I've attended last night the 2nd annual wine festival in Raanana. Nice atmosphere, it wasn't so warm but way too humid for me. Such a pleasure to be back in dry Jerusalem...
It was nice to meet Avi Hein and catch up with our fellow banished forumite David Rhodes...
Adam Montefiore was there too and it's always a pleasure and an honor to chat a bit with him.
I wont provide any tasting notes here as frankly I didn't take any this time since there were too few new wines and I was there essentially for fun and less for business purposes.
Only 2 of the big wineries were in attendance, Barkan with its Assemblage series again and some of their reserve whites as well as Teperberg which was pouring the largest number of wines: the 3 red reserve (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) as well as some of the Terra series and the late harvest Riesling. That being said, the festival's wine shop was also pouring wines from Tishbi, Recanati and Ben Haim wineries to name only these.
Most the wineries were kosher, but unfortunately there were almost no new wines with the exception of the new Arza wines launched a few months ago with the operation "secret wine" which I had posted about back then, a Malbec and a Cabernet Sauvignon as well as another Cabernet Sauvignon named "Auteur" as the winery wanted to honor its winemaker Philippe Lichtenstein. The wine shop was also pouring a new Tishbi wine in their entry-level series, "Viognier Blanc 2011" a 50% Viognier blended with 50% White Riesling that was really nice and enjoyable, I liked it very much, fruit forward with plenty of white peaches, some petrol notes and tropical fruit such as pineapple and honeydew with a hint of sweetness.
Best of the show in my opinion were Gat Shomron with their Merlot 2006/2007 and Ice Wine Viognier. The Gush Etzion Syrah 2010 wasn't bad either. Excellent also the Gvaot Herodion Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and their stunning Chardonnay/Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. David Ventura was also pouring most his excellent wines and Pierre Miodownick (Netofa) was there with his great Rosé 2011 as well as both the Domaine Netofa Red (Syrah/Mourverdre) and White (Chenin Blanc) 2010, both very good. Or Haganuz were also pouring the wines I've posted about a few days ago. The Teperberg Terra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 as well as the Terra Malbec 2010 (just released) were also very good and I actually liked the Terra Cab '10 more than the Reserve Cab '08.
Artzi were there also with winemaker Jacques Humeau pouring a refreshing sangria made with his wines that tasted pretty good.
I tasted also the Kinor David reds with their Cabernet Sauvignon/Pinot Noir blend 2006 that was original with no resemblance at all to say the least with the Livni wines (Livni Reed Pipe is also a Cabernet/Pinot blend). They were as well pouring a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2006.
The Barkan Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011 was truly good and very pleasant. However the Chardonnay Reserve 2011 seemed to have suffered from reduction as both the nose and palate were very similar to the Castel Chardonnay 2009 with unpleasant smell of burnt rubber. I hope it was just that bottle or that barrel, I'll taste it again of course at the nearest opportunity.
Eden's winemaker Eyal Elipaz was pouring a new wine, a Fume Blanc 2011 made of 4 months barrel-aged-sur lie Sauvignon Blanc that really had heavy notes of smoke on the nose, interesting wine to compare side by side with the Dalton FB (Fume Blanc, not Facebook!! ).
I had also the pleasure to re-taste for the 4th time in the past 10 months the Har Bracha wines that have clearly improved with more maturity. Clearly a winery that I look forward to follow its development.
There were the usual booths with cheeses, olive oil, liqueurs (one lovely passion fruit liqueur in particular), chocolates etc.
A nice event all in all and I'm looking forward to the Jerusalem Wine Festival 2012 which will take place as every year at the Israel Museum July 30th- August the 2nd.
Shabbat Shalom, a pleasant weekend to all!