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

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 19, 2011 12:27 pm

Yesterday (Wednesday, 18 May), I made the round of seven wine stores in the northern parts of the country but more of that in a thread yet to be written. In every store I visited there were at least two Israeli wines labeled as if they had some relationship to Port wine. Among those were Portura, Portam, Partport, Portnum, Port-Style and even the good Lord forgive them, out-and-out Port, Today I tasted six of those wines. And lawsy, lawsy, Rogov is pissed off.

First of all, according to Israel's signed agreement with the 27 nations of the EU (European Union), the use of the name "Port" is in violation of an international treaty. It is even forbidden by local law to use the name "Port" on a label. The primarily small wineries that are making such wines are basically spitting in the face of Europe.

That in itself is enough to tick me off (more polite, I suppose, than saying "pissed off") but my ire only starts there. First of all, relying on grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec these wines are not made from the same grapes as are used in the production of true Port. Second of all, other than being fortified, these wines do not look like Port, do not smell like Port and do not taste like Port. Nor are these wines made by the same system as Port.

As to how these wines are made, some wineries simply take whatever leftover grapes they have, put them in an old oak barrel and put that in the sun to "age". Personally, I tend to think of that as placing them in the sun as allowing the wine to "rot". On one occasion I even saw a winery pour a near-full spit-bucket into their barrel to "help it along". True that does nothing at all that might harm the health but it sure as all get-out is not aesthetic.

Okay…some of these wines are palatable (in the last year or so I have tasted well over thirty such wines) and I can understand how some people (I am not one of them) find them tasty. Alas, however, not one of those wines that I tasted has the complexity of true Port wine.

Ye truly faithful curmudgeon
Rogov
User avatar
User

Jon Tabak

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

425

Joined

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:17 am

Location

Los Angeles

Re: Why Israeli "Port Upsets Me

by Jon Tabak » Thu May 19, 2011 3:34 pm

Can you recommend some non-Israeli kosher ports?
http://www.KosherWino.com - Supporting your kosher wine habit
no avatar
User

Mike BG

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

283

Joined

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:25 pm

Location

Maale Adumim, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port Upsets Me

by Mike BG » Thu May 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Jon Tabak wrote:Can you recommend some non-Israeli kosher ports?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there are only two, both from Taylor Fladgate and marketed through Royal Wine: Porto Cordovero, and Porto Cordovero Late bottled vintage 2004.
no avatar
User

Yossie Horwitz

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

803

Joined

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:27 pm

Location

NYC

Re: Why Israeli "Port Upsets Me

by Yossie Horwitz » Thu May 19, 2011 4:26 pm

Correct. Rogov's notes are below:

Taylor Fladgate, Porto Cordovero, LBV, 2004: A second joint effort between Royal Wines of the USA and the well-respected Port lodge of Taylor Fladgate. Deep royal purple in color, smooth and rich, me-dium-bodied and showing moderate sweetness in fine balance with alcohol and currant, plum and raisin fruits, all supported by spicy, caramel and chocolate notes. Drink now–2018. Score 90.

Taylor Fladgate, Porto Cordovero, Fine Ruby Port, n.v.: Darker garnet in color than most Ruby Ports and on the palate and nose one might think this a higher-level Tawny. Ripe and spicy, with well integrated tannin and good balancing acidity, showing generous prune, black cherry, caramel and vanilla along with a firm structure and a generous finish on which you will find a hint of cinnamon. A very well-made Ruby! Drink now or in the next year or two. Score 88. K
Sign up for my weekly newsletter on wines, wineries & other oenophilic goodies at http://www.yossiescorkboard.com
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 19, 2011 4:46 pm

Mike BG wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there are only two, both from Taylor Fladgate and marketed through Royal Wine: Porto Cordovero, and Porto Cordovero Late bottled vintage 2004.


Yossie, Hi...

No chastisement from me. You are quite correct.


Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Jon Tabak

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

425

Joined

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:17 am

Location

Los Angeles

Re: Why Israeli "Port Upsets Me

by Jon Tabak » Thu May 19, 2011 5:07 pm

I remember tasting a Kedem 27 year old port that was pretty good. Anyone try this one?
http://www.KosherWino.com - Supporting your kosher wine habit
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 19, 2011 5:45 pm

Never tasted it. Do keep in mind that it is also of somewhat dubious morality to name an American made wine "Port"
User avatar
User

Yehoshua Werth

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

596

Joined

Thu May 19, 2011 3:29 pm

Location

Monsey, New York USA

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Yehoshua Werth » Thu May 19, 2011 5:58 pm

Wow nice topic..

Mr. R,

Have you or anyone here tasted the 2006 Tishbi Desert Wine?
18 Months in Oak and a Blend of Barbera and Zinfandel. Two heavy alc producing grapes with heavy fruit.. Hmm
Thank you for the response and nice to be in this forum.. 1st post..

Love be with your day.
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
Monsey, NY USA
http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines
no avatar
User

Or Shoham

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

188

Joined

Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:22 am

Location

Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Or Shoham » Thu May 19, 2011 6:09 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:First of all, according to Israel's signed agreement with the 27 nations of the EU (European Union), the use of the name "Port" is in violation of an international treaty. It is even forbidden by local law to use the name "Port" on a label. The primarily small wineries that are making such wines are basically spitting in the face of Europe.


I'm not a lawyer, but if what these wineries are doing is against the law, it is up to whoever owns the naming interest to do something about it... if they fail to do so (and they clearly have so far), I don't see it as any of my concern (from a legal standpoint).

That in itself is enough to tick me off (more polite, I suppose, than saying "pissed off") but my ire only starts there. First of all, relying on grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec these wines are not made from the same grapes as are used in the production of true Port. Second of all, other than being fortified, these wines do not look like Port, do not smell like Port and do not taste like Port. Nor are these wines made by the same system as Port.


I made an honest effort to think of a descriptor/name for these wines that I might find enticing as a customer, and I must admit I drew a total blank. Therefor, I can't really blame the wineries for riding the only product name that's likely to result in a positive connotation with customers, legalities aside. As the case may have it, those who are knowledgeable about wine are likely to know that the product in question is not really Port, and those who are not are probably not overly concerned with the difference*.

As an aside - is the misnomer "Port" for these fortified wines really worse than some of the naming schemes used for Israeli wines (particularly those which are intended to lead a customer to believe the wine's quality is higher than it actually is**)? I had some examples written up, but since I don't want to single anyone out, I've erased them and will leave it up to each reader to think of their own examples.


*In the interest of full disclosure, I have never actually tasted Port (and have only tasted a couple of Israeli "Port-style" wines, which I did not care for), so I can't actually comment as to the difference.
** I can't seem to rephrase that into anything that doesn't sound awkward. I blame lack of sleep.
Last edited by Or Shoham on Thu May 19, 2011 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 19, 2011 6:59 pm

Yehoshua Werth wrote:...Have you or anyone here tasted the 2006 Tishbi Desert Wine? 18 Months in Oak and a Blend of Barbera and Zinfandel. Two heavy alc producing grapes with heavy fruit.. Hmm



Yehoshua, Hello and a Warm Welcome to the Forum....

My tasting note for the wine in question follows.

Best
Rogov


Special Reserve, Barbera-Zinfandel, Dessert Wine, 2006: A blend of 50% each of Barbera and Zinfandel, those reinforced with Red Muscat Brandy. Full-bodied, generously sweet, showing notes of wild berries, cherries, licorice and bittersweet chocolate. Oak-aged in the sun for 18 months, showing a Port-like nature but faulted by the lack of acidity. One to adore or not depending on personal taste. Drink now–2013. Score 85. K
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Thu May 19, 2011 7:06 pm

Or Shoham wrote:As an aside - is the misnomer "Port" for these fortified wines really worse than some of the naming schemes used for Israeli wines (particularly those which are intended to lead a customer to believe the wine's quality is higher than it actually is...)? I had some examples written up, but since I don't want to single anyone out, I've erased them and will leave it up to each reader to think of their own examples.


One assumes you are referring to labels that state "Reserve", "Reserved", "Special Reserve" and the like, a habit we picked up from the Americans. Several wineries use such terms clearly as a sales approach. Others use them honestly. We should note as well that quite a few of the very best wineries in the country do not use such terms. Also worthy of note is that some "Special Reserve" wines (e.g. Margalit's) are indeed special reserves.

Worse than the use of "Port"? No less a rather artificial sales point for wines than that but not as serious as it does not violate any international treaties. Not even local regulations are violated. T'would be nice indeed if we had a Wine Institute that defined and then enforced the use of such terminology. Alas, that seems not to be in the cards at this time.

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Menachem S

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

657

Joined

Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Menachem S » Fri May 20, 2011 8:40 am

Does port need to drunk entirely once open, or like cognac, can I be enjoyed for years after opening? (or most likely, somewhere in between?)

Thanks
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Fri May 20, 2011 9:03 am

Menachem, Hi....

Largely because Port is a fortified wine it will hold longer in an open bottle than an unfortified wine. If sealed with a cork the wine should be consumed within 2 - 3 weeks after opening; if in a glass stopper, the wine can be held for 2 - 3 months.

In saving open bottles never, never use a vacuum system (it drains the wine of many of its aromatic essences) and be sure to store in a dark, cool place.

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Doug Z

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

392

Joined

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:11 am

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Doug Z » Fri May 20, 2011 11:42 am

First of all, according to Israel's signed agreement with the 27 nations of the EU (European Union), the use of the name "Port" is in violation of an international treaty. It is even forbidden by local law to use the name "Port" on a label.


now wouldnt it be ironic if now someone in portugal released a "cooosher cuvee", or maybe a "kashereaux" and which would not exactly be kosher as defined by say...that other political union, the orthodox union.

:twisted:
"I don't know much about classical music. For years I thought the Goldberg Variations were something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg did on their wedding night." Woody Allen
no avatar
User

Alek W

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

216

Joined

Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:34 pm

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Alek W » Fri May 20, 2011 4:42 pm

Rogov hi,

speaking of Port, could you please provide several TNs for (real) Ports available in Israel?

Thanks,

Alek.
User avatar
User

Craig Winchell

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1019

Joined

Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Craig Winchell » Fri May 20, 2011 6:26 pm

Got no problem with calling a wine "port", as long as it's good. There are some excellent California examples of Cab, Syrah and Zinfandel ports, and that also holds true for Australia, at least the last time I looked. And there are some really excellent ones made int he USA from Port varieties. I think the biggest problem with the Israeli ones I have had (admittedly only a couple, and only kosher ones) is that they have been crap. The fact that they are not made from Port varieties is immaterial. Bad wine is bad wine. And when I see one and it is oxidized, it isn't like a tawny, it's more like a Sherry. That's just wrong. We have a 2006 Syrah port here that is very good (not kosher). "Port" indicates the style in which it was made. IT is a creditable example of its type. IF it weren't I might have objections.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Fri May 20, 2011 6:32 pm

Craig, Hi....

I'm not saying that some red reinforced dessert wines cannot be of high quality. What I am asking is: If it is not made from the same grapes as Port, if its not made in Portugal, if it doesn't look like Port, if it doesn't smell like Port and if it doesn't taste like Port why on earth should anyone call it Port unless they are trying to violate an international treaty and fool potential clients?

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Sat May 21, 2011 7:05 am

Alek W wrote:...speaking of Port, could you please provide several TNs for (real) Ports available in Israel?


For comments about Port Wine in general and several reviews please see the new thread at
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=39232

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Joshua S

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

5

Joined

Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:07 am

Location

Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Joshua S » Sun May 22, 2011 3:43 am

Hi Here is my 2 cents,

Port of course is an appellation and protected by law. Now, most of us are familiar port as being vaguely a fortified desert wine. So I understand the desire of a company to want to associate a fortified desert wine with the appellation Port in order to give the consumer a reference point. Since Port wines go through any number of aging processes from simple barrel aging (as in the Israeli "portish" wines) to a long Solera process, and over a hundred varieties of grapes are sanctioned for Port production I don't think it is to disingenuous to give this reference point as long as your not trying to fool the costumer into thinking this is a real Port. And of course you shouldn't break the law. Does labeling with "Port-Style" actually break a law?

I personally like the Carmel and Tishbi approach. If you go to their wine shops or take a tour they will use the word Port-like or something but on the bottle there isn't a hit of it. Again it gives a reference point all know but they don't tell you this is a Port and don't label it as such. As desert wines I actually found the Carmel (Carmel Vintage) and Tishbi(Baraera zinfandel) to be quiet interesting and fun. Only tasted them at the winery stores so far but I will be buying a bottle when I have the right occasion to serve a desert wine.
no avatar
User

Joshua S

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

5

Joined

Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:07 am

Location

Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Joshua S » Sun May 22, 2011 4:11 am

Another thought, I actually tried editing my first post when I thought of this but it wouldn't go through for some reason. So here it is as another post:

I don't know if this is Tishbi's motivation in leaving the barrels "in the sun" however let me just say this. Bourbon (one of 3 spirits that love I drink regularly) is often left in warehouses to age without much control over the heat. Heat makes the barrels swell and absorb the alcohol into the charred staves. As the heat recedes with the changing of the seasons, the casks contract and squeeze the liquor back into the barrel’s center with a new amber blush and smoother taste. Year in and year out, the cycle continues until the whiskey reaches a good age and hue. So I think an argument might (I understand that distilled corn/rye/malt is quite different than fortified grape wine), just might be made for leaving barrels to the elements. I certainly didn't taste anything spoiled about the Tishbi fortified wine when I was there.

Joshua
User avatar
User

David Raccah

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

2431

Joined

Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:18 am

Location

Bay Area, CA

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by David Raccah » Sun May 22, 2011 4:16 am

Hey Joshua,

I think Daniel is taking offense to the cooked fruit flavor that develops from leaving wine in the sun. That said, I too like the wines you mentioned but I can understand the points that Daniel brings up...

David
Checkout http://www.kosherwinemusings.com for my blogs on the world of kosher wines and follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/kosherwinemuse.
no avatar
User

Joshua S

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

5

Joined

Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:07 am

Location

Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Joshua S » Sun May 22, 2011 5:45 am

David,
Oh yes I see his point and think it has a lot of validity. Just offering a different perspective cause I see room for maneuvering on the points discussed.
Joshua
User avatar
User

Craig Winchell

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1019

Joined

Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:09 pm

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Craig Winchell » Sun May 22, 2011 5:32 pm

Port is not an appellation, and in most places is not protected by law. Oporto is, though. Douro is, though. Port is only considered a protected appellation within the EU, and perhaps a few other places. Many Ports are actually labelled Oporto. As well they should be. Port is a generic name for a style of wine, and has been recognized as such in most of the civilized world. Thus, there is no fear that one is trying to sell local wine as Portuguese product.

I hear what you guys are saying, but you're just plain wrong (grin).
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12957

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Why Israeli "Port" Upsets Me

by Daniel Rogov » Sun May 22, 2011 6:01 pm

Craig, Hi...

Several exceptions to what you have said above:

1. Israel is a signatory to the EU treaty on the use of names. You will find, for example, that not one of the major wineries in Israel uses the term "Champagne" or "method Champenoise", as they do not call their wines "Port" because they respect the treaty.

2. You say that Port is a generic name for a wine. I'll go along with that only if the wine is made in Portugal, from recognized grapes used in Portuguese wine and is made by the traditional methods involved in making wine. In this case I comfortably accept the Wikipedia note: "Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and often simply Port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. I'll happily also accept the addition of calling the wine Oporto.

3. Wineries in Israel are not trying to convince people that their "Port wines" were made in Portugal. In fact, some are quite proud of their wines and are quite insistent that the wines were made in Israel.

In other words, I ain't wrong.

Keep on truckin'
Rogov
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign