Hoping that I have finished shopping (at least if i maintain my self-control). Have picked up 8 selected bottles to bring back. Several are for a tasting this summer of whites for our synagogue - 2012 Domaine Netofa white (chenin blanc), 2012 Lueria gewurtz and 2012 Har Tavor rousanne. And for the reds, for us to enjoy at some point - 2010 Ramot Naftaly barbera, 2011 Gvaot Gofna pinot noir, 2008 Lueria red, 2008 Avidan Prio and NV Vitkin dessert wine, which is available only at the winery.
Some brief tasting notes, as I am not able to write notes at great length, nor can I describe more than two or at most three fruits per wine.
At Derech hayayin, tasted three wines from Avidan - 2008 Prio, and two others whose names I cannot recall. The Prio (primarily carignan plus three other grapes) had the most complex flavors, so I bought a bottle. You can see Rogov's notes on this wine by searching the forum. Like him, I liked this wine.
At Vitkin -2012 Israel Journey (white) - pleasant fruity wine with enough acid, made from a mixture of grapes (I forget which)
dessert wine (NV) - made from a mixture of carignan, petite syrah & cabernet, with more port-like flavors than other "ports" I have tried (though not made from any Portuguese varieties). I liked it enough to buy a bottle rather than one of their reds (had a bottle of their cabernet franc last year, which was delicious).
Sde Boker -2011 cabernet sauvignon - a good young cabernet, rather fruity but ready to develop in bottle and reasonably priced at 90 Sh. Not distinctive enough, however, to bring back to the US when one can only check one large suitcase without paying extra fees.
Sde Boker 2008 merlot/cabernet (50/50 blend) - rather heavy, not very interesting.
The cabernet, and all wines starting from 2011, is kosher.
Carmei Yosef/Bravdo tasting last Friday:
2012 rose (cabernet franc) - crisp, very dry, not a lot of fruit
2011 cabernet - similar to the Sde Boker wine but higher priced at 130 Sh, thus overpriced in my eyes.
2010 merlot - rather heavier than the cabernet, not as fruity, not as interesting, also 130 sh.
2011 shiraz - pleasant, earthy in finish but enough fruit, but also at 130 sh. higher priced than some better syrah/shiraz wines (Yarden, e.g.)
2010 Coupage (3 grapes, primarily cabernet franc) - Vegetal, vegetal and more vegetal. No thanks.
They also had a chardonnay but I didn't try it. The only chardonnays that I really like are those from Chablis.
2010 rose (cabernet franc) nicely acidic, spritzy, a good summer wine but, to be honest, based on this and the Bravdo, I am not enamored of cab franc roses. The Galil Mtn. (4 grapes, mainly sangiovese) had more flavors.
2009 Cabernet sauvignon reserve (kosher) - A strong cabernet nose, lots of fruit, overshadowed initially by sour tannins. A good long finish with black fruits but still lots of tannins. Needs 3-4 more years in the bottle. 160 Sh.
Heading home next week; we'll see if I have a chance to taste any more wines. Anyone interested in laying a bet as to whether i can stop myself from buying any more wine?