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DavidRhodes / wine / Recanati Winery: Where Quality meets Quanity
Recanati Winery: Where Quality meets Quanity
Israel is a small country, about the size of New Jersey; but, the world of wine here is even smaller. There's many migrations of winery workers and even winemakers between wineries. Gil Shatzberg, the currrent head winemaker at Recanati Winery, since 2008, previously served as the winemaker at Amphorae wines for seven years , which was considered one of Israel's most promising wineries due to his efforts. Before that he worked at Carmel, Israel's largest winery and at two wineries in California including the reknown Jordan Winery. Ido Lewinsohn, Recanati's other winemaker, previously interned at the prestigious Margalit Winery under Asaf Margalit and at wineries in Europe and Australia.
The red wine being sold now is that of founding winemaker, Lewis Pasco, but the whites are all Gil's and both recently won recognition at the Israeli Wine Awards at the David Intercontinetal Hotel in Tel Aviv on March 30th, 2009.
Some Stars from Recaniti Wines including their Award Winning Petite Sirah-Zinfandel
The Recanati Winery offers four series of wines: The Yasmine series, the Recanati series, their Reserve and Special Reserve series. All of Recanati wines are made dry with no residual sugar.
Their 2008 whites I tried were a good entry point into understanding what their new winemaker is crafting at Recanati. Although he's 's continuing with the same vineyard program as under Pasco ( growing the same grapes in silmiliar ways), Gil will be pushing for more Old World style (more nuance, less fruit forward) than the wines once offered by Recanati. It will take a couple of years before all the wines, particualrly the reds show his influence. The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, however, are subtle yet savory wines bridging the gap between Old World and New World styles. Less mineral than a Chablis, the Chardonnay shows off a good wine at a good price and why Chardonnays are becoming more and more popular in Israel as they have worldwide (though I think Viognier, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat or French Columbard have greater export potential to bust off the Kosher wine shelf to the International or Eastern Mediterranean shelf).
2008 Recanati Sauvingon Blanc 44 NIS (about $10.50)
sweet on the palette with expected grapefruit, smooth but with crisp acidity 13% alcohol no oak aging as expected of most Sauvignon Blancs.
2008 Recanati Chardonnay 52 NIS ( about $12.50)
these grapes come from Kibbutz Manara in the Upper Galilee overlooking the border of Lebanon
with 13% alcohol the tropical fruit the nose matches well pear on the palette and hints of coconut brought on by a few months in oak
Award Winning Chardonnay
2006 Recanati Shiraz 52 NIS ( about $12.50)
these grapes come from Ezrael and famed Ella Valley vineyard
14.5% alcohol 8 months in French and American oak barrels
exhibiting lots of black fruits: Plum and Black Cherry
don't be surprised if in the future these same grapes are offered as a Syrah and with less American oak to suit Gil's preference for Rhone varietals.
David Tasting & Enjoying the 2006 Recanati Shiraz
2006 Recanati Reserve Merlot
with grapes coming exclusively from the Ella Valley, this wine was treated to the wineries finest grapes and it's newest barrels. Both French and Hungarian oak was used for 16 months to produce a wine with lots of black fruit and a sweetness that doesn't come from any residual sugar but what the winery claims is a reflection of the Hungarian oak. This a wine sure to please fans of Merlot and maybe make a few new fans along the way.
Kosher Supervisor Rabbi Weiss, Wine Journalist David Rhodes & Winemaker Gil Shatsberg
2006 Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah-Zinfandel
This is what I would call a "California-blend" since these two grapes are more popular in California than anywhere else. This was one of Lewis Pasco's pet projects and maybe is a reflection of his time studying wine at UC Davis. Since Gil also studied there it's not suprising that this wine will continue in their future line-up.
This wine showed the best of both varietals, the octupus ink purple and busty body of Petite Sirah with the raspberry jam fest Zinfandels fans come to expect. The tannins are smooth for such a heavy hitter and easily accessable now.
With only 14% alcohol, a little less alcohol than one might expect from a California version but that is what might make it feel a bit more balanced.
Industrial Zone, Emek Hefer
(south of Hadera about a 10 minute walk off a Route 4 Bus stop)
Tel: o4 6222288 Fax: 04 6222882
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David Rhodes worked at wineries in California & Israel, hosted over 100 wine parties.as a sommelier & adviser for the SDSU Business of Wine program. He speaks weekly about wine on Rustymikeradio.com & writes for ESRA magazine. Israeliwineguy@gmail.com