Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

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Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:56 pm

With Gotham's event cancelled this year, it is looking like it will be a really nice opportunity (especially for those who couldn't make it out to Yehoshua's tasting last week) to taste many of the non-Royal wines that weren't poured at KFWE and IFWF. A complete wine list is available on my site: http://www.yossiescorkboard.com/?page_id=875
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:07 pm

Given the relatively early end time for this event, how about a forum dinner afterwards. Pardes in Brooklyn is headlining the potential options - who is interested?
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Isaac C » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:56 am

I am interested
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:33 pm

It looks like a group of forum members will be going to Pardes in Brooklyn for dinner after the event. Please indicate below (or let me know via PM or email (yossie [at] yossiescorkboard.com)) if you will be joining so I can make an accurate reservation as the place can be a bit small.
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:46 am

BS"D

Bli nedar will be going yet dont think I could stay to eat because I have to get back to the store :)
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Isaac C » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:42 am

For any of the forum member who are interested in joining us at Pardes but have been silent - is there any interest in doing a Tasting Dinner?
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:06 pm

It's v-e-r-y long (and ~$110) and, quite frankly, I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. I would just as son order off the menu and have a choice but, if the folks want to do the tasting menu, I'm game. Just let me know here or privately and I will revise the reservation accordingly. Anyone else interested - now is the time to let me know, we are currently 6.
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Harvey L » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:35 pm

Would love to but can't. Hope to see you all at City Winery. But how will we recognize each other?
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Gabriel Geller » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:58 am

Harvey L wrote:Would love to but can't. Hope to see you all at City Winery. But how will we recognize each other?

Harvey, David Raccah will be the one hunting dead animals with his nose stuck in his glass, simply approach him and ask him to introduce you to the other folks...
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Harvey L » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:42 am

For anyone who's had the chance to peruse the wine list (Yossi shared it the other day--perhaps on Twitter, I don't recall) I'd appreciate recommendations of which wines to hit first. Last year was my first time at the tasting and I found it overwhelming. Definitely want to try Shirah early on.
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:15 pm

Re-posting the link to the wine list:
http://www.yossiescorkboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/City-Winery-Wine-List.docx.doc

What to focus on is really dependent on what you have already tasted or tried and what you like. In general, I recommend focusing on three different "buckets" of wine:
1) Uber-high end wines you might usually not try or purchase
2) New wines you haven't tried before
3) Some of the cheaper wines you or others think may be good in order to find some new high QPR wines for everyday drinking

To that end, these are some of the wines I would prioritize (going in order of the list, not necessarily preference or importance):
Allied:
Saslove, Reserved
Porto Quevedo
Lanzur, Sauvignon Blanc
Teperberg, Sauvignon Blanc

The City Winery Wines

Golan Heights Winery
Gilgla, Syrah
Yaden, PN
Yarden, T2

Hagafen
Roussanne, 2011
Dry Riesling, 2011
Late Disgorged, Brut

Happy Hearts
Odem, Cab Franc, Reserve
Odem, Limited
The two Odem Ports
Bravdo, Coupage
HH, Elone Mamre, Chard
HH, Armagedon

Israel Wine Direct
Everything but the Kitron

Mediterra Natura
Croatian Wine - not great, but cool to try

Monsieur Touton
The Ugav Wines

Recanati
Rose. 2012

Red Garden
Tanya, Ivri wines
All Lueria Wines
All Adir Wines

The River
Tishbi, Malbec
Tishbi, Gewurz
Gush Etzion, Cab Franc
Shirah Wines

Royal
Most, if not all, was at KFWE
Drappier, Carte D'Or
Domaine Netofa, Rose
Elvi, InVita
Castel, Grand Vin
Yatir, Forest
Covenant, Cabernet Sauvignon
Segal, Unfiltered
Carmel, Limited Edition
Herzog's two special edition wines
Psagot, SV, Cabernet
Shiloh, Barbera
Herzog, Cab-Zin-Syrah
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby David Raccah » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:46 pm

I hope this is OK - but here are my opinions - I was not as enamored with many of the wines as Yossie was, especially ones like Saslove and others, haveing tasted them many times in Israel - and each time they were far too sweet and boring - AT BEST!

Allied table:
Not much new here
as always the dalton reserve Shiraz, estate PS, and even estate Merlot are nice
Gvaot Herodian is filthy
Porto Quevedo - is lovely
Lanzur SB - just because they think it is the SECOND BEST white in all the whites they tasted - REALLY
Teperberg SB 2011 - the 2012 is FILTHY - the best SB I have ever tasted, but we will see about the 2011

City Winery
I want to hit all of them, as they are never anywhere else

Yarden
Nothing new here, so I will skip - sorry the 2008 Pinot Noir was OK - but not the best red wine of all the tasting - sorry!

Happy Hearts
Mony wines are OK - but skip
Odem and Bravdo have done a great job of controlling the Israel sweet tooth.
Odem Cab Franc and Cabernet reserves are worth tasting
The Limited is their top line - and is over the top in sweetness, but has the body to carry some of it and some may like it
Bravdo Wines - all are great
Ventura - skip, if you must the Cab Franc and maybe the Rubens

Have not tasted these - at all - so I list them only out of interest
Hevron Heights, Elone Mamre, Chardonnay
Hevron Heights, Mount Hevron, Reserve, Cabernet
Hevron Heights, Makhpelah
Hevron Heights, Reserve
Hevron Heights, Armagedon

Israel Wine Direct
Tasted all of these except for Ramot Naftoly, but please taste many of these:

Agur Rose
Agur Layam
Agur Kessem

Victor/Touton
Little new here from last year:

Ella Valley Chard
O'Dwyers SB
Ugavs if you have not tasted them

Recanati
New wines - tasted them all in Israel:

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011
Recanati, Rose, 2012
Recanati, Reserve, Merlot, 2009
Recanati, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
Recanati, Special Reserve, Red 2009

Red Garden --> Clear winning table
Tel Arza, Malbec
Tel Arza, Petit Verdot
Tanya Ivri, Cabernet Sauvignon
Tanya Ivri, Merlot
Tanya Ivri, Blend
Tura, Merlot
Tura, Mountain Peak
Lueria, Yinon
Lueria, Rosso
Lueria, Grand Vital
Lueria, Gewurtztraminer
Adir Ben Zimra, Cabernet Sauvignon
Adir Ben Zimra, Shiraz
Adir, A Blend
Livni Sdeh Calev, Cabernet Sauvignon
Livni, Reed Pipe
Livni, Shani Blend

The RIver
Nothing new from a few months already - but good wines
Kadesh Barnea, Petite Verdot, 2010 - missed this one
Shirah Wine, Bro-Deux, 2010
Shirah Wine, Coalition, 2011
Shame the Thompson Syrah/Mourvedre is not here

Royal
All of this was at KFWE
For Doubles:
Carmel, Limited Edition
Capcanes Flor de Flor
Herzog, Special Edition, Chalk Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville was OK)
Shlioh Barbera (not at KFWE)
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby David Raccah » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:33 pm

On a total aside - it is really sad that many of the wines that won are not being tasted at the tasting - why is that? The tabor wines are not there, the whites are different vintages? What is up with that?
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Gabriel Geller » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:02 pm

Yossie Horwitz wrote:Monsieur ToutonThe Ugav Wines

What about the Nikanors?
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby David Raccah » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:44 am

They are not being presented - bummer
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Adam M » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:53 am

Those who haven't yet tried to Yarden 2T lately will be in for a surprise, so i would add it to the list!
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Harvey L » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks for all the recs. Seriously, fantastic. Any suggestions for any of the French wines? I do love me a good Bordeaux but the QPR on these is typically terrible. Sometimes the Q isn't there at all.
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Elie Poltorak » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 am

As I've been saying after the past several tastings, second-tier Israeli wines have taken a big step backwards, coming out of several spotty vintages. The great winemakers at the top-tier wineries continue to make fabulous wines and a couple formerly amateur wineries have moved firmly into the top tier, with a solid lineup (e.g., Psagot), but the vast majority of the smaller wineries' wines have been weak, with either unripe, thin green, or over-ripe, stewed sweetness. This showed even more so at the Jewish Week/City Winery tasting, which allows the smaller distributors (i.e., not Royal) to showcase some of the smaller wineries.

When I arrived, I made a bee-line to the Red Gardens, which had by far the biggest lineup of new wines, which I had been looking forward to tasting. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. Perhaps the Red Garden truck hid a pothole on the way over, or maybe the wines were just having a bad day--wine can be moody like that--but the wines were not exciting. The Tel Arzas are nice varietals, although not terribly exciting; the Mediterranean Blend is strange,with nothing Mediterranean about it. The Tanyas were really weak, which is particularly disappointing, as I've been a big fan of Tanya in the past. The Auteur I never liked--WAY over the top. The Turas were way too sweet--especially the Cabernet Sauvignon--although the Mountain Peak blend was nice (B++). Lueria were also rather not as exciting as I had hoped, although the Rosso is a nice Sangiovese based blend (B+); the Yinon is a simple, rather sweet table wine, while the Grand Vital was over oaked. The Adirs were all thin and unbalanced and not to sound like a broken record, too sweet. The Livni wines were perhaps the biggest disappointment, as I had heard so much about them--particularly the Sde Kalev Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get excited about them. They seemed quite green (not in a good way), with mouth-drying tannins. They also had a couple of French wines that were OK but nothing to get excited over. I feel bad panning Red Garden's wines, as I have to give them credit for putting it all out there and pouring so many new wines.

Happy Hearts had a big table, but barely anything new. The '07 Hevron Heights Reserve (A-) was a nice treat-nice--firm tannins, candied fruit but not too sweet, long finish with tons of chocolate. I was delighted to see that Happy Hearts picked up Ventura and is importing all of their wines--not just the Cab and Merlot that Victor had. The '10 Cab Franc was delightful (B++), although not as good as the '09, as was the Reubens (B++)--a classic Israeli take on a Bordeaux (think Castel Grand Vin).

I stopped by the Royal table to see if there was anything I had missed from KFWE. I couldn't resist the Drappier Carte D'or, but unfortunately, it wasn't chilled enough. I tried the '10 Red C, which I had missed, and it was nice (B+) but still not as great as some of the early vintages; in addition to the spices you expect from this wine, I was surprised by strong lemon, turning to lemongrass on the finish--unusual notes in a red wine. The Weinstock Zin was a nice round easy-drinking crowd pleaser (B).

Moving on to Allied, they were pouring very few wines, with almost nothing new. A few tried and true Daltons, with the '09 Reserve Shiraz showing especially well. The '11 Gvaot Gofna Pinot Noir was utterly closed--no matter how much I swirled, I couldn't get a damn thing out of it. It'll be interesting to see how it opens up, but I don't see this having the potential of the incredible '10. The '11 Teperberg Terra Sauvignon Blanc (B) was bright and refreshing. They were also pouring the Vignobles David Reserve I love, but I didn't taste as it's a wine I drink regularly at home.

The Israel Direct table had some wines I really wanted to taste (Ramot Naftoli and Agur) but the gentleman pouring wasn't wearing a yarmulke, so I wasn't sure if he's shomer shabbos. (Generally, the kashrus is a problem at this tasting, as there's no hashgocho and you need to rely on the distributors to have shomer shabos pourers, make sure no one touches open bottles, etc. Red Gardens did a good job of this, with closed bottles in front of all the open bottles (like at KFWE), so if someone wants to read a bottle they can pick up the closed bottle. They also make sure to take the glass from your hand before pouring. Unfortunately, some of the other distributors were rather lax about that.

Unfortunately, I got to The River table rather late in the event, and they brought FAR TOO LITTLE wine! The Shirah wines were all gone by the time I got there. Someone told me the Kadesh Barnea Petite Verdot is good, but I didn't like it at all. I have never tried a Kadesh Barnea that I didn't find undrinkably sweet.

Now to get to the interesting stuff: the City Winery wines were far and away the most exciting at the event. The Ein Sof Pinot Noir was the 1 disappointment, as it was too thin and watery for my liking--even for a pinot. The '09 Bettonelli Vinyards Nappa Cab (A- to A) was showing spectacularly, with beautiful acid elegantly balancing out a full, fruity body. The '10 (A- to A) is much less restrained, with even more acidity and big, bold fruit. Unfortunately, it will be more expensive than the '09 when it is released. The '09 Obisidian Ridge cab (B++) was also really nice but hasn't developed quite as nicely as the Bettonelli. The '10 Alder Springs Syrah (B+ to A-) was also quite nice, with lots of blue fruit and nice oaky vanilla. The '10 Alder Springs Cabernet Franc (A-) is beautiful, varietally true with nice green notes and lots of acid making it very food friendly. The '09? Reisling Shmeisling(B++) was really delicious, with all the acid and character of a dry riesling, plus the sweetness of a sweet riesling (it was made by full dry fermentation and adding sweet juice pressed for ice wine). I had a few very interesting barrel samples, including a delicious Malbec that was pure roadkill and a very interesting, different '11 cab from Fore Vineyard that was deliciously green, with high salinity. To me it screamed seaweed!
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Gabriel W » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:38 pm

David Raccah wrote:Shame the Thompson Syrah/Mourvedre is not here

We sent it, and I'm told that it was there. We only sent four bottles of each wine. I would love to hear from forumites that tasted our wines at the event what they thought about 'em.
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby David Raccah » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:36 pm

From what I hear there was the syrah/mourvedre, bro deaux, and 2011 coalition
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:15 pm

I tasted the Bro-Deux, the Coalition and the 2010 Thompson Syrah
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Re: Jewish Week / City Winery Tasting - March 3rd

Postby Adam M » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:17 am

Gabriel W wrote:
David Raccah wrote:Shame the Thompson Syrah/Mourvedre is not here

We sent it, and I'm told that it was there. We only sent four bottles of each wine. I would love to hear from forumites that tasted our wines at the event what they thought about 'em.



Hi Gabriel - I didn't know you made wine or that you were even in the wine business. While you don't participating terribly often, when you do it is always very interesting and insightful. I suggest that you add a legend to you signature indicating your affiliation so that it is transparent for all, as many others do?
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