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

Eureka!!!

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Daniel Rogov

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Eureka!!!

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:40 pm

Today, well past the age of adolescence when vast discoveries are often made, I cried out "Eureka". Unlike dear old Archimedes who was so excited after he discovered the law of buoyancy (that a body immersed in a water displaces its own weight of the water), I did not run naked into the street proclaiming aloud my revelation. I did, however, do some very serious checking of my tasting notes over the past twenty years.

I have devoted a good many years in trying to capture in words the various and specific factors that make Israeli wine unique. Soil in particular and terroir in general have not proven to be decisive, for Israeli soil and terroir conditions may be found in many places in the Mediterranean Basin. Nor has my rather vague notation of Mediterranean sunshine helped for even though a reflection of that sunshine is to be felt in Israeli wines so is that a reflector of many other wine producing areas. Nor could I place the credit on Israeli winemakers for with their varied training and work experience that is far too vague a notion.

Working today on the final galleys of my 2012 books it fell on me. The factors, simply stated, are the aromas and scents of cedar wood. Using a more or less proportionate analysis it seems that as much as Israeli winemakers rely on oak the aromas and flavors of cedar are to be found in 75% more of Israeli wines than any others, reds and whites alike. That may be "sweet cedar", "sweet and spicy cedar", or "spicy cedar" but, by heaven cedar it is and not oak, cherry wood, or any of the other woods that may be used. Indeed, in a not insignificant number of cases the hint of cedar in Israeli wines is even to be found in wines that were aged in stainless steel or even concrete. Indeed, oak can be felt at various levels but there is also the undeniable cedar wood in so many wines.

Those not familiar (or who think they are unfamiliar) with the aromas and flavors of cedar wood need do no more than make a trip to a local do-it-yourself shop or lumber yard, there to scrape up a few grams of both cedar and oak, ideally in sawdust form. Once at home take two identical glasses, soak the woods in water for an hour or two, strain through a coffee filter or other fine filter and then to taste and smell the two waters side by side. (I obtained my own sawdust at the local hardware shop. It's ok. He thinks I'm crazy at any rate).

As I say "Eureka"

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Rogov
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Yehoshua Werth

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Yehoshua Werth » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:45 pm

Like Them There Settlers been goin' west finden dem gold in the Hills of California...
Awesome!

The Question is: How long have you been thinking of this question?.. Was this an inkling or just searching for some identifier?
Very cool

Love be with your day,
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
Monsey, NY USA
http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:07 pm

As to how long I have been seeking such factors.. let's simply say more than 35 years.

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Rogov
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Yehoshua Werth

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Yehoshua Werth » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:46 pm

Amazing.. Truly all your digging brought fruit.. May we all see such wonders and clarity.
May you find more of your ( ? ) and fill the glass with more epiphanies like today!
II
II
__ I __

Love be with your day,
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
Monsey, NY USA
http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines
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Gabriel W

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Gabriel W » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:02 pm

I almost always associate cedar notes with wines that show some age...

I definitely pick it up in Israeli Cabs. Carmel Kayoumi, Recanati, Tzuba, maybe Galil Mountain too, come to mind, but I also find it in non Israeli wines. (very old Herzog Cab and I think in some Covenant too). I've picked it up rarely in whites. Binyomin Cantz (Four Gates) has some old Chardonnay that has this really interesting note that kind of reminds me of cedar but also something like caraway.
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Stephen Weil

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Stephen Weil » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:19 am

Daniel
this is very interesting. Are you saying that the majority of barrels are not made from oak but cedar?
Is this deliberate? Are wine makers claiming the barrels are oak?
Please put me on the right track.
Regards
Steve
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:50 am

Steve, Hi....

Clearly a misunderstanding.... Indeed the vast majority of barrels used in Israel (and regardless of size) are made from French and American oak with some from Eastern European countries. That the aromas and flavors of cedar that make themselves felt are a reflection of some combination of soil, terroir, specific Israel sunshine and other factors.

Truth is that using cedar wood barrels would not be particularly efficacious.

Something akin to finding black cherries in wine. Ain't no black cherries there but a result of the variety of the grape, and the above factors.

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Rogov
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Stephen Weil

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Re: Eureka!!!

by Stephen Weil » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:27 am

thanks, I clearly misunderstood.
have a good day.

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