Kosher Wine Tasting!


Hey, wine lovers! I was waiting until after Tisha B'Av to get us back
on track. So far, the following have expressed interest: Gornish,
Oberlander, Baron, Gerson, Pollack, Newman, Medow, Aschkenasi, Mogul,
Sundy, and Gavitin. If there are others, please feel free to contact me.

Everyone -- even those already signed up -- Please contact me one more
time offlist at with your contact information:
Address, Telephone, and e-mail address. And also provide feedback as
set out below:

The following is the latest article from 8/7/08, HAARETZ -- Please
review and let me know what you might be interested in -- at a
minimum, should we do white and red each time or only one kind? and of
those, do people like a particular type better than others etc.? Once
you give me that feedback and some specific kosher choices working off
of this list, I'll look into what we can get a consensus around and of
those, what's available. In terms of price, I am figuring each person
would get a 4oz serving and there are 6 servings per bottle. If we
want to order more kinds and really just taste, then we could do as
little as 1 oz per person -- its up to you.

So once I know how many people and which wine people want and get all
your feedback, I can let you know the cost per person.

I'm not sure we can get this done before Rosh Hashanah, but G-W, we
should be able to do a tasting and get some favorites on our tables
for Sukkot if that's what you want...


Wine and Spirits / Critics' darling
By Daniel Rogov

In recent months Israeli wines have become the darling of critics in
the United States. Several months ago, for example, Robert Parker, by
far the most influential wine critic in the world, tasted 90 Israeli
wines. In his prestigious Wine Advocate he gave 13 of those wines
scores of 90-93, reserved for wines of "exceptional complexity and
character." Equally important, 58 wines received scores of between
85-89, putting them in Parker's ratings as "wines that are very good
to excellent."

Even more recently, Wine Spectator rated 39 Israeli wines, of which 13
attained scores of 90 or 91 (outstanding and of superior character and
style), while the remainder received 87-89 points (very good, wines
with special qualities).

Just as not all of the wines of Bordeaux, Tuscany, Rioja or California
are "great," neither are those of Israel. The happy truth, however, is
that it is very difficult to deny that Israel is most definitely on
the world wine map, with some very fine wines indeed. Following are
tasting notes for recent releases from Carmel and several smaller

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2005: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon,
Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (65 percent, 17 percent, 15
percent and 3 percent, respectively). Deep garnet in color, medium- to
full-bodied, with generous soft tannins and reflecting its 15 months
in barriques with light toasty and spicy oak. Blackberry, black cherry
and purple plum on first attack yield to blackcurrant and appealing
hints of lead pencil and vanilla and, on the long, mouth-filling
finish, a near-sweet and elegant tobacco note. Round and elegant.
Drink now through 2013. NIS 230. Score 92. Kosher.

Carmel, Shiraz, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, 2005: Dark, almost
impenetrable garnet, full-bodied, with silky tannins, wood and fruit
showing fine balance and structure. Opens with a burst of dark plum
and currant yielding to notes of asphalt, bitter herbs and
sweet-and-spicy cedar wood. Comes together as elegant, complex and
long. Drink now through 2012. NIS 120. Score 91. Kosher.

Carmel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, 2005: Dark
garnet with green and orange reflections, full-bodied, open textured
and generous showing a spicy, peppery mouthful of blackberry, currant,
coffee and black olive notes, all leading to a long, round and
mouth-filling finish on which one finds an appealing note of vanilla.
Oak-aged for 15 months. As this one develops in the bottle look for an
appealing hint of smoked meat. Drink now through 2013. NIS 120. Score
91. Kosher.

Carmel, Chardonnay, Appellation, Upper Galilee 2007: Light golden with
green tints, medium-bodied, showing an appealing array of citrus,
green apple and tropical fruits on a mineral-rich background. Drink
now. NIS 60. Score 88. Kosher.

Carmel, Gewurztraminer, Appellation, Upper Galilee, 2007:
Medium-bodied, with gentle sweetness backed up lively acidity. Light
gold in color with orange reflections, aromatic, unoaked and showing
tempting aromas and flavors of oranges, litchi and rosewater. A good
aperitif or dessert wine. Drink now through 2009. NIS 60. Score 88.

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon, T-Selection, 2006: Medium-dark garnet in
color, full-bodied, with velvety tannins. On the nose and palate
blackcurrant, black cherry, tar and spices coming together beautifully
and opening on the long finish to show a hint of sweet chewing
tobacco. Drink from release through 2012. NIS 130. Score 91.

Pelter, Shiraz, T-Selection, 2006: Dark ruby, full-bodied but with
such fine balance between tannins, oak, acidity and fruits that it
seems to almost float on the palate. On first attack generous
blackberry and currant yielding comfortably to plum, licorice and
spices, all of which carry on to a long and generous finish. Best
2009-2013. NIS 160. Score 91.

Avidan, Grenache, Premium, 2006: Rich and concentrated, medium- to
full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and reflecting its
10 months in barriques with gently spicy oak. On the nose and palate a
generous and intriguing array of aromas and flavors including currant,
blackberry, plum, nutmeg, sage and vanilla, and ending with the
tannins and oak rising on the finish together with hints of grilled
beef and clove. A fine wine but frankly overpriced at NIS 240. Drink
now through 2010. Score 91.

Avidan, Reserve, Shiraz, 2006: Deep garnet in color, dense, intense
and full-bodied and unfolding on the palate to reveal soft,
mouth-coating tannins, rich blackberry, dark plum and peppery spices,
along with overall fine balance. Long and generous. Drink now through
2012. NIS 120. Tentative score 89.

Avidan, Blend des Noirs, Orange, 2006: Garnet toward royal purple, an
oak-aged blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Medium- to full-bodied with ripe blackberry and blackcurrant opening
to show notes of orange peel and chocolate. Drink now through 2010.
NIS 75. Score 86.

Avidan, Blend des Noirs, Red, 2006: Aged in French and American oak
for 10 months, a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah
(45 percent, 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively). Medium- to
full-bodied, with chunky, somewhat coarse tannins, showing
straightforward berry and currant notes. A pleasant, country-style
wine. Drink now. NIS 75. Score 85.

Savion, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Blended with 15 percent Merlot and
developed partly in American and partly in French oak, medium- to
full-bodied, with now softened tannins and vanilla-rich wood. Opens to
reveal currant, blackberry, black cherry, spicy cedar and hints of
sage. On the long finish, cherry and berry fruits rise. Drink now
through 2011. NIS 75. Score 90.

Chateau Golan, Geshem White, 2007: An oak-aged blend of Viognier,
Grenache Blanc, French Colombard and Roussanne (63 percent, 29
percent, 7 percent and 1 percent, respectively) that cannot help but
call to mind the white wines of the Rhone Valley. Opens with a floral,
almost honeysuckle nose and then goes on to show melon, white peach,
almond and buttery notes on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, smooth
and creamy in texture, a quiet wine, elegant perhaps but lacking the
mineral and acidity in the backbone that might have elevated it to a
far higher level of enjoyment. Drink now. NIS 155. Score 88.