Before the yomim tovim I make my way to Gotham Wine and Liquors (2517 Broadway – between 93rd and 94th Streets – New York, NY 10025; Tel: 212-932-0990), where I pick up old favorites, new selections I want to try and recommendations by Costas, whether for myself, or as gifts to family and friends.
Starting on Pessach I’ve tried some superb wines from $9.00 and up.
For the Four Cups, on the first Seder night, I drank the 2006 Segal‘s Argaman. Well balanced, easy to drink and made from Israel’s only native grape. The Argaman grape is a crossing between the Portuguese Souzão and Carignan. This delightful wine was fermented of the skins of Merlot; it shows notes of red and black berries. I should have gotten more than just two bottles of it!
The second night I turned to the 2010 Gedeon Cabernet Sauvignon for the Arba Kosos. It was fruity while combining toasted vanilla and tobacco notes from French Oak Barrels, with a smoky finish. I always buy this inexpensive selection by the case.
The 2011 Bartenura Malvasia has long been a favorite through various vintages since I first discovered the grape under the late Tonelli label. Aromatic, slightly fizzy and just sweet enough for even the inexperienced wine, it is nice as a dessert wine or with a light meal. Very pleasant when chilled!
2010 Bravdo Coupage combines Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it exhibits slight floral notes mixed with subtle herbs and blackcurrant on the nose. On the palate it shows hints of black cherry, raspberry, ripe fruit and well balanced tannins, it has a long spicy finish and ends with a delightful hint of vanilla.
The 2009 Binyamina Reserve Gewurtztraminer Late Harvest has won 2 Gold Medals at the 2010 Terravino, the Mediterranean International Wine and Spirit Challenge. Made from Botrytis (Noble Rot) infected grapes, golden yellow in color with a rich and complex aroma of tropical fruit, honeyed dried apricots, lychee, red grapefruit and rose water. Its high sugar level is beautifully and precisely balanced by a natural crispness, it has a rich and long lingering finish with dominant fruity and floral overtones.
2009 Dalton Shiraz – Very dark in color, the nose is intense with black berries and liquorice, on the palate its shows buttery notes of cherry jam, caramel and a hint of black pepper. The wine shows soft integrated tannins and a long finish.
2011 Dalton Moscato is slightly effervescent with a fresh floral bouquet. Incredibly aromatic, and with just enough sweetness to not become cloying. It’s a perfect dessert wine!
2009 Livni Pinot Noir – Made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes, aged in French and American oak barrels it is full bodied and with a very deep garnet color. On the nose it shows blackcurrant with barely a hint of vanilla. On the palate it exhibits ripe cherries, wild berries and raspberry, with slight overtones of earthy minerals.
Connoisseur and novice alike will greatly delight in any of the above selections.