Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.
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Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:06 pm

For the last several years, forum members Ben and Doron have been making periodic visits to Ze'ev Dunie of Sea Horse Winery, there to do barrel tastings and, with Ze'ev to sit at a table making blends that they will consider "their own". Those blends, going into the barrels that will then be set aside as "the barrel of Ben and Doron" are later bottled under special labels, the entire lot going to the intrepid pair for their own pleasure and for the pleasure of friends and acquaintances who buy their share of the wines.

Not that long ago, I met with Ben who gave me a bottle of each of their 2004, 2005 and 2006 wines. My tasting notes for the three, all tasted blind today, follow. The wines were tasted against regular bottles of Sea Horse as well as of other similar blends both from Israel and France. Much fun!!!

If they so choose, Ben and/or Doron will be most welcome to post comments about how others can share in these wines.


Best
Rogov


Sea Horse, Antoine, The Barrel of Ben and Doron, 2004: A medium- to full-bodied blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Opens with a distinct blueberry nose, that yielding in the glass to aromas and flavors of currants, purple plums, blackberries and minted chocolate, all with a hint of freshly polished saddle leather. A bit of dusty wood on opening, but that fading and showing fine balance with soft tannins and fruits. Drinking very nicely now-2010. Score 91. (Re-tasted 16 Nov 2008)

Sea Horse, The Barrel of Ben and Doron, 2005: A blend this year of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% of Petite Sirah. Developed for 15 months in barriques, showing gentle spicy wood and near-sweet tannins in fine balance with raspberry, cranberry and blueberry fruits on first attack, those opening to show hints of licorice and Oriental spices. Long, generous and complex, the wine is drinking beautifully now and should hold its peak comfortably until 2011. Score 91. (Tasted 16 Nov 2008)

Sea Horse, The Barrel of Ben and Doron, 2006: Full-bodied, with still gripping tannins waiting to settle down but already showing fine structure and balance. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah and 5% Syrah, oak aged for 17 months and opening with black cherry, blackberry, blu8eberry and spicy notes, all coming together beautifully. On tasting I speculated that this was the 2006 Australian Mollydooker. Whatever, approachable and enjoyable now but best 2010-2016, perhaps longer. Perhaps the best to date from Sea Horse. Score 93. (Tasted 16 Nov 2008)
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Mike_F » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:45 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:Perhaps the best to date from Sea Horse


And certainly one of the very best QPR deals on the Israeli market!

cheers to Ben, Doron and Ze'ev,

Mike
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Jan Schultink » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:22 am

Well done!
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Ben Kfir » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:28 pm

Thank you, Daniel, for your fine TN.
I like the 2005 much more than the 2006 but wine (as many other things) is a personal preferring.

We (Doron and Ben) like wine and deal with the whole operation just for the fun of it. The annual gathering, at the end of August, while all our (more than 70) partners come to collect their case(s)
is a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with many wine lovers. I like it very much.

I must add a personal note for Mike:
Today we see that everything cost more than last year (grapes, barrels ….).
Every year we have a fight with Ze’ev about the price of the wine.
Your comment about the QPR deal does not help.
I hope Ze’ev will not read that thread.

Ben
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Mike_F » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:07 am

Ben Kfir wrote:I must add a personal note for Mike:
Today we see that everything cost more than last year (grapes, barrels ….).
Every year we have a fight with Ze’ev about the price of the wine.
Your comment about the QPR deal does not help.


Hi Ben,

I knew there were good reasons for me to be a scientist rather than a businessman...

Nonetheless, in case Ze'ev reads this thread, I should point out that good QPR does not mean it is underpriced, it means that the price is in the correct range for the quality. I should also point out that Sea Horse wines currently comprise ~25% of the stock in my wine fridge, and about half of the Israeli wines I have on hand. This space used to be taken up by other wineries that priced themselves out of what I perceive to be a rational QPR range...

best,

Mike
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Ehud W » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:15 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: Much fun!!!


Indeed, and because it's so much fun I'm in for my share for the last 3-4 years!
Fun is the whole process of Ben and Doron, working with Ze'ev, to make the yearly blend, and we get the updates every major milestone.
Fun is when we meet, all "barrel partners", at Doron's, with Ze'ev and we taste first time the new released B&D wine.
Fun is the wines, always interesting, always premium level, always with Ze'ev touch.

Personally, I think Ze'ev premium wines, B&D (along the years) included, have better longevity than what Rogov mentions in his Tasting Notes. For example - I left with a friend, a year ago, the 2004 B&D, in a decanter, after we finished half the wine, and after 12 hours he found the wine so much better! I know people tend to finish quickly these wines but I believe that those who will keep a bottle or two a few years will be rewarded.

On behalf of the many B$D partners, I would like to thank Ben and Doron for this special effort they took upon themselves over the last years. And special and very warm thanks to Ze'ev, who makes such unique, interesting, tasty and yes - Mediterranean style wines! Kudus!
Ehud
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Mike_F » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:02 am

In light of this thread, I opened one of my four remaining Ben & Doron 2005 this weekend. A fine wine on Friday evening, but with some overly dominant bitter notes on the long finish. Half the bottle was left for Saturday lunch (no special precautions, just re-corked and left to stand on the kitchen counter), and the bitterness seems to have integrated, giving a balanced and rich wine. Any ideas what might cause this transient phenomenon?

Mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Zeev Dunie » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:44 am

Finnaly made it through the new administration... Well there are quite a few comments to make regarding different issues, such as the rage against bio dynamic agriculture, and the tendency of some of the small wineris (???) to keep their wines much too long in oak. For now, I just would like to thank Mike and Ehud for their support. Also, to Ben and Doron for the challange and fun. Since I do not know the right formula to calculate fun v.s.v. money, I won't comment at all about the bussines side of these wines. FUN is indeed the right word, and can be the answer also to the issues I have mentioned at the top.
One final note: Next year, 2009, marks the 10th year anniversery for Seahorse winery. Time flies... I decided to treat myself , (and the winery's loyal customers), to a special barrel. No name yet, and to keep the suspence, all I'll say is that it's a 2007 vintage and has not even one drop of Caberent in it...
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:08 am

Ze'ev, Hi....

FIrst of all, welcome to the "new" forum. You have been missed.

Second - take care my friend - if you're about to tell us that the new wine will be a blend of Argaman, Fiano and Dabbuki grpes that are now aging in a 28 year old Chinese oak barrel that has been lined with peppermint loillipops, you're going to be in big doo-doo!!!!!

Looking forward!!!

Best
Rogov
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Re: Sea Horse Winery: The Barrel of Ben and Doron 2004-2006

by Zeev Dunie » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:52 pm

..."A 28 years old chinese oak barrel"... Now that would be something... Any idea where one can get such item?...
In reality the direction is France. Both the barrel & the grape varities...

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