New Year's eve. for us has its own tradition: a feast, where every participant tries to bring his best dish. This usually means a tough choice at matching the wines, as the participants are very creative. This year, the theme was Nigella Lawson's recipes for parties. Being Israelis, most of the participants adhered to one part of the theme: recipes. Desperately trying to follow the unorganized menu, I went for an eclectic mix of Israeli, Australian & French wines, with mixed results. Some were excellent and a great companion to food, some were good and didn't work too well with food and some were just bad. The best wines of the evening were the Champagne Drappier Carte d'Or NV and Margalit C.S. 2002.
The evening started with Vitkin Riesling 2006, no notes for this wine - very good wine which went very well with the spicy Ceviche starters.
D'arenberg Laughing Magpie 2004
This is a well structured wine, with Blackberries, Licorice, smoky and spicy (pepper) flavors. It has a very clear vinous aroma, but overall it has a good balance due to good acidity and overall great fruit. The finish is medium, but very tasty. 89
Margalit Cabernet Franc 2002
Nice red to garnet color, Full bodied and excellent structured. However, it has a very mute nose showing almost no flavors. The mouth showed some nice green spicy components and the wine was pleasant even with its aromatic flaw. Medium finish. Big disappointment. 77
Margalit Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Excellent red/garnet color, full bodied and very well structured. Excellent aromas: Blueberries, raspberries and very perfumy. This is an elegant, round and very balanced wine which has at leas another 3-4 years to age. The finish was of medium length, but great taste. 92
Food pairing: Surprisingly, the C.S. worked very well with a medium spicy chili con carne with Polenta.
Sea Horse, Lennon Tete de Cuvee 2005
This seems to have been a corked bottle: wet cardboard was the most significant aroma. The mouth was reasonable with good acidity. 65
Drappier Carte d'Or NV
Light straw color. Excellent tropical fruit aromas: pineapple, mango balanced but nutty and lime
aromas. Very well balanced, round and harmonic. An excellent way to open 2008! 90