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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Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Fri May 28, 2010 1:11 pm

Starting some time back a discussion started on the form about the Elone Mamre and the Isaac's Ram wines of the Hevron Heights Winery*. Among other things, it was reported that the 2006 Elone Mamre and the 2006 Isaac's Ram from the winery were one and the same except that they had been bottled under different labels, one of which was said to be a private label made exclusively for a store in Jerusalem. It was also said that despite perhaps being the same wine, one was priced considerably higher than the other. Somewhere along the way, I invited the people of the winery to do a blind tasting, not only by me but by other wine critics or winemakers, including their own representative if they so wished. That invitation did not receive a response so I went on to a set of further tastings on my own.

My three-phase tastings of the Elone Mamre and the Isaac's Ram wines was completed today. Following, in this order, are my first tasting note for the Elone Mamre wine and then composite notes, those from follow-up tastings I did comparing the two wines. At both of the later tastings two separate bottles of each of the wines were tasted blind, those matched with other three or four other kosher Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon wines of the 2006 vintage, the only other requirement being that each of the wines had to be composed of a minimum of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

My original tasting note of the 2006 Elone Mamre

Hevron Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elone Mamre, Reserve, 2006: Dark, almost impenetrable garnet in color, full-bodied, with generous but soft and gently mouth-coating tannins and a temperate hand with the oak in which the wine aged for 20 months. On first attack red plums and spices, those parting to make way for traditional Cabernet blackberries and blackcurrants, those on a background of earthy minerals. Long, generous and mouth-filling. By far the best wine to date from this winery. I look forward to re-tasting from additional bottles in future years. Drink now-2014. Score 90. K (Tasted 16 Apr 2010)


First Follow-Up Tasting of Elon Mamre and Tasting of Isaac's Ram

Hevron Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elone Mamre, Reserve, 2006: Tasted from two bottles and in both cases the I identified the wine in two separately numbered glasses as the same. My earlier tasting note (16 Apr 2010) holds firmly for both bottles in today's tasting. Drink now-2014. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 11 May 2010)

Hevron Heights Winery, Isaac's Ram, 2006: Tasted from two bottles, both showing consistency across the tasting. Medium- to full-bodied, perhaps leaning to the full, with smoky wood, that yielding slowly to unfolding black fruits on the nose and then opening to show blackcurrants, raspberries and dark chocolate, the wine marred somewhat by a bitter-herbal sensation that comes in from mid-palate and then lingers on to the moderately short finish. Drink now-2011. Score 87. K (Tasted 11 May 2010)

My tentative conclusion from this tasting was that at least I found very few similarities between the two wines and would not conclude that they were the same wine.


Second Follow-Tasting of Elone Mamre and Isaac's Ram

Hevron Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elone Mamre, Reserve, 2006: Tasted from two bottles. From one of the bottles my earlier tasting notes (16 Apr and 11 May 2010) hold firmly but the second bottle in today's tasting showed quite differently, still full-bodied but with the tannins somewhat firmer and a bit more chunky, the fruits somewhat more subdued and the oak making itself felt somewhat more. Easily attributable to normal bottle variation. Drink now-2013. Score 89 K. (Re-tasted 28 May 2010)

Hevron Heights Winery, Isaac's Ram, 2006: Tasted from two bottles with a good deal of bottle variation between them but that within what might well be normal bottle variation. The first bottle matching my earlier tasting (11 May 2010), with smoky wood, blackcurrants, red berries and bitter-sweet chocolate, the bitter-herbal sensation that I felt earlier more subdued in this sample. The second bottle, fuller in body, with more firmly gripping tannins opened more slowly in the glass but when it did showed generous smoky oak, gripping tannins and appealing black fruits. Drink now-2011. Score for the first bottle 85. Score for the second bottle 87. K (Re-tasted 28 May 2010)

My Conclusions – Both the Elon Mamre and the Isaac's Ram wines are good, even very good wines at this stage of their drinking but in my opinion the variation between the two wines after tasting on multiple occasions leads me to conclude that the differences are more than bottle variation and, if they are, in fact,, the same wine (which is indeed possible), perhaps somewhat different blends or separate or multiple bottlings. At any rate, at this stage of their drinking both wines are recommended. It will be interesting to follow these wines in another year and then two years and I shall be doing that if at all possible. To those interested in testing my conclusions themselves, I strongly recommend purchasing one bottle of each the 2006 Elon Mamre and the Isaac's Ram, opening those at the same time and pouring two glasses for each person. I suggest further (and strongly) that each person write his/her tasting notes or reactions to the wines, including a comment on whether they are indeed the same wine, before any discussion is undertaken.

Best
Rogov




Those wishing to follow the entire discussion should see, in the following order the somewhat convoluted threads at:
1. viewtopic.php?f=29&t=31222
2. viewtopic.php?f=29&t=31591 and
3. viewtopic.php?f=29&t=31969
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Yamit E

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Yamit E » Fri May 28, 2010 5:04 pm

Daniel - very interesting notes. I look forward to doing the same comparison one of these days. But so far only the 04 is selling in the USA. So it may be a while!
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Avi Hein

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Avi Hein » Sun May 30, 2010 3:29 am

Very interesting notes -- if the winery was serious and professional this should prove that you don't have a bias, at least in terms of wine tasting as a critic, with very good scores, indeed, against their wines. A bias, perhaps, because of their rude treatment, but that is not bias but rather well deserved. Or, as I overheard someone else describe my favorite curmedgeon, Rogov likes good wine and has a bias against bad wine.

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Yamit E » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:49 pm

I rec'd a very interesting note from Michel Murciano, the owner of the Hevron Heights winery, over the weekend. He told me that he doesn't know where I got my information that the Isaac's Ram and the Elon Mamre are the exact same wine. He told me that this was far from the truth. Frustrated, I went back to him and referenced a conversation that I had with a woman who answered the phone number that was provided by a member of this forum on a related thread and an email that was provided to me by that woman. He then came back to me and said that it was his wife with whom I spoke. Long story short, I reported my conversation with Mrs. Murciano to this forum EXACTLY as it transpired and so I think we can chalk this up to either (i) lack of total information on her part or (ii) something getting lost in translation. I'm strongly inclined to believe it's the former...

So that seems to solve the mystery of the significant variation between the two wines.

But there's another mystery that Mr. Murciano raised. He said that there is no 2006 vintage of the Isaac's Ram - and not a 2005 either. So he is wondering how Daniel Rogov could have tasted a wine that doesn't exist. As some might be able to appreciate, he said some other things that I won't convey.

Daniel - what say you? I'd like to think that there is some sort of rational explanation here...
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Isi M

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Isi M » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:06 pm

This whole Elon / Isaac story reminds me of some burlesque plays ....
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:07 pm

Considering the sometimes massive confusion engendered by what I and at least some others consider the often conflicting information given out by the winery, the not infrequently confusing labels and the sometimes enormous bottle variation between wines, I suspect that the most wise thing I can do at this point is to keep my mouth firmly shut.

Once again, however, let me be the one to profer an olive branch, for all of this can so easily be resolved. As I have done in the past, I hereby most invite M. Murciano and any others he cares to bring with him, to sit with me over coffee at a Tel Aviv or Jerusalem Cafe, there to discuss a full list of wines that have been and are being produced; under what labels; and for what vintage years. I in turn will be glad to discuss when and where I tasted various wines. And of course, either of us would be free, in a gentlemanly manner, to air whatever thoughts or other questions we may have. I remain as always open to a blind tasting, that set by a neutral party to compare the Hevron Heights and Noah wines to others of similar varieties or blends. I will of course continue to do such tasting privately but am open to the possibility of a tasting with others present and participating.

Let it be known widely and clearly that my invitation is a most sincere one. If anyone at all should choose to serve to bring this message to M. Murciano's attention, I will be glad to respond by IM to give my personal phone number so that contacts will be eased.

Best
Rogov
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Ross Diamond

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery

by Ross Diamond » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:45 am

Does anyone know if Hevron Heights Winery has a website? Just looking for more information on their wines.

Thanks!
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Skyview Wine & Spirits
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Hevron Heights Winery: Elon Mamre and Isaac's Ram (K)

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:02 pm

Ross, Hello....

To the best of my knowledge Hevron Heights Winery does not have an internet site.

By the way - good to see you on the forum. You didn't give yourself a plug but I shall and that because Skyview has an excellent selection of wines, including many of the kosher wines that are of interest to many of the members and readers of the forum. You will be a most welcome participant here.

Best
Rogov

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