The label says Barbera, and the producer's vowel-ending family name might contribute to the impression that the heavy green bottle contains an Italian wine. A taste reinforces this supposition: The Italian grape makes a fine, sturdy and mouth-wateringly acidic red that goes great with a hearty dish sauced with a meat-and-tomato "gravy."
Israel remains a relatively minor player on the world wine scene, but it's growing fast. According to material supplied by Palm Bay Imports of Boca Raton, Fla., a recent RCNielsen market study showed Israel as the third fastest-growing wine region in U.S. sales, trailing only New Zealand and South Africa in its rate of increase during the 12-week period ending last Feb. 11. With wines like Recanati's coming into the market, this trend seems likely to continue.
The Recanati family name sounds Italian because it is Italian, by the way. Winery owner Lenny Recanati's family came to Israel from Italy in the early 1900s; he's a leading Israeli banker and financier, and the winery is now the country's sixth-largest. Rounding out the firm's international profile, wine maker Lewis Pasco is American-born, a University of California/Davis wine-making grad and trained chef, who worked at Napa's Chimney Rock and Sonoma's Marimar Torres and cooked at restaurants in San Francisco and New York City before moving to Israel.
Recanati wines are now available in the Italy, France, Germany, the U.K. and Japan as well as Israel and the U.S. Palm Bay brings in a range of eight wines, representing a range of international varieties, from a 2005 Sauvignon Blanc ($12.50 suggested retail) to a 2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($22). The wines are made kosher for Passover, but like bagels and latkes, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy them. I'll report on a few more of these wines in coming weeks.
Recanati 2004 Galilee Barbera ($15)
Very dark purple, almost black; garnet at the edge. Black cherries and berries and a whiff of spice. Fresh and juicy fruit shaped by tart acidity; good sour-cherry tang in a long finish. A bit on the "international" side, it speaks of fruit more than the soil, but there's a distinct Italian accent in the snappy, food-friendly balance of acidity and fruit. U.S. importer: Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, Fla. (April 25, 2006)
FOOD MATCH: Its Italianate style made this wine a fine match with a quick, light variation on Italian-American meat and tomato "gravy" over fettuccine.
VALUE: A fine value in the mid-teens, and "street" prices may undercut this manufacturer's suggested retail.
WHEN TO DRINK: Like its Italian cousin, this Barbera is fine for early drinking but should hold up well for at least a few years. No rush to drink it.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
TALK ABOUT WINE ONLINE:
For more advanced wine-enthusiast discussions on this or any wine-related subject, you're welcome in our non-commercial WineLovers Discussion Group, where today's article is featured at this link:
To contact me by E-mail, write email@example.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
PRINT OUT TODAY'S ARTICLE
Winebuys.com: MAMMA MIA! All Italian Wine on Sale at Winebuys!
Your first order SHIPS FedEx for FREE!
See All Italian Wine - ON SALE NOW!
Browse Wine Under $15
Shop New Arrivals
All wines up to 50% off every day
To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.
We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. To contact me, please send E-mail to email@example.com
All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006