I Love Fine Wine - Revisiting A Really Great Wine Signed Israel

Published: 08th April 2015
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I still remember reviewing the 2006 Tishbi Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It was definitely my wine of the year, clearly triumphing over a famous and overpriced Super Tuscan. My wife who does not drink much wine also found the 2006 vintage exceptional. It sold out soon in our neck of the woods. When the 2007 vintage was released I told many people about my previous experience and advised them to take a chance on history repeating itself. A few words before digging in. The winery's founder, Michael Chamiletzi, was chosen by Baron Edmund de Rothschild to plant and develop wines in late Nineteenth Century Palestine. Now this family winery is run by a member of the fourth generation. All their wines are Kosher for Passover and vegan as well. This vintage is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Daniel Rogov, the reviewer quoted below, was one of my favorite wine reviewers. I was not alone; he was known as Israel's top wine reviewer and was widely appreciated for his wine and food reviews, by no means limited to Israeli products. Daniel passed away not all that long ago. We will miss him. Today's companion wine is an inexpensive Chilean Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon.

All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price. Wine Reviewed Tishbi Estate Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, 14% alcohol about $32. (You can find it on the Internet price for about $10 less.) Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. "Tasting Note: Full-bodied, with an appealing note of tar on the nose and generous but soft tannins parting to make way for blackcurrant and wild berry fruits. In the background nutmeg, fresh Mediterranean herbs and a hint of black olives. Long and mouthfilling. Drink from release-2013, perhaps longer. Score - 90. (Daniel Rogov, at the wineloverspage website July 16 2009)." And now for my review.

At the first sips I found this wine to be multilayered, tasting mostly of dark plums. The initial meal centered on slowly cooked round steak. In response the libation was metallic with fine acidity. It was long, very long. When paired with the accompanying potatoes our Israeli friend became even longer. The taste of chocolate came to the fore but its acidity was unbalanced. Upon pairing with the side dish of green beans cooked in crushed tomatoes, the drink's acidic harshness intensified. The wine was long; blackberries and chocolate hid behind the wine's acidity. I added a generous helping of Lousiana hot sauce to the meat and the wine's tannins and fruit showed a good balance. But the acidity remained excessive.

The following meal began with spinach stuffed sesame seed coated puff pastry. Now the libation became very powerful, round, balanced, and long. When paired with a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese, this Cab blend showed great length, dark cherries, and balanced acidity.

My final meal centered on chicken stew with potatoes, onions, chickpeas, and crushed tomatoes. I tasted dark cherries but there was a definite flatness, now the drink's acidity was less than optimal. Its tannins were pleasant. This wine was multilayered and it rebounded with the fixings. Once again, I enjoyed a side dish of green beans and crushed tomatoes. It rendered the Tishbi powerful, tasting of dark chocolate.

Final verdict. For any other wine such spotty results would mean not another thought. But given the absolute excellence of the prior vintage I definitely intend to give the 2009 vintage a chance.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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