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


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Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:34 am

Rogov's December 2007 visit to Dalton and 30+ wine tastings

by Barry K » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:12 pm

After reviewing Daniel's recent visit to Dalton and tasting notes I took the liberty of copying the post of the december visit located on the old forum

Post Title: Visit to Dalton Winery: With 30+ Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 13:25 December 28,2007

On Sunday, 23rd of December, I made my way during the early morning hours to the Dalton Winery in the Upper Galilee, there to do extensive tastings and re-tastings in the good company of winemaker Na'ama Mualem and Alex Haruni. My thanks to them and to CEO Moshe Habib for their courtesies and after the tasting a simple but truly lovely and genuine Lebanese luncheon at Lee'ali Beirut: in the village of Jeesh on the Jeesh-Sasa road.

Dalton, Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve, 2007 (Advance Tasting): Unoaked, developed on its lees in stainless steel tanks, a crisp, lively and just complex enough wine. Lovely fruit here, with grapefruit running through but also showing citrus peel and a hint of grassiness on a light mineral background. A delight. Drink from release-2009. Score 89. K (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Chardonnay, Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Light golden in color, fermented partly with wild yeasts showing crisp citus, apple, quince fruits that open on the long finish to hints of melon. Fresh, lightly oaked and lingering nicely on the palate. Drink from release-2009, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 87-89. K (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Viognier, Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Perhaps the Israeli Viognier to date most loyal to the grape. Fermented partly with wild yeasts, developing in barriques on its lees, showing intense, vibrant and complex with spice, floral, fig and melon aromas and flavors. Deep and rich with a long, broad finish. Drink from release-2011. Tentative Score 89-91 K. (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Viognier, Reserve, 2006: Showing every bit as nicely as when first reviewed. Lightly oaked (4 months), medium-bodied, aromatic and with summer fruits, floral notes and hints of caramel and cinnamon. Drinking very nicely. Drink now. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Rose, 2007: Sampled from the stainless steel vat in which it is developing. Made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, rose petal pink towards orange, with red berry, dried cherry and a hint of what might be citrus that comes in. Barely off-dry with plenty of acidity to keep it lively and with a pleasing light frizzante note, a refreshing and fun wine. Drink from release. Score 87. K (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate,, Barbera, 2006: Oak aged for 10 months, dark ruby towards garnet in color, medium-bodied, soft and round, showing a light hand with the oak and generous raspberry, plum and currant fruits on a gently spicy finish. Drink now-2010. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate, Shiraz, 2006: Dark, almost impenetrable garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, and with soft and gently mouth-coating tannins in good balance with fresh acidity and fruits. On the nose and palate blackberries, purple plums, licorice, black pepper and hints of saddle leather and vanilla that come in on the generous finish Drink now-2010.. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate,, Merlot, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Garnet towards royal purple, medium-bodied and generously aromatic, showing soft, well integrated tannins and lightly spicy oak. On the nose and palate wild berries, currants and a hint of white chocolate on the long, round finish. Drink now-2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Dark ruby towards garnet, medium-bodied, with soft tannins integrated nicely with lightly spicy wood. Opens to reveal traditional Cabernet blackcurrants and blackberries along with generous hints of berries, mint and vanilla. Not overly complex but soft, round. and generous. Drink now-2010.. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Alma, 2005: Garnet towards purple, medium to full-bodied, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot spent 16 months in French oak. Firm tannins integrating nicely with spicy oak. On the nose and palate blackberries, purple plums and a teasing hint of bitter oranges, the fruits backed up nicely by Oriental spices. Still firm tannins, spicy oak and acidity in fine balance. Drink now-2011. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate, Zinfandel, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Rich and round, showing a light hand with the American oak in which it was developed. Well structured with softly mouth-coating tannins and shwing blackberry, raspberry and cassis along with hints of smoked meat and spices to add charm. Drink from release-2009, possibly a bit longer. Score 88. K (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton Estate, Zinfandel, 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: This dark royal-purple wine spent 12 months in new American oak. Full-bodied, with generous near-sweet tannins and smoky and vanilla oak, it opens on the palate to reveal black cherry, raspberry and plum fruits, those backed up by hints of chocolate, vanilla and espresso coffee. A generous and mouth-filling finish. Drink now–2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Merlot, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Dark, youthful royal purple in color, full-bodied, with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins integrating nicely with lightly spices and vanilla from the oak in which it is aging. Opens to reveal ripe and generous red plum, raspberry and coffee aromas and flavors, those supported nicely by a tantalizing hint of cigar tobacco. Long, ripe and generous. Best 2009-2013. Tentative Score 90-92. K (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Merlot, Reserve, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Soft and round but simultaneously round and well focused, opening in the glass to reveal silky tannins and a gentle touch with the wood, those supporing currant, berry, cocoa and light hints of mint, all of which linger very nicely on the palate. Should be ready early but will cellar nicely. Drink from release-2010. Score 89. (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Merlot, Reserve, 2004: Developing very nicely indeed. Medium- to full-bodied, with tannins that have firmed up somewhat but still remain in fine balance with wood, acidity and fruits. On the nose and palate, generous red and black berries and ripe red plums on a light tobacco and herbal background. Look as well for an appealing hint of vanilla that creeps in on the finish. Enjoyable now but best 2009-2011. Score 90. K. Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Merlot, Reserve, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Aged in oak for 14 months, dark garnet in color, with currant, plum, cherry and herbal aromas and flavors all with a light overlay of vanilla. Showing complexity and finesse. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Cabernet Sauignon, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from three separate components, one from the Alma, one from the Ben Zimra and one from the Kfar Shamai vineyards. Potentially the best yet from the winery, promising to be super-dark in color, firmly tannic even on release but with fine balance and structure that bode well for the future. A guessing game (but an educated guessing game) on my part but anticipate a full-bodied, rich and concentrated wine, with dense fruit, coffee-hints on the oak and layers of currants, spices, green olives and cedar wood. This one will need some time to show its plushand subtle nature. Best from 2010-2014, perhaps longer. I will follow this one up carefully! TentativeScore 92-94. (Tasted 23 Dec 2007).

Note: My notes for the 2005, 2004 and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve wines, all re-tasted within the last two months, hold firmly.

Dalton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Dark garnet with orange and green reflections, medium- to full-bodied, with still firm tannins integrating nicely and showing light spicy oak. Opens with currants and plums, goes on to wild berries and hints of black licorice. Long, round and generous. Drink now-2010. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, , 2004: Medium to full-bodied, with a layer of spicy and toasty wood to show for its 18 months in oak, this dark garnet towards royal-purple wine shows moderately soft tannins and acidity coming together nicely. On the nose and palate blackberries, currants and an intimation of purple plums, those complemented by hints of spices and minty chocolate on the long finish. Drink now–2012. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2003: Darker garnet than in its youth, this medium to full-bodied wine is still firmly tannic, with generous oak well balanced by fruits and natural acidity. On the nose and palate black currant, black cherry and herbal-spicy aromas and flavors. Drink now–2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Reserve, Syrah, 2005: Blended with 10% of Viognier, nearly black in color, but a wine of remarkable elegance. Aromatic, with spicy and floral scents on first attack, those yielding to aromas and flavors of berries and plums, all backed up by hints of white pepper, and on the long finish, surprising notes of peaches and apricots. Drink now–2010. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 23 Dec 2007)

Dalton, Late Harvest Muscat, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): En route to a new wine, not only for the winery but for the country, as this wine is being made by the Solera method. Reinforced with alcohol to a 17% alcohol level, a fortified wine showing clear floral and honeyed notes, those along with fresh and dried apricots, a clear golden color and clean, sweet but remarkably refreshing and complex on both the nose and palate. Don't expect to see a release from this wine until at least 2009, but one whose development and history I shall follow with great care. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 23 Dec 2007)

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