The question of Lili wines has come up several times, first at our earlier location on Stratsplace and more recently here on the thread at viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17399
Because some things pass to the second side of my red line and I think it may be important enough, I am starting this new thread.
When the Lili label first appeared it was a wine made by Assaf Kedem entirely for export and was precisely the same wine that he was producing under the Assaf label for distribution in Israel. That gave me no problem whatever. Now, on hearing from Gamliel and others that some bottles of the wine are kosher, I had to do some checking. About five minutes ago I spoke with Assaf Kedem who clarified the issue for me.
The non-kosher Lili wines are indeed made by him as a private label for several investors. And these are indeed precisely the same wines that are made under the Assaf label. The kosher label wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2005 vintage was made by Dalton. I have just spoken with both Alex Haruni and winemaker Na'ama Mualem of Dalton and was told that even though the Lili wine carries the label "Limited Edition" it is, in fact, precisely the same wine that was used in the basic Dalton series.
I was also told this morning that neither Assaf nor Dalton will be producing wines for this project in the future. In all of this, nothing against either Assaf or Dalton. If I have any complaints they are with the company buying, labeling and then distributing these wines.
Why a mini-scandal to me? Simple enough. Although I have no objections to private label wines, I firmly believe that such wines, if made for and not by the company should clearly show the source of the wine - that is to say, the winery at which the wine was made.
Whatever, my tasting note for the Dalton 2005 Cabernet follows. Assuming equal bottling procedures and hoping for equal storage and shipping procedures, the wines should be at the same level.
Dalton Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Developed for 12 months in French and American barriques. Dark garnet, medium-bodied, with somewhat chunky country-style tannins that yield in the glass to re-veal plum, blackberry and currant fruits, those with a somewhat heavy mineral-earthy overlay. Drink now. Score 85. K