2008 Yatir Yatir Forest, Israel, Negev, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

During our Seder, my son commented that he was surprised they made wine in the Negev desert in southern Israel.  i told him that not only did they make wine, they made some great wines.  This bottle, which we had purchased in Israel a few years back, was brought up and opened.  It needed some air, so we decanted and gave it some vigorous swirling before serving.  Even then, it really needed more air and a glass in the decanter the next day was the best.  The wine is made from 58% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 32% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot grapes, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color

2000 Galil Mountain Yiron Red Wine, Israel, Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2000
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was generously brought to our Seder by a friend.  It was stood upright for a couple of weeks and decanted for sediment right before serving.  It is a 60/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  A really great showing at age 19.  Probably a bit past its prime but still thriving with plenty to offer those who would listen to an older wine.  Deep ruby in color, a bit of bricking at the rim.  The nose is great with cigar box, dried cherries, fresh cherries, dust and slight pine.  On the palate, this has layers of fruit;dried and fresh over a forest floor.  Good acidity helps it go well

2016 Tulip Winery Syrah Reserve, Israel, Upper Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$36.00USD

This is an excellent Syrah.  It drinks a lot like a St. Joseph or better Crozes-Hermitage.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, spice and slight damp earth.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Juicy black raspberries that are ripe enough but just barely.  Great texture.  Medium tannins.  Great balance.  This will work with medium of heavier foods/spicy foods very well.  Drinking well now, it may still improve but should have another decade.  

2016 Flam Classico Judean Hills, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$31.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot and 7% Syrah.  It is a delicious wine that is very "French" in style.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cassis, cherries, tobacco, plums and slight green beans.  On the palate, this has nice cherry fruit with some cassis over dry roasted earth.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  Food friendly.  I doubt this gets better but will hold for 5 to seven year or more.  It is not a big wine, but worked great with our meal during the Seder at Passover.  

2016 Domaine Du Castel Jerusalem - Haute Judee La Vie, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is a really good bottle of wine and for $20, it is a great value.  We opened a few of these for our Passover Seder, but I would happily drink this Bordeaux blend any time.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, cherries, slight coffee and spice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Light tannins.  The black raspberries and cherries carry thru.  Some underlying spice as well.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This works with a wide variety of food.  Tasty.  Seems like it should easily do five more years.  It probably won't get better though.  

2017 Tzora Vineyards Judean Hills Blanc, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a 75/25 blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  It is quite lively and enjoyable. Light golden in color with some silvery/green swirls.  On the nose, this has some peach and some citrus with a slight minerality and herbal note.  On the palate, this is slightly crisp with good fruit.  It seems like it probably needs to be consumed quickly.  Right now it has nice peaches but they dissipate in the glass.  Good finish.  This worked well with an Israeli Chapped Salad and also with Matzoh Ball Soup (Veg broth).  Get the most current vintage you can.  

2010 Golan Heights Winery Yarden Blanc de Blancs, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$29.00USD

This is much better than the 2009 (tried two years ago).  The 2010 should, however, be consumed now.  It is not really showing oxidation, but the fruit is fading.  That said, this is a solid wine that made for a fun start to our Passover Seder.  We consumed it before actually sitting down to the Seder.  It went well with dried fruits and nuts and "mock" liver.  Light golden in color with a fair amount of medium-ish bubbles.  The nose has some green apples and minerals with slight ginger and slighter oxidation.  On the palate, the apples carry thru along with some minerality.  Not a lot of a

2012 Catabbo Molise Tintilia del Molise Riserva, Italy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a Riserva (the 2013 regular version is reviewed separately).  Frankly, this was not as good as the regular and cost $10 more.  Now, that may be a vintage thing and I don't have a lot of experience with this grape (Tintilia) or region (Molise).  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has boysenberries and smoke.  On the palate, this has some boysenberries but not a lot.  A slight bitter note on the finish.  Some acidity.  Its a fine wine that is drinking well right now but not the value the regular bottling is.  Perhaps it is just in an awkward phase and needs time.  

2017 False Bay Chenin Blanc, New Zealand, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$10.00USD

This is a relatively inexpensive Chenin Blanc that makes for fine sipping.  Light golden in color.  The nose has pear and lemons and a slight minerality.  On the palate, this is clean and easy to drink.  Pears with slight waxy finish.  Light bodied.  It works with lighter foods or on its own.  Drink these sooner than later though Chenin does have the ability to age.  

2013 Catabbo I.A.C. Molise Tintilia del Molise, Italy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Every year I get invited to a St. Joseph's day celebration by a friend who is originally from Molise.  It's a BYO event at a local hall with hundreds of people, tons of homemade food and a lot of fun.  I try to bring appropriate wines.  There are not a lot of wines made in Molisse and available here in the US.  This one retails for about $20 and is really good and a bit different.  Tintilia is the name of the grape.  I liked this vintage slightly more than a 2011 I had a couple  of years ago.  Purple in color.

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