Los Angeles IFWF 2013

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Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Andrew B » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:19 pm

Who's going?
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Craig Winchell » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:47 pm

If they're not outraged at my chutzpah, me. Trade, at least.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Bill Coleman » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:51 pm

Went to NYC this year and had a blast. LA next year, G-d willing?
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby gaston k » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:58 pm

On my way, and currently a few miles over New Mexico. Is there any way to get in earlier than the 6pm official start time? Looking forward, as it will be my first RWC extravaganza.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Craig Winchell » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:17 am

I went to both the trade and consumer tastings. It was quite sobering. This was the first year I felt irrelevant in the kosher wine world. Royal now has a stable of top quality reds, and their higher end Chards have real character. Of the wines I tasted, there was little even remotely bad by any standard, among the main tables, with the possible exception of the Pacifica wines and Goose Bay regular Pinot (which were not bad in a winemaking sense, but rather totally unexciting and wimpy), and much of the French, and there was quite a bit to like or love. Mind you, I stayed away from entry level wines, for the most part. Even the Goose Bay reserve Pinot had decent character, and their Sauvignon/Fume Blancs were both quite good. For me, the winners were clearly the higher end Herzog Cabs, from various vintages, which gave a good indication of how that style sorts itself out over a period of a few years. They were nicely structured wines upon which I could not have improved.

I started out withthe 4 Champagnes- 2 from Drappier, 2 from Laurent Perrier. Quality on all counts. My favorite was the white label Laurent Perrier nonvintage. Then I went to French, Bordeaux, of various vintages. This, in my opinion, was one of the weakest tables, but I would have expected it. The Bordeaux were all right, the Burgundy inferior, the Rhone meh. Then the Herzogs, and the beginnings of the quality night for reds, a detour to the fairly mediocre Pacifica and better Goose Bay, then an afternoon and evening of totally solid reds from Israel. I would say Pinot is the one weak link in the kosher lineup, but in the dedicated kosher wineries, they seem to have everything else down pat.

So there you have it. I can make good wine, but I can't do better, only different. Perhaps I should get a job with Royal- If you can't beat them, join them (and if there are any Royal folk out there, I'm serious). Really, my hat's off to them. A real pleasure.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Joshua London » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:43 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:So there you have it. I can make good wine, but I can't do better, only different. Perhaps I should get a job with Royal- If you can't beat them, join them (and if there are any Royal folk out there, I'm serious). Really, my hat's off to them. A real pleasure.

Wow.

Well, should this come to pass, maybe as sort of a boutique label within their portfolio, I think it could actually be one of the very best things to happen in kosher wine.

I wasn't at the LA tasting, obviously, but assuming the wines showed comparably at the NY tasting, I totally agree with you (though I actually thought much of the same last year too, by and large -- so what do I know?). Considering that the industry doesn't have much Pinot to offer, I really enjoyed the Goose Bay Reserve Pinot, and I thought their Fume Blanc was wonderful, though I gathered it wasn't entirely clear that it would be joining the US portfolio. Maybe Gary L., or someone else in the know, could chime in on this to shed some light?

Agreed with you on the champagne front, and the pricing of those Drappier is within around $5 of their non-kosher/regular versions--which is a very(!) nice and welcome change from the norm for kosher French wines. The Laurent Perrier brut is the best of these, until you factor in price (starting at around $70 it is double the price of the non-kosher version). As a special luxury/special occasion wine, $70 for good champagne isn't in and of itself offensive, but still...$45 or so for Drappier is much better.

The Israeli reds were showing very well in NY, as were most of the reds generally. The Herzog reds were very good, but then I thought they were solid last year too. I think Joe Hurliman does really good work with the Herzog line. The pricing, to my mind, is out of line at the higher end, but then I'm a scribbler not a producer, so what do I know. If people happily pay those prices, then I'm simply not the market they are aiming at... which, alas, is fair enough.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby gaston k » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:04 pm

What a night... Good meeting forumites Winchell, Horwitz, Raccah, and Benyo as well. Well worth the trip out to LA, and my buddies agreed that we collectively have no interest in the zoo that is the NY event. Food was fantastic, a true delight. Highlights were the Halibut Ceviche, Pastrami, Hen (insane), and rib eye.
Wines were very good, and it was nice meeting with some of the winemakers while sampling the goods.
Some thoughts:
1) Clear winner of the night was the Psagot 2009 SV CS. Just delicious, and a worthy successor to the Yarden El Rom CS in my opinion.
2) Enjoyed the Bordeaux, but you really have to like the style, and it is a stark contrast with the ISraelis.
3) Preferred the Clone 6 to the Generation VIII
4) Of the Israelis, really enjoyed the Psagot Merlot, Latour, Flam Reserves, Carmel Med, Alexander Grand Reserve. But everything was good.

All in all a very pleasurable evening.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Elie Poltorak » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:11 pm

Craig:
Interesting you should say so, as this year (at least as the wines were showing in NY) was weaker than the past couple years, with few new and exciting offerings. But your general sentiment is certainly correct: The kosher wine world has matured and we have a great array of top-quality CS, merlot, CF, Syrah/Shiraz, SB, and chardonnay. What we sorely lack are the other varietals. You rightly mention PN, but a decent kosher, dry Riesling is even harder to find.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Joshua London » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:29 pm

Elie Poltorak wrote:...as this year (at least as the wines were showing in NY) was weaker than the past couple years, with few new and exciting offerings. But your general sentiment is certainly correct: The kosher wine world has matured and we have a great array of top-quality CS, merlot, CF, Syrah/Shiraz, SB, and chardonnay. What we sorely lack are the other varietals. You rightly mention PN, but a decent kosher, dry Riesling is even harder to find.


Hi Elie,
Why "weaker"? Agreed that there were fewer "new" offerings, and I guess "exciting" is a relative term, but I actually thought it a fairly strong showing. Not sure I'd argue the point too strongly, but I thought many of the wines that were the same vintages as previously available were drinking better than before. As for decent kosher dry Riesling, did you try the new Hagafen offering? Not sure what your expectations are for "decent", but I thought it was great, even exciting.
All best,
Josh
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Bill Coleman » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:03 am

Craig Winchell wrote:I went to both the trade and consumer tastings. It was quite sobering. This was the first year I felt irrelevant in the kosher wine world. Royal now has a stable of top quality reds, and their higher end Chards have real character. Of the wines I tasted, there was little even remotely bad by any standard, among the main tables, with the possible exception of the Pacifica wines and Goose Bay regular Pinot (which were not bad in a winemaking sense, but rather totally unexciting and wimpy), and much of the French, and there was quite a bit to like or love. Mind you, I stayed away from entry level wines, for the most part. Even the Goose Bay reserve Pinot had decent character, and their Sauvignon/Fume Blancs were both quite good. For me, the winners were clearly the higher end Herzog Cabs, from various vintages, which gave a good indication of how that style sorts itself out over a period of a few years. They were nicely structured wines upon which I could not have improved.

I started out withthe 4 Champagnes- 2 from Drappier, 2 from Laurent Perrier. Quality on all counts. My favorite was the white label Laurent Perrier nonvintage. Then I went to French, Bordeaux, of various vintages. This, in my opinion, was one of the weakest tables, but I would have expected it. The Bordeaux were all right, the Burgundy inferior, the Rhone meh. Then the Herzogs, and the beginnings of the quality night for reds, a detour to the fairly mediocre Pacifica and better Goose Bay, then an afternoon and evening of totally solid reds from Israel. I would say Pinot is the one weak link in the kosher lineup, but in the dedicated kosher wineries, they seem to have everything else down pat.

So there you have it. I can make good wine, but I can't do better, only different. Perhaps I should get a job with Royal- If you can't beat them, join them (and if there are any Royal folk out there, I'm serious). Really, my hat's off to them. A real pleasure.


We went to NYC this year. So sorry to miss you, and Benyo, too! Just drank a couple of his new Pinots over shabbat, he may be the solution to the "weak link".

Our tasting paralleled yours in many ways. With one exception, we also started with the four champagnes and our preferences were identical to yours. (The exception was that we started with the Ch. Leoville Poyferre and verified that we tasted nothing to justify a $100+ price tag.) We tasted the high-end Herzog cabs and, like you, liked them all, although our first choice was the 2009 Mt. Veeder. Just about all of the Israeli wines were great, but our top favorite wasn't a red, it was the Flam Blanc, which was "Wow!" for us from nose to finish.

One difference was that Jeff and Jodie Morgan were in NY, as was Jonathan Hadju. Got to taste the 2003 Covenant, which was super. Another highlight was The Cave 2009.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby David Raccah » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:22 am

Hey Bill - did you taste the 2010 PN and the Cuvee D? What did you think of them?
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Bill Coleman » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:02 am

David Raccah wrote:Hey Bill - did you taste the 2010 PN and the Cuvee D? What did you think of them?

Opened a bottle of both. Delich!
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby David Raccah » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:54 pm

Hey has anyone had the weird experience of tasting the 2010 Yatir Sauvignon Blanc and smelling cheese - real cheese! Not on the mouth, but the nose is weird!
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby David Raccah » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:59 pm

Also, in case I said I loved the 2010 Shiloh Chard more than or equal to the Castel C, I meant the 2011 Shiloh Card.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:15 pm

David Raccah wrote:Hey has anyone had the weird experience of tasting the 2010 Yatir Sauvignon Blanc and smelling cheese - real cheese! Not on the mouth, but the nose is weird!

ditto. VERY weird.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:15 pm

David Raccah wrote:Also, in case I said I loved the 2010 Shiloh Chard more than or equal to the Castel C, I meant the 2011 Shiloh Card.

Thanks, haven't tasted the Shiloh '11.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Elie Poltorak » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:41 pm

Joshua London wrote:
Elie Poltorak wrote:...as this year (at least as the wines were showing in NY) was weaker than the past couple years, with few new and exciting offerings. But your general sentiment is certainly correct: The kosher wine world has matured and we have a great array of top-quality CS, merlot, CF, Syrah/Shiraz, SB, and chardonnay. What we sorely lack are the other varietals. You rightly mention PN, but a decent kosher, dry Riesling is even harder to find.


Hi Elie,
Why "weaker"? Agreed that there were fewer "new" offerings, and I guess "exciting" is a relative term, but I actually thought it a fairly strong showing. Not sure I'd argue the point too strongly, but I thought many of the wines that were the same vintages as previously available were drinking better than before. As for decent kosher dry Riesling, did you try the new Hagafen offering? Not sure what your expectations are for "decent", but I thought it was great, even exciting.
All best,
Josh


Josh:
When I go to a tasting, the primary purpose is to taste new wines--not more of the same. Sure it's nice to see how some older wines have developed, but that's only the case for a handful of wines that were poured. Other than the incredible Flam Reserves, there really wasn't all that much new to get excited about.
I tried the Hagafen Riesling and it was nice but I don't think it's great. The Willm is the only great Riesling I've ever had.
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Re: Los Angeles IFWF 2013

Postby Joshua London » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Fair enough. To each their own.
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