Wine Advocate 89 points - The 2010 SYRAH / VIOGNIER RESERVE is a Northern Rhone blend, with 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, aged for 7 months in 60% new French oak. This is the debut vintage in the USA. With only 500 cases produced, it was a revelation when I tasted it, a bit too expensive, but one of the most typical French-style Syrahs I’ve ever had from Israel. More Northern Rhone in style than just the blend, it is a dead ringer for Cote Rotie. I’ve always thought Syrah would be a great grape for Israel—and increasingly Israeli winemakers from boutiques to big wineries are proving why. This is lovely, well structured, with that trademark Rhone-y gamey nuance, brightness and a little grip on the finish. If those sauvage nuances are not your style, this isn’t for you. Cote Rotie lovers should read on. To quibble, it does lack the concentration of the equally classic 2009 (a better vintage; not imported, but also reviewed this issue as a library wine). Still, this 2010 is drinking beautifully now, loaded with charm and astonishing as a Rhone ringer. That was particularly underscored by having had a Northern Rhone tasting the night before. Drink now-2018. Recanati’s Reserve level wines have always offered some value for the region. With the debut of the 2009s, the winery has added some structure and a little more gravitas as well, making this a very nice lineup for a region that tends to be short on values—but note that, due to their small production, some of the most interesting reserves now show some significant price spikes, taking them well out of the value range and into Recanati’s “special reserve” top of the line pricing. That said, 2009 easily looks like Recanati’s best vintage yet. (Feb 2012)
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Syrah and Viognier grapes grow side by side in our Manara vineyard in the upper Galilee, and are harvested together.
The 3% Viognier grapes is then integrated into the Syrah during fermentation.
Such blending of a small amount of white grapes into this red wine derives from an old method used in the Rh?´ne Valley to refine the wine, enrich its flavors and add complexity to the aromas.
This blend was aged in new French oak barrels for nine months and then coarsely filtered before bottling to conserve its natural essence, raw expression, and Mediterranean elegance.
Wine maker notes
In the same style as is traditional in the Rhone Valley’s famed Cote Rotie appellation, Viognier grapes are co-fermented with Syrah grapes. Blending small quantities of white grapes in red fermentation has been a common procedure in the Rhone Valley for many years as it softens the wine and makes it more complex and elegant. This blend was aged in new French oak barrels for nine months and then coarsely filtered before bottling to conserve its natural essence, raw expression, and Mediterranean elegance.
Delicious with grilled red meats and hearty stews. Serve slightly cooler than room temperature.
The Recanati Winery was founded in 2000 by a group of wine lovers led by Lenny Recanati. Their goal was to create a new winery for the production of quality Israeli wines at reasonable consumer prices.
The Winery established its home in the Hefer Valley and is furnished with state-of the-art wine-making equipment.
The most important requirement in the production of quality wines is always the quality of the grapes. Dr. Pini Sarig, an international vine growing expert, was instrumental in assisting the winery in locating excellent vineyards as well as plots of land with vine-growing potential, where new vineyards were planted. Most of the vineyards from which the winery receives it grapes are in the Manara and Kerem Ben-Zimra regions in the Upper Galilee, a high region with an ideal climate for the cultivation of quality wine grapes. Additional growing areas are the Ella Valley and the Lower Galilee, which have a warmer climate that is conducive to producing the different grape varieties that provide additional nuances to our wines.
Most of our red wines are made from the noble Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. However, the winery is involved in cultivating and assimilating additional varieties that have great potential, such as Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Syrah, Barbera, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah. Our white wines are produced with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, French colombard and Emerald Riesling
Our winemaking process is leaded by our head winemaker, Gil Shatsberg, a graduate of the Viticulture and Enology Program at the Davis University of California. Shatsberg accumulated vast experience while working in California and Israel. He had become Recanati’s Head winemaker on January 2008, replacing Lewis Pasco and continuing his goal - making the best out of the fabulous Mediterranean terroir Recanati winery has in hands.
Shatsberg is known to the Israeli wine lover’s public as the winemaker and founder of ”Amphorae”, one of Israel’s best boutique winery.
His deeply ingrained sense of commitment to realizing the full inherent potential of the grapes is a significant contributing factor in the success of our wines.
Our winemaking team includes a second winemaker, Ido Lewinsohn, a graduate of the Viticulture and Enology Program at the University of Milan. Prior to his arrival to our winery, Lewinsohn has worked in different wineries in Australia, France and Italy, among them the prestigious ”Sassicaia” in Tuscany.
Recanati wines are marketed in leading wine stores and restaurants. New export markets have been developed, and Recanati exports its quality wines to ever growing markets in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Western Europe.
The winery looks back on its achievements in its initial years with great pride and sense of satisfaction, yet does not rest on its laurels and continues to cultivate new vineyards, invest in research in agricultural and enology and, most importantly, to produce wines with enormous love, while continually striving to enhance its products.