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

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Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Eli R » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:59 pm

Daniel, Hi,

In between all the summer celebrations, surprises and discussions on release dates, price increases, availability of El-Rom in the US, we seem to have missed two new releases that sneaked their way into the shops and up on the shelves.

Could we have any release information and "post release" WTN on the following wines:

GHW, Yarden, Merlot, 2004

GHW, Yarden, CS, 2005

Thanks,

Eli
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:41 am

Eli, Hi...

Following are my most recent tasting notes for the wines in question. I will check later today as to availability.

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Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2005: Brooding dark ruby-red, full-bodied, with near-sweet tannins and spicy oak wrapped around black currants, berries, spices and a hint of dark chocolate. Look as well for enchanting hints of citrus peel and vanilla on the long finish. Fine balance and structure bode well for the future. Best 2010–2018. Score 92. K

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, 2004: Dark garnet towards purple, medium to full-bodied, with tannins and wood integrating nicely and showing a generous array of berry, cassis and plum fruits, those supported by minerals, sweet cedarwood and, rising on the medium-long finish, an overlay of spices and tobacco. Drink now–2011. Score 90. K
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Gary J » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:16 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2005: Best 2010–2018. Score 92. K

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, 2004: Drink now–2011. Score 90. K


Very nice tasting note for both wines but I am quite curious about the discrepancy in the preliminary drinking window. That the cab, 1 year younger than the merlot, has a guesstimated 13 year lifespan while that of the Merlot is only 7 years surprises me.

Intrigued and looking forward to hearing you elaborate on what led you to such conclusions...and if possible how/when WE lay people can figure out drinking windows...

THANKS MUCH!
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:40 am

Gary, Hi.....

Simple enough. Two good even excellent wines but the Cabernet Sauvignon carries the notation "fine balance and structure bode well for the future". The Merlot is well balanced but somewhat lighter in weight and without the required structure for longer-term development. It is also possible to state that as a rule (but with some exceptions) Israeli Cabernet tends to cellar longer than Merlot.

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Rogov
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Gary J » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:33 am

Fair enough. Very interesting.

To clarify, when you speak of
Daniel Rogov wrote: the required structure for longer-term development.


are you basically referring to the acid and tannins?

When I think of structure (and I am still learning) I don't always thought about age-ability. I will generally think about roundness of the wine - looking for the balance between things such as fruit, acid, tannins, etc...

Also though,
Daniel Rogov wrote: as a rule (but with some exceptions) Israeli Cabernet tends to cellar longer than Merlot.


I have tasted Merlot after Cabernet at tastings at wineries - given that many an Israeli Merlot (possibly more common in Judean Hills) is bigger and more robust than Cabernet. Again, just a generalization, but something that would seem counterintuitive to your statement above.

Thanks as always for sharing the knowledge!! ;)
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Menachem S » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:02 pm

The Ella Valley Merlot's in particular tend to outshine (IMHO) the cabs from that same winery, on a reative basis - after all, it is still Merlot . . .

Not sure I have seen that anywhere else though - peraps Bustan?
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Eli R » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:35 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Gary, Hi.....

Simple enough. Two good even excellent wines but the Cabernet Sauvignon carries the notation "fine balance and structure bode well for the future". The Merlot is well balanced but somewhat lighter in weight and without the required structure for longer-term development. It is also possible to state that as a rule (but with some exceptions) Israeli Cabernet tends to cellar longer than Merlot.

Best
Rogov


Daniel, Hi,

As a dedicated fan of the GHW Merlot 2003, I was so pleased you gave it a "second life" in your recent TN.
Now I need to make sure I would outlive it :wink:
I do hope to see the same with following vintage years:

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2003: Drinking beautifully now but with quite a future in front of it. Dark garnet, full-bodied, and with generous tannins but a well-polished wine showing a generous array of cherry, currant and berry fruits, those supported nicely by layers of Mediterranean herbs, vanilla and a gentle hand with smoky oak. On the long finish a tantalizing hint of green olives tip-toes in nicely. Drink now-2014. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Aged in French oak for 18 months and showing generous but gentle wood influence. Soft mouth-coating tannins support generous blackberry, back cherry and plum fruits and, on the long finish, hints of Oriental spices and a light herbal-tobacco sensation. Best 2009–2015. Score 93. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

previous WTN:

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2003: This soft, smooth and polished wine shows tempting ripe cherry and currant fruits, those supported nicely by layers of Mediterranean herbs, vanilla and light hints of smoky oak. Complex, long and elegant. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K

Eli
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:24 pm

Balance and structure for aging potential. Some fine wines have the balance but not the structure and although those will make for fine drinking they will not show the aging potential of the well-structured wine.

Structure to me is the manner in which the physical properties of tannins, acidity, alcohol and fruit interplay to yield a wine that comes together in ways that stand solidly together. A wine that is flabby or unfocused for example, lacks is poorly structured. In consideration of structure one also considers the appropriateness of weight (body) to those elements.

Balance on the other hand refers to the interaction on the nose and palate of those elements and, when appropriate, sugar.

When considering aging potential both balance and structure come into consideration. A wine lacking that is poorly "built" (structured) will not age well nor will a wine that is out of balance (the imbalances becoming more noted over time and not less). In looking at a very young wine (or a barrel tasting), one may have to hunt a bit to determine both structure and balance, that not because they are not there but are waiting to make themselves more demonstrable.

And that, standing on one leg, is that .................................. methinks

Best
Rogov
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Menachem S » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:48 pm

I am not questioning the amount of estimation/guesswork/historical reliance that goes into a drinking window.

Nor am I uncomfortable with the conservative nature of a drinking window, better to be short than long

But, to what do you attribute wines that fall far short of their expected windows - Recent Castels come to mind. Wines that had balance and structure, but begin to fall apart much earlier than anticipated

Any thoughts on why/how that happens?

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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:27 pm

Menachem S wrote:...to what do you attribute wines that fall far short of their expected windows - Recent Castels come to mind. Wines that had balance and structure, but begin to fall apart much earlier than anticipated. Any thoughts on why/how that happens?


Menachem, Hi......

Not referring to any specific wine or winery, but that can happen for several reasons, the most frequent relating to a winery that has a short but demonstrable track record in which earliest releases showed better aging but then fell off in that aspect with more recent releases. That could result from major shifts upward in production, bottling procedures, and possibly even the overall quality of the grapes received and precisely how those grapes are received as production increased.

Another reason, especially with a young winery (and 10-15 years is still young when it comes to setting predictable track-records) might relate to shifts in winemaking procedures or even of the winemaker him/herself.

And then of course there is the possiblity of critical error, in such cases perhaps over optimism caused by earlier releases.

There is, of course, also a positive side to this. No-one could have predicted for the first ten years of the Golan Heights Winery and Margalit for example, how long-lived some of their wines would be and the upper-level wines from these wineries have indeed proven to be longer-lived and more cellar worthy than one might have hoped for breisheet("in the beginning").

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Rogov
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Re: Yet new releases from GHW? - TNR please

by Gary J » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:55 pm

Real interesting discussion and great thorough explanation. I understand more now than I did 5 minutes ago :lol:

Thanks DR (and others)!
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