|Or HaGanuz Winery: Seven Wines Tasted (K)
יקב אור הגנוז: טעימה של שבעה יינות
Part of today's (Thursday 21 April) tastings...
Founded in 2005 in the Upper Galilee village of Or HaGanuz, the winery lies about six kilometers north west of Safed and at the foothills of Mt. Meron. An interesting story behind the founding of the winery, as the community is one of highly orthodox Jews, the name of the winery and village taken from the kabbalah – Or HaGanuz, meaning “Hidden Light,” referring to what many consider the first act of creation. The winery is currently producing 140,000 bottles annually, many of which are intended to bring the American Orthodox crowd into the world of wine. The winery is also a "service winery", allowing other winemakers to use their facilities to make wine under their own labels.
Or Haganuz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Namura, 2009: Garnet in color, reflecting its development in French oak and showing soft tannins and hints of spicy cedar. On the nose and palate crushed red and black berries, cassis and notes of freshly cut herbs. Easy to drink. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 85. K (Tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or Haganuz, Merlot, Namura, 2009: Oak-aged for 14 months, deep garnet toward royal purple in color, with somewhat chunky tannins giving the wine a rustic note. Medium- to full-bodied, opens in the glass to reveal stewed fruits, crushed berries and notes of earthy herbaceousness. Drink now. Score 84. K (Tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or Haganuz, Select, Namura, 2009: A medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz (48%, 32% and 20% respectively). Showing dark garnet, reflecting its 18 months in French oak with soft tannins and generous notes of sweet-and-spicy cedar wood. Turns somewhat earthy on the finish. Drink now. Score 84. K (Tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or Haganuz,Cabernet Franc, 2009: Oak-aged for 14 months, showing medium-dark garnet with a robe of royal purple. On the nose and palate purple plums and blackberries, all with perhaps too generous overlays of cigar tobacco and roasted herbs. Drink now. Score 84. K (Tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or Haganuz, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Har Sinai, 2009: My earlier tasting note holds firmly. Said on the label to be “in the style of Cahors” but I cannot help but wonder who thought that up, as the wines of Cahors are made largely from Malbec and Tannat grapes and can be very tannic and nearly black in color on release. Made from different grapes, medium-, perhaps medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and lacking concentration or intensity, the personality of this release reminds more of a young cru Beaujolais wine. On the nose and palate black cherries, wild berries and a hint of Mediterranean herbs. A simple but pleasant entry level wine. Drink now. Score 84. K (Re-tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or Haganuz, Barbera, Amuka, 2009: Medium-bodied, softly tannic, showing generous sweet cherries, plums and blackberry fruits, those on a background of light tannins and hints of exotic spices. Soft, round and fresh, a pleasant quaffer. Drink now. Score 86. K (Tasted 21 Apr 2011)
Or HaGanuz, Elima, 2009: Showing marginally better than at an earlier tasting. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, said to "contain no sulfites". Dark garnet, with a hint of adobe brick, opens with a somewhat medicinal aroma but that blows off quickly enough to reveal a medium- to full-bodied wine with chunky tannins that give the wine a rustic note. On the nose and palate some black fruits those showing a somewhat stewed nature and sitting on a background of earthy herbaceousness. Drink now. Score 80. K (Re-tasted 21 Apr 2011)