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

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Five from Israeli Garagistes (K and Non-K)

by Daniel Rogov » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:17 pm

Among my tastings today, five wines from so far little-known garagistes.


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Vortman, Netiv Ofakim, 2007: From a mini-winery and from grapes harvested in the Carmel Hills, not far from Haifa, a blend of 70% Carignan and 20% Merlot, the balance made up of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Medium- to full-bodied, reflecting its 10 months in French oak with light spicy overtones and soft tannins and opening to reveal generous blackcurrant and blackberry fruits and, rising on the finish a note of ripe purple plums. Drink now or in the next year or two. Score 88. (Tasted 16 Jan 2009)

Vortman, Shambour, 2007: Dark garnet in color, aged in French oak for 10 months, a somewhat unusual blend of 50% Merlot and 25% each of Petite Sirah and Pinotage, but don't let that hold you back. Low on the nose but the wine opens to reveal flavors of rich black fruits and Mediterranean herbs along with a hint of green olives. Tannins and fruits rise nicely on the finish. Drink now-2010. Score 87. (Tasted 16 Jan 2009)

Domaine Ventura, Merlot, Grand Vin, Limited Edition, Haut Judee/Judee-Samarie, 2006: Garnet towards royal purple in color, medium bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins, and developed in French barriques for 12 months. Opens to show aromas and flavors of raspberries and red currants, those on a light earthy-herbal background. Put aside its somewhat grandiose labeling information and you will find a pleasant enough quaffer. Drink now. Score 86. K (Tasted 16 Jan 2009)

Domaine Ventura, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Vin, Limited Edition, Haut Judee/Judfee-Samarie, 2006: Lively garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins. Quiet on the nose but opens in the glass to reveal appealing wild berries and currants on a spicy background. On the finish a note of freshly turned earth. Drink now. Score 85. K (Tasted 16 Jan 2009)

Ein Teina, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007: Developed in French oak for 12 months, dark garnet in color, showing black fruits and wild berries on a background of tobacco and fresh herbs. Medium- to full-bodied, with good balance and structure, with a surprising but quite pleasant note of cloves coming in on the long finish. Drink now-2010. Score 88. (Tasted 16 Jan 2009)

P.S. As to the rather remarkable resemblance between the labels of the Domaine Ventura wines and those of Domaine du Castel, let's leave that to the attorneys to debate (if they should happen to find such things worth debating) .

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