabor Chalk Sauvignon Blanc

Galil Mountain Viognier
Dalton Viognier

CS

08
Apr
10

Upcoming Wine Tasting


Israeli Wine Lovers Club

What: Rooted in the Lower Galil – Tabor Winery

When: Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:00 PM

Where: Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Price: $36.00 per person

We enjoyed the Tabor tasting, that took place a few months ago, so much that we asked Tal to come back and present new and exciting Tabor wines as well as educate us further regarding the influence of soil on the grapes…..

The Tabor Winery owes it roots to baron Edmond de Rothschild (the owner of Chateau Lafitte) who established 2 wineries in Israel at the end of the 19th century. Baron de Rothschild established a village called Kfar Tabor, near mount Tabor in the lower Galil, and planted vineyards to source grapes for the new wineries. In 1999 four local grape growing families established the Tabor winery not far from these vineyards. The grapes grow on 4 different types of soil and we will examine the impact of each on the wines produced — the essence of Terroir…

Sit back and relax; join with other wine lovers at the Israeli Wine of the Month Club’s interactive wine tasting experience.

What is interactive wine tasting?

* Nine wonderful Israeli wines will be explored. Cheese, crackers and fruit also served.
* A panel of our Sommeliers/Wine Critics will describe each wine and guide you in exercising your palate tasting them
* You will be encouraged to voice your opinion about each wine and write elaborate notes — be Robert Parker, Tom Stevenson or Daniel Rogov for a night…
* We will collect everyone’s tasting notes and distribute them via a newsletter. The newsletter will also include professional tasting notes as well as detailed descriptions of the wineries, and more…

What: Rooted in the Lower Galil – Tabor Winery

When: Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:00 PM

Where: Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001
The buzzer on the ground floor, # 6

Price: $36.00 per person

RSVP by April 21, 2010 (space is limited)

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/13120707/

Avi Ashman

16
Mar
10

Benyamina Wines Tasting, Getting Ready for Tomorrow’s Tasting


On the evening of  Thursday, January the 21st, I attended a wine tasting of Benyamina wines given by Avi Ashman’s Israeli Wine Lovers Club. Asaf Paz, one of the two wine-makers at the Benyamina winery, presented a selection of wines in all price ranges.

Some of the wines we would taste...

Eran Elhalal, the club’s chef, prepared a nice assortment of cheeses (sharp and mild), fruits and sweets. Raphael Sutton, who edited Israel Food and Wine magazine and wrote on wines for Globes (Israel’s premier financial publication) was the resident expert together with Eran and Avi.

Asaf started the presentation with a Chardonnay 2007, we tasted it first at room temperature. It was pleasantly tart, with hints of citrus, grapefruit and apricot. When chilled it became fruitier with peach and floral notes. It’s made in the Champagne style since the Chardonnay grape together with its red grape cousins, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier is part of the triumvirate of grapes used for Champagne. This grape which easily adapts to every climate, no matter how extreme, is also used in large proportions in the production of classic sparklers around the world.

We followed with Yogev 2007, that combined Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. With Cherry and berry notes, the Shiraz gave it a smoky spiciness. Made from classical warm weather grapes, it won’t age as well as other higher end wines.

We continued with another Yogev 2007 selection, also a dry red. This wine combines 20% Petit Verdot (grown in the Negev Mountains, it has high acidity and produces fruity tannins) and 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s aroma brought out mint and black currant tones. Ages well and has a very unique strong personality.

Next we had a Reserve Merlot 2005, with hints of cherry and sweet spices. it goes well with lamb shanks and strong flavored meats. Next we had a delightful Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

Some of the higher end selections

Sapir 2004 followed this wines is aged for 16 months in the cask and 4 years in the bottle before it leaves the winery. It has 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, and 25% Merlot, fruity with floral accents and sweet spices.

Odem 2005 was next, this wine has 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier it has a nice smoky taste and goes well with charcouterie meats.

Finally we got to taste Benyamina’s top of the line, The Cave – Hama’arah 2006, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. A superior wine that is aged not in the main winery but in a 300 year old cave in the heart of the Carmel Mountains, hence its name. This top quality wine, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the grapes were harvested in  the Upper Galilee. The wine was aged over 24 months in new French oak barrels and will continue to age well. Truly a superb wine.

Tomorrow, March 17, the Israeli Wine Lovers Club will be meeting again in Manhattan, at:
Quint, Miller & Co.
34 West 38th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.) NYC
6th Floor
The buzzer, on the ground floor, is # 6.

As Avi’s email advised: “Earlier today I got the wines for the “How Sweet It ISrael” tasting from the Royal Wine Company (the largest Kosher wines importer/distributor). The list is great — Carmel Shaal, Gamla White Riesling, Carmel Moscato, and more. Eran (our Club’s Chef) promised to make special treats for the tasting…. So, are you ready for a sweet feast as I am? We’d like to see you at the event.

You can RSVP at their web site: http://www.meetup.com/Israeli-Wine-Lovers/calendar/12765713/ The cost for this tasting is $36 at the door. Hope to see you there.

CS




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