Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

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Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Andrew B » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:49 pm

As many people have read, Jay Miller, the former Wine Advocate (WA --Robert Parker's site) reviewer who was in charge of Spain, retired from the WA around the same time that a Spanish journalist accused the WA pay to play scandal involving certain scores and winery visits. Anyway, Neal Martin apparently is now on the job in that region, and rated the 2010 Peraj Ha'Abib (K) from Capcanes.

A bit about Neal-- he started out working in the wine trade in the UK and Hong Kong and kept up a very well organized and in depth blog called Wine-Journal.com. This site mainly focused on Bordeaux and some Burgundy and Champagne. He included the thousand year histories of each of the Chateaux that he would write about (all of the 1855 Classification wines, St Emilion Crus, Pomerols, and environs), and then include vertical tastings of the wines which he would rate on a 20 point scale. Eventually, he got picked up by Parker and has been given more responsibility as Parker as been phasing himself out slowly.

Back to the point, Neal tasted the 2010 Peraj and gave it an 86 with a "drink now" designation. In the spirit of Rogov, I won't copy the tasting note, but he did include this addendum: "Celler de Capcanes produce two kosher wines that have been reviewed positively in the past. However, I was less impressed, the wines content to load up on fruit without thinking about freshness or complexity."

What can we make of this? If you liked 2010 Peraj, then you can probably assume that your palate is not in line with Neal Martin's. I personally liked the 2007 La Flor del Flor, which given its 94 point rating, must have been one of the wines to which he's referring. I haven't tasted the 2009 Peraj, which received the coveted 95 point rating. But I will make a point of tasting the 2010 to see what irked him.
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Craig Winchell » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:30 am

Lately, there have been a couple of articles which are backlashes against "international style" reds, and this guy sounds as if he's of the same ideology (and thank G-d for that, as far as I'm concerned). I never particularly understood what people saw in these wines other than another ripe, fruity wine.
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Jon Tabak » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:35 am

The '10 is open, fruit forward and enjoyable. In a word: slutty. Not much in the way of complexity, but a good time. I agree with Neal that this one won't go the distance, but I give it more time that he does: http://www.kosherwino.com/index.php/201 ... vera-2010/
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Joshua London » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:04 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:Lately, there have been a couple of articles which are backlashes against "international style" reds, and this guy sounds as if he's of the same ideology (and thank G-d for that, as far as I'm concerned). I never particularly understood what people saw in these wines other than another ripe, fruity wine.


I don't subscribe to WA and so have not read anything from Martin since he joined that team, but having followed his blog for a couple of years I think it a very safe inference that he is against "international style" wines.
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Gary J » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:08 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:... these wines other than another ripe, fruity wine.


Why don't we stay on topic here people. Or has the topic already shifted to fruity wines?

The Peraj Ha'abib has historically proven to be a complex wine that ages gracefully for 8-12 or more years. And when I have been fortunate enough to taste a mature Peraj Ha'abib it has reminded me of top Burgundies, with earth, wet leaves, clove, and other characteristics synonymous with 90+ rated wines.

Before bashing the scores doled out by Jay Miller please remember that the 94 & 95 he handed out to the 2 kosher Capcanes wines were THE HIGHEST scores he gave to all Capcanes wines - yes, he tasted ALL their wines and scored the 2 kosher ones the highest. I'm not sure how (or if) Neal Martin scored the other Capcanes wines, but that fact that he needed to stress the "kosher" status of the wines concerns me.

IMHO the Peraj Ha'abib has always been incredibly unique and complex and I have THEORIZED that this is due to the co-fermentation of the 3 grapes that make up the wine. Though this practice is common in Chateauneuf du Pape, most "modern" wineries ferment each varietal separately and only blend long after fermentation...usually after at least some barrel aging.

So before we start bashing the Jay Miller Peraj Ha'abib 95 point score & anoint Neal Martin as the next Spanish wine guru lets take a step back and recognize that Martin may not have tasted previous vintages of this wine and may need to taste through a few vintages before getting a handle on the wine.

And Jon..."slutty"...seriously...ouch! Unless you meant the good kind of slutty (is there such a thing) in which case :lol:
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Andrew B » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:50 pm

I don't think that anyone is bashing the 95 point score, except Neal Martin. I would take that up with him. And whether you or I think he is the next Spanish Wine Guru is immaterial, since he is the one assigning points on wine from Spain on behalf of Wine Advocate. Maybe you'll invite him to attend next year's kosher wine festival in London, since he is based in the area. But as to his actual criticism, contrary to what Craig says, it doesn't seem like he has an issue with regionality so much as he didn't like the wine, which is his opinion as a critic. As I mentioned, I for one did enjoy the '07 Flor, as did many people around here. It's always good to have diversity of opinions, and this makes me want to try the '10 Peraj even more!
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:37 pm

So are we comparing the 09' Ha'Abib score from one writer to the

10' score of another writer.. Seems silly..

Maybe I missed something :roll:
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Andrew B » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:35 pm

Yehoshua Werth wrote:So are we comparing the 09' Ha'Abib score from one writer to the

10' score of another writer.. Seems silly..

Maybe I missed something :roll:


Yes and no; the second critic basically said he wasn't in line with the first critic's assessment, without giving much more detail.

How did you like '09 vs '10?
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Jon Tabak » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:24 pm

The 2009 and 2010 are completely different wines. In fact, I've tasted every vintage of Capcanes from 2000 on and 2009 is definitely the odd one out. Now, none of the other vintages were like the 2010 in their youth. The tannic structure and acidity of the 2010 just isn't up to snuff to carry it 10-12 years, IMO.

Gary - When I say "slutty", I mean that you don't have to work hard to "get some". 2009 Castel Grand Vin, 2008 Herzog Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon are other examples of wines that I'd classify as "slutty". All three of these are good wines, but they just lay it all out on the table, killing the romantic aspect of the relationship, even skipping over foreplay, that typically leads up to "getting some". Does my analogy make more sense now? :wink:
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Gary J » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:59 am

Jon Tabak wrote: Does my analogy make more sense now? :wink:


Got it. And while I'm not sure I agree, I absolutely respect your opinion...(much more than your choice of adjectives) :D
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Did he taste the 09' ?
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Andrew B » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:34 pm

Yes.

Actually, Neal Martin responded to my question on the Parker forum, saying that his comments elicited a kind email from the winemaker at Capcanes (I presume Jurgen) and that Neal would do his best to retaste at the next opportunity. So we'll see.
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Jonathan K » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:45 pm

Jon Tabak wrote:
Gary - When I say "slutty", I mean that you don't have to work hard to "get some". 2009 Castel Grand Vin, 2008 Herzog Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon are other examples of wines that I'd classify as "slutty". All three of these are good wines, but they just lay it all out on the table, killing the romantic aspect of the relationship, even skipping over foreplay, that typically leads up to "getting some". Does my analogy make more sense now? :wink:


I was having a little trouble with the descriptor as well. Translation for the frum:

The Capcanes 2010 Peraj Ha'Abib won't ask to see your bank statements, cross-examine you about your family background, or inquire as to where you plan to send your future children to school. It will just say, "Sure- I'll go out with ya!!"
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Gary J » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:50 pm

Jonathan K wrote:
Jon Tabak wrote:
Gary - When I say "slutty", I mean that you don't have to work hard to "get some". 2009 Castel Grand Vin, 2008 Herzog Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon are other examples of wines that I'd classify as "slutty". All three of these are good wines, but they just lay it all out on the table, killing the romantic aspect of the relationship, even skipping over foreplay, that typically leads up to "getting some". Does my analogy make more sense now? :wink:


I was having a little trouble with the descriptor as well. Translation for the frum:

The Capcanes 2010 Peraj Ha'Abib won't ask to see your bank statements, cross-examine you about your family background, or inquire as to where you plan to send your future children to school. It will just say, "Sure- I'll go out with ya!!"

:roll: :lol: :oops:
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Elie Poltorak » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:06 am

The comparison of the '09 to the '10 simply isn't fair. The '09 was the best Capcanes ever and well deserved the 95 score IMHO (in fact, I would venture to say it's one of the very best wines I've ever tasted!). The '10 seems to be a rather weak vintage (I'm no expert and this is still a young wine, but it just doesn't have the complexity that would suggest future greatness). It ain't bad but can't hold a candle next to the '09 (or for that matter, many of the earlier solid vintages). Don't get me wrong though--it's still a great wine for the price, albeit a simple one (I like the "slutty" description). In fact, I bought 2 cases myself.

Speaking of the '09 Capcanes, does anyone know where to score some? It seems like most stores went from stocking the '08 straight to the '10. No one has the '09. I was only able to get a few bottles and desperately want more!
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Gary J » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:44 pm

Elie Poltorak wrote:The comparison of the '09 to the '10 simply isn't fair. The '09 was the best Capcanes ever and well deserved the 95 score IMHO (in fact, I would venture to say it's one of the very best wines I've ever tasted!). The '10 seems to be a rather weak vintage (I'm no expert and this is still a young wine, but it just doesn't have the complexity that would suggest future greatness). It ain't bad but can't hold a candle next to the '09 (or for that matter, many of the earlier solid vintages). Don't get me wrong though--it's still a great wine for the price, albeit a simple one (I like the "slutty" description). In fact, I bought 2 cases myself.

Speaking of the '09 Capcanes, does anyone know where to score some? It seems like most stores went from stocking the '08 straight to the '10. No one has the '09. I was only able to get a few bottles and desperately want more!


Call Skyview...He has '09 Capcanes...
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Jon Tabak » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:59 pm

Jonathan K wrote:I was having a little trouble with the descriptor as well. Translation for the frum:


Jonathan - Love the translation. Believe it or not, I happen to be frum, so I think you mean translation for the "frummah" :D
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Re: Neal Martin of WA on Capcanes '10 Peraj Ha'Abib, and...

Postby Elie Poltorak » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Gary J wrote:Call Skyview...He has '09 Capcanes...


Thanks, Gary! Just scored a case + a magnum! Was only able to scrounge up 3 bottles previously (2 of which I drank already :oops: ), so this is great! Double what I usually pay for this wine but such is life...
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