I've been so hung up on the Recanati Carignan and Syrah-Viognier, I haven't had a chance to revisit the "other" wines in the Reserve series, the mainstream Bordeaux varietals.
Recanati, Reserve, Manara Vineyard, Merlot, 2010
A true claret, elegant with an earthy (almost clay-like) veneer over a backdrop of currants. Very good acidity, sweet, tasty fruit and dusty/savory tannins. Despite the 14.5% ABV, there's little heat and no sense of over-ripeness. The oak here is still obvious, but it's not more pronounced than what I'd expect to find in a Bordeaux of a similar age. With air, it grows fuller and more extroverted. Whatever, I do like it, before its barrel regine make itself too obvious. Give it two years to outgrow oak and I'll like it even more. (Aug. 1, 2013)
Recanati, Reserve, Lebanon Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
A mediterranean Cab, with the oak less obvious than it was in the Merlot's case. They have a lot in common, the same earthy claret qualities, a similar coupling of sweet fruit and juicy acidity, with sweet tannins deeply embedded in the mix. To my palate and perception, it's the more elegant of the two, with just as much need for aging, if not moreso, judging by the tannins' progression from sweet to savory to bitter. (Aug. 8, 2013)
Both cost about 100 NIS. Both, from my perception and for my needs, would warrant a repeat purchase and some cellar age.