TN: 2004 Ella Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Israel, Judean Hills, Ella Valley)

  • 2004 Ella Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - Israel, Judean Hills, Ella Valley (3/26/2019)
    A very nice Cabernet in any event, and as a 15 year old Kosher Cabernet from Israel, it was outstanding. Purchased for $25.79 (tax included) in April 2009. Pop and pour at the March 2019 FKALBTG dinner in a flight with 1999 and 2000 Musar. Two Lebanese and one Israeli. For years I would tell “experts” in kosher wine that I had put this bottle away to see what age would do and they would give me a thumbs down and say it was dead. WRONG!

This wine was on the aging curve about where you would expect a comparable vintage of Cali Cab to be at 15 years old. Still on the upswing, having shed its baby fat and the tannins being mostly resolved, but not yet taking on tertiary flavors of age. Red fruit, not overly cherry-dominant with some berries and a bit of an herbal component. As it sat in the glass for a while, it seemed to morph just a bit as more fruit emerged. excellent balance, was mistaken by many at the table for a full bore Cali Cab and a few others said left bank Bordeaux.

My advice to those who fancy kosher wine at a Passover table - - - buy a case of this and put it away for a decade or more. You won’t be drinking sugary crap and you will have something that pairs just right with steak or brisket. I have had a lot of highly reputed Kosher wines but never one at age 15. The Ch. Valandraud, at about 8 times the price, is a better wine, and I thing the Dom. du Castel is probably better at two times the price, but I have not had either of them with and age.

This wine is from the Judean highlands 20 miles south west of Jerusalem. Supposedly a mountain plateau where David fought Goliath. They claim the weather is consistent - clouds in the sky mean it will rain in November. Probably an indication that vintage is not all that important. (91 pts.)

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