September 15, 2008
Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct.
Tonight I pulled out a bottle of 2006 Flam Classico from Israel that I received as a sample from Israeli Wine Direct. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. It has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased from Israeli Wine Direct for $24.99.
I will be the first to admit that this was not an inspired match. I served tacos for dinner, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes from my garden. So I would guess it's probably a good thing that this wine actually needed a ton of time to open up, and I didn't have to experience what I knew in my head was going to be a not very good food and wine pairing. I would certainly suggest opening this wine at least 2 hours before you intend to serve it and probably decanting it as well.
My first thought on sniffing this wine was funky. After two hours, it was still there, but it's not a bad thing, it's the funky nose I associate with Cabernet Sauvignon and a long time ago, it was something that put me off from red wines, I didn't understand that Cabernet Sauvignon was supposed to (or could) smell that way. The nose was eucalyptus, horsey, tack room, earthy, leathery funk. It smelled like Vick's Vapor Rub, mint, band aid, dark fruit, berries, cherries, spice, and pine tree. It's the nose that I now really love about a Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the mouth I found cherries, plums, big juicy berries, oak, vanilla, pine tree, bitter chocolate/coffee (sometimes I have trouble distinguishing the two in wine), and black cherries. The plums stood out more than anything else in the mouth for me. Overall, the wine had a very firm structure and plenty of tannins to spare. Serve it with a big juicy steak!