Rosh Hashanah day had a more wine-focused evening than the night before. We had a group of friends over to share some great wines. Jonathan Hajdu is the associate winemaker at Covenant Wines. He brought us the 2008 Brobdingnagian besomim Wine. The 2007 Hagafen Cuvee de Noirs was another wine that I was craving. It was a delightful surprise and delight! The 2007 Galil Mountain Winery Shiraz Cabernet was another wine that I really enjoyed. All the wines were excellent and very enjoyable. We will now move on to my usual format and the menu.
We started the meal with the same starter as the night before. This included our Herb-encrusted Gefilte Fish Loaf, green and black Olives, and Hummus. This recipe is my favorite because it tastes different from normal gefilte recipes. Instead of bland, boiled fish, the flavor is infused throughout the fish’s flesh. The main dish was a rib roast, one of my favorites. It was not a standing roast rib because it had already been deboned. This meat can only be cooked by covering it slowly and low and then blasting it in a 400-degree oven to char its outside. This recipe is from the Generation X chef of cooking science. Alton brown took what he had learned at culinary school and Harold McGee to make it easy and appealing for Generation X. The roast turned out beautifully; it wasn’t over- or undercooked. The problem was that it was served lukewarm and not piping hot. On Yom Tov, it is hard to warm up a piece of meat without overcooking it and serving it piping hot. The Sage and Rosemary Jus were also warm. We also had brown rice, veggie kugel, and a fresh vegetable salad. I believe it was a success because the guests did a lot of damage to the ribs roast. We purchased two pieces of rib roast, one weighing 7+ pounds while the other weighed 5+ pounds. The 7+ pound beast was eaten at Rosh Hashanah, and the other piece was shared with family during Succot.
We opened two bottles to pair with this lovely side of cow. The two wines are 2008 Brobdingnagian Besomim Wine and 2007 Galil Mountain Winery Shiraz Cabernet. The Brobdingnagian besomim is a blend made up of Zinfandel and Grenache. The grapes come from the Chabad Rabbi’s small vineyard, which he planted in his Napa/Sonoma property. Jonathan made the wine, and it’s a wine that is meant to be drunk with food. This is not a sipping wine. The wine has a crazy amount of spice, which is evident from its name. Besomim is Hebrew for seasoning. The wine was a perfect match for the rib roast with its rich fat and herbs and the accompanying side dishes. A bottle of 2007 Galil Mountain Winery Shiraz Cabernet was also enjoyed. Daniel Rogov originally gave the wine a low score. I was curious to try it, so I did. I’m glad I did. In a subsequent tasting before his untimely death, he tasted the same wine and gave it a score that was very similar to mine.
Below are the wine notes in order of enjoyment:
2007 Hagafen Cuvee de Noirs – USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville – Score: A-
This lovely wine in a burnt peach color was lively and full of small bubbles. It also had notes of pear, oranges, brioche (light toast), mango, apricots, peaches, strawberries, and yeast. This medium-bodied wine starts with a mousse of small bubbles. It is then followed by peach, strawberry, apple, orange and pear. The mid-palate is balanced and lovely with brioche and oak. The finish is long, spicy, and concentrated with strawberry, sweet chocolate mousse, brioche, and more, plus a lot of brioche. There’s also a lot of brioche and brioche. This is an excellent sparkling wine that needs to be kept in the refrigerator for a while. It is lovely right now and will remain sweet for a couple of years.
2008 Brobdingnagian Wines Besomim – USA, California, Sonoma County – Score: A-
This wine lives up to its title. Besomim, in Hebrew, is a powerful spice mixture that is part of the havdalah ceremony (or separation) after the Sabbath. This blend is made from grapes that were a field mix of Zinfandel Syrah and Petite Sirah. This dark garnet-black colored wine has a nose that is bursting with spices like nutmeg and black pepper. It also contains chocolate, mint, tobacco, tar, and hints of tar. There are also notes of cedar, raspberry fruit, plums, herbs, vanilla, and black fruits. All of these smells hit the nose in rapid succession, so I’m sure I missed a few. This medium-to-full-bodied wine has a mouth that is super concentrated and bursting with flavors like dark cherry, blackberry, and plum. It also contains nutmeg and cloves, as well as spices, mint, and chocolate. The mid-palate is balanced by chocolate, tobacco, mint, and cedar. The finish is long and spicy with tobacco, chocolate, and tobacco, as well as black pepper, cloves, and blackberry. This wine is meant to be paired with heavier foods. It is too spiced to enjoy as a sipping bottle.
2007 Galil Mountain Winery Shiraz Cabernet kosher- Israel, Galilee- Score: B++ – A.
This wine has a nose that is a combination of two fruits: tobacco and rich chocolate. It also contains tar, black pepper, dirt as well as sweet cedar. There are smoky, vanilla, raspberry, blackberry, and plum notes. This medium-to-full-bodied wine begins with a very strong black pepper, coffee, and blackberry aroma, then cools down to reveal both sides. The syrah is first, with its blackberry, chocolate, sweet cedar, and vanilla notes. This wine’s Cabernet side reminded me almost entirely of Alexander Winery Cabernet, with its combination of sweet cedar and plum. Mid palate has a rich acidity, with sweet cedar and black pepper. There is also tobacco, dirt, and licorice. Chocolate, tobacco. The wine is hot, but after it cools, there are two sides to the wine that can be enjoyed separately or together. They include rich tobacco, chocolate, vanilla, tar, and black pepper.