Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Gabriel Geller » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:19 pm

Hi Yehoshua, folks,

Simchat Torah/Shmini Atzeret:

Sunday night:

Gvaot, Masada 2009: The winery's flagship wine, released a few weeks ago. Young, very young but promising. It was a little hard to figure out this one even after having been decanted in a carafe for over 4 hours. A Bordeaux-blend made of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot, aged for 21 months in French oak barrels. Deep garnet or ruby (somewhere in between) with light purple reflections, full-bodied with on the nose ripe black and red fruit as well as notes of toasty oak, cardamon and dark chocolate. On first attack ripe (but not overripe), concentrated red currants and blackberries followed by blueberries, spicy oak and some earthy minerals with notes of what seemed to me as pepper-flavored dark chocolate rising with still searing tannins on a very, very long finish. A beautiful wine destined for elegance with excellent acidity and a fine structure yet I would wait at least one if not 2 years before it reaches its peak. A source of concern for me as I will be pouring 3 cases of this wine at a wedding next week. :?

Carmel, Late Harvest Gewurztraminer Sha'al Vineyard 2006: Sinfully delicious as always. :D

Monday lunch:

Dalton, Zinfandel 2010: Very good but I felt like if its floralness was showing even more than the last time I had this wine, it was almost overwhelming. You don't feel the 15.5% alcohol on the palate but it hit me after a few glasses.

Hafner, Late Harvest Chardonnay 2009: The label says semi-sweet but this is plain sweet! Really an excellent and luscious wine, gold in color with on the nose honey, jammy mirabelles plums and cinnamon, medium to full-bodied with on the palate dried apricots, mirabelles, honey, orange blossom and caramelized apple pie with notes of almond liquor on the long finish. Almost addictive.

Best,

GG
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Pinchas L » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:53 am

Hi Gabe,

With guest present, I served wines I was quite sure they have not had before, and was also offered one I have not had.

Four Gates Chardonnay 2007 - The refreshing acidity does wonders, providing a livliness and crispness, countering the notes of butterscotch and caramelized sugar wonderfully. Notes of fruit are in abundance, in the form of tart apples, citrus and pears. The alcohol level is high, closing in on 15%, but that does not get in the way. B++/***

Hagafen Blanc De Noir 2007 - Notes of orange rind linger for a long time, complemented by tea and white chocolate. B-/***

Segal Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Its fruit is still vibrant, if not exuberant. It went well with the meal. B-/NA

Ramot Naftaly Petit Verdot 2009 - This is third of three bottles Gabe suggested I purchase during my visit to his shop, and is the clear winner. Everyone tasting the wine commented on its impeccable balance. I loved its silky, rich, mouth coating tannins. The nose is perfumed, and the palate is redolent with luscious fruit. I did not detect any overt oak influences. This is an extremely enjoyable, albeit not overly complex. But as an accompaniment to a meal, I probably don't need anything better, and if I had the opportunity I'd like to buy some more. I don't recall its exact cost, but I think it price tag is about 120NIS. Gabe will correct me if I'm wrong. The alcohol level is in check at about 13.5%. B++/***

PS I don't like giving "A"s.

Best,
-> Pinchas

Grading for quality: A - marvellous, B - good/intriguing, C - mediocre/uninspiring, D - subjectively flawed, F - objectively flawed
Grading for value: *** - it's a steal, ** - it's a reasonable deal, * - you've been robbed
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Elie Poltorak » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:04 am

No time to post over yom tov and now I can't even remember everything I drank but here's what I do remember:

Of course I enjoyed the crisp weather with several bottles of my obsession: 2011 Flam Rose: A- (**)

The clear winner was Four Gates, which still stands head and shoulders above just about anything else out there.

2007 Four Gates Cabernet Franc: A (Dare I say better than just A? Is it time to switch to 1-100 scoring? To my mind A=93-94, so I'd score this a 95) (**) This was just amazing. The best CF I've ever had hands down--and I've come to LOVE CF. In fact, this is one of the best wines of any type I've ever had. I previously had this wine on Pesach and it was still rather closed but now it's come into its own. Still needs a lot of air time to open up, but once it does, the green pepper and black fruit are just incredibly luscious. Elegant yet powerful.

2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon: A- to A (**) The CS is still very young and not very approachable but promises to be a great wine in a couple of years. Deep extraction, big and oaky but perfectly balanced, loads of CS goodness: cassis, spices, tobbacco, and loads of black and red fruit.

2005 Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon: A- to A (***) A great vintage of one of my favorite Cabernets. Drinking really well right now. Throwing heavy sediment so I'm not sure how much longer it'll last before beginning to decline, but no sign of slipping yet. The tannins have now fully integrated and the fruit faded so it's a very different wine than it was in its youth. Can almost be mistaken for a Bordeaux.

2006 Yarden Kella Merlot: A- (**) I'm delighted to say that this showed much better than at the tasting last month, where this wine was really dead. Perhaps there was a problem with the wine Yarden was pouring... poor storage perhaps? Anyhow, this definitely isn't as good as the '05, but it still has quite a bit of life left in it. Still sweet and super-fruity but quite good.

2009 Yarden Syrah: B+ (***) IMHO this is the best vintage yet of the Yarden syrah, which is interesting, as I expected the quality of their regular syrah to decline now that they've started saving the best fruit for the SVs--as happened with their merlot. To my surprise, this syrah seems closer to the SVs than to past vintages of the regular line. It's stylistically quite similar to the Yonatan and Avital: Full bodied, bursting with black fruit, with some blueberries lurking behind that. However, it's a bit overripe--without the structure to balance out the sweetness like in the SVs. P.S. Like the Kela, this too showed terribly at the tasting. VERY strange.

2010 Gvaot Gafna Chardonnay/Cabernet Sauvignon blend: A-(*) Very interesting blend from what has quickly become one of my favorite wineries. I was expecting a very full-bodied chard but this is a medium-bodied elegant wine. It definitely has the creamy oak notes of a new world chardonnay, but rather restrained. Tons of complexity, with this wacky blend hitting all sorts of notes all over the map. I'll have to try this again in a circumstance where I can pay better attention than in a succa with a bunch of guests and a bunch of other wines to taste. Definitely worth seeking out. I just wish the prices on the Gvaot wines were a bit more reasonable.

2009 Yiron: A- (***) Another great vintage. Not much different than previous years.

2009 Tzuba Metzuda A- (***) I was raving about this wine at the tasting but this time it struck me as a bit overly sweet. Should settle down with some age though.

2010 Recanati Rose B- (**) A pleasant uncomplicated rose.

2010 Recanati Shiraz: B to B+ (***) I served several bottles as kiddush wines for guests. Quite popular if simple new-world shiraz.

2010 Recanati Sauvignon Blanc B- (**) A decent quaffer but a bit dull.

2009 Covenant Red C: B++ (**) I liked it better than the '08 vintage but not as much as earlier spicier vintages (e.g. '06).

2009 Psagot Merlot: C (***) I like the other psagot wines but the merlot is a flop. Flabby, hot and overripe.

2008 City Winery Merlot Alder Spring Mendocino Kosher - Zaddie: B++ (**) Garnet color, medium body, fruit forward, nicely balanced.

I'll add more if and when I remember.

And of course some hard liquor for simchas torah: Godet XO cognac (my favorite ), The Balvenie Carribean Cask (sweet and easy drinking) and Beluga Noble vodka (nice grainy taste, smooth without being bland)
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Isaac Chavel » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:40 am

Hello, all, shanah tovah.

I did not post during the "season" so here is the run-down:

Rosh Hashanah:
2009 Dalton, Alma, SMV
2010 Psagot, Cabernet Franc
2010 Domaine Netofa, White

Shabbat Ha'azinu:
2009 Shilo, Barbera

Sukkot
First night: 2006 Recanati, RSR
First day w/GregR:
2011 Flam, Rose
2010 Joseph Mellot, Sancerre
2005 Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Carmel, Sha'al, Gewurtztramminer
Second night: 2011 Elvi, InVita
Second day: 2010 Teperberg, Terra, Malbec
Firday night: 2009 Karmei Yosef, Bravdo, Cabernet Sauvignon
Shabbat day: 2009 Gush Etzion, Lone Oak, Cabernet Franc
Sh'mini Atzeret/Simhat Torah: 2003 Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon

Except for two, all drank beautifully, each in their own "bag."

The Domaine Netofa White was really strange. I had seen conflicting takes on it here, my experience is as follows: I took it out of the fridge, the first drink was downright watery, with some bitterness and hardly any taste. As it warmed, and the "body" started to come back, with some fruit, and more bitterness. I know enough that an ordinary fridge temperature is too cold for white wine, so I've learned to wait a bit, but this was way off!

The other disappointment was the Shiloh Barbera. When I drank this last February in Jerusalem, it was delicious. So when I came back and saw it available here in the States I bought a few bottles. The first, drunk shortly after purchase, was disappointing, so I put it down to "bottle shock," and decided to wait six months. Didn't help. I then realized that the wine here is mevushal and I must have drunk, in Jerusalem, the non-mevushal version. I saw that one of the reviewers here, maybe Yossie or David, thought the two versions only differed in nuances. Sorry, that was not my experience at all.

I have noticed on the threads here some put-downs of the Sancerre. Not my experience. Overpriced, yes --- same goes for Flam Rose. But I found it delicious, as well--- same goes for Flam Rose. Most of my friends are not Sauvignon Blanc drinkers but they go through the Sancerre rather quickly when I put it on the table. A couple even purchased it afterwards. Maybe the put-downs are saying it is not true to its variety, or the Loire expression of the variety. I am not sufficiently expert.

The Bravdo cab was pretty amazing in that it is 15.5% alcohol, with no "heat."

The 2003 Yarden was delicious, but I have the feeling that it could benefit from even more time.

A good year to all,

Isaac
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Gabriel Geller » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:14 am

Elie Poltorak wrote:And of course some hard liquor for simchas torah: Godet XO cognac (my favorite )

Hi Elie, have you tasted the Rogov Brandy at the Forumites tasting event in NYC and if yes, how did you like it VS the Godet XO (most popular here is the Dupuy XO with Louis Royer XO as a close second)?

Best,

GG
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Andrew B » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:40 pm

We enjoyed the following wines over the last few days:

2009 Yarden Cabernet (notes in another thread)
2009 Ella Valley Cab Franc -- pleasant and herbaceous with black licorice and great acid
2010 Makom Carignan (by Hajdu) -- my last bottle, ack!
2010 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir -- surprisingly better than I thought it would be, very new world, not oaky, but not for cellaring
2007 Binyamina Chosen/Choshen Cabernet -- thin and bitter, not for me.
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Simchas Torah Time in Long Beach, California

2002 Patache d'Aux Bordeau (drink now and with lots of Air Time)
2007 Barkan Superior Pinotage (The Bottle that never misses)
2007 Yarden Merlot ( 1.5 Hours and it started to hit stride. Nice better than table drinker)
2009 Or Haganuz Har Sinai
2011 Terra Vega Carmenere - Jalapeño Pepper's in red fruit... One of the better QPR wines around :)
2009 Yarden Syrah
2010 Recanati Cabernet Franc Single Vinyard Reserve
2010 Recanati Rose

Oban 18Yr Single Malt LTD (Super Yum)
Patron Silver(Like others much more yet fun)
Woodford Reserve Bourbon (OK)
Last edited by Yehoshua Werth on Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Harry J » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:15 pm

Hi; for the recanati fans out there watch out for the cab 2011,much better than the dissapointing 2010,nice flavor of chocolate and some spiciness. Tasted the carmel limited edition 07 and have absolutely no idea why it has the price tag it has. H
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Elie Poltorak » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:18 pm

Isaac Chavel wrote:
The Domaine Netofa White was really strange. I had seen conflicting takes on it here, my experience is as follows: I took it out of the fridge, the first drink was downright watery, with some bitterness and hardly any taste. As it warmed, and the "body" started to come back, with some fruit, and more bitterness. I know enough that an ordinary fridge temperature is too cold for white wine, so I've learned to wait a bit, but this was way off!

The other disappointment was the Shiloh Barbera. When I drank this last February in Jerusalem, it was delicious. So when I came back and saw it available here in the States I bought a few bottles. The first, drunk shortly after purchase, was disappointing, so I put it down to "bottle shock," and decided to wait six months. Didn't help. I then realized that the wine here is mevushal and I must have drunk, in Jerusalem, the non-mevushal version. I saw that one of the reviewers here, maybe Yossie or David, thought the two versions only differed in nuances. Sorry, that was not my experience at all.

I have noticed on the threads here some put-downs of the Sancerre. Not my experience. Overpriced, yes --- same goes for Flam Rose. But I found it delicious, as well--- same goes for Flam Rose. Most of my friends are not Sauvignon Blanc drinkers but they go through the Sancerre rather quickly when I put it on the table. A couple even purchased it afterwards. Maybe the put-downs are saying it is not true to its variety, or the Loire expression of the variety. I am not sufficiently expert.


Isaac


Isaac:

I had the same experience with the Netofa White, but as you point out, even when it warmed and some body returns, the nasty bitter taste lingers. A total flop, which is surprising considering the high quality of Netofa's reds.

I tried the Shilo Barbera at the tasting (assuming it was mevushal) and it was quite good.

As far as the Flam Rose, I do wish it were cheaper, but there aren't any other roses on the kosher market that are half as good (including the Castel IMHO) so I go on buying it...
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Elie Poltorak » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:27 pm

Gabriel Geller wrote:
Elie Poltorak wrote:And of course some hard liquor for simchas torah: Godet XO cognac (my favorite )

Hi Elie, have you tasted the Rogov Brandy at the Forumites tasting event in NYC and if yes, how did you like it VS the Godet XO (most popular here is the Dupuy XO with Louis Royer XO as a close second)?

Best,

GG


Hi Gabriel,

I'm very ashamed to admit that when Adam poured me a generous glass of the brandy, I was afraid of overwhelming my palate, so I hid it in what I thought was a perfect spot for the end of the tasting. Unfortunately, by the time I was done with the wines, the staff had begun clearing the event and moved the furniture I had hidden the glass behind :oops: Needless to say, it was a huge disappointment as I was eagerly looking forward to trying it.

Generally, I find the other French cognacs (especially the Louis Royer) too sweet for my liking. The Godet's sweetness is much more nuanced. I've always been a big fan of the Carmel 100 though. I find it to be lighter than French Cognac and it offers unbeatable QPR (although I stocked up on several cases of Godet when Royal was practically giving them away a few years ago--my only regret is that I didn't buy more! :P ).
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Elie Poltorak » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:29 pm

I missed the 2009 Peraj Petita: B++/*** Very fruit-forward. Drinking very well.
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:48 pm

Elie Poltorak wrote:Generally, I find the other French cognacs (especially the Louis Royer) too sweet for my liking. The Godet's sweetness is much more nuanced. I've always been a big fan of the Carmel 100 though. I find it to be lighter than French Cognac and it offers unbeatable QPR (although I stocked up on several cases of Godet when Royal was practically giving them away a few years ago--my only regret is that I didn't buy more! :P ).

Never had the Godet but you should try once the Carmel 120 (unbelievable, among the very best stuff my palate ever had the luck to host, quite pricey but it's heavenly good, in my opinion this is the Rolls Royce of kosher brandy/cognac). Now I don't know if the Godet is available in Israel but Netofa/Royal's Pierre Miodownick probably is the winemaker who made it (he made the Louis Royer) and I will see Pierre this coming Tuesday (and enjoy some Carmel 120, looking forward!!! :P ) so will definitely inquire...
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Elie Poltorak » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:04 pm

Gabriel Geller wrote:
Elie Poltorak wrote:Generally, I find the other French cognacs (especially the Louis Royer) too sweet for my liking. The Godet's sweetness is much more nuanced. I've always been a big fan of the Carmel 100 though. I find it to be lighter than French Cognac and it offers unbeatable QPR (although I stocked up on several cases of Godet when Royal was practically giving them away a few years ago--my only regret is that I didn't buy more! :P ).

Never had the Godet but you should try once the Carmel 120 (unbelievable, among the very best stuff my palate ever had the luck to host, quite pricey but it's heavenly good, in my opinion this is the Rolls Royce of kosher brandy/cognac). Now I don't know if the Godet is available in Israel but Netofa/Royal's Pierre Miodownick probably is the winemaker who made it (he made the Louis Royer) and I will see Pierre this coming Tuesday (and enjoy some Carmel 120, looking forward!!! :P ) so will definitely inquire...


I'd love to try the 120 but I haven't seen it in the U.S. Next time I'm in Israel I'll have to pick some up. How much is it? Is the Rogov better than the 120?
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:45 pm

Elie Poltorak wrote:I'd love to try the 120 but I haven't seen it in the U.S. Next time I'm in Israel I'll have to pick some up. How much is it? Is the Rogov better than the 120?

Well, it's expensive... (somewhere in the $150-200). The Rogov is probably not better than the 120 as according to Adam Montefiore it is almost a similar blend than the Carmel 100, I think they should be ranked as following: 1) 120 2) Rogov 3) 100. I will hopefully have some of the Rogov Brandy upon my next visit to Zichron Ya'acov (still dunno when but I hope soon enough).
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Isaac Chavel » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:26 pm

As far as the Flam Rose, I do wish it were cheaper, but there aren't any other roses on the kosher market that are half as good (including the Castel IMHO) so I go on buying it...


Elie, I felt the same way --- except that when visiting Provence on a tour last year, we tasted at Vignobles David, of Le Mourre de l'Isle "fame." He served a delicious rose (more than "half as good") but, alas, he sells all of it in France. :(
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Re: Succot and wines for the outdoor vibe.

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:03 am

I have been always told that the Tishbi Brandy is the top of the heap for many years but none ever comes to america?

anyone tried The Cave Brandy as well??
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