Sunday, May 24, 2009


Not often we Kentucky winos get to check out Israeli wine – not sure why but there really isn’t a lot of it available here in the state. So I was excited to try the wines from Recanati, a fairly new winery located in Israel’s primary wine region, Galilee.

Manning the Recanati table was winemaker Gil Shatsberg, who was eager to show off the wines he makes to the crowd at the Palm Bay Winemaker show. I have to admit that for the most part, I don’t like it when a winemaker tells me what I am tasting. I got a fair amount of that at the show, but not from Mr. Shatsberg, who chose to let me make up my own mind about each wine, only giving me the technical specifics of each wine and allowing me to taste at my own pace (which I hate to say is almost mach 10).

Recanati has two table wines – the Yasmin White and Red. The White is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Emerald Riesling and Colombard, and shows off a slightly-sweet yet very balanced white wine that is ideal for warmer weather quaffing. The Red is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, and shows off considerable red fruit flavors and a soft, easy-drinking finish.

The Diamond Series boasts Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah, each one varietally correct, demonstrating good fruit character and balance. I’m looking forward to having these wines in our stores soon.

The Reserve wines feature a Cabernet Franc (remarkably good, reminiscent of a St. Emilion yet with hints of herbaceousness), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah (drinks something akin to a Bandol), Shiraz, and their Special Reserve (a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from two single vineyard sites).

All of these wines are Kosher for Passover, and are remarkably craft to equal anything coming out of California right now. These wines were the big surprise of the event for me. Look for all of them soon.

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