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

2001 Isaacs Ram

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Bill Coleman

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2001 Isaacs Ram

by Bill Coleman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:49 am

Popped a bottle for my birthday. The wine is definitely too old but remains interesting nonetheless. It was astringent on first pour but opened up. Carole's notes:

Isaac's Ram, Judean Vineyards, Hevron Heights Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Color: has a very slight orange hue at the edges, beautiful dark red
Nose: leather, tannic, a bit sharp
Mouth: Light body, leathery, very faint fruit, astringent
Let it breathe 10 minutes, orange is even fainter, has fruit on the nose and isn't as sharp. After an hour - chocolate and tobacco with the leather.
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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Bill Coleman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:51 am

Now, my big question is, how did I get a hold of this vintage? 2001 was shmittah, was it not? The hekscher is O-U with no mention of heter mechirah or otzer beit din.
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Gabriel Geller » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:46 am

Bill Coleman wrote:Now, my big question is, how did I get a hold of this vintage? 2001 was shmittah, was it not? The hekscher is O-U with no mention of heter mechirah or otzer beit din.

Yivul nochri. From grapes of vineyards owned and grown by arabs.
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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Moshe F » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:05 pm

Very interesting. Any idea how long this bottle was supposed to be good for in the first place? Like peak drinking window etc?
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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Bill Coleman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:41 pm

Moshe F wrote:Very interesting. Any idea how long this bottle was supposed to be good for in the first place? Like peak drinking window etc?

Rogov was never enamored of Hevron Heights and seldom gave their wines much credit for aging potential. I've had better luck with them than he did.
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lewis.pasco

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by lewis.pasco » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:48 am

Rogov had skewed vision with many wineries operating over the green line. He was a leftist, and I don't know if he deliberately slammed these wineries (or some wines from them) unfairly because of his politics, but I have little doubt it tainted his views at least unconsciously in many cases. Not all cases of course - he didn't seem to have any prejudice about wineries operating in the Golan Heights, for example. But the West Bank wineries, I think it bothered his politics.

Now, one could also argue that many of those wineries were under-capitalized and therefore at a technical and economic disadvantage to wineries operating within "Israel proper" and the Golan, and many of their wines deserved to be critically slammed. I find that to still be the case with many of them, personally. If DR were still kicking and writing, one wonders where he might NOW rank the top boutique premium wineries of the West bank like Psagot, Shilo, and Gvaot...
Life is too short to drink bad wine.
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Gabriel Geller » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:49 am

I don't believe that Rogov's scores were based on his political views and that it was the issue with HHW as he consistently ranked all Bustan wines 90-93 and many wines from Psagot, Shiloh, Gvaot and Tanya 90-92 as well. I think he had a personal issue with the owner/manager of HHW but of course now that he's gone we can't know for sure.
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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by lewis.pasco » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:18 pm

Gabriel- and I realize you certainly don't need the argument right now but...
I don't believe that Rogov's scores were based on his political views.


Recently I spent an afternoon with a gen who's been in the trade as a journalist for quite some time,and we got to reminiscing about Rogov and his written reviews of the West Bank wineries. Here's what the journalist said, paraphrased:

"You have to remember that Rogov was the only writer in Israel that actually made a living off writing about wine (and food)... And the newspaper company that paid him was the Ha'Aretz, which quite conspicuously and famously has a specific editorial/political position about the West Bank. If Rogov championed the Wines and Wineries of the West Bank (like he generally championed almost all wineries producing remotely drinkable wine within the green line border) he would have been FIRED and thereby lost THE ONLY WINE & FOOD WRITER POSITION THAT WAS A PAID LIVING IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY."

My emphasis points, but this writer couldn't have been more clear or sure of how Rogov was essentially forced to write about the West Bank wineries. Or rather how NOT to write about them...
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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Mike_F » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:34 am

Lewis -

With all due respect, that is pure BS. Haaretz has a very clear editorial line, but also gives regular viewing to right wing columnists like Moshe Arens or Israel Harel. And they were well aware that Rogov was a great asset to their visibility and bottom line.

Mike
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
Richard Dawkins
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Gabriel Geller » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:48 am

Pretty simple. Open Rogov's last book and look up his last write ups and notes on Gvaot, Bustan and Shiloh. These were also published in Haaretz.

His last review of Gvaot:

http://www.wine-lovers-page.com/forum/v ... 29&t=37941

Good words, good reviews, good scores. I base my opinion on facts established by Rogov himself. So I stick with my previous comment and IMHO Rogov held a grudge against Michel Murciano for whatever reason, that's my theory so maybe Im right maybe not but his very positive reviews on the aforementioned wineries prove that he wasn't trashing all the wines that are made in Judea and Samaria.

Best,

GG
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lewis.pasco

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by lewis.pasco » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:14 pm

Gabriel, that is certainly powerful proof that Rogov was willing to write very very good things about (including Bustan that he generally praised) at least 2 wineries in the West bank. Who else did you mention, Yekev Shilo?

Mike, I don't think Ha'aretz giving editorial space to a few right wing writers means they wouldn't be generally bothered by Rogov trumpeting West bank wineries, at least I wouldn't take it as meaning what the gentleman mentioned to me was "BS". But it's certainly another point worth considering when questioning whether or not Rogov had any biases or reservations about West bank wines. Taken together with Gabriel's points however, it does make me reconsider my opinion.
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David Raccah

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by David Raccah » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:52 pm

Lewis DR scored highly:

1) Psgaot
2) Gvaot
3) Shiloh
4) Some Tanya

and others - he had no bias in wine, IMHO, that said he never really liked the HH wines, so to be honest I did not taste them. When I did, I found some to be nice, some to be pure VA juice, and some to be barely drinkable.
Checkout http://www.kosherwinemusings.com for my blogs on the world of kosher wines and follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/kosherwinemuse.
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Bill Coleman

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Re: 2001 Isaacs Ram

by Bill Coleman » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:50 pm

I have had good experiences with Isaacs Ram and with the Pardess Merlot, even though Rogov didn't like them. I wish to add that I never saw any sign that he dissed West Bank wineries generally.

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