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

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Lili Wines: In My Eyes A Mini-Scandal

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:03 am

The question of Lili wines has come up several times, first at our earlier location on Stratsplace and more recently here on the thread at viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17399 Because some things pass to the second side of my red line and I think it may be important enough, I am starting this new thread.

When the Lili label first appeared it was a wine made by Assaf Kedem entirely for export and was precisely the same wine that he was producing under the Assaf label for distribution in Israel. That gave me no problem whatever. Now, on hearing from Gamliel and others that some bottles of the wine are kosher, I had to do some checking. About five minutes ago I spoke with Assaf Kedem who clarified the issue for me.

The non-kosher Lili wines are indeed made by him as a private label for several investors. And these are indeed precisely the same wines that are made under the Assaf label. The kosher label wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2005 vintage was made by Dalton. I have just spoken with both Alex Haruni and winemaker Na'ama Mualem of Dalton and was told that even though the Lili wine carries the label "Limited Edition" it is, in fact, precisely the same wine that was used in the basic Dalton series.

I was also told this morning that neither Assaf nor Dalton will be producing wines for this project in the future. In all of this, nothing against either Assaf or Dalton. If I have any complaints they are with the company buying, labeling and then distributing these wines.

Why a mini-scandal to me? Simple enough. Although I have no objections to private label wines, I firmly believe that such wines, if made for and not by the company should clearly show the source of the wine - that is to say, the winery at which the wine was made.

Whatever, my tasting note for the Dalton 2005 Cabernet follows. Assuming equal bottling procedures and hoping for equal storage and shipping procedures, the wines should be at the same level.

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Rogov

Dalton Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Developed for 12 months in French and American barriques. Dark garnet, medium-bodied, with somewhat chunky country-style tannins that yield in the glass to re-veal plum, blackberry and currant fruits, those with a somewhat heavy mineral-earthy overlay. Drink now. Score 85. K
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Gary J

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Re: Lili Wines: In My Eyes A Mini-Scandal

by Gary J » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:48 am

"Steam" coming out of your ears? "A mini scandal"??
Rogov, I don't get it? Why so upset? Private label being produced from bulk juice/wine and investors marketing said product under their own label has been going on for years all over the world. Even in Israel this was taking place at Ella Valley Winery.

Did the investors TAKE CREDIT for making the wine? Do they claim this Lili an estate grown and bottled wine? Is that was bothered you no end? I can understand that. But otherwise I'm confused.

sympathetic yet bewildered...
Wine Tasting Guy
http://winetastingguy.com/
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Lili Wines: In My Eyes A Mini-Scandal

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:14 pm

Gary, Hi....

That's why I called it a mini-scandal. In almost all cases private label wines indeed show by whom and for whom the wine was made and do not offer a label that implies that it was made by a winery of that name. The second part of what I consider a mini-scandal is that because no such mentions are made potential buyers are rather automatically led to believe that the kosher and non-kosher wines were made at the same winery.

I suppose one of the reasons that this tactic raises my hackles is knowing of several small wineries that have purchased wines even rejected by larger wineries, have bottled those under their own labels as if they made the wines themselves and have then gone on in several cases even to wine "prizes" at local competitions. One of the reasons why I have so little faith in many competitions.......

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Rogov

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