I guess this is my first time, literally in years posting to this whole forum at all. . . I've been hoping to get back to it for a while, and I thank you for reminding me to participate in our community
This past Shabbat I had completely successful rounds of all newly released wines (but not all of them first time tastings):
For Shabbat dinner our Kiddush wine was the Derekh Eretz, Merlot, 2012, I think. It was medium-bodied, fresh strawberries on the palate, and a decent, lighter and relatively lower priced wine to have for the Kiddush. I was also very proud of this particular friend that he discovered the branch of Derekh HaYayin/Wine Route store in Modi'in which is pretty close to where we live in Giv'at Ze'ev (close to Jerusalem). After we then all starting the meal with the Motzi-breaking of bread, we immediately went into tasting the wines and making special additional, superior wine blessings on them - the HaTov veHaMeitiv blessing. I brought all of the wines that we tasted after the Kiddush for both dinner and late breakfast - 1) Tulip, Special Edition, 2012 (I think this is the first Special edition wine that the winery has made), this wine is majority Barbera and I forget what else in its blend, and is surprisingly closer to the full-bodied end and is simply, just lovely and a fascinating experience that I can't remember everything to describe it - pick up a bottle at Derekh HaYayin!; 2) Tabor, Adama II, CS-Petit Syrah 2010, it was surprisingly priced much lower than previous releases in the third out of the four series of Tabor wines (the first being the lowest level) at 69 NIS before a discount that I receive in Jerusalem, and with this wine coming after such a special start of the wine tasting of the Tulip bottle it was not enjoyed by friend and his family perhaps because the PS gave it a more dry and bitter sensation to the mouthfeel (both of the two, first red wines that I brought were first time tastings); 3) Recanati, Special Edition, White, 2012, this was the second, consecutive week that I bought this out of high recommendations from the veteran staff at the Derekh HaYayin flagship store in Tel Aviv on HaChasmonayim St., and it is a medium-oaked, upper-medium sophistication white blend. Most of the food that these wines complimented well were Persian-inspired, except for the first course which was salmon steaks which was the first time I've eaten salmon at this friend's house. . .
I arrived slightly later for the late breakfast right after they did Kiddush, so I blessed for myself on the same bottle of the Derekh Eretz Merlot that we blessed on at night. After we started the meal, I brought out another brand new, red wine to taste for the first time - the Dalton, Petite Syrah, 2011, which was not as successful as the previous release which was either the 2010 or the 2009 (whichever one was the last one I think DR rated like 89 or so), and was very dry and bitter on the mouthfeel, although it had a stunning deep, dark purple hue. I then brought out a red wine which was a huge success the previous Shabbat for dinner then - the newly released Galil Mountain, Ella, 2011.
The truth is is that this was the first Shabbat in a long time that I acquired for it this amount of all highly enjoyable wines, which they happened to be all very reasonably priced. I've been complaining for the past several weeks, at one of my favorite wine stores in Jerusalem, that I've been sick of "having to" get from week to week the same, exact wines (with very slight variation), and last week was right after the Jerusalem wine festival and few weeks before Rosh HaShanah so I was so happy to see that my favorite wine stores in Israel were finally getting quality, new wines at similar prices as before or in one case (Tabor, Adama II) lower prices than before.
Best wishes and a good week to all,