WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

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WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Oran K » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:29 am

Hi Rogov,

Did you have the chance to taste any of the new wines of the "King Solomon" Winery from the Judean / Jerusalem Hills ?

I got a newsletter from a restaurant offering their wines. It is claimed to be a winery which has its high quality roots in the 15th century(!) in Austria.

It is said that all their wines are red and come in 3 series : King label , Prince label and Duck label. It is claimed that their wines have exceptional

complexity and will age for 10-15 years ! (WOW...)

Any WTN's ?

Thanks,

Oran K. Jerusalem.
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:44 am

Oran, Hi....

Sighing deeply. Until your post, I had never even heard of this Israeli winery. I phoned two of my contacts, two of the most wine-knowledgeable people in the country, and neither had they heard of the winery. I did manage to find one link to them on Google (see http://kingsolomon.myd.co.il/ ). I have sent off an email asking them to contact me. I would, of course, have telephoned but they do not list a phone on their web site.

Scout's honor. As soon as I learn more and hopefully get to taste their wines, I shall post again.

I begin to despair at the number of new wineries opening. Not that this is necessarily too many wineries but because my Guide to Israeli wines is increasing outrageously in size.... Would you believe the 2009 edition is going to be nearly 500 pages!!!!!!! Yaaaaargh......

At any rate, many thanks for the tip-off to the new winery.

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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Mike_F » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:54 am

Red Muscat, creamy liqueurs, and methods unchanged from the 15'th century....

Oh well, I suppose that hope springs eternal,

Mike
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Avi Hein » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:10 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:
I begin to despair at the number of new wineries opening. Not that this is necessarily too many wineries but because my Guide to Israeli wines is increasing outrageously in size.... Would you believe the 1999 edition is going to be nearly 500 pages!!!!!!! Yaaaaargh......


I presume you mean 2009 guide :-) More importantly, so far how many wineries are listed in the guide? There are numerous wineries in Israel today but still very few that are producing "commercial" or even medium sized production, but I'm interested to see both quantity and quality grow and what that will end up doing to get Israeli wine recognized in the mainstream (beyond those who read Decanter and Wine Spectator and follow Parker, which is already significant significant progress).
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:30 pm

Avi, Hi....

The 2008 guide contained some 150+ wineries and about 25 more will be added in the 2009 edition. That indeed includes more than a few very small qua "artisanal" producers. My logic on this to date has been to include any winery producing wines that are for sale both at the winery, at least several wine shops and restaurants, and that has been based on the public "need to know". With some shops now carrying 100 or more labels, the public has become completely confused as to what is available and as to what of that available might or might not be worth trying.

The problem involved here is not the size of the wineries because some of these artisanal producers are giving us wines of true excellence. The problem would come about by including only those wines that, in my opinion, can be recommended. I have always taken the attitude that the critic must write not only about the positive but also the negative.

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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Menachem S » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:42 pm

Question (without any idea as to the feasibility or realistic nature of said question)

Is there a point at which we might actually see some mergers in the wine industry in Israel? Or is that not something one sees, rather you just begin to see wineries fail?

I presume there s not an infinite amount of demandor supply of grapes to support an unlimited number of wineries.
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Mike_F » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:56 pm

Menachem S wrote:I presume there s not an infinite amount of demandor supply of grapes to support an unlimited number of wineries.


Carmel = 20 million bottles per year

A "very small qua "artisanal" producer" maybe ~ 5,000 bottles per year

If Carmel decides to increase quality and lower production by 10%, that frees up raw material for another ~400 'very small' wineries... .
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:05 pm

Menachem S wrote:Is there a point at which we might actually see some mergers in the wine industry in Israel? Or is that not something one sees, rather you just begin to see wineries fail? ...I presume there s not an infinite amount of demand or supply of grapes to support an unlimited number of wineries.



All one can do is speculate here. Mergers? I am skeptical. Buyouts, bankruptcies and closings, I fear that there shall be.

As to supply and demand, have no fear as local consumption is so low proportionately to France, Italy, and Spain that if it went up by 10% annually the wine industry would find themselves bowing with gratitude to whatever God or gods they follow. And truth is, slowly, slowly, I believe we will see that increase coming about. I also believe that as the public continues to increase its awareness, those wineries producing wines that do not meet minimal standards will start to drop by the wayside.

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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Menachem S » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:00 pm

And what about small wineries joining together for efficiencies and survival?
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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:09 pm

Menachem S wrote:And what about small wineries joining together for efficiencies and survival?



I doubt very much that we will see this happening and that largely because:

(a) Many of the better wineries are such precisely because their winemaker-owners are very much involved with the hands-on approach that a small or medium-sized winery can afford them. Such people would lose much of that by joining forces with other winemakers, decisions then being reduced to "group" rather than "individual" feelings and professional abilities.

(b) In cases of lesser quality wineries, many of whom feel despite critical notes to the contrary, that they are doing a "just fine job" and ego would get in the way of taking other opinions and input into consideration.

(c) In many cases I doubt that it would be efficiency and survival that would rule but inefficiency and ultimate doom.

But then again, keep in mind my usual proviso - I am a wine critic and not a business consultant.

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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:22 pm

One does keep trying! I have sent six emails to the King Solomon Winery but have not yet a response. As to luck in finding a telephone number, no luck either. No fear though, it was not only the ancient Israelis who sent spies to scout out the promised land, but wine critics as well, and my own spies are working diligently to obtain several bottles of these wines. We (please note the use of the royal "we") shall report back.....

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Re: WTN - New/Old "King Solomon" Winery ?

Postby Ehud W » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:08 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:One does keep trying! I have sent six emails to the King Solomon Winery but have not yet a response. As to luck in finding a telephone number, no luck either. No fear though, it was not only the ancient Israelis who sent spies to scout out the promised land, but wine critics as well, and my own spies are working diligently to obtain several bottles of these wines. We (please note the use of the royal "we") shall report back.....

Best
Rogov


No fear, the winery does exist and has been around for a few years!
How do I know that? Well, that's a typical story, when my Optometrist was glad to find that I am into wine, and said he has a friend, who runs a winery ... yes, King Solomon. Moreover, he asked me to take a bottle he got from this friend, and let him know how the wine is - as good as his friend claims or merely a "nice effort".
I didn't write formal notes, but if memory serves me right that was Cabernet Sauvignon from the King label (2005 to the best of my recollection), and surprisingly good! To tell the truth I expected a rough, country style "wine-like" grape juice and what I tasted was a decent wine, nice balance of fruit against oak and acidity, the alcohol didn't bang on the head (as some Israeli reds do) and it should go well with food.
I was told that the wine (Kosher) is available in some Jerusalem restaurants and even hotels but I can't vouch for that.

Searching the net I found the site you did, Rogov, that led me too to nothing and no one. It wasn't that important at the time so I let it off, and now my Optometrist is in Australia for another few years and I cant ask him for his friends details, what a pity.
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