Recently, I had the honor of visiting Ami & Larissa Nahari for a wine tasting dinner. Here’s my thoughts on their Twin Suns collection!
Sometimes as we analyze each wine for its aromas, mouthfeel, body, acid and tannin we forget that wine is meant to be enjoyed with food, and more importantly, with people. Recently, I had the honor of visiting the home of Ami and Larissa Nahari with my wife for a wonderful wine tasting dinner. The highlight of the evening was tasting their popular wine brand, Twin Suns.
Who Is Twin Suns?
The Twin Suns brand is a California based winery that showcases great fruit and terroir. At the helm are the same winemakers that create the wonderful Shirah wines, Gabriel and Shimon Weiss, more fondly known as The Weiss Brothers. The name Twin Suns is a play on the two little gentlemen I had the pleasure of watching the Knicks game with, Larissa and Ami's twin sons, Eitan and Ivri.
Starting Off Light
The meal began the way every good wine tasting meal should start with: salad, appetizers, white wine and rosé.
The two wines that started off the evening were the Twin Suns Chardonnay 2016 and the Twin Suns Reserve Rosé 2017. The Chardonnay had a light golden color and a nose that was full of green and yellow apple flavors. The mouth was full bodied, containing flavors of oak, cedar, and vanilla. The fruit on the palate tasted more like pears than apples - the medium acid and medium finish paired wonderfully with the Israeli salad. The Rosé had a medium orange color and was full of massive strawberry flavors. While we don’t know what grapes were used since the aforementioned Weiss Brothers keep it a secret, this beautiful rose has medium acid, a medium plus body, and a medium finish. Drink this one up before this year’s rosé season is a thing of the past!
It's Time For Steak
Continuing on with the meal, we were graced with a perfectly cooked skirt steak and some red wine - what a combination! The first red wine we tasted was the Twin Suns Cabernet Sauvignon. It has all the flavors of a typical Cali cab, full of jammy black fruits flavors like blackberries and black currants. The wine and steak paired together perfectly, as each brought a spicy and salty component that made you yearning for more. The wine was full bodied with high tannins and a long finish. For a powerful wine at a very modest price tag, this is a true winner!
The Night Gets Serious
Twin Suns Reserve Collection
And then the night got real serious. The powerhouses of the Twin Suns lineups came to the party and almost simultaneously out came the brisket. The brisket was perfectly cooked, juicy with just the right amount of spice. Oh wait, this is supposed to be a wine review, on to the wines now! Twin Suns has four new wines in their reserve series and we had the privilege to taste each one with the main course: The Twin Suns Reserve Malbec 2016, Twin Suns Reserve Syrah 2016, Twin Suns Reserve Zinfandel 2016, and Twin Suns Special Edition Reserve Pinot Noir 2016. Let me first say that my wife's favorite was the Zinfandel, which was my favorite as well, (hence why we’re married!), but let’s go through each one individually.
Twin Suns Reserve Malbec
The Twin Suns Reserve Malbec 2016 had a medium ruby color and a nose screaming with blue fruit aromas like blueberries and plums. It also had hints of spice cloves and a very herbal minty character as well. The mouth had a medium plus body, with tons of spicy flavors, cloves, and a bit of black pepper. With a medium plus acid, medium plus tannins and a long finish, this is a big wine that can age comfortably for another five years.
Twin Suns Reserve Syrah
The next wine we tasted was the Twin Suns Reserve Syrah 2016. This one actually drank more like an Australian Shiraz than a French Syrah. It was a big wine with a fruit dominant flavor and a medium ruby color. There was lots of spice and oak on the nose, along with dark fruit flavors, blackberries and hints of black plum. The mouth had a medium plus body, more oak and spice flavors, medium plus acid and medium plus tannins. The Reserve Syrah is another big fruit offering from the Weiss Brothers that’s definitely worth a taste.
Twin Suns Reserve Zinfadel
The second to last of the reserve series was the Twin Suns Reserve Zinfandel 2016. Unfortunately we don’t have many Zinfandel’s on the Kosher market, but at least the ones available have some serious quality to them. This specific one showed a clean medium ruby color with complex aromas of both red and black fruit flavors, with a very pleasant and present menthol flavor on the nose. The mouth is full bodied with additional black fruit flavors, and more spice and black pepper flavors. The wine is oaky with medium plus tannins and a medium plush finish with the spiciness lingering nicely.
Twin Suns Reserve Pinot Noir
Finally, we had the fourth wine in the reserve series - the Twin Suns Special Edition Reserve Pinot Noir 2016. These grapes hail from Burgundy’s home away from home - Oregon - that is quickly becoming a hot bed (or really a cold bed) for some fantastic pinot noirs. The cool climate in Oregon has very little rain at harvest season that allows for the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, creating wines that are complex, deep in flavor and fruity. This specific bottle shows lots of cherry flavors, red currants and some cranberries. There is a medium plus body and medium acid with more complex flavors on the palate such as cinnamon, cloves and baking spices, with a smooth and enticing finish. We have the privilege of seeing the Weiss Brothers create wines that speak to the terroir of the region and give the Kosher drinker a new experience that they will hopefully love and appreciate.
Good Night, Good Food, Good People
All in all, this was a night full of good food, good wine, and good people. It reminded me that we have to keep an open mind when trying and drinking wines, and also that the people and the food that you enjoy the wine with absolutely plays a part in your entire wine drinking experience!