Wine Advocate 92 points - The 2011 Special Reserve red is Recanati’s increasingly nice and consistent proprietary blend. Composed of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, with 20% Petite Sirah and 10% Syrah, this was aged in 100% new French oak for 18-20 months. Wonderfully elegant, very fresh, crisp, lively and refined, this projects some steel on the finish and a notable touch of herbs, giving it a very Old World feel at times. The oak is a bit too prominent just now, but that should improve in time. Expressive and focused, while quite elegant in the mid-palate, this may be Recanati’s best SR yet. The winery thinks so, but it will be interesting to compare it with others, like the lovely ‘09, as the years pass. At the moment, I’m leaning to this vintage, but just a little. The more accurate observation may be just that they are a bit different, this being crisper and more focused while the ‘09 seems richer and fleshier (granted that they are not here side-by-side). This 2011 won’t be the wow wine. It is not obvious. Rather, it is a wine with impeccable balance. With extended aeration, it finished quite tight, penetrating and powerful on the finish. It is fair to say it needs some development time in the cellar. You will be well served by letting this sit for 3-5 years. There were a total of 4,000 six-packs produced. Drink now-2024. (Apr 2014)
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Wine maker notes
After careful hand harvesting, the grapes are de-stemmed and subject to a gentle crush. The must is cooled to 15°C en route to the fermentation tanks, which are equipped with computer-controlled punch-down blades to ensure ideal extraction of color, flavor and tannins. A 3- to 4-day cold maceration precedes fermentation, with a total maceration of approximately 3 weeks to preserve the pronounced fruit and herbal character of the grapes and appropriate tannin levels to sustain a decade or longer of bottle aging. 100% new, fine-grained French oak barrels are used in the 18-20 month barrel maturation that ensues.
Goes well with red meats, game, hearty and exotic stews and casseroles.
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.