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


Resident Curmudgeon




Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am


Tel Aviv, Israel

Vortman Winery: The New Garagiste on the Block

by Daniel Rogov » Fri May 29, 2009 12:41 pm

Several days ago Hal Vortman of the Vortman Winery was kind enough to bring me samples of several of his wines, several for re-tasting, several new to my tasting table. Vortman, who lives in Haifa, is one of those dedicated garagsites whose winery is quite literally in his home, who relies entirely on grapes grown Mt. Carmel and has planted two vineyards – Netiv Ofakim (planted in 2003, literally in front of his hime) and one planted in Shfeya.

From the points of view of both the critic and the wine lover, there is often something quite exciting about following the birth of a new winery. Even though the Vortman production for 2007 was only 1,000 bottles, those surprised by being good enough to earn him a mention and several tasting notes in my upcoming 2010 book. In 2008, 2,000 bottles were produced and in 2009 production will be about 4,000 so Vortman will have earned its own page in my guide.

In the meanwhile, anyone wanting to contact the winery or to make purchase can do so by phoning 054 7522221 or sending an email to . Following are my notes for those of the Vortman wines that I have tasted or re-tasted to date. My only regret so far is that I have not had time to sit with Vortman for a long cup of coffee. We shall compensate for that failing in the near future.


Votrman, Netiv Ofakim, 2007: Medium- to full-bodied, a blend of 70% Carignan and 20% Merlot, the rest made up of small parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot (note that each of the five traditional red Bordeaux grapes are found here). Medium- to ful-bodied, developed in French oak for 10 months, showing soft, gently caressing tannins and opening to reveal generous currant, blackberry and ripe purple plum fruits, all on a lightly spicy background. Drink now-2011. Score 88. (Re-tasted 29 May 2009)

Vortman, Netiv Ofakim, 2008 (Barrel Tasting): Ablend of 38% Carignan, 31% Malbec, 22% Merlot and 3% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. A potpourri of just about everything in the vineyard if you like, but one that comes together very nicely indeed. Ripe and floral, with ripe tannins and generous minerals and herbs to support currants and berries on a background of earthy minerals. An impressive effort. Drink from release-2012, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 29 May 2009)

Votrman, Shambour, 2007: Hal Vortman seems to like what some might call "oddball blends" but that's just fine because at least to date he's doing just fine with those. This one, a blend of 50% Merlot and 25% each of Petite Sirah and Pinotage, spent 10 months in oak, shows a nose that is quiet when the wine is first poured but open to show floral and earthy aromas and then goes on to show generous blackberries and purple plums, those supported by notes of roasted herbs and green olives all with the tannins and fruits rising nicely on the moderately-long finish. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 88., (Re-tasted 29 May 2009)

Vortman, Shambour, 2008 (Advance Tasting): Dark garnet with orange and purple reflections, a blend of Merlot, Mourvedre and Petite Syrah (68%, 30% Mourvedre and 2% Petite Sirah). Aged in French oak barriques for 6 months, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and hints of spicy wood, opening in the glass to show appealing currants and ripe plums, those on a background that hints comfortably of tobacco and dark chocolate. Just enough complexity here to grab the attention. Drink from release-2011. Score 88. (Tasted 29 May 2009)
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Ido GalOn


Wine geek




Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:06 pm

Re: Vortman Winery: The New Garagiste on the Block

by Ido GalOn » Sat May 30, 2009 4:30 am

Good scores for garage wine maker.

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