Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

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Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Craig Winchell » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:01 pm

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=44211

Please pay particularly close attention to what Otto writes on his post. I think it's fairly typical of a sense of taste/mindset I share with some others about "International Style" reds, of the type generally pervasive among the Israeli wines. Why does Musar stand alone? Because it's NOT an International Style red. And when will Israel's wine industry really stand out? probably when it, too, is composed of a number of very individual wines. Israel cannot do the Australian thing of the '80s and '90s. and be successful at it. Even Australia is not successful at it, in retrospect. It bowled over the world, but the toppled world eventually recovered its equilibrium, while Australia goes nowhere fast, largely due to the sense of clone. the very thing which put Oz on the map, a common styling and common marketing effort, is what could keep Israeli wines from long-term success.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Gabriel Geller » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:59 pm

Who knows? Perhaps one of the local wineries in Israel or another new boutique winery will decide one day to focus only on those varieties that yield such great and special wines more than elsewhere such as Carignan and Petite Sirah and perhaps also Cabernet Franc? I can imagine that anyway. 8)

Pierre Miodownick founded Domaine Netofa with a strong belief that Israel's weather and geographic location fit more varieties such as Syrah, Mourverdre, Tempranillo, Tinta Cao and Chenin Blanc but that leaded him to create wines very similar in taste and character like Cotes du Rhone, so again it's hard to say that an Israeli "wine identity" was achieved there.

However it seems obvious to me that Carmel and Recanati among a few other (Galil Mntns, Shiloh, Lueria) are already ahead of the other players here and are looking toward that direction more and more, and that's a topic we've been discussing on and on lately on this forum. Now I'm not sure if whether it's sort of a trend or if it's really a path that they're willing to follow and develop for the long term but I'm optimistic. 8)

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GG
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby David Raccah » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:35 pm

Do not forget Barkan with the Assemblage line or Sea Horse, or Assif

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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Gabriel Geller » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 pm

Right Dave, Barkan's Assemblage is an excellent example.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Z Spigelman » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:10 pm

David Raccah wrote:Do not forget Barkan with the Assemblage line or Sea Horse, or Assif

david


Can anyone confirm that Asif Winery has closed and that winemaker Yaakov Orya has moved on to Midbar Winery?
Has anyone heard of this winery or tasted their wines?

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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Pinchas L » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:15 pm

Z Spigelman wrote:
David Raccah wrote:Do not forget Barkan with the Assemblage line or Sea Horse, or Assif

david


Can anyone confirm that Asif Winery has closed and that winemaker Yaakov Orya has moved on to Midbar Winery?
Has anyone heard of this winery or tasted their wines?

Zvi


Zvi,

My understanding is that Asif changed its name to Midbar as a consequence of new investors coming on board.

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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby David Raccah » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:22 pm

Pinchas - what about the kosher supervision - any word on that yet?
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Isaac Chavel » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:51 pm

Pierre Miodownick founded Domaine Netofa with a strong belief that Israel's weather and geographic location fit more varieties such as Syrah, Mourverdre, Tempranillo, Tinta Cao and Chenin Blanc but that leaded him to create wines very similar in taste and character like Cotes du Rhone, so again it's hard to say that an Israeli "wine identity" was achieved there.


No, an Israeli "wine identity" was not achieved, but, nonetheless, along with other recent Israeli wines, significant localization of style --- Mediterannean --- might have been achieved. One could certainly do worse, as has been approvingly discussed here. The challenge, is to first move kosher drinkers away from international style to, say, Mediterannean style --- as Craig keeps emphasizing, the market has to be developed along with one's craft --- and then to localize with greater focus and uniqueness.

Personally, I have "signed on" to the Cotes du Rhone style, and certainly enjoy Israeli, say, Cab Franc --- with no idea as to its typicity [sic?] --- and Petite Sirah. But Carrignon? I had the 2009 Recanati, enjoyed it, but did not find it a "revelation." Is it too "far out" for my palate, which therefore needs time to discover it properly? Only time will tell.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Z Spigelman » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:03 pm

Pinchas L wrote:
My understanding is that Asif changed its name to Midbar as a consequence of new investors coming on board.

Best,
-> Pinchas


Thanks Pinchas.

Just to complicate matters, I checked out Ya'acov Oryah on Facebook and his new profile picture has him standing in front of "The Southern Winery".
He mentions that he may have learned to make wine but not to be a businessman, and from a business viewpoint has reached the end of the road. He will now produce wine under the Midbar Winery label.
I have no idea about the connection between The Southern Winery and Midbar Winery.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Pinchas L » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:12 pm

Hi Zvi,

I think the Southern Winery is more of a distribution arm used by Amir Harizi of Asif to sell wines of multiple wineries from the Negev, such as that of Yekev Gavriel. But as you have noticed, they are undergoing some changes and we shall see what happens when the dust settles. Having said that, they are still selling their wine, and I wish Yaakov and Amir the very best as they are very nice and talented people.

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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:26 pm

As Pinchas mentioned, in connection with raising new capital the name of the winery changed from Asif to HaMidbar (to reflect the renewed attempt to reflect the dessert's unique terroir in his wines) and Ya'acov Oryah remains the winemaker in charge. They expect to obtain an "official" kosher supervision for the coming 2012 vintage. The labeling/blend names may change but other than that, the winery remains the same, just under a different name. and with increased capital to expand and plant new varietals.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Gabriel Geller » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:45 pm

Sounds like good news! I'd have gladly tasted Oryah's wine without an official certification as I trust him being an observant jew but I couldn't sell his wines until now because of that missing shtample. Looking forward! :)

Isaac, you do make some good points here. If we consider Netofa as Mediterranean wines then it's quite a success IMHO. However from a different point of view, why would some 'normal' wine lover buy a Netofa and not a real Cotes du Rhone or a Douro instead? On the other hand, the Barkan Tzafit (Marselan, Caladoc, Carignan, Pinotage) is a unique blend and a high quality wine and I doubt very much that there is a similar wine component-wise made by anyone else anywhere else in the world. So here we have some speficity, a real Israeli wine which is not an imitation of anything.

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GG
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Isaac Chavel » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:47 pm

However from a different point of view, why would some 'normal' wine lover buy a Netofa and not a real Cotes du Rhone or a Douro instead?


My general point was to view the "Mediterannean style" as a way station, developmentally speaking, breaking away from internationalized versions of Bordeaux wines to specifically Israeli wines. And you are certainly correct from the perspective of the international market --- kosher and non-kosher.

I do not think, practically speaking, that there will be an Israeli style wine for the international market until a significantly large portion of Israelis drink it as a matter of course, with local cuisine. From this perspective, an evolutionary approach to the local market, with quality being improved with accumulated experience, might be quite reasonable.
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Re: Why does Musar Stand Alone?--a thread from the main forum

Postby Daniel Kovnat » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:26 am

Perhaps I'm being a bit iconoclastic to the direction of this discussion when I ask, why must we seek our own "Israeli style" wine? To me, the making of wine is an art and the wine, a reflection of the place and of the person. Modern Israel, with her kibbutz galuyot, is a heterogeneous gamish of peoples from many different parts of the world. Thus the "Israeli style" reflects all of those facets. This is especially so when one looks as the credentials of the various vintners. One always sees references to their education, training, and work in California, Italy, France, Australia, etc. So they bring with them these various approaches to wine making. So be it.
This variety entices me to taste all these differing individual styles which reflect vintner's background AND terroir.

And look at the varying terroir of each of the wine regions of Israel. The Golan, Judean Hills, Jezreel Valley, Binyamina, and "Midbar" are such different extremes. These pull the wines from each region to different directions of taste, aroma, and all those things that make wine what it is.

Furthermore, Israel, to me, has always been a land of extremes packed into a small package. Here we have the lowest place on earth which is only a couple of hours' drive from our ski mountain. Tel Aviv weather is like Miami Beach where I was raised -- hot and humid, whereas, Ber Sheva and the Aravah, only a hop, skip, and a jump from TA, are bone dry. We drive 20 minutes from our green countryside of the mountains down towards the seaside the brown vegetation is the predominant color. And look at our population. We are a variegated quilt-like concoction. I am sure that you can give other examples of the fact that Israel is a kaleidoscope, and so are our wines. There cannot be an "Isreli style" wine.

Maybe we'll all look down from Gan Eden upon Israel many hundreds or thousands of years in the future and see that as the contents of the pot have melted to form an amalgam. And so, then, Israel may have evolved into its own "Israeli styled" wine.
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