Last Minute Passover Reds

Passover only comes around once a year and if we are planning on drinking four glassed over the course of the evening, well; at least we should enjoy the wine, shouldn’t we?

Seder night, which in most households consists of large family meals with many diners and guests, is a great opportunity to uncork several bottles and sample a variety of wines. While wine shops and supermarkets are offering excellent deals, selling 2, 3 or sometimes even 4 bottles for NIS 100, I always recommend purchasing at least one or two bottles of ‘Premium’ wines that might cost a bit more that one was planning to spend but will be a welcomed and complimentary addition to the holiday meal. Passover only comes around once a year and if we are planning on drinking four glasses over the course of the evening, well; at least we should enjoy the wine, shouldn’t we?

Adir, ‘A’, 2010 –comprising 60% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc, concentrated purple in color, medium bodied, a bit firm when first poured and then opens to suggest dark berry fruits, orange zest and dry herbs. Those followed by notes of vanilla and toasted oak leading to a long finish. I also sampled Adir’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and found it quite enjoyable. Ideally, I would wait another year with this one but if you decide to serve it at this year’s Seder, allow to aerate in the glass or decanter for a bit before drinking. If you happen to be up north over the holiday, the Adir visitor’s center situated in the Dalton Industrial Zone showcases Adir’s excellent goat milk based dairy products and is well worth a visit.

Barkan, Altitude, +720, 2009 – Dark garnet in color, this is a concentrated and full bodied red vino suggesting generous aromas and flavors of red cherries, plums, leather and fresh herbs followed by a distinct 'cool' note that brings to mind mint or eucalyptus, all leading to a long finish. Be patient and allow the wine to develop in the glass or aerate before serving. Barkan’s Altitude label consists of three varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The grapes are harvested from vineyards at altitudes ranging from +412 to +720 meters above sea level and are processed in similar methods. This provides us with a chance to compare the traits of the different terroirs.

Golan Heights, Yarden, Single Vineyard, Tel Phares, Syrah, 2008 – the winery’s Single Vineyard wines from the Yarden label are an excellent choice for a festive holiday meal. I recently sampled the Syrah 08 from the Tel Phares Vineyard and found it very enjoyable. 100% Syrah grapes, full bodied, this is a very concentrated and well balanced wine suggesting layered aromas and succulent flavors of black cherries, plums, purple flowers, black pepper and dry herbs followed by intriguing notes of smoked meat and orange zest leading to a long and mouth-filling finish. While enjoyable now, if kept properly, the wine should develop nicely and would be a real treat in the years to come as well.

Recanati, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – Recanati’s wines are constantly improving and today, in all price ranges, the winery produces wines that provide excellent “value for money”. Both the red and white Yasmin (Jasmine) wines are among the best in their price category and with the current pre-Passover sales, it is definitely worth picking up a case or two. The Reserve Cab 2010 is a single vineyard wine relying on grapes from the Lebanon Vineyard situated in the Upper Galilee. Developed for 16 months in French oak, rather firm when first poured, this is a full bodied wine suggesting dark berry fruits, plums and fresh Mediterranean herbs with notes of oak and warm spices in the background. Good balancing acidity and a long finish make this a very enjoyable wine.

L’Chaim and Happy Passover!