How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Michael P » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am

Adam,

I am in agreement with you - these are good and important topics for this forum. Thank you for starting this thread.

I decided to taste a 2004 Yarden Merlot Ortal Vineyard over the weekend in an effort to add another opinion on how the wine is drinking. This bottle was purchased at a US retailer and stored in perhaps decent conditions. I found it is drinking fine. As well balanced as the wine has ever been, yet still showing clear berry fruit. Deep purple with no brown showing. Whatever left of previous tannins were mild, at most. Overall, drinking quite well, in fact the best Israeli wine I've had in quite some time. I'm not sure I'd say this wine will make it until 2018, but at a minimum another 1-2 years.

I plan to taste some other Yarden Single Vineyards over the next two weeks, and if can find my Recanati Special Reserves, those too. With a greater sample size, I hope to come to a personal conclusion.

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:43 am

Thanks, Micheal. Very interesting and I hope I didn't scare you too much into prematurely popping open one of your Ortals! I'm sincerely pleased that your stock appears to be faring well. May I ask which type of storage facility/fridg you use?
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Michael P » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:56 am

Adam,

My pleasure! The wine is quite enjoyable right now. I'd add that at first glance, Rogov's drinking window does appear optimistic, although not overly so. Certainly this wine should be at peak into 2015.

As noted, the wine was purchased at a US retailer, storage conditions unknown. The wine was then stored outside a cellar for approximately 18 months, in various conditions, none appropriate for wine storage, but none that would absolutely render the wine undrinkable. Since that time, the wine has been stored in a proper wine cellar.

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:07 am

Very interesting. I'm tempted to call you lucky...but sometimes it's better to be lucky. Me and my $3K+ Eurocave I guess have been unlucky...
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Pinchas L » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:14 pm

Hi Adam,

My response to the question as it is posed in this thread's title, is that I don't know, since I never paid much attention to them, and I definitely never took them seriously. But to respond to the larger issues raised by this thread, with regards to Yarden in particular, I've found the drinking windows, borrowing a term from finance, to be crossed, in the sense that the end time comes before the begin time. What I mean is that by the time the oak recedes significantly to the point it no longer dominates, the other components either show flawed or have disintegrated. I concede that this is a very subjective claim, but I think that those that like dominant oak flavors will like Yarden wines, and they will probably like them even when they are relatively young, and those that don't like wines with a dominant oak profile will never get to appreciate Yarden's wines, regardless of how long those wines are aged. In fact with age, many of their wines taste worse, to me, than in their infancy, since once the facade of oak is peeled it reveals not a very pretty face, one that is wrinkled like a date and a fig. I will admit to not investing the time and effort to run a full range of experiments. But this would be quite an expensive experiment, and one that will consume way too much of my time and money. However, I am running one a small scale. I have an '04 Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as two Merlots: one an Ortal '04 and another a Kela '06. I'll taste them over the next year, and see for myself. What I don't like are the Yarden apologists who respond to any critical comment by saying that perhaps if the wine were stored a bit longer it would eventually come around. There comes a point, when one should conclude that they don't like the style of a particular winery, and move on. There is no point in forcing the issue.

Best,
-> Pinchas
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:14 pm

Pinchas L wrote: What I don't like are the Yarden apologists who respond to any critical comment by saying that perhaps if the wine were stored a bit longer it would eventually come around. There comes a point, when one should conclude that they don't like the style of a particular winery, and move on. There is no point in forcing the issue.


Hi Pinchas - Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your point quoted above. I think that I may even be guilty of having made that statement on this forum once or twice. To the extent that this axiom (that further cellar will normalize flavors and balance) is true, I am finding that there are limits and possibly even variable results with the same wine that should possibly caution against holding out this hope...
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby lewis.pasco » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:20 pm

Erev Pesach, and the bottle of 2005 RSR I found 3 weeks ago has disappeared from my MIL's cupboard, bummer. On the plus side though I went down to her half basement machsan and found 2 x 2004 Merlot Reserve, 1 2004 RSR, and 3 x 2005 RSRs. There is a caveat re all the RSRs - they are not regular wines from the bottling like the found and disappeared bottle was. They are bottles recovered from the lab samples we took during bottling, and would have been exposed to a full saturation of oxygen during the day off bottling, rather than the 1 ppm O2 pickup than normally bottled wines would have been on our state-of-the-art minimal O2 bottling.

On top of that difference, the 2005 RSR I just opened and tasted was corked with a synthetic plastic co-extrusion method Nomacork that we used for Jasmine White and Red and IIRC the Sauv Blancs - never on a Reserve Red.... It would surely have transmitted more O2 from the air into the wine during the past 5 years. Both wines have been stored, for years, corks up.

The 2004 RSR is drinking very well BUT it is a fully mature red and I wouldn't store it any longer if I had some more in my cellar. A bro-in-law who drinks non-kosher wines and has traveled to Spain quite recently fully preferred the 2004 RSR to the 2005 right now - what did Chaim say? Riojas never die they just change... We had a 15 year old Rioja at his house just a few weeks ago and the 2004 RSR is a chick compared with that baby.... But I wouldn't hold it longer. I drink wine, at least partly, to taste FRUIT.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby lewis.pasco » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:33 pm

Ok that was harsh, probably. The wine has plenty of fruit in the mouth but the nose (bouquet truly at this point) has bugged me for years about this wine. It should be less oxidative/oxidized. The ,rim was a rich brick for a few mm, the center still deeply garnet, the tannins all but gone but the wine still has plenty of rich fruity body and the oak - pretty damn prominent in all vintages of the RSR since it was always aged in 100% NFO, has resolved to be part of the wine completely - it is NOT a separate element.

(Aside, for those who will try my 1st release of Pasco next year please understand that the oak will take a year or 2 beyond the 8-9 months bottle age it will have by release to be fully integrated.)
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Or Shoham » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:42 pm

lewis.pasco wrote:A friend has a 2006 Reserve Cab Franc that has been stored in Israel since it's market release, and I should be tasting that soon if he wasn't kidding me.

From this evening's one-bottle sample - drink up. It's not over the hill, but I would say it's taking its first steps into the down slope. Everyone loved the nose on this, but the fruit has receded a little from what I remember when I last had this wine a little over a year ago, and it's starting to show a very mild sour-cherry note that I could do without, but which nobody else noticed (maybe it's just me). This is a bottle purchased directly from the winery and stored in good conditions ever since, so any bottles with suspect storage may be questionable at this point. I've found another bottle of this (I thought it was the 2008 but turns out I was wrong), which will presumably be opened in the coming days or weeks based on these results.

I don't feel that I have anywhere near the level of expertise of most of this forum's regulars and have only been aging wine for a handful of years, but thus far I've rarely found a wine where Rogov's window misled me into waiting too long. The examples that do come to mind won't mean much to the forumites, since this is now almost exclusively a kosher wine crowd - but I had some issues with aging on Tulip's Just and Mostly wines (all from the pre-Kosher period - anything from the kosher period should still be drinking fine) and with some older Margalit wines picked up from unknown storage conditions. It's quite possible that this is simply bottle variation or poor storage, though. On the opposite end of the scale, the handful of wines I've waited on past Rogov's window have generally still been drinking well - but these are mostly "Drink now / Drink up" wines from last year that I've had over the past few months, so we're only talking about an extra year of aging. The occasional wine consumed on the last year of its drinking window (or when listed as "Drink up") has been a little past prime, but never to a degree where I'd say the wine is no longer enjoyable.

Regarding the Yarden SVs - I have access to a couple of 2006 Merlot Ortals that I know suffered from poor storage (stored for a while, but not too long, in what passes for a cool cupboard in Israel). If I get a chance, I'll try and have one of those open, perhaps compared with a 2004 Ortal Merlot (purchased from a trustworthy retailer and well-stored) and report back at some point in the next few weeks.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:56 pm

hope everyone is having a pleasant and meaningful holiday. i wanted to report back on the condition of the wines that my family and i enjoyed over the past few days. took them all from my eurocave and have cellared since purchased:

2007 recanati special reserve - very solid drinking condition. (huge difference from the 2006 at this point based on my bottles) no signs of nearing past peak, though doesnt seem to have further improvement. an excellent wine and would encourage those who have this to start enjoying it!

2006 dalton mattatia - squarely within peak. rogov says until 2014 but this one i think it's not optimistic enough. i'd give it another 2-3 years at least. it also is drinking beautifully and would encourage people to start drinking.

2006 castel grand vin - rogov's window, which closes this year, is way too bearish hear. it didnt seem close to past peak. it is drinking beautifully, and i would guess that it could remain in peak for the next few years at least.

2006 yarden rom - this wine is entering its peak period for those who like their wines not youthful, and not necessarily mature, but, shall we say, in its adulthood. for those who like their wines on the youthful side, this wine is ready to start enjoying. for most, i think the wine needs another three years at least for the sweetness and power to integrate more fully (sorry, Pinchas, but this one WILL prove to be a great wine).

2004 yarden cabernet sauvgnon (magnum) - finely mature with no brick red rim. could last another 2-3 years at least. but it seems about as good as it is going to get, which is very good indeed. i purchased this from Skyview a couple of years ago; i believe that they got the exclusive from yarden when a random small allotment made it to the US. i believe that i paid just over $100 for the magnum, which i consider a good deal. the cork was dry and cracking, and there was a ton of sentiment; but as long as it was poured slowly, all was good.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Isaac Chavel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:20 pm

The 2004 RSR is drinking very well BUT it is a fully mature red and I wouldn't store it any longer if I had some more in my cellar ..... But I wouldn't hold it longer. I drink wine, at least partly, to taste FRUIT.


Mo'adim l'simcha.

We had the 2004 RSR yesterday in the AM, and it is drinking pretty much as Lewis described. Around the rim, brick colored, the nose almost nonexistent, but the fruit and other components are still there --- in balance! --- even if muted. Some left over this AM drank OK for a short while and then nose-dived. But, yesterday, it was still very enjoyable. I still have one 2006 RSR --- maybe I'll check on that one this Shabbat.

Happy "intermediate days."

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby lewis.pasco » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:54 pm

Hi Isaac - good to see you had the same notes from an exported bottle. Although as noted, mine was a lab sample refill hand corked. I didn't get around to the TN of the 2005 with the cheap plastic cork. It was still considerably fresher than the 2004 - visually the brick rim was considerably narrower and the ruby center more pure ruby and less brownish red. It had markedly more fruit (better vintage and barrel handling) and was holding brighter fruit and acid. The 2005 was also a higher % of Cab Sauv - something like 95% CS from a single vineyard block IIRC - and that too would favor a longer bottle aging life. But it wasn't even close to the same condition as the "real" bottled 2005 'RSR I had a few months ago.

Funnily enough, two guests at our seder table (out of 28 total!) preferred the 2004 to the 2005. One guy I understand, he likes really old wines. Recently we drank a 90-something (97 or 98) Rioja Reserva at his home, and while I enjoyed it I definitely found it to be past it's peak - he less so. My wife too preferred the 2004 - I suppose because it's tannins were near nil!

We also found and drank a 2004 Recanati Merlot Reserve, and it had gone to a "better place."
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Joshua London » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:03 pm

Gut Moed,
I haven't finished perusing this thread, much less the forum, since whatever my last posting was (pre-Pesach), but this thread seems very interesting and I did just drink a bottle of RSR 2004. Two actually. Both had been immaculately stored, if I do say so myself, since I bought them new, whenever that vintage was being rolled out in the states. I honestly thought I had none left when I found what I thought was a lone bottle, but it turns out I had two (and one less RSR 2005 than I had thought). MY own tasting notes suggested it would be just at its peak last year (I figured a 7-8 year drinking window). So I figured I had missed opening this bottle in its prime.

I planned to open it for yontif, hoping that it'd still have enough life in it to enjoy with brisket. It was one of the wines I poured at our first seder during the meal. It was fabulous. The nose had softened almost to nothingness, just a delicate hint of wine and fruit -- but the wine itself was lovely, fully matured, but still refreshing and even lively, in a subtle, slightly, muted way -- fruit and spice still there, tannins were gone, yet a sense of balanced structure remained. The wine paired nicely with the brisket and even rendered the hand made shmurah matzah more palatable. By popular consensus, my second and last bottle was consumed as well. The second bottle was equally good, largely the same with maybe a tad more nose and quite a bit more sediment. A fitting final performance for two fine bottles of fully mature wine.

[As a side note, we also went through two bottles of the 2000 Capcanes Peraj Ha'Abib, two bottles of the Hagafen Brut 2007 Cuvee Noirs, and a bottle of the Shirah Bro Deux 2010 that night, and lots of Kedem grapejuice for those who couldn't drink alcohol. Even though the Shirah showed well and was much appreciated, it frankly seemed a little out of its league. Having not had it previously, I didn't know what to expect -- my bad.]

All best,
Josh
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:46 pm

Hi Joshua - Thanks for your reply to this post. You feedback as well as the feedback from Lewis and others demonstrate the the 04 vintage of the Recanati SR has some real staying power. Glad to hear this, as it is consistent with the degree to which this wine was celebrated upon release. Enjoy the rest of your wine list for the balance of the holiday and please do post any feedback on this thread of any wines the longevity of which surprised you one way or another. Best, Adam
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby lewis.pasco » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:12 pm

A bit earlier I promised also that I would report back on a Recanati 2006 Reserve Cabernet Franc, a bottle that has been in the possession of a winegrower friend who bought the bottle directly from the winery and stored it underground beneath his rural home. So it's not absolutely temperature controlled but it is a nice cool mostly damp space.

Again credit for the final finishing of this wine goes to Gil Shattsberg and Ido Levinson and in this case I full mean credit because they did a great job with it - better than I would have - by very minimally filtering it. The wine is therefore not brilliantly clear, but it was in GREAT shape, right at peak at almost 6.5 years from harvest with tons of life in it, great color, still carrying the signature aroma of herbs and cassis atop red-black fruits, oak fully integrated to the point of utter seamlessness of its (the oak's) warm spice notes contribution.

An excellent wine,and very, very, very CAB FRANC in character. It could pass for a top red from Chinon or Bougeuil, and I could break an elbow patting myself on the back for it in sunny Israel, in a vintage year I had only ONE CF vineyard block to make CF from properly as a red wine...

Someone above wrote "drink up" for their last bottle of Recanati Reserve 2006 CF, and this bottle was very different from that assessment. The total volume of that wine couldn't have been more than a single bottling day, so I doubt bottle variation would be a factor, more likely shipping or storage.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Or Shoham » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:23 pm

lewis.pasco wrote:Someone above wrote "drink up" for their last bottle of Recanati Reserve 2006 CF, and this bottle was very different from that assessment. The total volume of that wine couldn't have been more than a single bottling day, so I doubt bottle variation would be a factor, more likely shipping or storage.

The bottle in question was purchased from the winery, picked up in person, and kept in good storage conditions (I've had no issues whatsoever with any of the other wines purchased on the same trip). I'll write it off as difference of opinion, and certainly bow to your greater expertise and experience in these matters. Would you suggest it can stand significant additional cellaring, or are we arguing the difference between "Drink up" and "Drink now"?

As an aside, while I have no bottles of the 2006 left, I know someone who does (they got one from me as a gift, and still have it) - if I am invited when that one is opened, I'll report back.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:46 pm

We opened a 2006 Yatir Shiraz and 2006 Yarden Avital Slopes Syrah this past Shabbat. I can happily report that both are drinking beautifully.

I purchased the Yatir in Israel exactly 3 years ago and brought it back with me to NY.
I purchased the Yarden immediately upon release in the US a couple of years ago.

The Yatir Shiraz was showing its characteristic cigar box particularly stoutly, which suggests to me that it still has a good couple of years for that dominant flavor to integrate even further (two others bottles of the same wine that I have enjoyed over the last fews months seemed, to me, to be further along the way of this further integration.)

I was pleasantly surprised with the Yarden given the problems that I have been having with the Yonatan syrah from the same vintage. I purchased each of these syrah's immediately upon release in the US. The Avital syrah showed no signed of pre-mature maturing. Having said this, the wine is very ready to drink and don't see it progressing too much further. So those who have some might consider starting to drink them...
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby lewis.pasco » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:59 pm

Or - it is the (not insignificant) difference between "drink now" and "drink up". Personally I don't care much for the phrase "drink up"because to my mind it could apply equally to a wine that just passed it's peak 6 months ago but is still itself OR is drinking like a fine old wine but has lost some of it's unique identity (all old reds taste alike at some point) or is just a step shy of the vinegar reclamation barrel...

Your previous post about the 2006 Recanati CF Reserve and your last one have contradictory comments re your ownership of another bottle of the 2006 CF Res among your stock. Do you (or don't you) have another bottle stored under the exact same conditions?

Anyway I would be most curious to hear your description of it from another bottle - the prior description was quite eloquent.

I also found your comments about 'older' (much older, really) Margalit reds to be quite accurate in my limited experience tasting them. None of the few that I'd tasted held up anywhere near DR's drinking windows for them... I think that changed quite markedly at some point point in time, but I couldn't put a finger on when exactly.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Isaac Chavel » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:06 am

As I mentioned on Harry's Shabbat thread, we had the 2006 Recanati RSR and it was just fine. Thought I'd repeat it here for the "record."

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:08 am

Thanks, Isaac. Glad to hear this. Out of curiosity, was there any of the SR left over the next day or did you finish it at one sitting?
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Isaac Chavel » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:10 am

Half Friday night and half Shabbat AM. I vacu-vined overnight, although, not obsessively. It costed a bit in the intensity of the aroma, but, otherwise, it drank nicely Shabbat morning as well.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Or Shoham » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:19 pm

lewis.pasco wrote:Or - it is the (not insignificant) difference between "drink now" and "drink up". Personally I don't care much for the phrase "drink up"because to my mind it could apply equally to a wine that just passed it's peak 6 months ago but is still itself OR is drinking like a fine old wine but has lost some of it's unique identity (all old reds taste alike at some point) or is just a step shy of the vinegar reclamation barrel...

Your previous post about the 2006 Recanati CF Reserve and your last one have contradictory comments re your ownership of another bottle of the 2006 CF Res among your stock. Do you (or don't you) have another bottle stored under the exact same conditions?

As I said in my original post - I think this is a wine that is on the balance between "peak" and "starting to fade" - it hasn't faded yet, but feels like it is taking the first step in that direction. There's probably a few months before it gets to the point you describe as "drink up", so I think we're victim to a difference of semantics more so than a difference of opinion. My experience has been that Rogov's drinking window for Recanati reserve wines is about a year short, but that's based on very limited experience, as I am relatively new to the cellaring world and the oldest wines I was able to obtain and cellar to/past Rogov's window have been the 2004 Reserve wines.

I do not own any additional bottles of the 2006 Cab Franc Reserve, but as I said, I know someone who has a bottle left (which they received from me as a gift about two years ago, if memory serves). As I bought it and stored it for a while, and as I know they have adequate storage conditions, I expect that bottle to show similar to the one opened over passover. However,I can't be sure that I'll get a chance to taste it (I've put in a request for an invitation) - if I do, I will report back.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby Adam M » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:15 pm

some additional wines tried during the holiday:

2007 Yarden Yonatan Syrah - this bottle was actually in much better drinking condition than the first bottle that I tried a week or so ago (that gave me much consternation). But the wine didn't do much for me; it was very powerful and fruit forward, and it seemed to get more astringent with the passing hours. But the next day, it was, according to my wife, like cognac.

2007 Yarden Avital Slope Syrah - enjoyable through and through. Reminded me a lot of the Ortal. I look forward to drinking my other bottles within the next year or so ( I may save one for a few years just as a test; but for reliable results I will drink my others over the next 1-2 years)

2009 Domain Netofa Latour - very nice. drinking very well and even better the next day. Really like this wine.

2011 Landsman Pinot - for me, this was the best within a couple of hours of opening the bottle. By the next day, it tasted a little like cheap wine.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

Postby ChaimShraga » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:13 pm

A year and a half after Rogov's passing, and sometimes I still feel like I'm steeping into a wake, so I don't know how explicit I can allow myself to be - but I never really trusted Rogov's drinking windows, except for Bordeaux, but then again many of the known Bdx chateaus have such an established record that you could phone a review in with good odds to hit it right.

I think Pinchas hit it right regarding the prominence of oak in Yarden wines. To me, it was obvious for quite a few years that Rogov held oak in too high a regard, despite his statements to the contrary.

What I don't get is, a lot of you buy a good quantity of each wine (to be blunt, that makes sense, as you have less of an available selection than an agnostic such as I, therefore more free budget and more available fridge space for duplicate purchases). Why not just follow up and figure it out?

Having said that, the antipathetic meanie in me is quite glad that Adam brought it up.
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