We'll begin with Israel as it highlights 6 wines, five of which of are from one of its top regions - Upper Galilee. Not all wines made in Israel are certified Kosher, but the each of the Israeli wines in this release are certified Kosher for Passover - to help you prepare for upcoming Passover celebrations. The single Israeli wine that made my wine picks is the Galil Mountain Alon that is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. And in case you were wondering, Cab Sauv, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are the most widely planted grapes in Israel.
A recent study showed that Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most widely planted grape on the planet. In this release there are 15 Cabs highlighted, most of which are from the New World. A version from Chile's Santa Rita and a blend from Washington's Hedges Family Estate (44% Cab Sauv, 33% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 4% Malbec, 3% Cab Franc) are the only two Cabs I'm recommending from this section of the release. There's also a Cab Sauv from Argentina that's not part of the "Cab Fab" feature, but is found later on in the magazine. Why they separated this and other Cabernet Sauvignons from the rest is beyond me...
From the rest of the release, the Bodegas Olarra is a blend of mostly Tempranillo and small amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, while the Brouilly from Beaujolais is made with Gamay Noir. And last but not least of the red wines is a gorgeous wine from Hecht & Bannier that returns to Vintages. I was delighted to have co-founder Gregory Hecht pour this fabulous wine for me at the Halpern Enterprises Grand Cru tasting last November. It's a highly aromatic blend and a big wine containing Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and trace amounts of Lladoner Pelut, a grape I had never heard of. Drink this wine over the next 5 years. I have both the 2008 and 2010 in my cellar and will probably open them both up over the next couple of years.
Only 4 white wines made my cut, and all are from France. The Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc), Chardonnay, and Riesling are all dry, while the Altesse is off-dry (i.e. slightly sweet).
This concludes my take on this week's Vintages release. Enjoy my wine picks and, as usual, let me know if you try any of my recommendations. Cheers!
- SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA PETIT VERDOT 2011 - Rapel Valley, Chile (#007484) (D) - $15.95
- LORNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#211599) (XD) - $17.95
- SANTA RITA MEDALLA REAL GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2009 - Maipo Valley, Chile (#375386) (XD) - $17.95 reviewed here
- FINCA SOPHENIA RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#350090) (D) - $17.00
- BODEGAS OLARRA AÑARES RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#244723) (XD) - $19.95
- JEAN-PAUL BRUN TERRES DORÉES CÔTE DE BROUILLY 2012 - AC, Beaujolais, France (#235127) (XD) - $20.95
- GALIL MOUNTAIN ALON KP 2010 - Kosher for Passover, Upper Galilee, Israel (#354522) (XD) - $20.95
- HECHT & BANNIER CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2010 - AC, Midi, France (#142802) (XD) - $24.95 reviewed here
- JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL SHIRAZ 2012 - Clare Valley, South Australia (#998476) (XD) - $26.95
- HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE RED 2011 - Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington State, USA (#001594) (XD) - $32.95
- MAISON ADRIEN VACHER LES ADRETS ALTESSE ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE 2012 - AC, Savoie, France (#365163) (D) - $16.95 reviewed here
- MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE VIEILLES VIGNES BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#299867) (XD) - $18.95
- DOMAINE FRANCK MILLET SANCERRE 2012 - AC, Loire, France (#297879) (XD) - $26.95
- TRIMBACH RÉSERVE RIESLING 2010 - AC Alsace, France (#995316) (XD) - $27.95
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.