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

New Israeli Wine Guide

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Gedalya P

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New Israeli Wine Guide

by Gedalya P » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:43 am

From Cellar 18 in Ramat Beit Shemesh
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Moshe F

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Moshe F » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:31 pm

definitely a void that needs to be filled. i suppose time will tell if this actually takes off and they are a worthy "successor" as jgpersky says.

one can send them an email, according to their facebook page, and receive a snippet of some of their tastings.
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Menachem S

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Menachem S » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:18 am

As I am not on facebook, if anyone gets a preview of tasting notes/style please send around

thanks
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Moshe F

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Moshe F » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:42 pm

They posted an email address where you can request a sample of some of the tasting notes. They state:
"If you're interested in a free copy please email us at israel70wines@gmail.com"

They emailed me back a few hours later with some snippets of their tastings.
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Gabriel Geller » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm

Moshe F wrote:They posted an email address where you can request a sample of some of the tasting notes. They state:
"If you're interested in a free copy please email us at israel70wines@gmail.com"

They emailed me back a few hours later with some snippets of their tastings.

Moshe, hi. And what did you think of those tasting notes?
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ChaimShraga

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by ChaimShraga » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:29 pm

Gabriel Geller wrote:
Moshe F wrote:They posted an email address where you can request a sample of some of the tasting notes. They state:
"If you're interested in a free copy please email us at israel70wines@gmail.com"

They emailed me back a few hours later with some snippets of their tastings.

Moshe, hi. And what did you think of those tasting notes?


Is that a trick question, Gabriel? I'm sure you must have read them... :D
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Gabriel Geller » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:56 pm

Well Chaim, of course I have. 8)

First of all, my impression is that the wines that were selected by Gat and his colleague as the best they tasted don't reflect in my eyes the objectivity they claim their tastings to have been conducted with, as it feels that they rather reflect more the not-so-objective preferences of the reviewers themselves who are known to me as being part of what I like to call the "little bubble" that us israeli "wine people" are part of (you and myself included).

What I mean is that the best wines being attributed to Ido Lewinsohn (for his Garage de Papa wines) and Eran Pick (Tzora) might be, IMHO, the result of a little bias and awards distributed to friends rather than real, fully objective reviews. But again this is merely my guts feelings talking and certainly not an affirmation of facts of any sort. I'm by no means saying that the '12 Tzora Shoresh Sauvignon Blanc and '12 Lewinsohn Garage de Papa Chardonnay aren't good wines, quite on the contrary! However, putting them on the podium together with the '12 Dalton Sauvignon Blanc Reserve and '12 Dalton Single Vineyard Semillon which are nice wines but, in my opinion, obviously are not in the same league takes away some of this guide's credibility.

Now, regarding the style of the notes, aside from the not quite important fact that they show very little parallels with mine, I also find them lacking with almost not any useful remarks as to the wines' structures (body, acidity, tannins). In short, personally those notes don't tell me what to expect.

One last remark, the scores seem to be shaped by some sort of "anti-Rogovism", meaning that as much as many people accused Rogov of scoring israeli wines too high, including you Chaim if my memory serves me well but myself as well often enough, what I think they obviously want to show is that israeli reviewers can be and are actually realistic about the quality of israeli wines. Realistic to such point that they'd score them not only lower than Rogov but also lower than Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast to name only these 3.

A little extreme for me but that is at least how I would describe my first impression based on those first reviews.

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GG
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by ChaimShraga » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:54 am

I'm a little biased because they're both friends/relatives of colleagues of mine and thus part of my own bubble.

First of all,I welcome the project itself. They seem to capture the personality of the wines. That's what I care most about in tasting notes: personality, structure and grocery list of flavors and aromas last (I want to get an impression of what I'd be getting in the wine but really don't need whether it's going to be blackberries as opposed to blueberries or specific of herbs and spices).

As for the scores, they seem consistent. That is, when they score wine X a 92 and wine Y 89, I can understand the delta, in those wines that I'd tasted.

By the way, I never identified with the relief some felt when foreign reviewers gave Israeli wines high scores. I never really felt those scores vindicated Rogov, because his entire tasting/scoring system seemed riddled with paradoxes and inconsistencies. But you know me, y'all can stick scores where the sun never shines as far as I'm concerned. :mrgreen:
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Isaac Chavel » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:46 pm

"
I want to get an impression of what I'd be getting in the wine but really don't need whether it's going to be blackberries as opposed to blueberries or specific of herbs and spices.


I'll drink to that.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by David Raccah » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:02 am

Sorry - I have no public comment on the issue of these folks documenting wine - that is their business and could care less. However, if you are going to define a wine by structure and not the flavors - that is OK. What I have an issue with is the lack of definition of the what I am now calling - "the Israeli Factor". Is this wine so nasty and new world that I want to shoot myself than drink it? All the wines that I have seen so far on this mythical list, are wines that I have found either greatly overrated or over the top and not interesting. That is my 2 cents.

What concerns me is that people are just interested in having notes and not notes that work for them. There has been such a void that they just want anything rather than something they really need. It too me YEARS to calibrate what Rogov said for what I wanted. Many of his go to wines were no fly zones for me. Some of the wines he rated poorly were awesome to me.

I warn those that before you jump - read, taste, and calibrate and then you can decide what you want to lean on and what you want to pass on,
David
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Elie Poltorak » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:31 am

I second David. A critic is only useful to me after I've followed him long enough that I understand his palate and can translate his TNs to what appeals to me. Rogov's palate couldn't be more different than mine, as I didn't like many of his favorite wines and he rated some of my all-time favorites rather low (Four Gates is the most obvious example). But with time, I came to understand his palate and his TNs became useful to me. We need to see some serious consistency and a large amount of highly descriptive TNs for the new guide's authors to be of any use to me personally. But it's good to see someone stepping in to try and fill the void.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Moshe F » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Out of curiosity, anyone hear updates about this new "project"? Thanks.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by lewis.pasco » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:07 am

David Raccah

"It too me YEARS to calibrate what Rogov said for what I wanted."



Wow. Talk about lost time off one's life. How on earth would one "calibrate" Rogov's tasting notes? Sometimes they were great, other times they were as arbitrary as the urge to take a dump.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by David Raccah » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:04 pm

Lewis - I am sorry that you feel that way. Sure, he was human and maybe the arbitrary you found was a disagreement. In the end, my palate is MINE, and all I care about is - will I like the wine or not! What I did was learn what I liked and then see how DR liked it and then I mapped it over time. By the time he passed I could tell by his notes if I was going to like his 88 scored wine or hate his 96 scored wine.

Remember - we buy wine to like it - not to impress others. With respect, I have not "lost" anytime for that endeavor, it came with reading and enjoying wine, two things I do anyway.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by lewis.pasco » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:38 pm

Your last paragraph is perfect. Forgive me if I offended in any way.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by David Raccah » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:29 pm

Lewis - none taken, I look forward to getting some of the Project wines when they arrive state side!
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by lewis.pasco » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:57 pm

My two cents, and it's only peripherally related to the topic of the new guide...

I met with Yair Gath (one of the Guide's co-authors) early today, err yesterday since it's past midnight, and found him to be charming and knowledgeable about the range of Israel's wines. Yeah, he liked my wine The Pasco Project #1 quite a bit, was really enthusiastic about the Cabernet Reserve I have still in "elevage" in barrels, was really looking forward to the super quality that should come out of the 2012 vintage in general...

I tried to recall if I'd ever met him during my 3 harvests with Tishbi or 8 directing Recanati, and he agreed we'd never met - so to me he's a relative newcomer to wine commentary here in Israel and from all I could ascern he should be a very welcome, and as I noted knowledgeable, contributor to the scene.

What I was most curious about was his (and his co-author Gal Zohar's) list of the "10 Best Wineries in Israel" for 2012, which was publicized a few days ago. I caught a link to the list through Israel Preker's "Wines-Israel" facebook page. What concerned me, and my direct question to him, was why there was no winery from the"occupied territories" over the green line (except of course for Ramat Ha Golan which seems to be no longer thought of as "over the green line" by many Israelis nowadays) incuded among the "Top 10." I have no shame (or timidity) in saying these wineries and their vintners are my friends and colleagues: Psagot, Gvaot, Shiloh, Tura... are NONE of these producers worthy of inclusion in the "top 10"?

I don't believe I should b at liberty to repeat exactly what Yair said to me, but suffice it to say that I came away with the understanding that Yair is VERY, VERY WELL AWARE of the quality of many of the wineries producing in the Binaymin settlements areas or using grapes primarily or exclusively from vineyards planted "over the green line." INDEED, Mr.Gath feels quite strongly about the quality of the grapes grown in our area and the commitment of many of the wineries there as well to make top flight Israeli wines that take a back seat to no one and no other grape growing region in Israel.

I am looking forward to the new guide, even if it will piss me off if like the 10 best list and it remains somewhat arbitrarily (to my mind) exclusive.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Gabriel Geller » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:17 pm

Yup, at least Rogov wasn't arbitrary regarding the wineries of Judea and Samaria. I expect many to rise their eyebrows after that last sentence but yeah, as much as he was a proud "leftist" and didn't support the settlements, Rogov was well aware of the quality wines made in that part of the country and scored many of those wines scores ranging from 90-93 as well as a 5-star rating for Bustan winery. Now with regards to my own view on this matter, IMHO Gvaot certainly deserves to be part of that top 10 list.

Best,

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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Or Shoham » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:15 pm

Not to open a political can of worms (or further open it, given that it has already been cracked open, in my view), but given that these areas are not formally a part of Israel (unlike the Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem, which were annexed by Israeli law), excluding them from a list of Israel's top wineries is surely no more or less arbitrary than including them in it. While anyone is entitled to consider this list incomplete on those grounds, I do not feel it would be unreasonable of the authors to exclude these wineries, in much the same way that I did not think it unreasonable for Rogov to have included them in his guides.

As for the guide itself, I have not heard anything new and I am looking forward to seeing what it comes up with.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by lewis.pasco » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:01 pm

...given that these areas are not formally a part of Israel (unlike the Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem, which were annexed by Israeli law), excluding them from a list of Israel's top wineries is surely no more or less arbitrary than including them in it.


My diction, in using the word "arbitrary", was perhaps poor. I will ask a lawyer friend (who's quite "leftist"as well as a professor of International Law with particular interest and knowledge of Israeli wine "laws") whether he considers, according to applicable law, wines of the West Bank to be "Israeli" or not.

As a producer in the West Bank, largely from grapes grown in the West Bank, who furthermore clearly states the appellation "Shomron" and the country of origin "Israel" on his label, obviously I think the wines should be included in any current and up to date guide to "Israeli" wines. Furthermore, I have a legal precedent too, the laws of Appellation of Origin for the wines of Israel, according to the US legal body that governs and defines this, the TTB:

http://www.ttb.gov/appellation/israel.pdf

Pardon I have not supplied you with an Israeli, Hebrew, list of the appellations of Israel, but I suppose there must be one written somewhere. I have spent too much time already searching for such a list, and I'm badly Hebrew deficient.

Or I think you raise a valid point; to the best of my ability and to the limit of my knowledge I have answered. If you can find a document of Israeli wine law that's different from the TTB's official list of Israeli Appellations, I would welcome a link to it. But I'd bet the TTB's list is predicated on information provided to them by the Israeli Trade ministry. According to the TTB list, the exclusion of wines produced in the West Bank would in fact be "arbitrary." From the "wine law" point of view (which defines my POV) the wines of the Shomron (and several other appellations on the list that are over the green line) are indeed "Israeli."

If the guide will be published in English as it's first language, the same as Rogov's was, the authors would be well advised IMO to pay attention to and respect the TTB's list of Israeli appellations IMO.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by Or Shoham » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:36 pm

Lewis,

I am not arguing with your stance - and both your stance and the opposing stance are able to cite legal sources as backing. I have no qualms with those who would include these wines on an Israeli list, or with those who would exclude them - and I respect each individual's right to make that decision primarily because there is no single truth in this case. Ultimately, I made my original response because I think it is somewhat unfair of you to determine a decision to exclude the wines more arbitrary than a decision to include them. I think we've established that it may have been the wrong term, and again, I respect your position on the matter regardless of whether it is in conjunction with my own.

In unrelated business, I am hoping to be able to try your wine at some point - where is it available (or when will it be available)?
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by lewis.pasco » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:57 pm

Hah! But you see for ME it's not unrelated! Anyway we don't need to agree, I just think it would be more fair if all wineries that have the right to use the Appellation Israel as their country of origin were included in a book discussing Israeli wines. Maybe in a subsection that makes it clear that the wines are made in territories of undetermined statehood...

Plenty of wineries use grapes from the West Bank but try to hide the fact, they will be included in the book. Some of the wineries (mine included) physically located in the West Bank use (some) grapes from Israeli vineyards within the green line...

After a bit I will post a list of stores handling my wine, it probably won't be very many as I simply didn't produce that much. Wine Depot in Ramat Gan / Ramat Hachayal picked up a very nice first order. If you give me a preferred shopping location (city) I will list in more detail.
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Re: New Israeli Wine Guide

by ChaimShraga » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:31 pm

lewis.pasco wrote: Wine Depot in Ramat Gan / Ramat Hachayal


Lewis,

Does Wine Deport have a store in Ramat Gan too, or are you being arbitrary in your decision to lump Ramat Hayal (a Tel Aviv neighborhood) with the city of Ramat Gan?

:mrgreen:

Just kidding...
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