Recently we touched on California wines on this board, specifically, Cabernet Sauvignon, produced by Gan Eden. I've enjoyed many wines from this small producer of kosher wines over the last decade for their pure hedonistic pleasure, as my consumption is not limited to kosher products. Last month I had a chance to taste three Gan Eden wines with Craig Winchell, owner/winemaker, at the Family Winemakers trade tasting in San Francisco. Here are my tasting notes:
The 1997 Cabernet, $40, is just approaching its peak window of
drinkability. Polished silky tannins support ripe blackberry and
cassis fruit with notes of licorice and French vanilla, juicy acidity, medium-bodied, great balance and focus, long lingering finish. EXCELLENT
The 2000 Syrah, $18, is bold, aggressive and mouthfilling. Packed with earthy black fruit with notes of black olive and smoke, the tannins are velvety and well-resolved, warm finish. VERY GOOD
The 2000 Chardonnay, $16, is ripe and full-bodied. Aromas are slightly nutty, but fruit and acidity are still fresh on the palate with moderate intensity and length of finish. GOOD minus
Gan Eden is having a winery-direct 2 for 1 case sale through Dec. 31. The wines I described above are all part of the sale, offering great value. More details about the sale are on the winery website.
Gan Eden Wines
4950 Ross Rd.
At the same tasting of boutique California wines, I sampled a couple offerings from Hagafen Cellars as well. The wines were competent, but not as characterful and interesting in personality as the Gan Eden selection.
The 2000 Napa Valley Syrah, $27, shows ripe plummy fruit, but lacks definition. GOOD
The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $40, starts off strong with good varietal character, but turns dullish. GOOD plus
4160 Silverado Trail