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Reserve Merlot

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
88 Points

The 2013 Merlot Reserve Manara Vineyard was aged for 18 months in new French barriques. It comes in at 14.3% alcohol. Rather sedate, this lovely Merlot is all about its understated and restrained demeanor. It is in perfect balance, with a pointed and clean finish, nice texture and a tasty, dry finish. There's nothing fat and sweet here. This is a food wine all the way, but it goes down easy and it has good concentration for the level. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserva Merlot Bottle

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
87 Points

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve David Vineyard was aged for 18 months in French barriques (40% new) and comes in at 13.5% alcohol. This is along the same lines as the Merlot, but with more power (not unusual) and a surprisingly crisp edge. A touch herbal, this is modest in the mid-palate, the tannins overshadowing the fruit just now. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle

Special Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2014 Special Reserve red, set for release in September, is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 13% Carignan and 10% Marselan, aged for 18 months in new French oak. It comes in at 14% alcohol. Of all of Recanati's wines, this is the one I expect to demonstrate, usually, the most upside potential. I'm not completely positive about this year, though. If anything, it is a bit too straightforward for the level, although the tannins are there. It has the most depth and power of the group, but not by a whole lot, while it generally lacks the brightness and personality of the Marselan and Carignan. Overall, this is still pretty good—so don't misunderstand—but it does need to show me a bit more in the cellar, acquiring some complexity and harmony as it goes along, to justify an uptick. At the moment, I'd probably pick the Carignan among the current releases as my favorite.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Wild Carignan Reserve

2015 Israel Judea Hills
91 Points

The 2015 Wild Carignan Reserve was aged for eight months in 50% new French barriques and comes in at 14% alcohol. This has quickly become one of my favorites in Recanati's lineup for its freshness, sunny demeanor and character. Showing mid-palate finesse, it nonetheless has more weight than the Marselan this issue, fine focus and an earthy conclusion. Very Burgundian, this is all about that finesse, but there is plenty of flavor, too, some dark plums and baked cherries to go with the earth. There is a backbone, too, and the texture is rather sexy, pure velvet at the moment. Like pretty much all of Recanati's releases, this has a refined and sophisticated feel to it. This is set for release in January 2018. It should be very approachable by then.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve 2009 Bottle Platinum

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Syrah / Viognier Reserve (with a token 3% Viognier) was aged for eight months in 40% new French barriques. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. It does have a bit of sex appeal, but the flavors are controlled and it finishes seriously, too, supported by a reasonable backbone. There's nothing fat, sweet or over the top here. It's just a fine food wine. Although this isn't released yet, it certainly could be. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle Platinum

Special Reserve White

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Special Reserve white is a 60/40 blend of Roussanne and Marsanne, aged for six months in 30% new French barriques. It comes in at 13% alcohol. Beautifully constructed, this controls its oak well while still seeming substantial. The finish lingers nicely on this perfectly balanced white. It is always refined, with enough weight to hold up to food. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Special Reserve White 2010 bottle Platinum

Reserve Petite Sirah

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

The 2015 Petite Sirah Reserve, set for release in September, was aged for eight months in a mixture of French and American barriques (40% new). It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. Always one of my favorites near Recanati's value end of the spectrum, this is sexy but subtle. The caressing texture makes it sensual, the sweet edge of oak on the end gives it just a little verve and the wine is perfectly balanced, with controlled tannins. I don't ever expect this understated red to make "old bones," or turn into anything more special, but it should hold on decently for several years, at the least. Don't hesitate to drink it on the younger side, though.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah bottle Platinum

Reserve Marselan

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Marselan Reserve was aged for six months in 40% new French barriques. It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. I really like what Recanti is doing with this grape. This is a good example. Showing bright red fruit, it shows finesse in the mid-palate, seeming very elegant, but it has a backbone, persistence and a lingering finish, with lifted fruit. The lively nature and fresh flavors here might be enhanced if you just try this a bit cooler than normal.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserve Marselan Bottle Platinum

Reserve Marawi

2015 Israel Judea Hills
88 Points

The 2015 Marawi Reserve was aged for six months in mostly (90%) used French barriques. It comes in at 12% alcohol. This interesting indigenous grape is a bit on the different side, with some hints of musk and maybe a bit of a Chenin character. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Reserve Marawi

Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
88 Points

Textbook cabernet aromas of pencil lead and black currants introduce this wine, grown in the cool heights of the Upper Galilee. With its light, fine tannins and brisk herbal notes, it's a versatile cabernet that would make a good by the glass pour. 

Wine & Spirits August 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon bottle

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

Dense and supple, this wears its Mediterranean origins in plummy richness and sappy herbal notes, all while keeping to a firm, savory profile. This tight tannins give it meaty texture, while notes of earth and spice meld into smokiness oak. 

Wine & Spirits August 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle Platinum

Yasmin Red Mevushal

2015 Israel Jezreel Valley
89 Points

Aromas of blackberry, aniseed and nutmeg make way for flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, espresso and cocoa powder with a touch of green bell pepper. It is bright and fruity on entry, with tannins that sneak up and then linger into the bright pomegranate-laced finish.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Yasmin Red Mevushal bottle Best Buy

Shiraz

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

Aromas of blackberry, aniseed and nutmeg make way for flavors of black cherry, pomegranate, espresso and cocoa powder with a touch of green bell pepper. It is bright and fruity on entry, with tannins that sneak up and then linger into the bright pomegranate-laced finish.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Shiraz Bottle Platinum

Merlot

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

Inky red-violet in the glass, this wine has aromas of black cherry and chocolate. It is pleasing on the palate, with fruit-dominated flavors of cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, vanilla and espresso. Smooth soft tannins linger a moment past a finish marked by a splash of cranberry with a touch of freshly ground coffee.

Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Merlot Bottle Platinum

Reserve Merlot

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
93 Points

A bouquet of cherry, apple and cranberry primes the taste buds for flavors of blackberry, red plum, butterscotch, mint and coffee. There is a good balance of slightly grippy tannins and bold acidity, wrapping up in a bright, lasting cherry finish. One or two years of aging should mellow the tannins to perfection, so try after 2017.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Reserva Merlot Bottle Platinum

Reserve Petite Sirah

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

An enticing nose of cherry pie and vanilla sets the stage for flavors of ripe cherry, blueberry, white chocolate and lilac. Grippy tannins hold their own against a strong vein of acidity, and the finish is notable for its light floral lift.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah bottle Platinum

Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

Red-violet in the glass, this wine has a nose of black cherry, cocoa and freshly ground coffee. It is soft on entry, but velvety tannins and flavors of blackberry, vanilla, espresso bean and a soft hint of cocoa powder render it a more sophisticated quaff than first sip would suggest.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast May 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon bottle Platinum

Wild Carignan Reserve

2014 Israel Judea Hills
91 Points

A minerally and pure red, with brambly notes to the raspberry, cherry tart and red currant flavors. Pastry details linger on the spicy, fresh finish, accented by white pepper hints. Kosher. Drink now through 2019.

Wine Spectator 2016
Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve 2009 Bottle Platinum

Reserve Marselan

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

Inky garnet to the eye, this wine features aromas of cherry and strawberry with a strong dose of violet. Although it has strong flavors of lightly cooked woodland fruits (including notes of vanilla, brambles and soft citrus) it is bright and retains a grip on the palate from start to finish. Lasting tannins are ever present yet not overpowering. The finish is characterized by flavors of tangerine and baking spices. Kosher. 

Wine Enthusiast October 2016
Recanati Reserve Marselan Bottle Platinum

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
93 Points

This deep-violet colored wine has a bouquet of cherry and butterscotch. Powerful tannins lay the groundwork for bold fruit flavors of blackberry and cranberry laced with notes of butterscotch, pipe tobacco and cocoa. It is full in the mouth, with a lingering finish marked by a pleasing vein of bright acidity. Kosher. 

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast October 2016
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle Platinum

Special Reserve

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

This deeply-colored wine has a bouquet of cherry, pomegranate and white chocolate. It has flavors of black cherry jam, anise, mocha and a touch of orange peel. Mouth-coating tannins provide a matrix for an interesting touch of spiciness that gives way to a final taste of pomegranate. Kosher. 

Wine Enthusiast October 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Wild Carignan Reserve

2014 Israel Judea Hills
91 Points

Dark red-violet in color, this wine has aromas of black plum, fig, chocolate and mint. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, black fig, eucalyptus and anise coalesce on the palate. Tannins are strong, but fruit and brightness hold their own. Touches of cranberry join the show just prior to the lingering finish. Kosher. 

Wine Enthusiast October 2016
Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve 2009 Bottle Platinum

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

A plush, spicy red, with dark plum and cherry tart flavors supported by medium-grained tannins. Notes of chocolate and cream show midpalate, leading to a finish filled with hints of allspice. Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 

Wine Spectator September 30, 2016
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

A plush, spicy red, with dark plum and cherry tart flavors supported by medium-grained tannins. Notes of chocolate and cream show midpalate, leading to a finish filled with hints of allspice. Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 

Wine Spectator September 30, 2016
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle

Special Reserve

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.  –KM

Wine Spectator September 30, 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Reserve Merlot

2006 Israel Upper Galilee
88 Points

The 2006 Merlot Reserve is revisited this issue as part of our retrospective, another wine at or around the ten-year level. This powerhouse--later Reserves seemed to show more approachability--is still tight and powerful, giving the wine a lean, somewhat austere feel to it. That said, it is also showing some complexity now (unlike its Cabernet Reserve sibling, also reviewed), making it seem very much like classic, right bank Bordeaux. Originally, I wasn't so sure about the balance here--the tannins still outpace the concentration of fruit. Still, this is a fine value in an age-worthy wine with some upscale intentions. It has plenty of life left and is easily proving it can age.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Reserva Merlot Bottle

Reserve Petite Sirah

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

The 2014 Petite Sirah Reserve is 100% Petite Sirah, an old vines, high-altitude bottling. It was aged for eight months in a mixture of American and French barriques (60% new, the rest used). It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. The price of this has crept up a bit, but if it is not quite the bargain it was in some years, it is still a very nice wine. Laced with a bit too much oak on opening, it ultimately pulls in some of those nuances with aeration and resolves into a more focused red with some tightness on the finish. Always a bit creamy, it rises above that and ultimately drinks great. This can still improve with a year or so in the cellar. If you can give it that time, the effort will pay some dividends by letting this pull in oak and moderate some tannins. It can be approached now with some aeration, if you must dive in.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah bottle

Special Reserve

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

The 2013 Special Reserve red is a blend of 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 21% Carignan, 19% Marselan and 5% Petite Sirah; aged for 18 months in new French barriques. It comes in at 14.3% alcohol. This might not be as attention-getting as in some years, but it shows beautifully, crisp and often seductive. It grew on me steadily while it was open. The initial softness is cut by the underlying freshness, and some earthiness in the background (the Syrah asserting itself?) cuts the initial, straightforward presentation. Restrained, just a bit understated and beautifully balanced, this drinks moderately well now, but it can still improve with cellaring. It should make a great food wine, easy to drink, possessed of a rather fresh feel and not a hair out of place. It may yet be entitled to an uptick.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Special Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

The 2014 Special Reserve white is a 60/40 blend of Roussanne and Marsanne, aged for six months in French barriques (30% new, the rest used). It comes in at 12.5% alcohol. This started to show well when it hit mid-50 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, it had a touch of mushrooms and velvety texture. The mushrooms and earth gave way to fine fruit with a rich, lush feel. Then, it added some tension and grip on the finish. There's a lot going on here, but in terms of concentration and structure, it seems rather superlative this year. It finishes with flavor, tinged with a touch of metal. It will be interesting to see how this ages, but there is no harm drinking it now. It can still improve. We'll take the aging curve in stages.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Special Reserve

2005 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

The 2005 Special Reserve is revisited this issue as part of our retrospective. Still beautiful and having acquired some complexity along the way, this intense Special Reserve has a serious backbone, but more concentration and lushness than the regular Reserves (the 2006s were also reviewed this issue). Still a bit tight, this is acquiring some complexity now. It is very impressive on opening, even exciting. It is a wine that will certainly make some think it is a Bordeaux in a blind tasting. That said, it did develop a bit of funk that constrained my enthusiasm just a bit. It has still held well. Approachable now, it may not quite be at peak and it has plenty of life left, easily deserving an extension of the drinking window.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

The 2014 Syrah Reserve, labeled just that way this year, also has 3% Viognier. It was aged for eight months in French barriques (60% new, the rest used). This is the former Syrah - Viognier Reserve. The name has been changed, but the blend is still the same. Showing just a bit of that Syrah funk and earthiness on opening, this becomes a middle-of-the-road Syrah, mostly marked by its fine mid-palate finesse and its crisp, fresh finish. It pulled in the slight funk with air and drank well after an hour or so. It is certainly a perfect food wine, helped along by its silky texture and elegant mid-palate. Give it a little time if you can.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle

Wild Carignan Reserve

2014 Israel Judea Hills
90 Points

The 2014 Wild Carignan Reserve was aged for eight months in French barriques (60% new, the rest used). It comes in at just 13.3% alcohol. Elegant in the mid-palate, tight on the finish and rather crisp, this has underlying hints of earth and a touch of smoke. The initial caressing texture is cut quickly by acidity and tannins. This really could use a couple of years to settle down. It is all about the potential just now, but it looks like a beauty. It does need to have that smoke blow off. It's worth leaning up just now. For one thing, every time I'm conservative and lean down, this bottling fools me. They never seem to show really well on release. Give it a year or two in the cellar.

Wine Advocate April 2016
Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve 2009 Bottle Platinum

Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

Dark red violet in color, this wine offers a nose of black cherry, brambles and violet. Team-work between fruit and cool herb flavors is evident amid notes of red cherry, toffee, fennel bulb and mint. Mouth-coating tannins give way to a zest-laden finish. Kosher.

Wine Enthusiast April 2016
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon bottle Platinum

Merlot

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

Inky red-violet to the eye, this wine has a nose of chocolate covered espresso bean, cherry and raspberry. Restrained tannins provide a backdrop for flavors of black cherry, mocha, raspberry, and mint. There is a good balance of fruit and cooling herb flavors, while berry flavors hold their own and linger on the palate through the mint-heavy finish.

Wine Enthusiast April 2016
Recanati Merlot Bottle Platinum

Special Reserve

2012 Israel Upper Galilee
91 Points

A nose of black cherry, violet and vanilla paves the way for a grown up melange of fruit and savory flavors that include raspberry, cassis, brambles and smoked meat. Long-lasting tannins coat the palate through a finish marked by notes of berries and smoke.

Wine Enthusiast April 2016
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Chardonnay

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

Aromas of apricot and cantaloupe pave the way for flavors of apricot, apple and smoked meat with a touch of river rocks. This wine feels a little stiff at first sip, but as it opens up to a pleasing combination of fruit and savory flavors that lead to a soft guava finish.

Wine Enthusiast September 2015
Recanati Chardonnay bottle

Merlot

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
92 Points

Deep ruby to the eye, this wine offers rich aromas of cherry, black licorice and orange rind and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, anisette and eucalyptus. Long-lasting tannins coat the mouth but there is always a sense of fresh fruit on the palate and a brightness that lingers right into the satisfying finish. Kosher.

Editors' Choice Award
Wine Enthusiast September 2015
Recanati Merlot Bottle Platinum

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Israel Upper Galilee
94 Points

Inky red-violet to the eye, this wine has an intense nose of blackberry, toast and chocolate. Tannins are strong yet well matched by rich flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, smoke, orange zest and violet. It is full figured on the palate, with a smooth yet zesty finish. Kosher.

Cellar Selection Award
Wine Enthusiast September 2015
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle

Rose

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

Deep pink in the glass, this wine has a nose of strawberries and freesia. It is full in the mouth, with flavors of strawberry, tart cranberry, bitter almond and lavender. Soft but ever-present tannins through the tart but pleasant finish. Kosher.

Wine Enthusiast September 2015
Recanati Rose bottle