Follow are recent tasting or re-tasting notes of wines from Agur, Karmei Yosef (Bravdo) and Odem Mountain. Note that only those crits followed by the notation"K" are kosher, the others from the pre-kosher releases of the wineries. When a winery makes the switchover to kashrut, a wait and see policy is best.
Odem Mountain, Alfasi, 2005: An oak-aged blend, this year of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. Medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and unfolding on the palate to show a generous array of currant and berry fruits, those supported by hints of sweet herbs and green olives. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 88–90.
Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Deep garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with generous, soft tannins and spicy wood in good balance with blackberry, currant and cassis fruits. On the moderately long finish, hints of cedar and freshly cut herbs. Drink now–2010. Score 90.
Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Reserve, 2006: Oak-aged for 15 months, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot shows generous but gentle spicy wood in fine balance with soft tannins and acidity. Opens to reveal currant, berry and black cherry fruits on a background of chocolate, sweet spices and tarry notes. Long and generous. Drink now–2011. Score 89.
Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nimrod, 2006: Oak-aged for 10 months, showing gentle layers of spicy wood and vanilla, this medium to full-bodied, garnet-colored wine shows near-sweet tannins integrating nicely and opening to reveal berry, currant and sweet herbs. A light medicinal aroma on pouring blows off quickly. Generous and moderately long. Drink now. Score 88.
Odem Mountain, Merlot, Nimrod, 2006: Dark garnet with purple reflections and full-bodied with firm tannins that need a bit of time to integrate. Opens to show generous red currant, cherry and raspberry fruits, those supported by hints of Mediterannean herbs. Drink now–2011. Score 87.
Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Opens with a bit of bottle-stink, but that blows off quickly to revel a medium to full-bodied, softly tannic wine with generous black currant and purple plum fruits, those matched nicely by hints of mocha and vanilla. Ripe, round and moderately long. Drink now. Score 86.
Karmei Yosef, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bravdo, 2007: Still in embryonic form but already showing firm, deep tannins and spicy wood, those parting to reveal a core of currant, raspberry, toasty oak and licorice notes. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 87–89. K
Karmei Yosef, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bravdo, 2006: Showing more tannic and with a somewhat heavier wood influence than at barrel tastings. Dark royal-purple in color, medium to full-bodied and with overall good balance between still firm tannins and spicy wood that allows the fruits to sow nicely. On the nose and palate currants, wild berries and mint notes, those lingering nicely. Best 2009–2012. Score 90.
Karmei Yosef, Merlot, Bravdo, 2007: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins and showing a generous array of blackberry, blueberry, spicy and earthy aromas and flavors. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 88–90. K
Karmei Yosef, Merlot, Bravdo, 2006: Blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauignon, aged in barriques for 12 months, deep garnet towards royal-purple in color, with once gripping tannins now integrating nicely with spicy wood. Full-bodied, opens to reveal a core of plums, blackberries and blueberries, those on a background of exotic spices and hints of chocolate and mocha that linger nicely on the palate. Drink now–2012. Score 90.
Karmei Yosef, Chardonnay, Bravdo, 2007: Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, developed in oak for only three months to guard the aromas and freshness of the variety, this medium-bodied white shows forward pineapple, citrus and pear fruits, those with good acidity and a light mineral note keeping the wine lively. Lacks complexity but refreshing and easy to drink. Score 87. K
Karmei Yosef, Chardonnay, Bravdo, 2006: Fermented partly on its lees in new French and American oak and partly in stainless steel, this deeply golden white shows a green tint, and is bursting with layers of figs, apples, apricots, melon and light cedary oak. Rich, with mineral flavors that linger nicely on the finish. Drink now. Score 89.
Agur, Special Reserve, 2006: A medium to full-bodied blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, with firm tannins and generously spicy wood integrating nicely to show appealing blackberry, black cherry and sweet herbs on the nose and palate. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 86–88.
Agur, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2005: Dark royal-purple, medim to full-bodied, with generous spicy oak integrating with chewy tannins and fruits. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with equal parts of Petit Verdot and Merlot, oak-aged for 18 months, the wine is concentrated, showing currant and plum fruits along with hints of cedar, green olives and sage, with the tannins rising on the persistent finish. Drink now–2010. Score 87.
Agur, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Dark garnet, full-bodied, with good balance between dusty wood, black currants and blackberries supported by a potpourri of spices and cedar and a hint of minerals on the firm and complex finish. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 86–88
Agur, Merlot, 2006: Super-dark purple, with gripping tannins that turn supple from mid-palate and reveal cherry cola, black cherry and plum fruits on a background of mocha and spicy oak. The best yet from Agur. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 88–90.