Some tasting notes

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

Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:46 am

Some notes from last night's dinner:

Domaine du Castel, Rosé 2012: Big deception here! I really loved the 2009 and 2011 releases of Castel's rosé and I had high expectations from the 2012 vintage. Well, this is quite a serious letdown. As with the 2011, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Very light pink in color with on the nose some cherries and rose petals. Light-bodied with cherries, strawberries and rose water, good acidity and a short finish. Not a bad wine but a very simple, boring rosé lacking the complexity and highly pleasant aromatics of the previous releases that certainly doesn't justify its ridiculously high price (110 shekel - $30).

Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint Julien 2002: WOW! I mean WOW! M-I-N-D B-L-O-W-I-N-G WINE! This is one of the best wines I've had the luck to enjoy. I was told by several members of this forum that the 2002 wasn't the best and that lowered my expectations but this was a truly magnificent experience. I decanted it for about 2 hours but it kept opening up and developed more in the glass over the course of the meal.
Super dark, inky purple with on the nose warm scents of cassis, blackberries, cigar tobacco, mocha and a very pleasant hint of barnyard funk. Full-bodied, very lively and deeply extracted with on the palate and coming layers after layers notes of creamy ripe and smooth cassis, sweet blackberries, loamy dirt, licorice, toasted cedar, espresso, a hint of spice, with superb, balanced acidity and tannins that gently rise and coat throughout the palate with melting dark chocolate covered cherries on a very long, smooth and elegant finish. Throwing just a little bit of sediments, most were found at the bottom of the carafe. While being without a doubt within its drinking window, such structure and balance should allow this wine to develop more and live for a fair number of years.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:01 pm

Enjoyed a nice summer dinner with friends tonight with a bunch of good wines and other alcoholic beverages.

Following are a few tasting notes:

Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: Dark garnet with on the nose blackberries, cassis, roasted herbs, leather and spices. Full-bodied, with again lots of black fruit including blackberries, cassis, plums with light notes of roasted herbs and a meaty taste with nice tannins and good acid on a long and plush finish. Quite a nice CabSav for sure.

Ella Valley, Syrah 2007: Dark royal purple with on the nose ripe blackberries, plums, raspberries, leather and chocolate. Full-bodied and well-extracted with on the palate ripe black and red berries as well as a hint of blueberries, then showing a noticeable amount of saddle leather with plums, spices and vanilla as well as cigar box, dark chocolate with nice tannins lingering on the round and long finish. Delightful.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:04 am

I was reminded to post the following:

It was a long-time dream of mine to get an opportunity to taste the highly praised wines of Domaine Roses Camille in Bordeaux and I was given that opportunity (huge) thanks to 2 valuable forumites from Los Angeles and San Diego over my last trip to California 3 months ago.

For those who might need me to refresh their memory, Domaine Roses Camille is a small estate boutique winery in the prestigious region of Pomerol in Bordeaux (e.g. Vieux Château Certan, Clos L'Eglise, La Croix de Gay, La Conseillante and, of course, Pétrus) established by winemaker Christophe Bardeau, formerly assistant winemaker at the prestigious neighboring Château L'Eglise-Clinet and by Nicholas Ranson who is jewish and observant (and has recently immigrated to Israel). Produced in very limited quantities with about 900 and 1800 bottles for the first 2 vintages, respectively, in 2005 and 2006 that were made entirely kosher.

The first release in 2005 received the "title" of best kosher Bordeaux wine and a score of 95 by the late Rogov z.l. and has gained almost immediately such recognition and acclaim to a point it found its way only to some of the most prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants in France such as La Tour d'Argent in Paris and Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo as well as to the most exclusive wine shops in Europe and the US. In 2011, Bardeau and Ranson decided to make again a kosher vintage together with the release of the second wine of the winery, Echo de Roses Camille.

As with most Pomerol wines, Domaine Roses Camille is made almost entirely with Merlot and a little bit of Cabernet Franc (about 2-5%), a blend practically identical to Pétrus.

Domaine Roses Camille, Pomerol, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal purple with on the nose black and red forest berries as well as hints of earth and floral notes, toasted oak and chocolate. Full-bodied and concentrated with on the palate ribbons of raspberries, blackberries, forest spring scents with notes of cracked pepper, juicy red plums, eucalyptus, pipe tobacco and baker's chocolate on the long, rich finish with bracing and balanced acid and an impressive tannic structure that's wrapped all around and coating the mouth indicating that this wine is not going anywhere anytime soon. Still über young with an amazing structure the kind I have very rarely come across. Outstanding wine by all accounts.

RE-Tasting 11/16/13:

Domaine Roses Camille, Pomerol 2006: I should start by saying that this was some sort of test to check whether the wine had suffered from its trip from France to Israel a few weeks ago and if it was in travel shock. So, unless you have invested in a case or so, don't do that at home as this wine is here for the very long haul and is still a good 3-4 years if not more from entering its drinking window. I opened the bottle Friday night at 11 PM. At 8AM the following morning I carefully poured the wine into a decanter and let it sit like that till we started lunch at 12noon. That did the trick. Had I not done that, the wine would have remained closed, imprisoned in its impressive and thick cage of tannins. While this was the second time I tasted this wine, it was actually the first time for me really drinking it and being exclusive with it. This wine might well be the closest thing to Château Petrus that many of us drinking only kosher wine will ever be able to enjoy. And that's not a complaint as this wine is extraordinary, a true and rare masterpiece and most certainly one of the 3-5 best kosher wines in the world.

Having said all that, time for another follow-up tasting note.

Super dark garnet in color with on the nose slightly jammy raspberries and blackberries with earthy notes of wet forest floor, spring flowers, oak and chocolate. Full-bodied, extracted with multiple layers of flavors showing on first attack notes of wild, freshly picked raspberries and blackberries, dark juicy plums followed on the mid-palate by refreshing eucalyptus and basil with pipe tobacco, bracing core acidity, loamy dirt, black pepper and with a touch of roasted coffee beans with backer's chocolate and a substantial, elegant robe of expressive tannins wrapping the mouth on a seemingly endless finish. Glorious. 13.5% Abv.

Domaine Roses Camille, Echo de Roses Camille, Pomerol, 2011: Dark cherry-purple with on the nose raspberries, cassis, cedar wood and a hint of bitter cocoa. Rather full-bodied with on the palate again raspberries but also strawberries and candied violets followed by some dark bitter cocoa, licorice, crème de cassis and toasted wood, vibrant acidity here also with notes of loamy dirt and chocolate with searing, intense tannins lingering on a very long finish. Very refined as well, definitely worthy of its Roses Camille label. Also extremely young (well, it's also 5 years younger than the aforementioned "grand vin"...) though might not age as long as its older brother, time will tell of course but I will certainly not be surprised if this wine will still live 15-20 years if not even more.

It is always a pleasure to discover wines of this caliber, especially when they also happen to be kosher. Many many thanks AB and JT!

Best,

GG
Last edited by Gabriel Geller on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:43 pm

A few more tasting notes from the past few weeks.

As well, as every year I've attended the Jerusalem Wine Festival at the Israel Museum on the first 2 days and tasted thru all the wines except for a very few that I have intentionally skipped either because I had already tasted them or because they didn't seem appealing to me for some reason (not being a paid/professional wine reviewer has also its perks! :) ). However it will take some time until I edit, break down and post all those notes and in some cases I'd also like to retaste some of the wines in a more quiet and appropriate setting prior to making a final "judgement" (score-wise, I post these on cellartracker).

Ramot Naftaly, Barbera 2011: Aged 10 months in new french barrels. Bright purple with on the nose smoked wood, raspberries, plums, wet forest floor and vanilla. Medium-bodied with on the palate fresh forest berries, loamy dirt, red juicy plums, bracing acid, smoked wood, roasted coffee beans, spicy chocolate and soft caressing tannins on the long finish. Similar in many ways to the 2010 release but a bit thinner in body. Having said that, I recall having had the same experience when I first tasted the 2010 in November 2011 and watched it evolve significantly with regards to both body and complexity over the past 2 years so I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing happening with the 2011. A fascinating wine that I'm very fond of.

Teperberg, Terra, Malbec 2011: Aged 12 months in oak barrels. Deep garnet towards purple with on the nose blueberries, black cherries, lavender, dark plums and hints of wild mushrooms. Medium, perhaps medium to full-bodied with on the palate juicy black, blue and red fruit including ripe plum, blackberries, black cherries and touches of ripe blueberries, cinnamon, nice minerals, licorice and cedar with notes of minted chocolate, bracing acid and mouth-coating tannins on a long finish. Fantastic QPR (less than 60 shekel in Israel = $17)! One of the best Malbec I've ever tasted, a bit more restrained and flowery compared with the 2010 Yarden that's riper and oakier.

Carmel, Kayoumi Vineyard, Shiraz 2006: Aged 15 months in french oak barrels, Dark inky purple with on the nose intense ripe cherries, blackberries, plums, moka and smoked wood. Full-bodied and extracted with on the palate ripe red and black fruit such as plums, cherries, blackberries as well as hints of dried cranberries, pencil shavings, tobacco, smoked meat and a touch of vanilla with well-balanced acidity and caressing, near-sweet tannins on the long, smooth and mouth-filling finish. A true joy that has still easily 3-4 years left in its legs. While I do not take such accolades into account and having not tasted even 0.5% of the 11,000 Shiraz/Syrah and other mediterranean varietal wines it competed with, I admit that I certainly do feel some pride as an Israeli citizen that this wine won best Shiraz in the world at London's Decanter Magazine awards in 2010.

Yatir Forest 2005: Took a very long time to open up and never stopped to evolve in the glass until the carafe was empty. Aged 14 months in (one third new) french oak barrels. Dark, almost black purple with on the nose concentrated ripe blackberries and blackcurrants, cedar box and roasted herbs with a touch of black olives. Full-bodied and brooding with on the palate loads of ripe black fruit with a touch of somewhat jammy bilberries, cigar tobacco, greek olives, and roasted mediterranean herbs with superb acidity shining thru and tannins that gently smoothen out, elegantly caressing the palate on a plush and very long finish. As opposed to many of my israeli wine-insiders friends, while immensely enjoyable now I believe this wine still has quite a few more years ahead of it and there should be no rush to finish any leftover bottles if well-stored.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby David Raccah » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:13 pm

Totally 100% agree with GG on the teperberg Malbec, 2011. We both tasted it at the winery and it rocks! I cannot wait for it to get here, I have no deep interest in the 2010 Malbec from Teperberg.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:29 am

Last night, I had the privilege to enjoy one of the best israeli wines ever and it was impressive how well it was doing 17 years (!) past vintage.

GHW, Yarden, Katzrin 1996: Wow. It was very hard to believe how well this wine was doing at such a respectable age. Dark cherry red with on the nose cassis, cherries, raspberries with a touch of toasted oak and chocolate. Full-bodied, the palate features on first attack black and raspberries with a hint of cassis jam followed by cherries, a touch of tar and a pleasant herbal bitterness with more cassis, still impressive almost chewy tannins and quite decent acidity with dark chocolate and fresh pipe tobacco lingering on the long finish. What surprised me as well the wine is throwing very little sediment. Kudos to Victor Schoenfeld and his team. I believe this wine will hold another 2-3 years before going down the hill but will most certainly not improve anymore.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:44 pm

Today I've tasted the following wine for the 1st time:

Karmei Yossef, Bravdo, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: Bordeaux red in color with on the nose green pepper, wet wood, a hint of cassis and plums. Medium, perhaps medium to full-bodied though lacking fruit extraction with on the palate acidic currants, plums and cherries as well as green beans with a rather high acidity showing through and searing, almost harsh tannins lingering with touches of toasted oak on a moderately long finish. I think this wine lacked balance and might have been made with underripe fruit that would explain the lack of extraction/richness and the over the top green notes that characterize this wine. It might as well be simply too young and unapproachable at this point so then time will tell.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:10 am

A couple notes before Sukkot:

Recanati, Special Reserve 2007: This is the last RSR harvested and vinified under Lewis Pasco's supervision while the final blend was made by his successor Gil Shatzberg and Ido Lewinsohn, the winery's second winemaker. This a classic Bordeaux-blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown in the Upper Galilee (following vintages are rather mediterranean blends as they contain as well Petite Sirah and Carignan) aged 18 months in french oak barrels. Dark garnet with on the nose cherries, raspberries and currants with notes of coffee, barnyard, oak and a hint of Brett. Full-bodied with on the palate ripe notes of red and black forest berries as well as cherries and plums with very good acid and integrating tannins, notes of espresso, green olives and roasted herbs on a long and elegant finish. Drinking very well now, I believe that it will retain its peak for another 3 or so years.

Barkan, Superieur, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: Made solely with Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 21 months in mostly french oak barrels. Dark garnet with a light purple hue, this well-made CabSav shows on the nose notes of raspberries, cassis, allspice and cigar box. Full-bodied and with fine concentration, the wine features on the palate more black than red fruit as well as tobacco, mocha, spicy oak and dark chocolate with fine acidity, soft and nearly sweet tannins on a long and juicy finish. Showing somewhat mature, I'd recommend to drink now any bottles left over as it will most certainly fall off the cliff in 2 years at best.

Chag sameach to all!

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:20 pm

I had this wine over Yom Haatzmaut, the State of Israel's independence day which this year was April the 16th. We had it with a number of other great wines and I'll also post the TNs for those wines at some point. I decanted it for a bit more than 2 hours.

Before the TN itself I'd like to say this might well have been the very best wine I've had, or at least drank, in my entire life. It totally blew me away and really taught me one or two things about wine in general, and high-end Bordeaux in particular. It truly showcases what structure means and how its quality and strength make it the main factor for a wine to properly and gracefully age for the long haul.

Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 2003: Deep, youthful dark garnet towards purple showing multiple layers of fascinating complexity on both the nose and palate as the wine slowly but elegantly opens up. The nose features concentrated notes of freshly picked black currants, blackberries, roasted herbs, luxurious cigars, pencil shavings as well as floral notes such as dried rose petals and violets. Full-bodied with great fruit extraction, the wine graces the palate with on first attack ripe black fruit, roasted herbs, a delicate touch of green with bell pepper and tobacco leaves followed on the mid-palate by graphite, bittersweet licorice, a touch of spice with well-balanced acidity and an intense, powerful tannic structure providing an impressively muscular, robust and mind-blowing backbone, unexpected hints of leather with almost sweet black forest fruits and distinctive notes of the finest swiss dark chocolate (think Lindt 85% cocoa) melting in the mouth on the long, luscious and (dare I say) orgasmic finish. This is a wine that IMHO can age and develop further with easily 8-10 more years if not even longer than that.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:34 pm

Lueria, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: Dark cherry red with a light purple hue, this medium-full bodied CabSav shows on both the nose and palate classic notes of cherries and cassis, light green notes of green pepper and herbs with a touch of pencil lead, nice acidity and still searing tannins on a moderately long finish. A bit young now, with its elements needing to settle down and come together. Better revisit this wine in 12-18 months.

Ella Valley, Merlot 2002: One of the winery's inaugural wines, this wine is made of 100% Merlot that was aged for 13 months in French oak barrels. I expected this wine to be DOA, but while it was a bit over its peak it showed beautiful scents of raspberries, plums and eucalyptus. Medium to full-bodied the palate features more red and black fruit with touches of wet dirt, herbs and fermented cherries, the tannins are fully integrated and nice acidity was still there to keep things interesting, the finish is moderately long with notes of pomegranate.

Gat Shomron, 24K Iced Wine Viognier 2011: This is a very unique, delicious and special dessert wine that must be served ice cold as its sweetness might otherwise well be cloying. Bright gold in color with green and orange reflections with on the nose ripe peaches and dried apricots as well as fresh and aromatic spring flowers such as honeysuckle. Full-bodied, the palate features more dried apricots, ripe peaches, honey, orange blossom, mangoes and guava, very good acidity that still isn't sufficient to bear the sweetness on its own and with a long, smooth and mouth-filling finish showing light hints of sweet bitterness with notes of yellow grapefruit, candied citron peels and vanilla beans.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:32 pm

This past Sunday morning, I was at Teperberg winery in Kibbutz Tzora together with David Raccah, there to meet with winemakers Shiki Rauchberger and Olivier Fratty. Thank God, despite the giant mess that followed the snow storm in Jerusalem and its surroundings we were able to leave the city without any problems and be back on time for the Roses Camille dinner. Because of a tight schedule and the unusually low temperatures, Olivier and Shiki decided to do a tasting constituted only of red wines and almost exclusively those of the winery's premium labels Reserve, Special Reserve and Limited Edition. The Special Reserve is Teperberg's brand new and soon to be released flagship Bordeaux-blend and the Limited Edition is the new Cabernet Franc that the winery recently released in Israel.

Teperberg, Meritage 2012: A Bordeaux-blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot aged for 8 months in french oak barrels. Dark cherry red with on the nose and palate blueberries, ripe cherries, roasted meat and herbs with nice acidity, vanilla toasted oak and green, leafy bitterness with mellow tannins on the moderately long finish. Nice and well-balanced, excellent QPR at about 55 nis ($15). 13,5% Abv.

Teperberg, Terra, Malbec 2012: Dark garnet towards purple and medium to full-bodied with on the nose and palate animal and floral notes of meat and violets, blue and black fruit, very nice though slightly lower acidity than the 2011 vintage, hints of sweet cedar and chocolate with chewy tannins on the long finish. 13,5% Abv.

Teperberg, Reserve, Merlot 2010: Dark garnet with on the nose notes of freshly picked blueberries, raspberries and a bit of spice. Full-bodied with great fleshy blue and red fruit on first attack followed by almost sweet fresh blackberries and spice, fine acidity with good tannins rising and coating the mouth on the moderately long finish. 13% Abv.

Teperberg, Reserve, Merlot 2011: Dark red with a purple hue with on the nose ripe blackberries and black plums with notes of dried raspberries, herbs and hints of animal notes. Full-bodied with lots of black and red fruit, Mediterranean herbs, green tobacco leaves, vanilla and toasted oak with very good acidity shining through and searing tannins on the very long finish.

Teperberg, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Deep red with purple reflections with rich classic CabSav nose of ripe cassis, blackberries, cherries and tobacco. Full-bodied, rich and layered with much of the same as on the nose as well as notes of dark chocolate and oak with nice tannins rising on a very long, mouth-filling finish.

Teperberg, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: Very dark garnet with on the nose green bell pepper, herbs and black fruit. Full-bodied with on the palate juicy black and blueberries as well as pepper, tart cherries and great, almost biting acidity, juicy with brilliant notes of leafy pipe tobacco and searing tannins on a long and rich finish.

Teperberg, Limited Edition, Cabernet Franc 2010: Dark cherry red with light green notes and tart red fruits, a bit of heat on the nose. Full-bodied with sour, acidic cherries, graphite and tobacco with nice acidity and mellow tannins lingering on a long finish. Quite full-bodied for a Cabernet Franc, really nice wine.

Teperberg, Limited Edition, Cabernet Franc 2011: Very deep red with on the nose plenty of red fruits and herbs but almost without any green notes. Even fuller in body than the 2010 with plenty of cherries and raspberries as well as graphite and minerals with great, bracing acidity and a touch of toasted oak with searing tannins on the long finish.

Teperberg, Reserve, Petit Verdot 2011: Garnet with a purple robe with on the nose toasted oak, black and raspberries. Medium to full-bodied with juicy red and black fruits that including raspberries, red cherries and plums, with nice, balanced acidity and mouth-coating tannins on the long finish. An excellent Petit Verdot!

We also tasted the 2012 Reserve Merlot as well as the 2009 flagship Bordeaux-blend. However, since these wines were barrel sample (the Merlot) and haven't been yet released (the Bodeaux-blend) I will not post the TNs here at this point.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:41 pm

agree on the QPR of the Meritage and of course the Malbec is the best buy for Malbecs in the Kosher arena.
Yes the Cab Franc had a lot of little nuances that I did not expect.. Pulling out or extracting a lot of flavor and range... For sure excited that so many good Francs are coming from Israel in general.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:01 pm

I enjoyed these two wines side by side last week, a great experience!

Château Giscours, Margaux 2003: Dark cherry red with royal purple at the rim showing on the nose black olives, wet forest floor and plenty of red berries. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate more raspberries, juicy sour cherries, olives, loamy dirt and graphite with notes of black truffles and tobacco, nice but somewhat restrained acidity and mouth-drying tannins that rise on the long finish. Excellent, at its peak but should continue to drink well for the next 2-3 or so years. 13% Abv.

Hagafen, Prix Réserve, Mélange 2006: This fantastic wine is a gift that was offered to me by a forumite. He will certainly recognize himself and I take this opportunity for thanking him again. This Bordeaux blend is quite an interesting wine as it calls to mind indeed more the Left Bank wines of Bordeaux than Napa Valley. Dark, almost impenetrable garnet with a nose that's at first quite austere but opens up to reveal expressive notes of dark forest fruits as well as a touch of toasted oak, barnyard and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, the palate features concentrated notes of black fruits, leafy tobacco, minerals with on the mid-palate black plums and hints of pencil lead, bracing acidity and firm, searing tannins that linger long with dark chocolate on the finish. The structure is impressive with great balance between the fruit, bracing acidity and firm tannins, this wine isn't yet at its peak IMHO, has still quite a few years ahead of it and will likely improve further. 13.5% Abv.


Best,

GG
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Re: Tasting Pierre Miodownick's wines

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:56 pm

Last Sunday, David Raccah and myself were hosted by Simcha and Pierre Miodownick at their lovely house in Mitzpe Netofa, Lower Galilee, there to taste the latest releases and to be-released wines of Pierre's Netofa winery as well as some of the wines he made in Europe. Just as a reminder, for close to 30 years and to this day, Pierre is and has been also the winemaker for most of the French, Spanish and Portuguese wines produced, exported and distributed by Royal Wine Corp.-Kedem (Pontet-Canet, Porto Cordovero, Léoville Poyferré, Ramon Cardova etc).

As that night, 5 Shvat, was also the jahrzeit of Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, the Ba'al HaSfat Emet, we dedicated to his memory and for the elevation of his soul the tasting and the great meal that followed cooked by Simcha, Pierre's wife, that constituted of a delicious Boeuf Bourguignon and an amazing tarte aux poires (pear pie).

We first tasted the new Netofa wines of the 2012 and 2013 vintages:

Domaine Netofa, White 2013: Made as always with 100% Chenin Blanc, unoaked. Light gold in color with on the nose fresh citrus fruit, pears and pineapple. Medium-bodied with on the palate ripe pears, tart yellow grapefruit and a hint of pineapple reminiscent of the nose with a touch of heat that blows off with air and good acidity that rises on the average finish.

Netofa, Latour White 2012: Also made of 100% Chenin Blanc with a percentage of the wine that was aged in french oak barrels for a few months. Bright straw/gold with on the nose fresh white flowers, ripe citrus fruit and quince. Medium-bodied with a slight viscosity on the palate from the oak along notes of lemon fraiche, quince, stoney minerals, nice and well balanced acidity, kiwi and sweet herbs with a hint of tannins on the long finish.

Domaine Netofa, Rosé 2013: Light orange-pink in color made of 55% Syrah and 45% Mourvèdre. Light in body with on the nose and palate fresh strawberries, tart cherries, watermelon and rose petals with bracing acidity keeping the wine lively, refreshing and even complex to some extent, well-balanced.

Domaine Netofa, Rouge 2012: A blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Mourvèdre, aged 6 months in french oak barrels. Dark purple with on the nose black plums, violets, raw meat and freshly cracked pepper. Medium-bodied with on the palate black plums and cherries with floral notes of violets and spices, morels mushrooms and black pepper, a touch of loamy dirt and with nice acidity and tannins that linger with more earthy notes and black fruit on the long finish. IMHO, this is by far the best wine Netofa has ever released in its entry level series.

Netofa, Latour Rouge 2012: As always, also a blend of mostly Syrah blended with a significant (exact percentage missing in my notes) amount of Mourvèdre that spent about 12-14 months in french oak barrels. After lots of swirling in the glass the nose slowly opens up. Dark royal purple with on the nose black pepper, roasted meat, blackberries and plums with a touch of freshly brewed coffee and smoke. Full-bodied the palate features blackberries, plums and spices with notes of wet forest floor, truffles and roasted coffee beans with bracing acidity and searing tannins that dry the mouth and seem far from integrating on the long finish. This will be quite an interesting wine to revisit in 1-2 years.

Netofa, Latour Rouge 2011: Only a bit more approachable than the 2012 but still showing more expressive than the first time I had it at the winery's event last July. Dark garnet towards purple with on the nose violets, charcoal, blackberries, plums and black pepper. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate spicy black cherries, crème de cassis, smoked meat and ripe plums with minerals, more blackberries and notes of earth with biting acid and mouth-coating tannins on the long finish. Still needs a good 9-12 months to become truly approachable.

Netofa, Tinto 2012: This was always a favorite of mine with the 2011 being my favorite so far. A blend of Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo (aka Tinta Roriz) aged 10 months in french oak barrels. Dark ruby in color with a light purple hue, on the nose red and black fruit with a hint of peach as well as pipe tobacco and spices. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate blackberries, tart cherries, licorice, a touch of peaches and apricots with tobacco, bracing acid, coffee and oriental spices with intense tannins lingering on the long and juicy finish. Delicious wine, this one is the better structured so far of the 3 vintages (2010-2012).

After the tasting of the full Netofa line up and before moving on to the delicious meal, Pierre brought over o the table the 2 surprises he had especially picked up for us. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the first bottle, one of the last 3 or 4 left of his stash.

Les Forges, Côtes de Beaune, Meursault 1987: A 26 year-old kosher Chardonnay from one of the most prestigious appellations of Bourgogne! A wine that Pierre made under his own M&G venture before it was taken over by Royal Wine shortly after. I was really concerned that the wine would be DOA but Pierre assured us that he opened and tasted it beforehand to make sure it was alive and in proper drinking conditions.
The color was an intense, shining gold with slightly green-ish reflections. On the nose beautiful floral notes of acacias, honeysuckle, asian pears and fresh, honeyed wild yellow plums (mirabelles) with a touch minerals. Medium to full-bodied and with a captivating texture combining roundness and oily viscosity from the oak, the palate features more sweet and fleshy mirabelles as well as juicy pears, gingerbread and almonds with hints of stoney minerals and notes of tarte tatin apple pie with still lively acidity supporting the wine through the long, round and elegant finish. That acidity kept things interesting and allowed the wine to remain fascinating throughout the meal, truly a fantastic experience and I can't thank Pierre enough for sharing that amazing bottle with us.

I believe that one has to taste as many wines as possible from different winemaking styles, growing regions etc to educate his/her palate. Each different wine is a lesson on its own but for me, this Meursault was worth 20 of those lessons (at least :) ).

Château Moulin Riche, Saint-Julien 2011: Moulin Riche is the sister property of Château Léoville Poyferré and the two estates are adjacent to each other. While it is often viewed as such, it isn't officially the second wine of Léoville Poyferré (that would be Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré). This wine is based on 58% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 37% Merlot and flushed out with 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is a dark purple with a garnet hue. On the nose blackberries, cassis, plums and spices as well as distinct note of barnyard funk and a charming touch of brett. Full-bodied, dense and well-extracted with on the palate lots of warm blackberries, cassis and a touch of ripe raspberries on first attack followed by black olives, graphite and loamy dirt with a pleasant note of bittersweet licorice and roasted herbs with bracing acidity and searing, powdery tannins along with baker's chocolate that lingers long on the polished and elegant finish. Great wine that has quite a good 8-10 years to go. 13.5% Abv.

What can I say, it was a lovely and memorable evening with great company, food and wine.

Best,

GG
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby David Raccah » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:05 pm

Great write up GG! The Moulin was sick! The Meursault was really nice, but the real winner to me was the one wine that was not written here by GG, the LBV POrt - which was REALLY SICK
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:37 pm

David Raccah wrote:Great write up GG! The Moulin was sick! The Meursault was really nice, but the real winner to me was the one wine that was not written here by GG, the LBV POrt - which was REALLY SICK

Thanks man. Since the LBV is still in barrels for a few months I will post a TN only after having tasted the final, bottled wine.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:01 pm

Koenig, Sylvaner 2012: This Sylvaner wine from Alsace is also the first and one I've ever tasted. Very pale straw in color with on the nose warm lemon custard pie, quince, candied lemon peels, pomelo. Light to medium bodied with on the palate lemon custard, quince, kiwi, earthy minerals and bracing acidity with a moderate finish. Simple but a great QPR (paid ~ $7), would pair nicely with tuna tartar. 12,5% Abv.

Les Alsaciens, Riesling 2011: Pale straw with green-ish reflections, on the nose lime, green apples, light petrol notes and hints of eucalyptus. Medium-bodied with on the palate again lime and fresh acidic apples, stoney minerals, slate and wet grass with touches of peppermint and tea with a more lemon and a barely perceptible hint of sweetness and great, balancing acidity on a moderately long finish. Really nice wine that is also mevushal (I really couldn't tell), kicking and an excellent value for money as well at about $16. 11,5% Abv.

Champagne Cuperly Brut NV: 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. Nice shining gold in color with fine bubbles, this sparkling wine features on the nose notes of yeast, toasted brioche, grapefruit and baked apples. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate a nice kick of sharp yet fine bubbles and again yeast and baked apples, lemon drops, yellow grapefruit, toasted bread, whites peaches, yellow plums and root beer with bracing acidity rising on a long and powerful finish. A very nice kosher and mevushal Champagne at around $40, unfortunately available only in France. 12% Abv.

Château Les Noilettes, Carte Noire Réserve, Monbazillac 2010: This is a botrytised dessert wine made, like in Sauternes, with a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Light gold in color with on the nose honey, caramelized apple pie and apricots. Medium-bodied, the palate features some kind of honey-dipped apple flavors, dried apricots, botrytis funk, mango, gingerbread, caramelized peaches, candied orange peels and candied ginger with nice acidity on a long finish. A great dessert wine with depth and complexity yet mevushal and reasonably priced at about $18. 13% Abv.

VIgnobles David, Réserve 2011: A GS 40% Syrah and 60% Grenache from 55+ y.o. vines, aged in French oak barrels. Second vintage for this delicious wine and at least as good if not better than the 2010 release. Deep garnet towards purple with on the nose blackberries, plums, pipe smoke and vanilla. Full-bodied with on the palate ripe black fruit, loamy dirt, earthy minerals, tart cherries, smoked meat and coffee with great acidity and mouth-coating tannins as well as charcoal and chocolate on the long and mouth-filling finish. What a wine! Will age gracefully till 2019. 14.5% Abv.

Vignobles David, Le Mourre de L'Isle 2011: A GSM blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre. Bright purple in color with on the nose cherries, plums, coffee and smoke. Medium-bodied with on the palate plums, blackberries and cherries as well as a touch of coffee and earth, graphite, black pepper, great balancing acid and soft tannins on a moderately long and silky finish. Another huge QPR winner here, very nice and interesting wine. 14% Abv.

Teperberg, Reserve, Chardonnay 2009: Deep gold in color with on the nose apple pie, custard, tangerines, butterscotch and vanilla. Medium-bodied with on the palate baked apples, custard, crème brûlée, white pepper, mirabelles plums with nice acidity and perfectly integrated oak as well as notes of ripe pears on the long and round finish. A delicious Chardonnay that has aged really well and another great QPR here as this wine can be found for as little as 50 shekel ($13-14).

A few hours before my flight back to Israel I randomly ran into the Swiss importer of Dalton winery in Geneva and she gladly offered me to taste the new wines she had just got delivery of a few weeks ago.

Dalton, D, Merlot 2012: Dark garnet with on the nose raspberries, plums and cigar box. Medium-bodied with on the palate ripe plums and raspberries as well as a touch of sweet tobacco, nice acidity and tannins lingering on the moderately long finish. Clearly the best Merlot for this series in many years.

Dalton, D, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Dark garnet towards purple, on the nose ripe cassis and cherries with scents of Mediterranean herbs and a hint of toasted oak. Medium, perhaps medium to full bodied with on the palate ripe black fruit as well as a touch of blueberries followed by roasted herbs, cedar and dark chocolate with balanced acidity and slightly chewy tannins on a moderately long finish. Very solid CabSav for the price.

Dalton, D, Shiraz 2012: Dark purple with on the nose cherries, plums and blackberries with notes of cigar box and herbs. Medium to full bodied with on the palate ripe blackberries and cherries as well as black plums, black pepper, tar, Mediterranean herbs and chocolate-covered cherries with very good balancing acid and tannins on the long finish. Very good Shiraz, perhaps the best ever released in this series.

Dalton Rosé 2013: While I've never been a fan of the usually off-dry rosé of Dalton this one is very nice! The label still says "semi dry" but as with the Carmel Riesling, I believe it's more of a technicality with the level of the residual sugar being just past the border given the wine's genuine dryness as at least perceived by my palate when I tasted the wine. Salmon pink in color with on the nose strawberries and grapefruit. Light in body with on the palate tart cherries and strawberries followed by pink grapefruit, rose water and a hint of pleasant bitterness with very nice acidity rising towards the refreshing finish. Good job!

Dalton, Alma, Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot - Cabernet Franc 2011: This might be the best vintage yet for this wine though I liked both the 2008 & 2009 a lot. This one shows a bit more restrain given the cold characteristics of the 2011 fruit making this wine taste more akin to a French Bordeaux rather than a classic Israeli ripe fruit-green-sweet cedar type Bordeaux-blend. Dark garnet towards purple with on the nose black and red fruit as well as dirt and tobacco. Full bodied with on the palate cassis and raspberries and then showing notes of toasted wood and cherries with a hint of loamy dirt and minerals as well as bell pepper and leafy tobacco and some spicy dark chocolate with very nice acid and searing tannins on the long finish. Very nice wine and another QPR winner. It will be interesting to taste it again side by side with the 2011 GMW Yiron when that one will be released later this coming summer.
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby David Raccah » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:02 am

In the US I liked the 2011 Dalton Alma Cab/Merlot but did NOT like the alma SMV. The Alma SMV Isareli label, according to GG is better

David
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Re: Some tasting notes

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:52 pm

I recently had the pleasure to taste (and drink) these 2 wines from the same winery in the Rhône valley:

Vignobles David, Réserve, Côtes du Rhône Village 2011: This is a classic GS, that is to say a blend of Grenache Noir (60%) and Syrah (40%) from 55 year old vines that truly provides one of the best QPR (Quality Price Ratio) in the kosher wine world. Usually, the older the vines, the lower the yields and thus the higher the quality as low yields make for highly concentrated grapes. It showcases a beautiful royal purple with aromas of pomegranate, blackberries, tar, spices and espresso. This is a full-bodied wine with great concentration that features flavors of ripe berry fruits, pomegranate and cherries as well as notes of earth, raspberries, a hint of roasted meat, herbs and pipe tobacco. Great acidity and gripping tannins make up for a solid structure that should allow this wine, while already quite enjoyable now, to cellar well for the next 5 years or so. Beautiful notes of espresso and dark chocolate on the long and mouth-filling finish. Best with gamey dishes such as slow-cooked lamb shoulder or even duck à l'orange. 14% Abv.


Vignobles David, Les Masques, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012: This is a very rare wine for the kosher wine drinker as there are almost no other options out there for the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. It means that the vineyards from which come the grapes that are included in this wine are planted in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France's Rhône Valley and/or from the villages in its immediate vicinity that is to say Bédarrides, Courthézon and Sorgues. As well, this wine won a gold medal at the Vins d'Orange wine competition, the only kosher wine to be awarded this distinction. So this wine is a GSM blend, it si called this way because it's composed of the 3 main red grape varieties of the Rhône Valley, and in this case 85% Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah and it was aged for 16 months in 500L French oak barrels. The standard format of oak barrels is 225L from which are usually made 300 bottles. Here we're talking about barrels that are more than twice the standard size which provide the wine with less impact from the oak, allowing it to show more brightness from the fruit and less aromas that typically appear in oak-aged wine such as vanilla, toasty wood and coffee. As well, French oak, as opposed to American or Hungarian oak is more refined with less spiciness. The nose on this wine features aromas of cherries, pomegranate, wet earth, dried cranberries, red currants, espresso, cigar box, raw red meat and morels. Medium, perhaps medium to full-bodied with on the palate loads of red fruits such as cherries, raspberries, red currants as well as touches of wet earth and dried mushrooms , Mediterranean spices and great minerality with cold tobacco and juicy redcurrants, bracing acidity and firm, mouth-drying tannins that rise on the very long finish. This superb wine is very young but if you insist on drinking it now, please open and let it breath at least 3 to 4 hours in advance. Would pair very nicely with roast beef or smoked ribs. 14.5% Abv.
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