Mayer Jacobovits, of Israeli Wines Direct, held a private wine tasting – yesterday – at Liquors Galore (1212 Avenue J, Brooklyn 11230 – Tel: 718.338.4166). Aside from Mayer, the two store operators and I were present.
Of the wines we tasted, I was surprised by Agur‘s Layam 2012…
Set on Moshav Agur in the Judean plains, this boutique winery has been kosher since 2007 under the direction of owner/winemaker Shuki Yashuv. I first tasted their wines about three years ago and was unimpressed, this winery has since matured and now produces some good potables. The 2012 Layam, with a deep purple color, is floral on the nose exhibiting notes of red fruits, spices and herbs. It showed an unexpected, but subtle, salty finish.
As someone who grew up in Uruguay, I am very familiar with neighboring Argentina’s prime grape – Malbec - and I thought I knew what to expect from a wine made from it. Frankly, I never foresaw what was coming, as I tasted the Ramot Naftaly Malbec 2012…
Founded on Moshav Ramot Naftaly in the Upper Galilee – in 2003 – by vintner Yitzchak Cohen, this small winery has been producing kosher wines since 2009. The 2012 Malbec was as interesting as it was unanticipated. A round, gentle Malbec with strong Mediterranean overtones, it was very distinct in character from any of its Argentinian cousins. With light earthy tobacco notes on the nose, it exhibits some spicy wood, gentle gripping tannins with generous blackberry and purple plums. Easy to drink and very good!
Next we tried the Ramot Naftaly Barbera 2013. Rather earthy and laden with minerals, it exhibits crushed blackberries and licorice notes. It opens with a bit of bottle stink that quickly dissipates and gives way to generous fruits, a very likable wine.
Worthy of special mention are the Petit Verdot 2012 and Shiraz 2012. The Petit Verdot showed soft tannins, aromas and flavors of raspberries and crème patisserie. The Shiraz 2012, dark garnet in color, medium to full-bodied (leaning towards full) with well balanced tannins and subtle notes of sweet cedar. With notes of plums, cassis, spices on the nose and palate it shows saddle leather on the finish.
Of the two lower priced Special Edition wines by this winery…
I appreciated the Shiraz 2012 most even though the Cabernet Sauvignon SE 2012 was selected by The Jewish Week TOP 18 Red wines $25 and over. The Shiraz is easy and delightful on the palate with its soft tannins, it exhibits red berry, plum and licorice notes.
Some nice wines you might want to enjoy over Pessach and beyond.