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KFWE 2012

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Isaac C

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Isaac C » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:32 pm

Gary,

Do you have a list of the wines that will be available at the KFWE that you can share with us?

Thanks,
Isaac
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Gabriel Geller » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:33 pm

Craig, Yehoshua, points taken...
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Gary J

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Gary J » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:30 am

Isaac C wrote:Gary,

Do you have a list of the wines that will be available at the KFWE that you can share with us?

Thanks,
Isaac


Hey Isaac-

Within the next week or so we'll have our Tasting Guide finished. It will be the same format as last years (http://kfwe2011.com/tasting-guide.html) and will list all the wines being poured & foods being served.

Sound OK?

See ya'll there...
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David Raccah

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Re: KFWE 2012

by David Raccah » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:01 pm

Royal just released their press release of the pacific northwest wines from pacifica evan's vineyard, which will be poured at 2012kfwe and 2012ifwf. Philip Jones (from Spencer Hill Estate/Goose Bay) and his wife bought some land in Oregon and uses grapes from Washington to make their new Kosher Oregon Pinot and Washington Meritage.

http://www.royalwine.com/blog/2012/01/3 ... -northwest

David
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Gary J

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Gary J » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:52 am

Isaac C wrote:Gary,

Do you have a list of the wines that will be available at the KFWE that you can share with us?

Thanks,
Isaac


Advance heads up for forumites...

List of food, wine (& for trade/press- spirits) appearing at KFWE, Monday night Feb 13th, can be viewed here...

http://www.kfwe2012.com/tasting-guide.html

The link will go live on the http://www.KFWE2012.com website late tomorrow...

See ya'll there!
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Re: KFWE 2012

by David Raccah » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:20 am

Clear issue hitting Royal is Shmitta - many of the best 08 wines we tasted at Sommelier and being sold in Israel now, will NOT be available at the event. To fix this, they must either show the new 09 vintages, which for some may be early, or the older vintages, which for some may be past. Overall, the 06 and 07 vintages in Israel were just fine, so my guess is the VAST majority will not know the difference.

1) 1848 Wines will be interesting to taste - though the flash program seems to be a bit broken for this one

2) Alexander wines are new this year, though I am sure the Amarolo will not be in LA - loved in at Sommelier. The rest of the 09 wines are being sold now, to circumvent the shmitta issues. I am sure Yoram is not excited, given he has lost of 08 wines as well!

3) Barkan - no Assemblage - mega bummer for Americans. The rest seems like what we had last year.

4) There is a new Parsac and new Haut Medoc

5) Binyamina wines are new for the most part, though tasted many of these at Sommelier. The Choshens are older vintage, though still very nice, BEWARE the Cave does NOT seem to be the old vines Cabernet from the description, though it may still be - given all the test says is 2007 Cave.

6) The Chablis, Tavel, and CDR are last years, did not see the Chaban in Oxnard last year.

7) Capcanes is ALL NEW BABY!!!!! Will be fun to taste the supposed best kosher wine of all time according to WA

8) Carmel is also running into the Shmita mess. It is missing many of its best wines, though that is life. They are releasing the 2010 Kayoumi WR, the 2007 Cab, which is lovely, the 2007 Med, which is still AWESOME! The 2007 LE, which we did not have in Oxnard last year, and the new 09 PS and Cab. They are showing the 07 Gewurtz, cannot wait till the 09 is here in teh US!

9) Covenant will ONLY be showing in NY and UK, man it sucks sometimes to live on the west coast :-( Other than the GREAT weather!

10) Castel is also skipping the shmitta wines and showing the lovely 09 PC and the GV and C

11) Netofa is poring last years wines, but that is fine as these are JUST lovely wines! Please talk with Pierre he is AWESOME!

12) Drappier is all new, and I have tried them both and they are lovely - taste and be VERY HAPPY. I personally, like them more than the Laurent Perrier, which is NEVER poured in LA.

13) There are new Elvi wines - check them out! New Ness Blanco, Ness, and INVITA. The rest are the same as last year, though lovely as always.

14) FLAM BABY!! Ned I say more! The Classico, looks to be here as well!!! Liked them ALL in Israel, the rose is 100% Cabernet Franc, which is unique!

15) Never had the Listrac, Pierre says he thinks the best Frecnh Kosher is the Gisours, though they all look to be existing vintages or older ones. That said, again, many of these wines at the French table, are WORLD CLASS and well worth trying again!!!! The Fleur de Perigord is new, one that was not poured at Oxnard before, wonder if we will see it.

16) Gamla - not sure what to say there…

17) the Goose Bay Chard is 2007! Are you kidding me? New Pinot Grigio, Pinot Moir, SB, and last year's Viognier. Most will be fine.

18) Hagafen is not available in Oxnard, because Hagafen is distributed on the east coast by Herzog and NOT on the west coats, of course. Try the WR - lovely!

19) Herzog has a new Special edition wine. Each year Joe releases a new high end wine from a different vineyard. This year it is the Mt Veeder Cabernet, from Napa Valley baby! Also, is the newer Trestle Glen Cab, which is BR Cohen's grapes. A ALWAYS welcome reshow of To Kalon - one of the best wines, kosher or not! Interesting that there are none of the club wines listed here, I guess we only get that at Oxnard/LA, at least we did the past couple of years. Finally, The clone six is a new vintage along with the new Chalk Hill, at least for me.

20) the Jeunesse - has two new reserve releases - Pinot Noir and Napa Cab. - enough said

21) LP Champagnes - never poured at Oxnard/LA

22) Morad - NOT WINES!!!!!

23) Bartenura/Ovadia Italian wines. The Terra di seta is the older 2008 vintage, though they promised on Twitter that a newer vintage will be released soon. Please try the 08 again, there seems to be a serious disagreement on whether we like this wine or not. The rest is OK. Though I have not tried the Morelina or the Dolcetto.

24) Pacifica - enough said - try them!!!

25) Psagot wines again hit with the shmitta issue. They are pouring their 09 wines which are lovely as well, though LA/Oxnard will probably be a no show like the past couple of years.

26) Cardova, is not pouring the nice reserva wine - they are fine

27) Segal is pouring their 07 and 09 wines, again shmitta, and both are nice! The Argaman, is so -so.

28) Shiloh is pouring older vintages, though they seem to be bringing in the Barbera, so try that!

29) Teal lake …

30) Tulip - Taste them all - nice wines. I REALLY liked the 10 Just Cab in Israel, and the White Tulip is unique. Have not yet had the 10 Just Merlot, I hope they pour in LA!

31) Weinstock - Have not had the PS yet, otherwise, there is a newer Cab, Zin, and try the Alicante and tell me what you think.

32) Yatir baby! Enough said.

33) Zion - have had ZERO of these wines, and Rogov liked a few of these, including the 07 Armon, which should be good till 2013.

There you go - UK will be first, followed by NY, and then LA. I hope you guys on the east coast and VERY east coast will send early word on the wines!!

David
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Gary J

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Gary J » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:14 am

David Raccah wrote:2) Alexander wines are new this year, though I am sure the Amarolo will not be in LA - loved in at Sommelier. The rest of the 09 wines are being sold now, to circumvent the shmitta issues. I am sure Yoram is not excited, given he has lost of 08 wines as well!


Not sure if Alexander will be in CA at all.

David Raccah wrote:5) Binyamina wines are new for the most part, though tasted many of these at Sommelier. The Choshens are older vintage, though still very nice, BEWARE the Cave does NOT seem to be the old vines Cabernet from the description, though it may still be - given all the test says is 2007 Cave.


There is so little of the Old-Vine Cave this year that it doesn't appear destined to leave NY. That said, Binyamina pushed Royal to honor the commitment made to forumites & Royal agreed. Those people who had initially requested some many months ago will receive a note soon about how to get it. Unfortunately it is a wildly expensive wine...even though forumites are getting up to 2 bottles at about 10% above wholesale

David Raccah wrote:16) Gamla - not sure what to say there…


Wine Enthusiast just gave the new Gamla Reserve Cab 90 points & an "Editor's Choice" award...don't be such a hater Raccah ;-).....(yes, kidding)

David Raccah wrote:22) Morad - NOT WINES!!!!!


I beg to differ my friend. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but most definitely wine...albeit fruit wine, made not from grapes. Personally, I think they are a bit thick (syrupy) on their own but with some sparkling wine (such as Elvi Cava)...DELISH!

David Raccah wrote:25) Psagot wines again hit with the shmitta issue. They are pouring their 09 wines which are lovely as well, though LA/Oxnard will probably be a no show like the past couple of years.


Winemaker Yakov Berg will be in London, NY & LA representing! And speaking of representing....Wine Enthusiast gave the '09 Edom 91 points!

David Raccah wrote:28) Shiloh is pouring older vintages, though they seem to be bringing in the Barbera, so try that!


Shiloh owner will be in NY & LA. He really wanted to pour new (to US) "Sod" (AKA "Secret) Shiraz & "Sod" Merlot but it doesn't look like they will get here in time. There is also a lovely new wine called "Legend" that seems likely to unfortunately show up Stateside a few days/weeks too late...though we are hoping to get lucky...
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Re: KFWE 2012

by David Raccah » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:08 am

Thanks for the information. I am happy to hear more Israeli folks will be at LA. Flam will also be coming to LA, what about Tulip? Either way, sounds like we will have our hands full with wines to enjoy - thanks!

David
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Menachem S » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:08 pm

Retaurants look a little weaker than last year, but there are quite a few wines I want to try/drink

overall, looking forward
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Jeff Morgan

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Jeff Morgan » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:03 pm

David R's rundown of the players leads me to believe he missed his calling as a sports announcer. Coupla comments from Jeff at Covenant:

We're in London right now getting ready for the KFWE here on Monday. Leslie Rudd is with me as is Mrs. Covenant (Jodie Morgan). Very exciting! Went to Harrod's famous wine shop recently and found they had only 2 kosher wines in the whole place--Carmel and Yatir (also owned by Carmel)...Hardly very imaginative of them...especially only 2 months before Pesach. We're hoping the KFWE will inspire Harrods and other retailers/restaurants here to expand their selection and show the Brits the amazing new quality in Kosher wine accross the board.

The reason we're not in LA this year is that with London and New York....we've just got to get back to business in Napa Valley. Next year in Los Angeles!

Looking forward to making new friends in London; and seeing old ones in New York....aka my home town! We'll be pouring our 09 Cabs, the new 2010 Lavan Chardonnay....and (in NY only) the brand new RED C 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (unwooded).

Jeff Morgan...Winemaker, Covenant Wines
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Gary J » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:10 am

David Raccah wrote:Thanks for the information. I am happy to hear more Israeli folks will be at LA. Flam will also be coming to LA, what about Tulip? Either way, sounds like we will have our hands full with wines to enjoy - thanks!

David


Yup, Gilad Flam and Tamir Arzy (Tulip winemaker) will be in L.A.
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Yossie Horwitz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:54 pm

So KFWE was last night and, as always, I thought it was a great event - kudos to Gary J. and Royal for the hard work and all thier efforts and wishing all the West Coast folks a tremendous event tomorrow - enjoy. My newsletter this week will hopefully have a more detailed description of the event and some of the wine tasting highlights but I wanted to give a brief rundown of the event and some of the wines, a number of which weren't listed on the posted wine list.

In a slight departure from past years, there was a early afternoon session for the trade from 12-4 which gave those attending the ability to chat with the varied winemakers in a much more intimate setting and have a more relaxed environment to do some serious tastings. At 4 they closed shop for people to recuperate and then reopened around 6 for an hour of press (although many of the press attended the earlier event including Alice Feiring and Howard Goldberg, both delightful individuals I was super-excited to meet, chat and taste wines with) before the event was opened to the general public at 7. Despite the throngs of attendees, for the bulk of the evening it wasn't crazy crowded and most of the wines/winery representatives were accessible to all.

There was a really long list of winemakers in attendance, all of whom are listed in the book including Assaf and Sasson from Binyamina, Yaakov Berg from Psagot, Yoram and his wife Ilana from Alexander, the entire Covenant team of Jeff, Jodie and Jonathon, Jürgen from Capcanes, Pierre from Netofa (and Royal's French Collection), Joe from Herzog, Irit and Ed from Barkan and other winery representatives including Adam from Carmel/Yatir, Dr. Moises from Elvi, Yossi Shor from 1848, Gilad Flam and Mayer from Shiloh. As every year and despite how exhausted many of them were, they all had time for any and all questions and seemed to enjoy discussing the wines (more early on than later :-)).

As far as wines, the list is endless (see my Thursday newsletter for more detail) but for me, some of the highlights included:

Castel, Rose, 2011 and Grand Vin, 2009
Shilo, Legend, 2009 and Mosiac, 2006
Elvi, Clos Mesorah, 2009 - Elvi's new flagship wine (a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah) deserving of its status
Two amazing white wines from Bokobsa - Pouilly Fumé Maltaverne and a Sancerre Chavignol - crisp and incredible.
A mini-Capcanes vertical of the 2008-2010 vintages and the new 2010 La Flor
The 2005 Le Crock and Leoville - I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E
Binyamina LH Gewurz 2009 (I tasted and wrote about this before but was very happy to see it finally here)
Psagot Prat (port-style)
Laurent Perrier Brut (I enjoyed far more than the more expensive Rose)
The new Covenant wines, especially 2011 SB which, unlike the 2010, didn't do full Malo and was crisper w/ better acidity).
A surprise treat - the 2003 Covenant!
Yatir Forest 2007 - 'nuff said.
Flam, Reserve, Syrah, 2010

The food was great and I in my opinion has been a really successful addition, really enhancing the event and making it more inclusive. Way to much to taste (or list) everything but some favorites included the Po' Boys from Bistro 1310, BBQ Ox Tail from ETC Steakhouse, the crazy decadent Chocolate Mousse from Finchi, Corned Beef and Pastrami from Pomegranate, Smokehouse Brisket from Gemstone Catering, Jack's Chorizo, La Marais' Smoked Duck Breast and off course the incredible Espresso from Noi Due, Ribeye Tartare from Downtown Brooklyn and the Dunk Confit Meatball and Veal Shepard Pie from Silverleaf Caterers.

Very little complaints other than a few listed wines were no-shows (Valendraud, Segal Unfiltered, Psagot 2011 Chardonnay, Goose Bay 2011 Pinot Grigio). All in all - really well run, managed and enjoyable.

Enjoy tomorrow's event in LA and look forward to the reports!
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Craig Winchell » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:31 pm

My oldest son, Gedalia David, will be pouring tomorrow- someone asked especially for him, either because he knows wine, is a responsible guy, or loves to party. He's just hoping he gets something decent to pour (he's hoping it's not Jeunesse). He's anxious to see what's out there. Gedalia David has had many excellent wines, though he has no expertise in the area of wine. Basically, he knows what he likes, and he knows what the world (I) thinks is good, and why. He has a great palate. A wonderful kid, I just hope he doesn't end up seeing his dad too drunk. No, I'll be good. Promise!

Sounds like a lot of new and interesting wines- at least, I'm hopeful that's the case.
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Yossie Horwitz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:56 pm

Sounds good - its always great to have a pourer who actually knows a bit about the wines he is pouring since here is usually only one winery representative and many more visitors with questions.
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Isaac C » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:46 pm

Gary - great job on the KFWE this year! I agree with Yossie that the crowds were much better managed than previous years (though, strangely enough, it actually felt more crowded during the trade show).

I did not take notes on all the wines I tasted but these were some that stood out to me and I remember off the top of my head:

Castel, Rose, 2011- this wine was really good but what I enjoyed most about it was the amazing nose - I could just sit there and smell the wine for hours. To be honest, the mouth was a little disappointing after such an amazing nose but still a very enjoyable wine.

Castel Grand Vin, 2009 - as expected, this was great.

Capcanes vertical of the 2008-2010 vintages - I thought the 2010 was showing best (and Jürgen agreed). I really enjoyed the 2010 La Flor as well.

The Yatir Forest 2007 was amazing

Flam, Reserve, Syrah, 2010 was very good

The Binyamina Reserves - I recall liking all of them more than I have in the past few years. I think the Shiraz was the best of the bunch though I forgot to write it down so I'm not 100% sure it was that one.

Some of my favorite finds of the night:

Carmel Appelation Petite Sirah 2007 - I actually enjoyed this one the most of the Carmels.

Tulip Just Merlot - I thought the nose and mouth on this was extremely unique - I don't think I've ever had a similar wine. The Just Cabernet was also very enjoyable and interesting.

Domaine Netofa Tinto- this was excellent and I hope it makes it to the US sooner rather than later.

Tzuba - I was really impressed with the Merlot, Cabernet, and Metsuda though I'm not sure about the QPR.

The food was amazing - Finchi's brownies and mousse (I think that was the best mousse I've ever had), Le Marais/Clubhouse's Duck Breast, hanger steak salad, Pardes rib-eye tartate (delicious but honestly I couldn't identify the beef over the flavoring), Pomegranate's pastrami (insanely soft and juicy) and corned beef, Got Cholent's various cholents (especially the smokehouse and duck confit cassoulet), Gemstone's Ahi Poke Tuna and brisket were the foods that stood out the most to me.
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Craig Winchell » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:46 pm

Yossie H, I didn't say Gedalia David knows anything at all about the wines he is pouring, as we don't often drink Royal wine (or any wine that costs money, because I generate wine myself). I said he knows wine, as he's had just about everything I've made since he was born- the wine he sucked at his bris was my 1986 Gamay Beaujolais, which was actually a pretty fair Pinot Noir. He's been privy to some good wines through the years, enough that he knows good wine if he tastes it (and just as importantly, knows a defective bottle when he smells or tastes it), which is more than most of the young pourers. And he can differentiate wines and wine types.
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Yehoshua Werth » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:05 pm

Had an amazing time.. Many many new wines and so awesome to hade a chat with the winemakers about their wines wile tasting them for the first time!

Short notes as follows:

C - Sauvinon Blanc - California: Impressed me a lot had this Honeydew Mellon/Blood orange thing going on. Great mouth feel and super smooth.

agree with Yossi; the 03' Covenant was a treat.

03 Giscours still my Fav overly dry wine ;)

07' Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz .. Light spice fruit/black oaky, leather, orange rind in the distance wih nice minerals stuff flippin' around. Dry finish yet works. winner.

07' Chateaunuf De Pap - Selection Bokobsa turned my head around on this one... REALY different in all the right ways. Winemaker said 15 different grapes from around the region in on this one and the range is well stagaring.. will need to sit down and retaste to put some words in like a super subtle giant.. Silly

more to come
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
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http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Adam M » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:34 am

I had another great experience at the tasting this year. The number of wines was simply awesome and all the trimmings were finely spun. It was well worth the expense.

If I had to nitpick and offer some constructive points of improvement, it would be along the following lines:

1. It seemed that there was bunching if wineries in the middle of the giant room with a fair degree of spaciousness on the far eastern wall and on the southeast corner. I think the flow and access could be enhanced by more evenly dispersing the tables. I found it difficult to park myself at or near a table in the middle of the room and remain there for a complete tasting of all the wines. However, it seems that some of the others may not have had this issue. My issues could have been due to the particular time that I was in those areas.
2. I think an increase in the number of pourers should be considered. In some cases, it seems as though there were 8-10+ wines per pourer, which made it difficult to try multiple wines with a reasonable degree of efficiency. Having said this, the pourers were generally very friendly and generous,
3. I thought the food was a big upgrade from last year. A lot more effort seems to have been put into the menus. Well done!

The following is a rough draft uncut summary of my impressions of the wines that I tasted. I tried to be as objective as possible.

Alexander

2007 Amarolo – very drak, tannic, strong (15.5%), overall very good, should age well. Not convinced that this is worth the $100+ price. The jury is still out.
Alexander the Great – 2007 Cab – full bodied, tannic; very good, though not as much of a blockbuster as the Amarolo;

Barkan

2007 Superieur Cab – full bodied (seemingly a trademark of the Superieur series), nice finish

2007 Superieur Pinotage – tannic, wasn’t feeling the love

Binyamina

2007 Chosen Aquamarine – medium bodied, much better than the Sapphire, though in my view not worth the high-end price
2007 Chosen Sapphire – watery, short finish. Par for the course in my experience with other vintages of this particular wine
2007 Cave – drinking well but the winemaker in attendance and the pourer totally ruined the experience. They were insisting that we taste ALL of the Binyamina wines, including the Yogev series, before they would give us a 1.5 ounce taste of the Cave. No one else in all of Chelsea Piers was acting in this manner, which I thought was ridiculous and cheap of them. Sorry, had to say that.

Carmel

Kayoumi 2010 White Riesling – nice upscale bottle and label design; nice, soft, fresh and fun. I didn’t sense too much sophistication from this; but perhaps it’s just my ineptness with whites (I need boot camp with Chaim Shraga).

Kayoumi 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – very dark and full, has a lot of flavors going on but it seems as though it needs more time for the oak, fruit and acidty to come together. This is perfectly fine and I think that in a couple of years this wine will be drinking nicely

Kayoumi 2007 Shiraz – I hoping that this was just a bad bottle b/c I didn’t enjoy this at all. Flavors were out of whack and it had a weird taste.

2007 Mediterranean – Didn’t taste this at the event b/c I have had about 3 bottles of this at my house in the past month. This wine changes so much once the cork is popped that seemingly with every taste you get something different. On the elegant side, I really like this wine and think this is a lesson that good winemakers who have access to good grapes and facilities are generally proven right with the benefit of time (Yes, I thought it had a dumb, muted taste when it very first was released; silly me).

2007 Limited Edition – This wine is superb. It has a lot of the trademark flavors of a Limited Edition. And it is drinking very nicely now.

Covenant
2010 Lavan Chardonnay – This wine in my view is perhaps the best Chardonnay to date from Covenant. It has a very subtle funk to it that implies some aging potential. My guess is that it will integrate into butteriness with a little more time on the bottle. The grapes were sourced from an entirely different series of vineyards, so those who purchase the wine will indeed be experiencing a (slightly) different terrior.

2011 Red C Sauvignon Blanc – I found this wine to be much lighter and crisper than the Lavan, which is quite complimentary from the perspective of food pairing. A little on the thin side, though this could be b/c I tasted it immediately after the Lavan, which is much more mouth-coating.

2009 Red C Cabernet – Seems very true to the recent Red C vintages, particularly the 2008 vintage, with black fruits and dark color, deep and rich body. I found the aromatics particularly pleasant. Picked up a lot of tannis, which suggests that this wine will benefit from another few years in the bottle.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon – On par with prior vintages. It was difficult for me to take detailed notes b/c the table was so crowded. I wish I had more time to spend with the wine. And I sure as heck wish I was offered to taste the 2003.

Domaine du Castel
2009 Petit Castel – For such a young wine, I found it to be very approachable; smooth, elegant and not as overpowering as one might expect from such a young quality wine.

2009 Grand Vin – Big, elegant, lots of great flavors. This should be a very good vintage.
One special impression of the Castel table that I came away with is that Eli Ben Zaken was not particularly outgoing and talkative. I wish he was more engaging with the commonwealth tasters so that we could obtain a first-hand account of how the wines were made and any special features of the winemaking or vintage that are of particular interest. Insights like these help sell wine!

Domaine Netofa
2009 Latour Netofa – I was very impressed with this wine as well as with the charming winemaker, who, in contrast to some of the other wimemakers, was full of information regarding his wines that just exuded appreciation. I will definitely add this to the list of wines to purchase. In the winemaker’s view, it is thought that this wine will age pretty good well.

Flam
2010 Rose – Very interesting unoaked Cab Franc. Assuming the price is right (which I don't yet know), this will represent a unique choice for those hot summer months, or even a nice spring day. Oh, and the wine tasted pretty good, too. I think it will integrate even further over the next few month and have more of a fun feel.

2010 Classico – This is an entry level wine that I actually thought was very nice on Sunday evening at the City Winery tasting. It was elegant and smooth; reminded me somewhat like a little brother of the Castel Petit Castel (which itself is a little brother, if you catch my drift). At the Royal tasting, though, I tasted the wine again, only this time contemporaneous with some of the other big mouth-coating blockbuster wines. It was in this context that I noticed the relative thinness and short finish of the wine. Having said this, I think this wine perfectly fine in it’s own right – as an entry level cost effective quaffer; aint nothing wrong with that!

Herzog Generation VII To Kalon 2006 – OK, so I’m a selfish snob; I had two tastes of this, and ONLY this, at the entire Herzog table. Truth is that the table was crazy crowded and there was really no way to conduct a proper flight tasting across all the other quality wines As for the Generation VII, WOW! There may have been other wines at the same general level of this wine at the event. But I don’t think any of them impressed me more than this wine. And, for the record, I got absolutely no flack for asking to taste only the To Kalon and then, with that shameless New York attitude, asking for a second helping.

2010 Pacifica – I was very very impressed with this on Sunday night. Slightly less so at the Royal tasting (specifically, I noticed the finish shorter and body thinner than some of the “big” blockbuster wines). I got a fair amount of spiciness and chocolate. But I found the wine approachable and even enjoyable. Overall, I liked the wine and thought a small stock was worth having in my cellar; if anything, for the unique terrior that it represents; aint much Kosher wine originating from the Walla Walla valley of Washington state these days!

Segal’s Single Vineyard Dovev Argaman 2006 – Thin, short, spicy yet uninteresting. Sorry. I like the Doved Merlot much better. Wouldn’t buy this.

Shiloh
Legend 2009 – Hopefully, this was a bad bottle, b/c there was some off-putting flavors that make it difficult to keep this wine in my mouth

2006 Mosiac – sweet and smokey. Good but lacked the backbone found in many “big” high-end wines. I love the “Secret” Cabernet and have also enjoyed the Cab-Merlot blend. The winery is clearly on the up-and-up and so I don’t mean to poo poo them. They will be getting their fair share of a pound of flesh from me in the coming years. I just right now can’t justify paying the USA price for the Mosiac. Perhaps if it had a very long aging potential....

Tulip
2010 Just Merlot – nice garnet but not very dark; very nice aroma and interestingly spicy and mouth-coating. Two of my friends who tasted this wine also really liked it and wanted to stock up on it. In the context of this being a reasonably priced entry-level wine, I think this is a winner.

2010 Just Cabernet – This, to me, was much more of what you’d expect from an entry-level wine. Nice but nothing to particularly noteworthy.

Just a final note that we look forward to Tulip exporting to the US kosher market its high-end wines.

Yatir

This winery was the winner in my little spiral KFWE 2012 book. All three of the red wines that I tasted clearly reflected the terrior of a forest in the hot and arid Negev dessert. The wines were across-the-board inky dark and rich and full of flavors. Specifically:

2007 Red Blend – This is much more like the 2005 and 2004 than the 2006. It is well integrated and very enjoyable as a new world wine. Of the three reds, this was at the bottom of a (very tall) totem pole in terms of pure quality. But from a pure value perspective, it was at the very top.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – This was slightly more tasty than the red blend; slightly more fruity, which I’m guessing suggests better aging potential.

2007 Forest – A wow wine. An amazingly clear window into the terrior. I can see this turning into liquid silk in a few years. Perhaps not a widely food pairable as some of the other more elegant wines. But who needs food when you have this wine!

Thanks to all the Royal folks who put on this very educational, enjoyable and satiating event.
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Isaac C

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Isaac C » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:17 am

Skyview has the Flam Rose listed at $32.95 on their sale list - if you ask me that sounds like a lot for this style wine.
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Adam M

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Adam M » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:21 am

For an unoaked rose, I would agree 100%. According to Mr. Flam, this wine is apparently very popular in Israel, though I would highly doubt it's at this price point. This rivals the Irrationality of the $32+ sought for the Yatir Sauvignon Blanc..

Having said this, The high price could have something to do with any or all of the following factors:
-the scarcity of this particular product in the US market,
-the debut of Flam on the kosher wine scene, and
-possibly that Skyview has taken a large position in this wine that has left them with a large share of the US allotment, reducing the amount of price competition (which they done in the past, e.g., the 2004 Yarden cab magnums)

It may be a cool wine to have and enjoy, but from a tangible value perspective I don't think it's even remotely worth it.

The Recanati rose is very enjoyable and less than half the price, for example...
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David Raccah

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Re: KFWE 2012

by David Raccah » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:05 pm

33 dollars! Ouch! I bought the bottle RETAIL at the winery for 75 sheckel - ouch! I do like it though. I wonder how much of the Castel Rose will be brought here to the US and for how much that will be sold!

David
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Yossie Horwitz

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Re: KFWE 2012

by Yossie Horwitz » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Agreed - the prices for the Flam Rose and Blanc seem to rival that of the Yatir white wines (just over $30) which is ridiculous (and they really don't sell that well). As Raccah mentioned, like the Classico they sell for substantially less in Israel and I believe we are being taking advantage of (although we do benefit from substantially lower pricing than Israel on many other high-end wines like Yarden's Elrom Cabernet.

With respect to Adam M's comments on KFWE, agreed that this was a great event, well organized and better then prior events - kudos again. Like Adam, I was a little surprised at the stinginess of the Cave being poured (let alone the Old Vine one under the table) - Binyamina was literally the only winery acting in this fashion, including many other much more expensive wines. As a comparison, Yoram was pouring the Alexander Amarone like there was no tomorrow, the Grand Vin was open to all, Covenant was being poured generously and Joe was dishing out the single vineyard Herzog wines like water, including the To-Kalon (as they all should have been with people paying $100 a ticket to come).

I do understand a winery's perspective of maintaining a certain air of exclusivity which I agree with to some extent (from a business perspective I guess it cuts both ways - you lose the exclusivity but you show people how awesome the wine is and worth buying [although this really only works for the bigger wines that tend to show best at events such as these as both Pinchas L and Craig mentioned]), but if so - don't bring it to the event or only have it at the trade part and indicate so up front; like they did with most of the spirits). It isn't fair to a consumer who shelled out serious money to be short-changed or treated as "not-special" (as a comparison, in Israel the big events are substantially less money to attend but many of the higher-end wines are not widely available (i.e. are under the table for those in the know or who ask or are poured in the VIP booths).

Again, agreeing with Adam, Eli was generally unfriendly and standoffish (including Howard Goldberg of the NY Times) - not sure what was going on. I am also not sure why he continues to insist on pouring the obviously reductive 2009 Chardonnay, especially when the 2010 has already been released. The 2009 Grand Vin was awesome though!

The attention paid and resulting quality of the kosher white wines is improving, a gratifying and positive trend with the Covenant white wines, the two new Bokabsa versions, the Binyamina unoaked, Eliv's In Vita, Tulip's white, Yatir's, SB and Carmel's Kayoumi Riesling. Now all we need is someone to get a kosher d'Yquem and some true kosher German Riesling and the last frontier will be kosher Burgundy!
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Re: KFWE 2012

by David Raccah » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:51 pm

Binyamina was also being weird about the cave in IFWF and it was not that great. Eli was pissed to say the least - mostly because his wine was not there (the 2009 GV), they poured the 2007 instead. I cannot understand why they pour the 09 Chard either, rubber is not appealing, but there is the issue of - most Jews do not know it and cannot taste it and do not know it is bad, and they need to get rid of it. Sorry, but not everyone is like us :(
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Re: KFWE 2012

by Pinchas L » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:26 pm

Adam M wrote:For an unoaked rose, I would agree 100%. According to Mr. Flam, this wine is apparently very popular in Israel, though I would highly doubt it's at this price point. This rivals the Irrationality of the $32+ sought for the Yatir Sauvignon Blanc..
.
.
.
It may be a cool wine to have and enjoy, but from a tangible value perspective I don't think it's even remotely worth it.

The Recanati rose is very enjoyable and less than half the price, for example...


Hi Adam,

Without getting into the price aspect, I would like to add that The Flam Rose' is stylistically unlike any of the other kosher Rose' you are comparing it to. If it is a fun wine to chill and use at a picnic on a hot summer day, this is not the wine you want. The Recanati, Galil Mountain and Dalton are all better suited for that task, and they are priced accordingly. The Flam is made in the style of the Northern Rhone, it does not showcase its fruit, rather it brings one to contemplate the balance between its acidity and tartness. Any serious dish will overwhelm it, so that I would be quite selective as to the food I would pair it with.

Best,
-> Pinchas
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