Last days of Passover – wines and all

Well I am back from Israel again, this trip was all about Passover and not wine trips. It was beautiful in Jerusalem for Passover, other than two scorching hot days. Other than them, the days were temperate, and really quite enjoyable.

The access to wine in Israel, is abundant, and when u are shooting for whites, roses, and bubbly, you really cannot go wrong. The reds were limited to the very safe options, Tzora, Netofa, and Matar.

Food wise, my in-laws did most of the cooking, but for me, it was cheese and matzah for almost every meal, along with lunches on Yom Tov. Dinners were meatballs, brisket, and fish (not in that order).

Overall, the wines were fantastic in the second round of options – better than the first round which included a dud. Sadly, the wines I enjoyed are not available here in the SUA yet – and may not even get here. Many of them are Royal’s and they are not embracing the white/rose wine revolution that is taking over Israel as much as I would have hoped. Which means I will need to hand import a few more of these beauties.

A special thanks to SB and DF for hosting us for a dinner. We brought over the two rose and we enjoyed them along with some great food and two lovely wines, which I sadly have no notes for. One was the 2011 Tzora Misty Hills – a great wine for sure. The other was the 2010 Recanati Cabernet Franc Reserve. The wine is still kicking nicely and has another year or two left in the tank.

We did not get to the 2014 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon wine – I had it at the winery and will post it here – but I did not taste it over Passover.

So, without further ado – here are the wine notes:

2014 Tzora Shoresh Red – Score: A- (and much more)
Lovely nose of ripe fruit with great mineral and earth, rich spices, green notes, and red and black fruit. The mouth on this full bodied wine is beautiful, with great control and far less heat than other 2014 reds from Israel, showing great complexity and extraction, with great blackberry, plum, raspberry, lovely foliage,  with great graphite, sweet notes, really rich extraction and lovely hints of blueberry and roasted meat and toast. The finish is long and green and red with great spices, cloves, nutmeg, and herb with rich coffee, great acid, and lovely mineral, bravo!!

2014 Elvi Wines Vina Encina Rose
– Score: A- (and a bit more) (BEST QPR ROSE) (mevushal)
This wine like the Chateau Montaud needs an hour or two of air to really come into its own. We last had this epic wine in Spain, at Moises’s house and now it is showing as well or better, if that is possible!! This lovely salmon colored rose is made of 100% Tempranillo Saignee and it reflects its redder brother, by showing ripe and tart fruit, but it adds white fruit and crazy intense acid. The nose on this wine is redolent and intense with raspberry, dark cherry, litchi, peach and floral notes. The mouth on this medium bodied wine first hits you with intense searing acid, followed by lovely mineral, saline, and then follows with ripe kumquat, nectarines, grapefruit, and dirt. The finish is long and tart with bitter notes, earth and grapefruit and candied pomegranate. Bravo!

2014 Chateau Montaud, Cotes du Provence – Score: A- (and more)
This wine like the Vina Encina needs an hour or two of air to really come into its own. OK, this wine is one of those polarizing wine, some will love it, others will think it is funky and spoiled. The last vintage of this wine we tasted blind, but this one was enjoyed without any silver foil all over it! The nose on this gris colored wine is indeed old world, dried fruit, earth, dirt, mineral, saline, insane funk, strawberry, and yellow flowers. The nose on this lovely medium bodied wine starts off a bit closed, but with time – it fills with incredible mineral, flint, graphite, which then gives way to dried apple, mad quince, grapefruit, and more fruity than the 2013. This wine though is still very Provence in style, showing great focus, mineral, straw, dried grass, slate, crazy acid, with pear and apple taking front stage. The finish is focused, saline, mad acid and mineral bomb. Bravo!

2014 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Score: A-  (NOTES from Feburary 2016)
While I really liked this wine, it does not come close to the epic 2013 blend. The nose on this lovely wine starts off with classic SB notes of gooseberry, with rich peach and grapefruit, followed by lovely tart and crisp fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich and viscous with ripe and tart lemon curd, citrus pith, with scrapping acid, yellow apple, lovely fresh cut grass, with straw in the background. The mouth is well structured with sick ripping acid, rich and deep mineral, with green apple, melon, intense spice, Asian pear, and herb bringing the mouth together. The finish is crazy long and herbal with intense slate, rich cloves, peach, cat pee, lemon friache, citrus pith, intense and insane saline, and lovely mineral madness.

2010 Yarden Rose, Brut – Score: A- to A
This wine is still very young with an impressively aggressive mouth and mousse, it needs time to calm down and integrate, maybe best in a year or two. The nose on this lovely dark salmon colored wine is lovely and restrained with flint, dirt, smoke, and ripe quince. The mouth is intoxicating and demands your attention, the mousse attack is crazy, the small bubbles are lovely and well balanced with intense searing acid, that flows into cherry, raspberry, lovely gooseberry, pink grapefruit, and lovely spice. The finish is long with brioche, yeast, with more mousse attack, mineral, and sweet spices lingering long. BRAVO! Best from 2018 to 2024.

2014 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc, Lone Oak – Score: A- (and then some) (QPR)
The nose on this wine is classic New Zealand in style, with ripping tart fruit, insane lemongrass, gooseberry, cat pee, along with saline, floral notes, and mineral. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is crazy with ripping acid, citrus, lime, yellow grapefruit, with saline madness, crazy acid, guava, garrigue, litchi, and even more acid that just does not give up. The finish is long and spicy with mineral, rock, slate, and green apple – 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, dried fig, 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 brioche that will show later in the aging process, and honeysuckle! 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 the last Netofa 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!!!!

13 Matar Cumulus – Score: A- (and a bit more)
This wine is a blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc
The nose on this lovely wine is ripe and green but controlled with green notes, menthol, rich eucalyptus, along with dark cherry and black fruit. The mouth on this rich, layered and full bodied wine is balanced, but riper than the 2012 vintage, showing lovely dirt, garrigue, with nice black fruit, blackberry, plum, all wrapped in sweet cedar, rich tobacco, nice balancing acid, with mad green notes, mint and foliage along with rich tannin and spice. The finish is long and spicy, with nice herb and butterscotch and dirt with chocolate and spice cloves and cinnamon.


Posted on May 9, 2016, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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