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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Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:14 am

Tabor

This early evening I made my way to a release and tasting of new wines from The Tabor winery. Because the tasting had been arranged to take place at the Kitchen Market restaurant in Tel Aviv's Port, I arrived quite early, not just for the tasting but to take a bench near the sea, there to enjoy the breeze, the fresh sea-water aromas and the view of the gentle Medirterranean. A fully innocent and most auspicious beginning on my part.
The event started by sipping the winery's 2010 Sauvignon Blanc in their Adama Series. The Gir wine (chalky soil). Lovely with a variety of canapés that were passed around as well as the lovely, enthusiastic and sincere people from the winery. As was later demonstrated, the wines are appealing but, as was rather rapidly demonstrated, all with a bit of what I deem to be unnecessary confusion.

First and perhaps most discombobulating to me, the winery has decided to replace its flagship wine – Mes'cha (a wine that has consistently earned 90 or more points on release and has more than acceptable cellaring potential) with two new wines, those to be entitled Limited Edition, the first a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, the other of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Okay, I can live easily enough with Limited Edition but I cannot help but ask if the name of the new series will not serve as a source of confusion for potential buyers, especially those who have come to associate Mes'cha with interest and quality.
I also wonder (oyez, oyez while scratching my head) on the labels and naming of the new wines, one of which is entitled 1/13,000 and the other 1/6,000. Precisely what a number as a name says about a wine eludes me completely. And I do have to ask, what happens if next year similar blends are made in different numbers? I picture one wine "named" 12,225 and another 4,446. The mind boggles just a wee bit.

At an rate, founded in 1999 by several grape-growing families in the village of Kfar Tabor in the Lower Galilee, this modern winery draws on white grapes largely from their own vineyards near Mount Tabor and on red grapes from the Upper Galilee. Initial production was of 20,000 bottles and current production is about 1 million bottles annually. With about 1,000 dunams (about 250 acres) of vineyards currently on line and new vineyards in the works, plans are to expand slowly until annual production will be between 3–6 million bottles annually. Among new grape varieties now being planted perhaps the most exciting is of Tannat, the grape so dark in color and so deeply concentrated that the Madiran region and the red wine that relies on this grape are often referred to as “the heart of darkness.”

With agronomist Michal Akerman now gaining full control of the winery’s own and contract vineyards, European-trained winemaker Arieh Nesher is currently releasing wines in three series. The top-of-the-line label is Mes’cha, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Labels Adama and Adama II reflect the type of soils in the vineyards. In reading the Adama labels it may be useful to know that adama translates into soil; gir is chalky or limestone-rich soil; terra rossa is red earth; charsit is clay and bazelet refers to volcanic soil. There is also a more basic, reasonably priced and quite appealing series released under the label Tabor. Also released on a regular basis are two sparkling series of wines 562 and Pni'imim (Pearls).

Tabor, 1/13000, Limited Edition, 2006: Appealing medium-dark garnet in color, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Shiraz from Terra Rosa (red clay) soil, parts of which are rich in chalk. Oak-aged for 18 months, showing medium- to full-bodied with a nose opening with raspberries and black pepper, those yielding to notes of bittersweet chocolate and hints of Mediterranean herbs. Drink now-2013. NIS 110. Score 88. K

Tabor 1/6/000, Limited Edition, 2006: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 40% Merlot, oak-aged and then allowed to age in the bottle for several years (perhaps to let the potential blockbuster effect pass with time). Dark garnet toward purple but lacking brightness, full-bodied, with generous tannins but those integrating well with spices, blackberries, blackcurrants and a hint of purple plums. Good fruits here but overall not a highly complex wine and one showing a bit of unwanted alcoholic heat that rises on the finish. Drink now-2013. NIS 145. Score 88. K


See now as well the article that appeared in HaAretz today about the Tabor Adama II series. That can be viewed in English at :
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Menachem S

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Menachem S » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:14 pm

So in 2006 there was a mescha and 2 "limited editions"?

And there won't be any more mescha?

I love the mescha! This is nuts!
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Eli R

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Eli R » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Actually mescha 2008 was sumitted to one of the local competitions last year (maybe they wanted to get a medal before it goes into the dumb period),
and I a single own a bottle.

Eli
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Alexander F

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alexander F » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:24 am

A critic always appears in the cartoons as someone scary or freaky. And those being tested are always afraid and hate critics. That's because critics tell their truth and the truth can be said straightforward rather than politically correct as "the wines are appealing but, as was rather rapidly demonstrated, all with a bit of what I deem to be unnecessary confusion". Nothing really appealing here, really, dudes. With this put this way, don't expect the "Lovely with a variety of canapés" from the host, LOL. :lol:

Tabor 1/6000 - the wine is not too complex, unbalanced, the oak is prevailing over the fruit and there is some heat felt as Rogov noticed. I think it deserves 88pts on Rogov's scale, relative to the other wines he rated. However, my feeling is that on a scale which defines 88pts as "very good", it doesn't stand there. I opened Gamla Cab at the same weekend and guess what, while it was even less complex, it had better balance and smoothness. I would give Gamla same or one point less, but it's more than twice cheaper!

In short, save your money for something better. For this price (paid about 135NIS) get Yarden SV. This wine worth quality wise 80-90NIS, maybe less if you take Tulip Cab Reserve or Vitkin wines as quality-price reference. But for 135NIS, I'm disappointed.

Alex
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Yakov F » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:51 am

Alex,

I had the opportunity to taste the 1/6000 2006 the other night. I found the blend to be balanced, smooth, soft, and some what mature with some aging potential left. The others present liked it more than I did. But I agree that it was not too complex. It is consistent with the style of (but a level above) the Adama series - perhaps what you referred to as the fruit being a bit subdued. I would score it around 90 but not commensurate with the price as you said. In short - I thought it is a good effort but not something I would run to purchase. I tasted their Adama CS-PS blend at the winery which I liked and Rogov scored that a 90. My favorite of the Tavor series is still basic one.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gedalya P » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:26 pm

I just got a delivery of Tabor Har Cabernet 09 and Har Merlot 09. Is this the new name for the Adama II series?
From Cellar 18 in Ramat Beit Shemesh
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Z Spigelman

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Z Spigelman » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:47 pm

The "Har" series is the old "Tabor" series (entry level).
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Yakov F » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:31 pm

On Friday I tasted the 1/13,000 at Derech Hayayin.....tasteless. Of the two others there I knew there who have broad wine experience, one didn't like it and the other did but not for the price (30 shekel less than the 1/6000). The Merlot Bazelet (volcanic soil) still appeals to me the most consistent with past tastings, but the Cabernet Sauvignon Terra Rosa is not so good, also consistent with past tastings. I was impressed though that they offered a higher end wine which was a first for me at a Tavor tasting. Some years at the Jerusalem wine festival they only had the Pninim desert wine.
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Daniel Kovnat

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Daniel Kovnat » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:09 pm

Just returned from the Tabor Winery and tasting of their 1/13,000 and 1/6,000. We liked these full bodied and complex wines from 2006. We also tasted three of the Adama series (Terra Rosa Cabernet Sauvignon, Bazelet Cabernet Sauvignon, and Bazelet Merlot) from the 2008 vintage with mixed reactions. We did not taste, but were urged by Oren to purchase the Adama II (Syrah and the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Syrah), also from the 2008 vintage. Tonight at home and with dinner we opened this blend and drank it after the "obligatory" one hour breathing period. We agreed that it is a medium to full bodied, soft and gentle but complex and very fruity wine with a long finish. The price tag at the winery was 80 shekels. I think that this wine is an excellent companion to almost any food and the price makes it a bargain. I give it a Rogov 91 and an "A" in my israelwinetaster.com grading system.
Come on over to read about my experience tasting wines produced in Israel at http://www.israelwinetaster.com
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by YoelA » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:48 pm

Was at the winery today; tasted six or seven wines including the 1/6000 and the 1/13000. My criteria for buying are (a) wines not available in the US) and (b) wines that I like very much and that are worth carrying back to the US. So the Har 2010 cabernet (young, no barrel aginbg) was pleasant but not worth for me; the 2008 Adama cabernet was better but still not worth it; the Adama II cabernet-PS was nice but lighter; a food-friendly wine, again not worth carrying back. The cab desset wine and cab sparkling wine were not interesting at all. There was no Mes'cha available for either tasting or purchase. The 1/6000 (cabernet/merlot) was somewhat fruity, reasonably full-bodied, but with a bitter edge and at 145 Sh, again not worth it. It was agend in barreks for two years, which seems too long to me. The 1/13000 was the best buy of the group. With all that shiraz, it is fairly heavy-bodies but not that fruity; however it seems ageable (as opposed to Rogov;s note, I don't find it drinkable now).

By the way, re confusion, the Adama series is said to be 100% varietal while the Adama II series, said to be available only at the winery and in restaurants, is a series of blends. Based on the one I tasted and comments from the woamn at the tasting room, they are deliberatley masde lighter-bodied than the Adama in order to be more food-friendly.
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Daniel Kovnat

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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Daniel Kovnat » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:16 pm

I have a couple of comments in response to what Yoel said, "Was at the winery today; tasted six or seven wines including the 1/6000 and the 1/13000.......There was no Mes'cha available for either tasting or purchase........By the way, re confusion, the Adama series is said to be 100% varietal while the Adama II series, said to be available only at the winery and in restaurants, is a series of blends."

Everyone seems to be confusing the names of Tabor's wines. The source of the confusion is that they are making and selling the same wines with different names. The missing Mes'cha, as far as I was led to believe, was there, but labeled as the 1/6,000 & 1/13,000

Furthermore, of the two Adama II's that we bought two days before your visit, one was a Syrah varietal and the other was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Sirah that I mentioned in my post above.

I wish that wineries would just make the best wines they can and not play with the names to impress the market. But I guess that it's that "money makes the world go round", and that includes to wine world.
Come on over to read about my experience tasting wines produced in Israel at http://www.israelwinetaster.com
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gabriel Geller » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Daniel Kovnat wrote:Everyone seems to be confusing the names of Tabor's wines. The source of the confusion is that they are making and selling the same wines with different names. The missing Mes'cha, as far as I was led to believe, was there, but labeled as the 1/6,000 & 1/13,000


Sorry Daniel but that seems a bit strange to me, to say the least. Why? Simply because first: what was supposed to be the Mes'cha 2006 (both the 1/6000 and 1/13000 are of the '06 vintage) is a blend of 60% CS, 30% Merlot and 10% Shiraz (according to the last Rogov's TN), so, a different blend. Secondly: The Mes'cha '06 was originally scored by DR a 93 (the highest score ever for Tabor), while both the 1/6000 and 1/13000 were scored an 88.

So yes, lots of confusion here but apparently the Limited Editions and Mes'cha are not as related as you presume above.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Daniel Kovnat » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Sorry. I sit corrected. That is, the Mes'ha, which has "gone the way of all flesh," is a thing of the past. Their new replacements are different both in name as well as in composition. They also have apparently come down in quality. Sorry that I wasn't around to taste them. I heard that a wine store in Kiryat Motzkin might have some so I will try to check that out tomorrow. Thanks for setting me straight.
Come on over to read about my experience tasting wines produced in Israel at http://www.israelwinetaster.com
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gabriel Geller » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:44 pm

You're welcome! We all make mistakes, and since I make my living out of this, I'd better be right. So I'll be grateful to you or to anyone else for setting me straight like you say, in case you'll notice so.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alexander F » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:28 am

YoelA wrote:The 1/6000 (cabernet/merlot) was somewhat fruity, reasonably full-bodied, but with a bitter edge and at 145 Sh, again not worth it. It was agend in barreks for two years, which seems too long to me. The 1/13000 was the best buy of the group. With all that shiraz, it is fairly heavy-bodies but not that fruity; however it seems ageable (as opposed to Rogov;s note, I don't find it drinkable now).

Hi Yoel,
Sounds like I should give 1/13000 a try. Is it also showing a bitter edge in the aftertaste?
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by YoelA » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:47 pm

Alex: I don't remember whether or not it had a bitter edge. At the winery I was told that the Mes'cha wasn't available any more but they did not say that the Liimted Edition had replaced it. I bought the 1/13000 because I have liked some of their cabernets and felt that was the best wine I tasted, in terms of being worth bringing back to the US. Based on what I tasted and Rogov's rating of that wine, I also would not have given it a 90+ rating.
if I had been living in Israel I would have bought the Adama II wine that I had tasted.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Daniel Kovnat » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:32 am

YoelA wrote,
if I had been living in Israel I would have bought the Adama II wine that I had tasted.


I do live in Israel and, at the urging of the CEO of Tabor Winery,Oren Sela, I did buy the Adama II. I wrote a post about it on my blog at http://wp.me/s1Dfhj-952 and I do agree with Daniel Rogov, of blessed memory, who gave each of these a rating of 90 when he tasted and wrote about them as posted herehttp://wines-israel.co.il/len/apage/106427.php. Both of the two wines in this II series are excellent buys for the money. As opposed to the "Limited Edition" 1/13,000 and 1/6,000 which cost 145 shekels and 110 shekels, respectively, these two Adama II wines cost 80 shekels each.
Come on over to read about my experience tasting wines produced in Israel at http://www.israelwinetaster.com
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alek W » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:55 pm

To add to the confusion, Tabor started to produce blends in Adama series. As they told me today at the winery, they have Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot,
Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc and (!) Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon, the first three from 2008, and the last one from 2009. On the other hand, nothing new for Adama II, at least for now.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:21 pm

I have tasted these new blends at the Jerusalem Kosher Wine exhibition in January, wasn't impressed at all.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alek W » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:15 pm

Gabriel Geller wrote:I have tasted these new blends at the Jerusalem Kosher Wine exhibition in January, wasn't impressed at all.


Have you tasted the 2009 CF-CS blend as well?
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Yes I've tasted it, if I recall correctly. It's not a bad wine by any means, it's just nothing special, lacking complexity. As well, I think that around 80 shekels, IMHO that's quite a poor QPR. I think that the best deal with Tabor remains the CS Adama Terra Rossa '09 which, in this case, is a great QPR.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alek W » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:45 pm

Wine Depot cells some of those wines for 65 shekels, which makes QPR much better.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:51 pm

Indeed it does but at this price point you may still find many better wines, I could name at least a dozen.
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Re: Tabor - New Wines. New Confusion?

by Alek W » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:38 pm

Has anybody tasted 2007 Special Edition wines? I've seen 1/7000 (CS 50%, Shiraz 50%) and 1/19000 (CS 100%). There is also 1/13000, but there is no information on the box, and I haven't seen the bottle itself.

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