It was my birthday so I went for an expensive wine as well as an el cheapo companion. We have reviewed several offerings from the Recanati vineyards in the Galilee region of northern Israel. This is their top-of-the-line representative, a Bordeaux blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. It is Kosher and comes in one of the heaviest bottles I have seen in a long time. The companion wine is a Kosher Argentine Tempranillo, the signature grape of Spain, costing less than a fifth of this pseudo-Bordeaux.
Let’s start by quoting the back label. “Lenny Recanati proudly presents this limited production Special Reserve from the Mediterranean vineyards of Israel’s upper Galilee region. This singular red, matured 19 months in new French oak, is produced from a selection of the finest quality Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Merlot for added complexity. Captivating aromas of black plum and cherry build into an opulent palate of ripe berries, spice and lush velvety tannins. Our Special Reserve was handicrafted with great care – we hope that you will enjoy savoring it as we enjoyed creating it.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was powerful, balanced, and multilayered. The meal consisted of a cheese-less lasagna made with a mixture of whole wheat and spinach noodles, ground beef, salsa, and peas. In response the liquid was too acidic. But it did have lots of extract, chocolate, and balanced tannins. Chinese chili sauce tamed the acidity and the delicious chocolate and tannins melted together. Dessert was praline-filled Bitter-Sweet Swiss chocolate to which the libation responded with dark cherries and balanced acidity and tannins. It was very long.
My next meal began with Japanese rice crackers. The Cab was very rich and balanced. It was quite long. Then came a packaged Baked Ziti Siciliano that I liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese. In response our Israeli friend expanded. It was mouth filling and multilayered expressing balanced acidity and tannins.
The final meal started with homemade lentil soup. The powerful, long liquid responded with blackberries. The centerpiece was slow cooked beef with coriander and cumin that imparted chocolate and balanced tannins and acidity to this wine. In response to chickpeas the libation was mouth filling with lots of plums. White potatoes gave Red great balanced acidity and tannins. Things were about the same with sweet potatoes but the juice’s acidity sharpened. Chinese chili sauce on the meat made no change. It’s spiciness was not integrated.
Final verdict. While the pairings were quite good, I didn’t think that they were $55 good. Nor $45 good, the typical Internet price. I plan to taste more $50 wines in the coming year. But this one won’t get a second shot.
Access the companion wine An Argentine Tempranillo (Under $10)
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Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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