Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.
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Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:55 pm

Once upon a time, Shimshon Welner was the CEO of the Golan Heights Winery. In fact, as the first CEO of the winery, to the leadership of Welner must go a good deal of credit for what we now think of as the "Israeli quality wine revolution".

It is now some years since Welner has left the Golan Heights Winery to other CEO's, each in their way as competent as he was. Today, no less involved with the wine industry, Welner and his son Yahav are leading another kind of revolution – that of serving as a buyer-negotiant, dealing with wines from France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa. Although Welner is no longer trying to produce the highest quality wines of Israel, his involvement now is in producing wines of overall high quality, those destined for sale in the United States, the U.K., Israel, France, Italy and in both Central and South America. The wines are all kosher and the vast majority are very reasonably priced (depending on the wines, anywhere from US$7.00-$10.00 per bottle).

It is important to note that because of the demands of many restaurants and catering establishments in the USA, many of the Welner wines, no matter under what label, are mevushal (pasteurized). As noted in a series of recent tastings, the flash pasteurization process has little effect on the wines during their youth. It does, however, mean that these wines are destined for early drinking and not for cellaring.

Following are my tasting notes from several recent tastings and re-tastings, all held within the last sixty days. Some of these wines are perhaps best thought of as entry-level wines or, at a higher level, wines for everyday drinking. Considering that wines earning 85 or more points are recommended and that the prices of these wines are quite reasonable, many will find them well worth trying. The company's internet site is at http://www.welnerwines.com/ and once can find the outlet closest to you by sending an email (found in the contact section of the internet site)

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Tierra Salvaje, Merlot, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Medium-bodied, with generous spicy oak and gripping tannins but opening in the glass to reveal aromas and flavors of blackberries, black cherries and citrus peel. Drink now-2011. Score 87. K

Tierra Salvaje, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Garnet towards royal purple, medium-bodied, with soft tannins, opening to show blackberry and black cherry fruits, those complemented by hints of tobacco and roasted coffee. Drink now. Score 86. K

Tierra Salvaje, Malbec-Merlot, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007: Gently tannic, medium-bodied, with generous plum and berry fruits supported by vanilla and spicy fruitcake aromas and flavors. Soft and round. Drink now. Score 86. K

Tierra Salvaje, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Garnet towards royal purple, medium-bodied, with soft tannins, opening to show blackberry and black cherry fruits, those complemented by hints of tobacco and roasted coffee. Drink now. Score 86. K

Tierra Salvaje, Carmenere, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: A very nice little wine, dark garnet towards royal purple, opening with earthy minerals and spices, going on to reveal black and red berries along with hints of licorice and coffee. Drink now. Score 86. K

Tierra Salvaje, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 2006: Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and notes of pine needles to highlight blackberry and currant fruits, those with a hint of minted milk-chocolate. An good quaffer. Drink now-2010. Score 85. K

Tierra Salvaje, Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007: Originally an Italian grape but now well planted in Argentina, this version medium-bodied, with plum, grape and blueberry flavors. A bit acidic but, round and refreshing, a good choice for a picnic. Drink now. Score 85. K

Tierra Salvaje, Merlot, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007: Dark ruby in color, medium-bodied, with soft tannins, a simple, somewhat overly acidic wine showing a wild berries and pineapple notes. An entry-level wine. Drink now. Score 83. K

Primo V, Pinot Grigio, Veneto, 2008: Light straw colored, light- to medium-bodied with appealing apple, melon and pineapple fruits. Clean and fruity, an easy to enjoy little wine. Drink now. Score 85. K

Primo V, Prosecco, Extra Dry, n.v.: With a light sparkle and generous mineral overtones to highlight notes of green apples, a pleasant Prosecco, best as an aperitif, with brunch or at picnics. Drink now. Score 85. K

S'forno, Moscato, Puglia, n.v. Light, with little sparkle and generous sweetness. Shows floral, nutmeg, chamomile tea along with some pear and citrus fruits. Best with a few ice cubes in the glass to cut the sweetness. Drink now. Score 81. K

Terrenal, Merlot, Yecla, Spain: Soft and round, a thoroughly internationalized Merlot but showing soft tannins and hints of minerals to highlight a basic blackberry-black cherry personality. Drink now. Score 85. K

Terrenal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yecla, Spain, 2005: Medium-deep garnet in color, medium-bodied, with somewhat chunky tannins giving the wine a countrified personality. Opens to reveal appealing black and red berries along with hints of earthy minerals. Not complex but fine with food. Drink now. Score 84. K
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Harry J » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:06 pm

Bsd. Sorry to venture off topic but the names and wines rerminded me-is there a tn for terroso malbec,methinks its 07?h
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:28 am

Harry, Hi...

Not at all off-topic because the Terroso wines are also from Welner. Following are the notes for the Merlot and for the most recent Chardonnay from Terroso...

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Terroso, Chardonnay, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Light gold in color, with orange reflections, medium-bodied with generous apple and fig fruits and a near creamy finish, all with an appealing light yeasty overlay. Drink now. Score 87. K

Terroso, Merlot, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2007: Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and showing an appealing array of currants, purple plums and spices, all lingering nicely. Drink now. Score 87. K
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Harry J » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:39 am

Thanks but was asking for the malbec-
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:25 am

Harry, Hi....

A bit of confusion on both our parts. I do not believe Welner has a Malbec under the Terroso label. I think the wine you're talking about is in their Tierra Salvaje series. I have not yet tasted their varietal Malbec from the 2007 vintage but did, as noted above taste their Malbec-Merlot.

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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by YoelA » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:14 pm

If they make the Terrenal series, maybe he's asking about the Terrenal malbec from Aregentina
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Harry J » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:16 pm

Thanks Yoel;but it did say terroso.h
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:17 pm

I have sent off an email to Welner to check on this wine. Will post on hearing....

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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:49 am

Indeed Harry, you are correct. Even though not listed in the Welner catalogue, I just heard from Yahav Welner and there is a Malbec under the Terroso series. I will be receiving a bottle within the next few weeks and will post on tasting it.

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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:48 pm

Harry, Hi.....

I tasted the Malbec in question today. See my tasting note at viewtopic.php?f=29&t=23905

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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Adam M » Mon May 25, 2009 9:24 pm

Daniel -

Since your initial post of these TNs, 4 of these wines have shot to the top of Kosherwine.com's list of their 10 best selling wines. At one point, the Merlot, CS, Chardonnay and Carmenere comprised 4 of the 5 top sellers. An impressive demonstration of how your comments can "move the market."

Seeking to stock up on a cost-effective mid-week quaffer, I decided to purchase a mixed case and try my luck. Between your TNs and the few TNs posted on the Koherwine.com website (from I don't know whom), I pegged my downside risk to somewhere between neglible and remote.

Well, after waiting a couple of weeks for any bottle shock to subside, I have tried at least 2 bottles of each of the Merlot, CS and Carmenere. With much respect and trepidation, I must say that I do not like ANY of the wines and, in my humble and - yes ignorant - opinion, do not think that your TNs accurately describe them. I personally would not recommend them to anyone - not even considering the price point (which I know you don't take into account).

Contrary to your TNs, I think that the actual label on each of the bottles (which contains the exact same description for each of the three reds) is much more accurate. It says that the wine has "touches of menthol and leather." To me, this is quite an unappetizing combination - but unfortunately spot on, particularly with respect to the Merlot. Indeed, the first attack of this was not just any attack - it was like "shock and awe." Others have commented about the strong stench in the wine. After not being able to tolerate it after the first glass (when I tried the first bottle, which was merlot), I put the bottle back in the cooler hoping the stench would calm down the next day. However, the next day I found that the stench was still strong and the wine had lost almost all its drinkability.

I simply don't understand how you could have arrived at an 87 for the Merlot and 86 for the other wines. And I don't understand how you could have not picked up on the stench or the menthol/leather "notes." :shock: Of course, you are entitled to your opinion and I'm sure you are simply "calling them as you see them." But for whatever its worth, on this one, I simlpy don't get it. :?
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Tue May 26, 2009 1:35 am

Adam,Hi.....

In questions aesthetic, disagreement and not necessity is often the mother of invention. And, of course, always acceptable.

With regard to menthol and leather, which are not at all necessarily negative descriptors. Menthol, mint, and eucalyptus, all somewhat closely related to the nose and palate and leather (freshly tanned, saddle leather or even "sweaty leather) are often attirubted to wines made from Syrah/Shiraz, Malbec and Merlot and, in proper balance with other elements can be quite positive.

Looking over my original hand-written notes for these wines, I did not note those in any of these wines. That they may have since developed because of a shipping problem or some previously unshowing fault in the wines is possible. I shall lay hands on additional bottles as soon as possible (emails will go off immediately following my posting of this note) and will indeed re-taste and report back.....

Thanks for the heads-up. In the relatively quite near future we shall know better.

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Rogov
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 28, 2009 6:35 am

Adam, Hi.....

I have heard from both sevral stores and from Shimshon Welner about your post. Bottles of these specific wines (and several others as well from Welner) will be with me for tasting and re-tasting during either the first or second week of June and I shall taste them blind once again. I shall, of course, post again at that time.

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Rogov
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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:29 am

Adam, Hi...

It took a bit longer than anticipated but a bottle of the 2008 Tierra Salvaje Cabernet Sauvignon made it to me for re-tasting. The wine made its way into my blind tastings yesterday. Following are my original tasting note and my new one.

Tierra Salvaje, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Garnet towards royal purple, medium-bodied, with soft tannins, opening to show blackberry and black cherry fruits, those complemented by hints of tobacco and roasted coffee. Drink now. Score 86. K (Kosher Wine Tasting, March 2009)

Tierra Salvaje, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lontue Valley, Chile, 2008: Dark garnet towards royal puple, medium-bodied, with sotf tannins ingegrating nicely. On the nose and palage currant, blackberry and black cherry fruits along with notes of tobacco, espresso coffee and a hint of mint that come in on the medium-long finish. Drink now. Score 86. K (Re-tasted 2 Jul 2009)

In short, my first tasting note holds. I am not at all questioning your own tasting experience but cannot help but wonder if something had "gone wrong" with the wines in the particular shipment you received - perhaps in shipping, perhaps in storage?

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Re: Kosher from Four Continents (K)

by Adam M » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:51 am

Daniel - A man of your word, you are. All of this may prove that I am in fact an ignoramous or, less likely, that I got some bad bottles. That said, I won't be rushing off to buy this brand again...
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