Domaine Netofa Winery – a world-class shmita observant winery

If you have never heard of Shmita – I doubt you live in Israel. Last year, like many past Shmita years, was very complex for haredi Jews in Israel, as they were not allowed to consume fruits from Israel. Every 7 years, the land needs to lie fallow, and in doing so farmers are without income for the year. The Torah describes that when the Jews are following the laws and abiding by his commands, God will give double or more in the 6th year for the 7th year and the 8th – till food is once again harvested.

Nowadays, that promise is not working, so what happens to the farmers that still want to leave their land fallow? Well, the Israeli government supported some, while other organizations from around the world collected funds to support these courageous farmers. Once such organization; Keren Hashviis, collected some 22+ million dollars. According to this article from vosizneias, Keren Hashviis said that in total 33,000 hectares of land, or 81,500 acres, were left fallow this shmita year, and some 3,500 farmers ceased their work. However, according to the ministries of Agriculture and Religious Services, approximately 200 farms totally ceased agricultural work during the shmita year, or made use of another alternative, while 4,656 farms signed up to the heter mechira system. The article goes on to explain the discrepancy – but what is very clear to me is that this past year was one of the more concerted efforts by Israel and its religious Haredi Jews to move Israel towards truly leaving its lands fallow.

A vineyard in the Galilee that is observing shmitta

In terms of kosher wineries, there were not many that followed the Shmita concept to its fullest. Interestingly, Vitkin Winery chose 2015 to turn kosher – now that is not an easy plan to work out, though to Vitkin, like many wineries in Israel nothing changed for them by going kosher, and whomever was buying their wines before would not know or care that they were now kosher!

To me the most prolific of the of the shmita observant wineries this past year, and one of my favorite kosher wineries in Israel, was Netofa Winery. Now in case you have been asleep for a few years now, it is my joy and honor to visit Netofa each year to taste through its new wines and some of its older wines. This time – on my first visit to Israel in 2016, I had no new wines to taste, other than the newly released Netofa Latour red and white, which I had tasted on my previous visit, though not posted as it was just barrel tastings.

That said, Mr. Pierre Miodownick and Yair Teboulle were ready for the situation and prepared a lovely pair of vertical tastings – a vertical of all the Tinto wines and all the Netofa white wines. If you look at my past tastings of Netofa wines, I have been a fan of Netofa’s whites and reds for sometime. They clearly got better in 2010 when the vines had another year of age to them. The 2013 and 2014 vintages are still the best, but when u have the chance to taste a 2010 Domaine Netofa Latour red – it shows that 2010 was just fine as well. The 2010 Latour is a wine that shows its age with pride and elegance!

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Domaine Netofa Tinto

That evening we had a few interesting conversations, one was around shmita, but it was short. Messrs Miodownick and Teboulle both made it clear they would never had made wines in Shmita, and that was pretty much the end of that conversation. An interesting aspect, was that last year Yair was spearheading an educational program about shmita – which was really cool from what I saw.

From there the conversation went to the wine where it belonged and I must say that getting the chance to taste the older was fun. The 2010 Tinto was close to my earlier opinions of this wine, excepting for the fact that the wine was not in drink up mode and the heat had clearly dissipated at this tasting. The 2011 Tinto was always glorious, but last I had it I saw it as more of a red fruit wine than glorious blue!

All the verticals at the Domaine Netofa Winery Tasting

The tasting was great overall, no duds or complaints. The 2012 Tinto has always been a polarizing one, with the graphite/tannin being a bit harsh – but it has mellowed with time and it is far more enjoyable than in the past. The 2013 is really nice, but the 2014 is again showing the value of aging vines. Old vines, is one of the newest gimmicks in marketing and of course there are exceptions, but for the most part – old vines is a duality of minimizing fruit/yield and maximizing flavor. Young vines lack the fruit punch as they are mostly busy with surviving the climate – and they do that by shooting canes in all directions. Vines are very much like humanity, in our youth we drive the world crazy and as we age, we mellow and add actual value to the world. Vines are not much different, as the age – they produce lower quantity but higher quality fruit. But that still requires a basic age to the vines, and while vines that are barely ten years old are not considered old age vines (more like 80 years old), age does help.

As we tasted through the wines, I kept realizing that Netofa is such a young winery and with that comes understanding the wines, their potential, and their value in the market. In many ways, Elvi Winery reminds me of Netofa or is it visa versa?? Elvi started in 2006, but 2009 was their first Clos Mesorah vintage. Still, Moises has made wine for a long time, not as long as Pierre (he started in 1980)! Still, they make similar wines, they use similar varietals, and while they have created wines for a long time (Moises was creating wines for others before himself), they still have very young wineries. Moises has wines that are showing well 9 years later (loved the 2007 Adar red recently), but again those came from older vines. The real joy is to watch a winery like Netofa that is young in its years and its vines, but old in its knowledge! Mr. Miodownick has made wine for so long, that he has kosher wines that are older than many people who are lucky to drink them! Sadly, I am not that young, but at the end of the evening we did have the honor of drinking a wine that was older than I thought would be viable for a kosher French Pinot Noir!

2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Domaine Netofa latour netoda white and 2014 Netofa White

But that is getting ahead of the story, of course we started with the whites – the 2014 Netofa White – which we posted on last year. Then we had the vertical of Netofa Latour White, from 2011 till 2014 inclusive. The winery has released the Latour White from 2010 to 2014 inclusive, so we only missed the 2010 – the inaugural release. I quickly realized – tasting these whites, that the smoke and toast only really shows itself as the wines age. The 2011 is smokey and redolent, while the younger ones are less so. The younger vintages were far fruitier and more true to the fruit than the 11.

From there we moved to the afore mentioned Tinto wines, which were also only started in 2010, but in this case, we had the opportunity to taste every Tinto released so far.

Then we tasted three of the 6 Netofa Red blends that have been released so far, the 14, 13, and 12 (the 11/10/09 are for another time I hope). Finally, we tasted the Latour Red 2012 and 2013, as the 2014 is was not ready to be bottled.

Domaine netofa Winery Tatsing room 3

Next we had the D’Or – the wine that was called XX1 on our last tasting. I have always said that wineries like Netofa can make old world wines in a new world location! This is a new world wine in a new world location and even though it is rich and unctuous and nice, I liked it – but not as much as the other Netofa wines.

Finally, we tasted the new 2012 Ruby Port and the released 2010 LBV. The 2012 Ruby is less dirty and fruitier than the epic 2010, while the LBV is even crazier and more extracted than the 2010 Ruby Port.

After the delightful tasting, we made our way, with all the bottles of course to dinner at Mr. Miodownick’s home and were graced once again with the presence of the lady of the house, Mrs. Miodownick and her lovely family. Dinner was a perfectly grilled duck breast with lovely mashed potatoes, a wine reduction with scallions, and a lovely fresh green salad. Dessert was chocolate dipped pears. As always, the Miodownicks are classic and epic hosts.

For pairing Pierre was very kind to open an ancient Pinot Noir – the 2002 Gevrey Chambertin, Les Murots. The wine was lovely, and rich, and really needed 20 minutes to open up. Once open it stayed there for an hour or so and then it was gone. It was a lovely experience and my many thanks to Mr. Miodownick and his wife for sharing it with us!

After the food was gone, we moved to Habanos, a glass of some almost 60 year old pear Calvados from the famille lebeurrier Normandy (thanks Judith!), and some lovely Cognac. The Calvados was lovely searing acid, yellow apple, with vanilla, candied pear, fig jam, and sweet oak, an impressive spirit indeed!

My many thanks to the Miodownick’s for their very kind hospitality, to Netofa Winery for the lovely tasting, and to Yair Teboulle Netofa’s CEO who had to run out for a different tasting, this seems to be a theme for the last three years.

In closing, the warmth, hospitality, and immense effort that our hosts showed us, went well beyond what I could have imagined or deserved. Our many, many, thanks to our hosts, for their kindness and open arms, that made me feel like family and welcomed to the home of such importance. I hope you enjoy reading the notes of the wines that are truly wonderful!

The wine notes follow below in the order they were enjoyed:

2014 Domaine Netofa White – Score: A- (Crazy QPR)
I must say this is clearly the best Netofa white so far, and I hope they continue to impress! The wine is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from the slopes of Mount Tabor. The nose is redolent with rich and bright quince, slight funk, straw, mineral, lemongrass, and wet grass. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is lovely and rich mineral bomb, with more hay, spiced quince, now dry fresh cut grass, green apple, Asian pear, along with a crazy dry and insanely tart crab apple. The finish is long – spicy, dirty, and mineral based, with dry fruit, rich ripping acid, cloves, and nutmeg – BRAVO!!!

2011 Domaine Netofa Latour White  – Score: A- (and then some)
WOW what a nose! This wine is also 100% Chenin Blanc, but was aged in French oak for 7 months. The nose on this lovely wine is stunning, with rich smoke, flint, green notes, with ripe apple but dried fruit as well, lovely. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich and viscous, with ripe tart fruit of green apple and quince, with beautiful brioche and straw, along with beautiful mineral, with saline and herb, WOW. The finish is long and buttery with great viscosity, but perfectly balanced with lively acidity, butterscotch and lemon, lovely. BRAVO!!

2012 Domaine Netofa Latour White  – Score: A- (and then some)
WOW what a nose! This wine is also 100% Chenin Blanc, but was aged in French oak for 7 months. This wine is lovely, with the funk that I relate to oaked chenin blanc and wines that are managed well and are stirred often to get lees contact. Besides the funk, there was lovely spice, with white pepper, floral notes with rose hips, and quince. The mouth on this medium bodied wine starts off with a lovely peach attack with sweet candied and spiced peaches, with great acid core and spice followed with saline and herb, but the acid is what really takes your breath away with mineral, cloves, spice and pepper. The finish is long and spicy with green notes, more mineral, slate, and flint. BRAVO!!

2013 Domaine Netofa Latour White (QPR) – Score: A- (and then some)
So the previous vintages of this wine were medium bodied but this one was full and layered and viscous – impressive! As I said before, these wines are improving and changing as the vines have more age under their belts! WOW what a nose! This wine is also 100% Chenin Blanc, but was aged in French oak for 7 months.
The nose on this wine is equally redolent with crazy ripe quince, dry yellow plums, straw, with lovely dry grass, and white cherry. The mouth on this full bodied beast is rich, round, layered, and well spiced, with insane acid, great saline, mineral, creating an almost mouth coating feel, with all of that lifted by the acid/spice/mineral mix, along with grapefruit, honeysuckle, showing white pepper, baked fig pie, wrapped in a creamy texture with cloves. The finish is long with mineral, slate, saline, finishing in a crazy acid and mineral driven mouth coating mouthfeel – BRAVO!!

2014 Domaine Netofa Latour White (QPR) – Score: A- (and then some)
So the previous vintages of this wine were medium bodied but this one was full and layered and viscous – impressive! As I said before, these wines are improving and changing as the vines have more age under their belts! WOW what a nose! This wine is also 100% Chenin Blanc, but was aged in French oak for 7 months.
The nose on this wine is equally redolent with notes that are far more Sauvignon Blanc in style than the lees driven funk that I have come to find in this lovely wine, however, it does show the lovely straw, dry grass, mad honey, peach, honeysuckle, and more mineral. While this mouth is full-bodied as the 2013 vintage, it has even more acid, more focus, with dried quince, quince, all balanced well with grapefruit focused citrus, an overall impressive mouthfeel, viscous, tart, bright, with balance of oak influenced notes. The finish is long with saline, hints of bricohe that will show later in the aging process, and honeysuckle! BRAVO!

2014 Domaine Netofa Tinto – Score: A- (QPR)
The wine is a Portugal dry blend, made of Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. The nose on this lovely wine is really intense with a perfect blend of dark black and blue fruit, along with loamy dirt, smoke, and candied fig, and blueberry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is a bit more like the 2012 than the epic 2013. The mouth starts with a hit of that ribbon of bitter graphite, followed by blackberry, blackcurrant, more blue notes, sweet dill, garrigue, root beer, lovely stone fruit, and mouth coating tannin. The finish is long and dirty, with nice tar, charcoal, coffee, saline, and mineral. Lovely!

2013 Domaine Netofa Tinto – Score: A- (and a bit more) (QPR)
The wine is a Portugal dry blend, made of Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. The nose on this wine is redolent with intense smoke, roasted meat, tar, blueberry, mixed with peach, along with crazy floral aromas, and rose hips – intoxicating! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is richly extracted and captivating with lovely restraint and control than the sweeter 2012 fruit, showing beautiful fruit structure, with white summer fruits playing in tandem with mineral, forest floor, garrigue, ripping acid, and more blue and red fruit, and mounds of loam and dirt. The finish is long and crazy rich, with lovely mineral, charcoal, candied quince, leather, all wrapped in mad draping tannins, with sweeter peach and blueberry fighting for dominance, with ripe blackberry in the background, all topped with a shake of cinnamon and sage. BRAVO my friends BRAVO!!

2012 Domaine Netofa Tinto – Score: A-
The wine is a Portugal dry blend, made of Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. The nose on this lovely wine is rich with ripe blueberry, insane boysenberry, nice spice, peach, and watermelon. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine shows well with crazy mouth coating tannin, lovely blackcurrant, sweet strawberry, tart summer fruit, blackberry, plum, with nice spices, black pepper, cloves, sage, with a bitter streak of graphite/charcoal, all mingling well together and going back and forth between white summer fruit and ripe black fruit. The finish is nice and long and blue, with lovely sweet fruit, nice mineral, along with mounds of sweet spice, rich coffee, draping tannin, licorice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sweet rich herb.

2011 Domaine Netofa Tinto – Score: A- (and a bit more) (QPR)
The wine is a Portugal dry blend, made of Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. The nose on this wine is redolent with intense smoke, roasted meat, flint, and mounds of fresh summer blueberry and purple fruit. The mouth on this ripe and full-bodied wine is riper than 2010, with very impressive mouth drying tannins, and a nice fruit structure, showing ripe blue fruit, blackberry, sweet summer stone fruit, with sweet notes abounding, charcoal, and nice balancing acid. The finish is long and mineral based, with the fruit giving way to the mineral, charcoal, chocolate, leather, with blue fruit alive and lingering well. BRAVO!!

2010 Domaine Netofa Tinto – Score: A-
The wine is a Portugal dry blend, made of Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional. This was the original release of this wine, and a wine that has proven that Tempranillo belongs in Israel! The nose on this wine is truly lovely, showing sweet notes with ripe fruit now taking control, impressive with dark and blue fruit showing new without the mineral in your face, but with the acid and blue fruit showing beautiful, impressive. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe with red fruit, plum, blackberry, along with hints of blue fruit, with sweet citrus, apricot, and blackcurrant. The finish is long and sweet, with a plush body and fruit structure, showing how age will work for this wine. BRAVO!

2014 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR!) – Score: A-
This wine is a clear step up from the 2012 Netofa Red and in lockstep with its younger 2013 brother! This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Mourvedre – with more Mourvedre than in any previous vintage. The nose on this wine is redolent and packed with mineral, some smoke, but really heady with floral notes, rose hip, followed by ripe and juicy blueberry and blackberry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows what a wine can be even if it has no oak on it, with impressive extraction, intense acid, tart fruit structure, showing juicy strawberry, rich mouth coating tannin, blackcurrant, and heady spice. The finish is long and well-balanced with nice acid, mineral, graphite, cloves, and lovely sweet spices lingering long – BRAVO!!

2013 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR!) – Score: A- (and more)
This wine is a clear step up from the 2012 Netofa Red, that is not putting the 2012 down in any way, it is just that this wine is even better! This wine is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Mourvedre. The nose on this wine is redolent and packed with mineral, lovely smoke, flint, ripe plum, lovely blueberry, with currants in the background. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is attacks you first with lovely currants, followed by layers of blueberry, floral notes, richer and more extracted than the 2012, with great mineral, dried strawberry, all wrapped in ripping acid, and lovely tannin. The finish is long, extracted, and richly mineral in style, with blackcurrant, draping tannin, while being spiced with cloves, black pepper, sweet herb, and hints of pith and lovely acid. BRAVO!!!

2012 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR) – Score: A-
Well, the last time I tasted this wine was last year at the previous tasting. This time it was a two years older, with more bottle age and slight changes in the wine that comes with bottle aging, along with riper notes than last time. This wine is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Mourvedre, also known in the Rhone Valley and Australia as an SM blend. The nose on this wine is richly spiced with lovely blackcurrant, blueberry, hints of feminine floral notes, charcoal. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is showing riper with mouth drying tannin, coffee, along with lovely blackberry, dry black plum, spice, with black tea, currants, and nice layers of concentrated fruit. The finish is long and spicy, tart and mineral driven, with black and blue fruit, herb, cranberry, and lovely root beer.

2013 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red – Score: A- to A (Crazy QPR)
The last time we tasted this wine was at last year’s tasting. It has changed little from that tasting. This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre, also known in the Rhone Valley and Australia as an SM blend. The 2013 vintage is a very different beast than the 2012, it is far more restrained, old-world, with elegance, ripping mineral, and saline. In some ways this reminds me of the 2010 superstar Latour.
The nose on this lovely wine is perfumed with crazy creamy blue and red fruit, with spicy notes, and rich soy sauce, that can come across also as mad and intense umami (AKA roasted meat). The mouth on this full-bodied wine is so old world in style it would shock you to think it is from Israel, with intense extraction and more umami that hit you in layers with earth, tar, blackcurrant, dark cherry, green olives, saline, concentrated plum, blueberry, all wrapped in mad mineral, spice, and spicy oak. The finish is long and very rich, with more candied blue fruit, dry plum, root beer, graphite, mineral, saline, all culminating in a mineral, dry fruit, roasted animal finish – BRAVO!!!!

2012 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red – Score: A- (and more) (QPR)
The last time we tasted this wine was at last year’s tasting. It has changed little from that tasting. This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre, also known in the Rhone Valley and Australia as an SM blend. This wine is a riper version than the 2013. The nose on this lovely wine is rich with ripe fruit, blackberry, boysenberry, and perfumed spice and sweet licorice. The mouth on this full-bodied wine comes at you in layers of blue and black fruit, rich spice, intense graphite, mouth coating and draping tannin, all packed in an intense and inky structure, with bright and tart blackcurrant, that comes at you with concentrated and rich fruit, and tea. The finish is long, spicy, fruity and jammy, with black plum, coffee, tobacco, nice spice, root beer, along with mounds of earth and mineral. This is a lovely wine that is rich and layered but one that would be insane if it had a bit more acid.

2013 Domaine Netofa Dor – Score: A-
I will start by saying that since the last time we had this wine with Pierre, I have had it three more times, and it has changed, more restrained, but still very new world. It is a controlled new world Cali Syrah that shocked me, not because of the wine, but because it was made by Mr. Miodownick! This is not an old world style wine that he has made till now. This is as new world a wine that Pierre can possibly make without having a heart attack! So, yes this is one of those Israeli/Cali controlled sweet wines that may or may not appeal to all.

The wine is 100% pure Syrah that was aged in new French oak barrels for 15 months. The nose on this wine is a clear Cali style wine, with sweet notes, but more controlled than the classic Israeli wines that drive me crazy. The nose is redoelent with sweet ripe fruit, ripe blueberry, mineral, but controlled with nice toasty wood and ripe red tart fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is richly extracted, intense, and out there, with clear Israeli and Cali leanings, but good control, starting with lovely blackcurrant, blue fruit, followed by mineral, intense smoked chocolate, all wrapped in a rich mouth drying tannin, and concentrated fruit that for now is covered up. The finish is long and chocolatey, with leather, spice, white pepper, graphite, blue fruit, and mineral all coming together on the long finish.

2002 Anselme Deslar Gevrey Chambertin, Les Murots – Score: A- (and more)
This is a lovely old Pinot Noir that was to me at peak or a drop over, with clear leanings of the ethereal kind. The nose on this cherry to brick colored wine was a perfect match for the pan seared duck, showing lovely dark fruit, with smoked meat notes, along with mushroom, sour cherry, and dirt. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is the classic example of what ethereal really means, this is not a wine that will hit you over the head or beguile you with its come hither smile, rather this is a wine that is all about the quiet and understated qualities that come with age. The mouth is clean, and structurally perfect, with lovely acid, and shocking tannin that comes alive after being open for 30 minutes, but then quickly dissipates, showing a mushroom and dirt paradise with lively tart currant and cherry fruit. The mouth gives way to a tart fruit oasis, with lovely acid, backed by coffee, raspberry, garrigue, and ripe tart green plum. Impressive!

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Posted on March 25, 2016, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery Visit and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Reading this article truly had a mouth-watering effect. I wish that Hungarian kosher still carried the netofa wines. In a close-out sale I was able to taste the 2011 tinto but it seems like it is showing its age and on it was out. The 2010 netofa white was either a bad batch or wasn’t stored properly (it’s possible the tinto was similarly effected) because I opened up two bottles. One bottle was clearly corked and funky and the second was just funky and somewhat leaned toward sweet brandy like flavors.
    I wanted to share with you that over Purim an extremely generous individual shared a bottle with me of what he had previously described as “hands down the best bottle he has ever tasted.”
    It was none other than the 2010 Yarden Yonatan Cabernet Sauvignon. I must say that in my short (8year) career as a wine aficionado it was the best bottle I have ever had in my life. The only bottle I think was in the same realm was the epic 2003 el rom cab.
    I know you aren’t such a believer in Yarden (ever since they started to sell date juice) but if you’re in Israel and can get your hands on this bottle, I strongly suggest buying it.
    Just to put into perspective how amazing this wine was let me tell you what wines I had previously tasted at a different friends immediately prior to the Yonatan.
    I had previously had the Domaine Roses Camille Echo de Roses Camille Pomerol 2011, the 2013 castel grand vin, the 2011 flam Cabernet reserve, and a taste from a magnum bottled yatir Forrest(I wasn’t told what vintage) that had been decanted since the morning.
    This bottle of Yonatan with its finesse, redolent nose and full bodied yet velvety, mouth coating classic Cabernet was the clear winner by a long shot.
    If you do try it please let me know what you think. I would buy two while your able to get your hands on it. One to taste and one to cellar.

    • Well I have had the 2010Yarden Yonatan and I was not as enamored by it as you were, but I can see what you mean by what you said. I would have liked the Rose Camille or the 13 Grand Vin more, but that is what makes wine so great! It is really about enjoying great wines with friends and family and building memories from it! Happy you had a great Purim!!!

      • What would you say is the best wine you have ever had?
        What about the best wine that is still in its drinking window?

  2. Yeah that question is one that is a bit to many 🙂 However, these were the top wines I enjoyed over 2015: https://kosherwinemusings.com/2016/01/21/my-top-kosher-25-wines-of-2015/

  3. Lucky you!
    My favorite wine from Netofa is actually their Rose ! I saw your April review for the incredible ’14. I’m actually planning on using it for the Arbah Kosos this year, (along with the Vignobles David Res. ’12). Did you try the ’13?
    It’s actually my favorite rose , usually passing by Laurent Perrier (Champagne), Jacques Capsouto, de Berne, Hajdu, and Shirah!
    Ridiculous QPR!

    • Sadly the roses are not holding up as well as I had hoped. They last well for 6 months but then slow down. I would taste one before you decide to use it for the 4 cups.

      • Thanks for the heads up. I figure though that even if it’s over the hill and tired, it will still be a pleasant, balanced drink; perfect for quaffing. And if I’m in the mood of something stronger, the “bench team” aren’t a bunch of “bench-warmers” either. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve always got to stick with the simple stuff. Never tried Via. I’ve recommended Bartenura’s Malvasia for low-alcohol seekers.

        On Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 8:14 AM, Wine Musings Blog wrote:

        > winemusings commented: “Sadly the roses are not holding up as well as I > had hoped. They last well for 6 months but then slow down. I would taste > one before you decide to use it for the 4 cups.” >

      • I will find something this year -to me the 4 cups are about the seder not the wine!

      • Good for you! Just a thought: Judaism is a lot about turning the physical into a symbiotic support for the spiritual, which explains the exhortation to both honor and pleasure the Shabbos, as we all see you do quite admirably. The same goes for Yom Tov and really all the Mitzvos which we do using the physical realm. So whenever I can make the doing of a Mitzva feel more obviously special even to my basic senses, I “cash in” on it. What you probably meant is that worrying too much about which wine to consume for the four cups takes away from your greater priorities: whichever of the uplifting, message rich, Mitzvos of the Seder that really make a difference for you and those you around you, and make you into the Jew you are the rest of the year! For that I congratulate you, especially when it comes from someone who knows wine like you! P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on the Seder.

        winemusings commented: “I will find something this year -to me the 4 cups > are about the seder not the wine!” >

      • Post Seder nights report: you were right about the Rose, it was alright, but not much was left of its palate and aroma. A funny over-ripe fruit taste dominated. However, it was alright for one cup; and the others, including my wife, liked it enough to finish it. The Vignobles Res. was tremendously delicious and impressive, with a unique spice and fire. But the showstopper, I believe, was a luscious bottle of Shirah Bro-Deux. I think I recruited another couple fans fro the Weiss brothers. I’ll take my commission in cases. =D

        > winemusings commented: “Sadly the roses are not holding up as well as I >> had hoped. They last well for 6 months but then slow down. I would taste >> one before you decide to use it for the 4 cups.” >>

      • Indeed the Bro.Deux is a great wine! Moed Tov!!!

  4. I just received a present from a very special individual who brought back two bottles of netofa, the 2014 domaine netofa white and 2013 domaine netofa red. I was wondering if you could tell me in your opinion what is their drinking window, and when will they hit their peak?
    Thanks again

    • Both great wines. The white netofa is a wine I would hold on to for a year or two if you like the funky chenin blanc notes – they come out more with age. If you like the cleaner line notes of chenin in its infancy then drink it now, but decant for 45 minutes. The 13 red is ready to go, but will be fine till 2018 or so.

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