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

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How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Adam M » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:41 pm

At Yossie's suggestion, I am intending to move a potentially interesting discussion from an unrelated thread to an independent thread. As many of us have based purchasing decisions on Rogov's suggested drinking windows, I am curious to know to what extent those wines purchased by forumites have held up in their cellar as per the suggested drinking window.

With regards to my collection, to restate what I said in the other thread:

"In MY OWN experience, and as much as I hate to say this (as much as I have invested in them), the primary under-achieving winery according to Rogov's general assessment of drinking windows are the Yarden wines, particularly the single vineyard series. Numerous bottles of the '06 Tel Phares syrah have already shows signed of deterioration. As was an 07 Yonatan syrah that I opened this past Shabbat. Ditto on the 05 Tel Phares merlot. Ditto on an '05 cab that I tried to enjoy two weeks ago. Even the 04 El Rom, which I've had in my Eurocave since I purchased it fresh upon arrival, seemed to be barely holding on to its peak. So my personal view is the Rogov might have WAY overstated the cellaring ability of these wines. And not everyone has a Eurocave... I have also been disappointed in the lasting power of the 06 Recanati Special Reserve. The last two bottles that I have had over the last few months have showed signed of bitterness. [As Yossie suggests, this could conceivably be an issue (or more of an issue) for Yarden wines that have been imported into the US. Going back to my notes of when these wies first became available in the US, I have realized that many of the recent SVs and premium wines relased over the past couple of years were transported to the US during the SUMMER :shock: . I never really dwelled on this before, but the trek is quite long and I wouldn't be surprised if this didn't impair the longevity of the wines. This would certainly help explain my misfortunes.]


There are many overachievers based on Rogov's scale, namely:

1. Carmel Limited Edition. all the vintages have held up beyond Rogov's assessment.
2. Castel red wines - Particularly the grand vin I have found to outlast Rogov's assessment.
3. Hevron Heights Isaac's Ram.
4. Tabor Mescha 05
5. Carmel Zarit"

I will come back to this and supplement the foregoing if, as and when this thread gets going (thinking back that long tends to make my brain hurt :lol: ).
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Harry J » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:42 pm

Interesting question Adam to which I personaly thought about but haven't kept records. As to the single v's are you saying not held up in prespective to cost-as they were almost twice the cost of the regular yardens? As for me ,recently had a yarden merlot 03 that was quite pleasant though the fruit was receding. His window was 2014. H
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Yossie Horwitz » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:47 pm

I will add more later, but in the interim will point out that bottle of the same wine (the Recanati SRs come to mind) that I purchased in Israel, brought over by myself and stored have shown much better and lasted longer than many of the same bottles purchased here and then stored. The Yarden SVs are another prime example. If we could be a fly on a crate of SVs from the winery until it hits the retailer here, I am not sure we would be pleased...

Just for an example, I have enjoyed Yarden CS 1999 and 2000 recently (although the quality of the regular version took a nose dive starting in 2001 when they introduced the SV series and started cannibalizing the good fruit (forget about years like 2008 when they needed the best fruit for the Elrom, Rom AND Katzrin)...

My Recanati SR 2003, 2004 and 2005 all showed nicely in the last 12 months as well.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Isaac Chavel » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:55 pm

Just for an example, I have enjoyed Yarden CS 1999 and 2000 recently (although the quality of the regular version took a nose dive starting in 2001 when they introduced the SV series and started cannibalizing the good fruit (forget about years like 2008 when they needed the best fruit for the Elrom, Rom AND Katzrin)...

Hmmm...Only recently I suggested this would happen:
Re: Yarden cabernet sauvignon 2009 WTN
by Isaac Chavel » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:24 am
My guess is that the future regular series wines will be cannibalized by all the single vineyard wines. I just do not see them improving in quality with all the best grapes going elsewhere.

And received the following two responses:
Re: Yarden cabernet sauvignon 2009 WTN
by Yossie Horwitz » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:41 pm
While there have been increasing numbers of single vineyard wines coming from GHW, I don't think they have (or have any plans to) "cannibalize" the "regular" Cabernet Sauvignon series which they take very seriously and really view as an icon of the Israeli industry and the true "flagship" of the winery. Successfully maintaining the consistent level of quality for the wine (the way they have for so many years) is very important to them and I would expect the wine to continue its level of excellence and aging ability for years to come. They have plenty of new and quality vineyards available to maintain the SV wines as well. Obviously in years there are no Katzrin, Rom or El-Rom wines, the level of grapes available for the series are higher, but there is no cannibalizing of the wines. The El-Rom has been around since 2001 with no noticeable deterioration of the regular series....

Re: Yarden cabernet sauvignon 2009 WTN
by Elie Poltorak » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:12 pm
I think there's some truth to both sides here. IMHO, the SVs have cannibalized the regular merlot, which used to be just as consistent as the CS but hasn't had a good vintage since '03. However, I haven't seen any decline in the CS at all--probably for the reason Yossie stated: it is their "flagship" wine. They make plenty of more expensive wines but the CS is what put their winery on the map and is still their mainstay. In fact, I think the '07 was one of their best vintages ever! The '09 is still VERY young but has promise. The '07 was unique in that despite its aging potential, it was more fruit forward and showed very well upon release, which is unusual for a Yarden CS. The '09 needs another year or so to become approachable.


Is some reconsideration of the matter taking place, or some new hard information?
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Mike BG » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:48 pm

I think that transportation has clearly taken its toll on these wines sent to the USA, which makes one think whether they are transporting their wines differently to other major wineries (from France, for example). If you have found that Castel does better, maybe their shipping is done with better insulation or whatever.

For myself, we (living in Eretz Yisroel) are still greatly enjoying 2004 Ortal Syrah and Merlot, and a good many other 'old favorites', if we have managed to hold any some bottles this long!
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Adam M » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:23 pm

Thanks, Mike. My Ortals would certainly not still be in peaking condition if I still had any. I'm even assessing whether I should start drinking my avitals at this point...
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Adam M » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:19 pm

I would just like to set the stage of this discussion with a reminder of how Rogov defined his drinking window. Taken from his book, "[A] drinking window is the suggested period during which the wine is at it very best." (emphasis added)

With this definition in mind, I stand firmly and most comfortably behind my personal observation that Rogov's drinking windows for the Yarden SV wines and certain of the regular cabs have generally not proven to be optimistic. In many cases, this optimism took on a life of its own, in a galaxy far, far away.

For goodness sake, his window for the Ortal Syrah ends in 2018!!

Hey Isaac C - Did those stewed prunes or plumbs that you couldn't avoid whiffing this past Shabbat seem to you like the "very best" showing of this wine?

:shock:
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Jon Tabak » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:48 pm

I've only had issues with 04 Ortal Merlot & 04 Ortal Syrah. Based on the paths taken by those two wines, I will say that the 07 Yonatan Syrah & Cab will follow suit. The 07 Avital Slope Syrah has significant structure, more so than the Yonatan, so I believe it will last.I've had no issues with any vintage of Elrom or Katzrin. The 00 Yarden Cab is drinking nicely (though a touch sweet), 01-05 varies by bottle, 06 is wonderful right now, 07 will likely exceed Rogov's window and 08 will probably just make it.

Now on the issue of 06 Recanati SR, I found that the wine changed, but I won't say it's dead. I noticed a similar darkness take hold of the 06 Yatir Cab and 06 Yatir Forest. There was even a period where 06 Covenant tasted equally awkward, but bounced back.

Now I will argue the opposite: Rogov cut the windows extremely short on most, if not all, non-Israeli wine and I have not been able to logically understand lower ratings across the board.

All the best,
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Adam M » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:57 pm

Thanks, Jon. Very interesting perspective.

As for the Recanati SR, I don't quite follow your loose characterization of the drinking condition as not being "dead." Rogov's window = "very best". "Not dead" is infinitely broader. IMHO, the 06 SR window, strictly interpreted, closed in late 2010/early 2011. It's drinkable and even enjoyable now, but IMHO it is no longer its "very best."
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by David Raccah » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:01 pm

You guys are KILLING ME!!! AAHH!! I can only drink so much wine before they all die! Thanks for the heads up!
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Gabriel Geller » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:14 pm

My conclusion: Israeli wines live (much) longer in Israel. You should think about it. Make Alya. You'll die poor but old. :mrgreen:
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Isaac C » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:53 pm

Adam, as far as the Ortal Merlot 2004 - yes, I would agree with you, as others have said, the wine is definitely not at it's best now, and a drinking window until 2018 that Rogov gave it is not in line with what we are experiencing. As far as the question overall, I do not have enough experience with older Yarden Wines to give an opinion but I am very interested in this discussion as I have been stocking up on Yarden wines - 35% of my wines are GHW and 18% are Galil.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by David Raccah » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:53 am

Ditto I have way too many Yarden wines - not good news. Neither is any of the many Israeli wines that I have aging away.

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Elie Poltorak » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:21 am

Guys, you're scaring the hell out of me!!! I invested in many cases of Yarden SVs (05 and 06 Kela, Yonatan and Avital syrahs and smaller quantities of the others) based on past experience. I haven't touched the Yonatan and Avitals in over a year but last time I had them, they were completely unapproachable--especially the Yonatan, which was extremely sweet and unbalanced, but seemed to have lots of potential once it settles down. If they're past peak now, then they never had a damn peak!!! I'm going to try tasting my way through the wines I'm stocked up on over the next month and will report back. Luckily, I only have a few bottles of Ortal left. (I liked it too much to resist! :lol:).

BTW, I TOTALLY disagree with Yossie re the SVs cannibalizing the regular CS. The '07 (another wine I stocked up on, although I've already finished a few cases 8) ) is one of the best vintages ever and has many, many years ahead of it. The '09 isn't as good as the '07 but still excellent. The "regular" merlots on the other hand... Those are a different story. Last good vintage was '03, before the SVs.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Mike BG » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:42 am

I have to agree with Elie about the regular CS 2007: this is drinking very nicely indeed now, and I also took quite a large stock. As far as the others are concerned, even if Rogov's windows are a few years out I don't see myself having enough stock of my 2004s to last even nearly that long!
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Elie Poltorak » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:04 am

I only regret I didn't spend my money on more of the '07 CS instead of the SVs at twice the money. The '07 is easily a 15 year wine if not more. Unfortunately, my stock won't last nearly that long...
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Mike BG » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:06 am

Elie Poltorak wrote:I only regret I didn't spend my money on more of the '07 CS instead of the SVs at twice the money. The '07 is easily a 15 year wine if not more. Unfortunately, my stock won't last nearly that long...


I remember that at the time there was hardly any difference in Rogov's rating between the regular and the SV CS in 2007. I ignored the SV and bought a large stock of the regular one!
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Elie Poltorak » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:28 am

Mike BG wrote:
Elie Poltorak wrote:I only regret I didn't spend my money on more of the '07 CS instead of the SVs at twice the money. The '07 is easily a 15 year wine if not more. Unfortunately, my stock won't last nearly that long...


I remember that at the time there was hardly any difference in Rogov's rating between the regular and the SV CS in 2007. I ignored the SV and bought a large stock of the regular one!


Mike: You are a smart man! I won't be surprised if the CS lasts >20 years.
I never really followed Rogov ratings, but I was trying to look beyond CS and stocked up on the SV Syrahs. The Yonatan CS was undrinkably sweet--like syrupy concord sweet--so I only bought a few bottles out of curiosity to see how it develops. I bought many cases of the regular CS but it was sooo damn good even when young that I went through them right away. Luckily, I put away a case and a half in off-site storage. I wish I had more!!!
Anyone want to sell some '07 CS? Or buy some SVs?
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Adam M » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:57 am

Gabriel Geller wrote:My conclusion: Israeli wines live (much) longer in Israel. You should think about it. Make Alya. You'll die poor but old. :mrgreen:
....that is,if you can avoid traffic jams, long stressful ques in which every seems to think they have a license to cut to the front of you, social healthcare, and, oh yes, homicide bombers and katusha rockets(tfoottfoottfoot).... :lol:

Seriously, while I agree that transporting a wine BY BOAT in the dead of the summer could very well have a material impact on a wine longevity, which could explain the aging impairment of my Yarden SVs, it doesn't explain the examples of Israeli wines that have outperformed rogov's window, some of which I noted. For example, I remember drinking the 2003 Carmel LE and loving it well into and even past the "drink up" period in rogov's note.

All might be reconciled in my brain if it could be demonstrated that the "outperforming" wines that I noted above each were transported to the US outside of the summer months. I have no way of verifying this, and so am left with the designation of this as a possible theory.

Those looking to seriously stockup on a particular Israeli wine on the expectation of it lasting, say, 5-15 years after release, would be well advised to first confirm with the distributor as to which part of the year the wine was transported to the US and, if it can be obtained, the manner in which it was shipped.

I will start drinking more of my Yarden SVs, e.g., Yonaton cab, another Yonatan syrah, organic merlot and will report back as to whether my theory continues to hold up as well as my assessment that these wines (at least to the extent shipped to the US) go from

very fruit forward and powerful (leading you to believe they have significant again to go before becoming the "very best"),
to the "very best" (which with these wines is pure bliss),
to oft-putting stewed plums but still somewhat enjoyable,
to harsh, disjointed and unenjoyable,
to too bad, so sad, you missed the party b/c someone convinced you to be fashionably late 8)

all within the Rogov "very best" window, with the actual "very best" occuring during a very thin period....
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by ChaimShraga » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:08 pm

Drinking kosher has its moments of bliss. You guys missed out on the WTF moments of drinking supposedly dead (by Rogov's account) Riojas. Riojas never die! Dunno how Rogov, with his vast experience, never figured that out.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Michael P » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Adam M wrote:At Yossie's suggestion, I am intending to move a potentially interesting discussion from an unrelated thread to an independent thread. As many of us have based purchasing decisions on Rogov's suggested drinking windows, I am curious to know to what extent those wines purchased by forumites have held up in their cellar as per the suggested drinking window.

With regards to my collection, to restate what I said in the other thread:

"In MY OWN experience, and as much as I hate to say this (as much as I have invested in them), the primary under-achieving winery according to Rogov's general assessment of drinking windows are the Yarden wines, particularly the single vineyard series. Numerous bottles of the '06 Tel Phares syrah have already shows signed of deterioration. As was an 07 Yonatan syrah that I opened this past Shabbat. Ditto on the 05 Tel Phares merlot. Ditto on an '05 cab that I tried to enjoy two weeks ago. Even the 04 El Rom, which I've had in my Eurocave since I purchased it fresh upon arrival, seemed to be barely holding on to its peak. So my personal view is the Rogov might have WAY overstated the cellaring ability of these wines. And not everyone has a Eurocave... I have also been disappointed in the lasting power of the 06 Recanati Special Reserve. The last two bottles that I have had over the last few months have showed signed of bitterness. [As Yossie suggests, this could conceivably be an issue (or more of an issue) for Yarden wines that have been imported into the US. Going back to my notes of when these wies first became available in the US, I have realized that many of the recent SVs and premium wines relased over the past couple of years were transported to the US during the SUMMER :shock: . I never really dwelled on this before, but the trek is quite long and I wouldn't be surprised if this didn't impair the longevity of the wines. This would certainly help explain my misfortunes.]


There are many overachievers based on Rogov's scale, namely:

1. Carmel Limited Edition. all the vintages have held up beyond Rogov's assessment.
2. Castel red wines - Particularly the grand vin I have found to outlast Rogov's assessment.
3. Hevron Heights Isaac's Ram.
4. Tabor Mescha 05
5. Carmel Zarit"

I will come back to this and supplement the foregoing if, as and when this thread gets going (thinking back that long tends to make my brain hurt :lol: ).


Adam,

I hope to respond to this at length regarding my own findings, however, for now I'd point out that Rogov wasn't the only critic that believed the 2005 Yarden Tel Phares and the 2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal would still be drinking nicely now.

Mark Squires has drinking windows for these wines that would indicate they are drinking fine today:

2005 Yarden Tel Phares - drink now - 2017
2005 Yarden Merlot Kela - drink now - 2015
2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal - drink now - 2014
2004 Yarden El Rom - drink now - 2014

His drinking window on the 2006 Recanati Special Reserve is even more puzzling:
2006 Recanati Special Reserve - drink now - 2018

This is not to say that critics can't get it wrong. However, Squires has been accused of giving short windows to Israeli wines, Rogov accused of giving long windows to Israeli wines, but both would agree that most of the wines in question should be drinking just fine right now. I'm wondering if your indeed received bad bottles, proper storage was lacking, tastes for more mature wines can vary and/or the few critics providing windows for Israeli wines have got it wrong.

I hope to report my own findings in the next few weeks.

Michael
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Isaac Chavel » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:48 pm

His drinking window on the 2006 Recanati Special Reserve is even more puzzling:
2006 Recanati Special Reserve - drink now - 2018


I just found a 2004 & 2006 Recanati Special Reserve at the friend's house where I store some wine. Well, Rogov, in his last edition, wrote "drink now" for the '04 and "through 2018" for the '06. So they agreed on the '06 Recanati.
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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by David Raccah » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:13 pm

Yedidya - are you saying that the 2006 RSR is tasting well and you think it will last till 2018?

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Re: How have your wines held up against Rogov's drinking windows

by Andrew B » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 pm

I just picked up an 06 RSR and will report back in a week or so... no reason an '06 should be bad at this point, they are well made wines, right?
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