Chugging along here. Wrist is still in a cast & it seems I have a long way to go. I’m told it could take a full 3 months. It has only been 3 weeks. AHHHHHHHHHHH…….
Cast & all, I will be wearing my Wine Tasting Guy hat tomorrow. For the second straight year I have been invited to talk about wine to those in attendance at the Trump Invitational Golf Tournament put together by the Eric Trump Foundation to raise money for St. Jude’s children’s charity.
I had lots of fun at last years event. Met some Trump family members who were all pretty cool. And the golfers were all quite receptive to the wines I was pouring, many of which were Israeli wines. Hope I will have a story to share with you following tomorrow’s event.
Finally, I had the pleasure to attend a tasting of Dalton wines last week. Dalton is an Israeli based winery, located (and with vineyards) in the Galilee region of Israel.
The tasting was led by proprietor Alex Haruni. And it was A TREAT!
We tasted 9 wines in all, including 2 as of yet not on the market. One, the 2006 “Super Premium” (shown above with white label and Hebrew writing), will be released Spring 2010. And the second unreleased wine is a fortified Muscat was a single vintage example of a wine which is to be made using the “Solar System” (as is done with Spanish Sherry). The final blend is expected to be a blend of 5 vintages so we got an EARLY preview as the 2006 we tried is the first vintage. I hope Alex & family don’t drink it all and have the willpower to save some for the loyal customers. 😉
Of the wines presently on the market, there were as usual a few standouts.
The 2007 Dalton Viognier (wild yeast fermented) is both fermented & aged in oak barrels, of which 1/3 has NO YEAST ADDED, left alone for spontaneous fermentation. The wine had a golden lemon color, with aromas of honey & melon. Flavors of honey, flowers, vanilla, cream & toasty oak led to a long toasty finish.
We did a mini vertical of Dalton reserve Merlot – 2005 & 2006. Though it seemed Alex preferred the 2006 which had fewer herbaceous notes, I enjoy this bit of what I believe is Israeli terroir and preferred the 2005. But that might also have had to do somewhat with the extra year of bottle age that I thought led to a softer wine.
The 2005 Dalton reserve Merlot had a lite garnet color that faded to burnt orange at the rim. Subtle red fruit and herb aromas led to an elegantly soft & fruity palate that finished long and smooth.
The 2006 Dalton reserve Merlot was garnet with ripe red fruit flavors. Full bodied and extracted, the pure fruit on the nose and palate were supplemented by chewy tannins and an acidity that I believe will soften with a year or so of bottle aging. The wine had a long finish.
The 2006 pre-released “Mattatiah” (AKA Super Premium) is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc. This wine was made with 200% new French oak (new oak for one year taken out of barrels and then put back into brand new oak for another year), very low yield vineyards, and when released about 1 year of bottle age. The wine is clear ruby, dark to the edge. Black fruit and sweet oak aromas lead to a ripe, concentrated, soft & plush wine with a pleasant & rich long finish.
Happy one-handed, charitable golfing & Israeli wine tasting!