Israeli White and Rose wines along with a few others thrown in

As the weather starts to warm up, it is time to start enjoying the white and rose wines that come from Israel. With that said, there is a lot of buzz recently that 2018 is the new year for white and rose Israeli wines, well I can personally attest that the noise is a red herring and a gross over exaggeration.

Are there a few more wines that work in 2018 than in 2017, 2016, or 2015? Yes, but the 2018 vintage is NOTHING like the epic 2014 vintage for Israeli white and rose wines. Still, I am happy to say that there are a few wines that I have enjoyed and I am posting them here.

I had a large tasting with the Israeli/French/American wine tasting group in Jerusalem, and there were a few winners. I am posting here wines that I tasted with them, along with a few that I have tasted before and after the event. Also, since we had many wines, we did not write long notes for wines I disliked and some wines I liked elsewhere are either missing notes or I cannot find them, but I do my best to describe those as well.

Thanks to Avi Davidowitz of Kosher Wine Unfiltered, and the rest of the French wine group on Facebook for helping with the tasting, and a big shout out to Joel and his company for letting us have the tasting at his office.

Finally, as always! PLEASE only drink 2018 roses and finish them by October 2018 or so. Also, if you wish to read how rose wine is made, please read this post from last year. Same can be said for many of these simple white wines, other than where I give an actual drinking window.

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2018 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 90
The nose on this wine is pure gooseberry, slate, mineral, lemon, and cat pee. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, dry, and very good, with floral notes, of orange blossom, and lovely control with good acidity, fruit focus, and lovely passion fruit. The finish is long, green, and slate, with good salinity, and blossom. Nice!

2018 Segal Chardonnay, Wild Fermentation – Score: 80
The nose on this wine is boring and closed, with bits of peach, orange blossom, and not much else. The front and middle of this wine are flat as a crepe, with hints of hay and slate, with a bit of acidity on the end.

2018 Shiran Semillon – Score: NA
The nose is 100% apple juice, and not much else. The mouth is offensive. Candied quince with lemon juice, all over the place and nasty.

2018 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 90
This is a nice wine, yay, it is a nice SB, nice gooseberry, passion fruit, and citrus. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, really acidic, well balanced, with good fruit structure, with nice weight and structure, showing peach, hints apricot, and nice hay, and orange blossom, and orange pith, with good structure and balance. Nice! Pith, acidity, salinity, and nice ripe but balanced fruit linger long.

2018 Flam Blanc – Score: 86
The nose on this wine is boring, flat, no life, with hints of orange, blossom, and not much else. The mouth on this wine is pure lemon/lime/orange juice, and not much else, very little complexity, but nice acidity. Nice enough.

2018 Ramat Negev Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 70
This is another bummer wine, big pass. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is acidic quince juice. Boring, move on.

2018 Vitkin Gewurztraminer – Score: 91 to 92
This wine is dry and lovely pineapple, with ripe melon, and green notes and lychee galore, with funk and hints of soap, incredible aromas, white pepper, smoke, flint, and redolence. The mouth on this wine is lovely, with grapefruit, citrus, lovely pith, with apple, pith galore, followed by complexity and bitter notes of melon, yellow Apple, lovely weight, slight tannin, with sweet notes honeysuckle, sweet pineapple, and balance. The finish is long and green and sweet and mineral balanced. Bravo! Drink by 2021.

2017 Amos Mont Blanc – Score: NA
The nose on this wine starts off with horrible rotten eggs, and if you swirl enough if blows off. The nose is closed off horribly as well.

2018 Vitkin Riesling – Score: 91 to 92
Lovely nose, great bright fruit, incredible honeysuckle, with heather and rich mineral galore. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is really fun, and really fun funk and petrol, with great mineral and saline backbone, followed by citrus, lemon, and rich complexity, with great blossom, litchi, and rich green notes that come together with mineral, ribbons of funk, and slate galore. Wow with mineral, saline, slate, and citrus and funk lingering long. Drink by 2023.

2018 Yaffo Sauvage, White – Score: NA
Another wine with no nose, hints of gooseberry, and orange. Quince, orange juice, with no finish.

2018 Dalton Chardonnay, Estate, unoaked – Score: 85
Orange blossom, sweet notes. The mouth is brighter, with nice enough acidity, but the sweet notes, with lots of RS, but it has a nice weight, round, with ok acidity, nothing exciting, but the finish is long with acid, and nectarines, and pith.

2018 Shiran Triada – Score: NA
Oxidized, clearly an off bottle.

2018 Psagot Gewurtztraminer – Score: 90
This wine is a bit off-dry, which breaks the rule of the evening, but nice, with classic Gewurztraminer style, with sweet pineapple, orange, tropical notes, nice spices, and loads of fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is fruity, and it starts to show a lot of RS (Residual Sugar), but with air that calms down and the spice comes out, it is balanced well, with crazy salinity, acidity, and guava, and melon, are a bit too much, but nice. The finish is super long, crazy acid, saline, and a load of slate. Nice. Solid! Drink now.

2018 Tabor Chardonnay, Har – Score: 70
Average chardonnay, nothing interesting here, too many tropical notes, too ripe.

2018 Domaine Netofa, White – 90 to 91
I have had this wine 4 times now. Some shows like pineapple juice and others show beautiful like this one here. What can I do, I think this wine has a deep-rooted tropical backbone, but the mineral up front is so good that it hides the backbone.
The nose on this wine shows a lovely nose of straight up hay, mineral, and fruit, with apple and quince galore, and lovely fruit and blossom. The mouth on this wine is crazy good, with a clear ripe backbone, yet steely tart and bright with crazy saline and herb, with mineral galore, with crazy apple, and rich quince, with an incredible tension between the ripeness and the tart/dry fruit and minerality. The finish is long and green, with slate, more hay, and lovely freshness and minerality! Bravo! Drink by 2021.

2018 Domaine du Castel La Vie, White – Score: 89
Interesting peach and apricot notes, with sweet notes, showing pineapple, and guava. The mouth on this medium bodied wine opened slowly, with a nice solid round mouth, but with a great core of acidity, with slate, orange, nectarines, and good citrus bringing it all together.

2018 Teperberg Famitage, Inspire – Score: 83
The nose is nice, pineapple juice, with citrus, and mineral. The mouth is medium, hollow in the middle, nice acidity in the front, and boring.

2018 Dalton Pinot Gris – Score: 89 to 90
The nose on this nose is boring. The mouth on this wine, is really alive, acidity, crazy mango, guava, and passion fruit, with more pineapple, and nice fruit overall, with a good mouthfeel, and fruit focus. The finish is long, ripe, well made, and overall a dry-tropical fruit punch, loads of slate and pith. Nice.

2018 Recanati Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 87
This is nice, a solid SB! The nose smells of gooseberry, cats pee, hay, straw, and lovely passion fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, well made, solid acidity, and not sweet, but the finish is short.

2018 Galil Mountain White – Score: NA
Sweet pineapple and quince juice, pass. Unbalanced

2018 Dalton Kna’an White – Score: NA
This wine has the true honor of being called the worst wine of the night, non-spoiled. Pure white wine date juice.

2018 Tabor Roussanne – Score: 89 to 90
Nice nose of dirt, gooseberry, straw, hay, and citrus galore. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, with great acidity, nice pith, hints of nectarines, with lemon, lime, and herb. The finish is long, green, gooseberry, with sweet notes that takes it a bit off course, with peach, and nice slate, and more pith.

2018 Covenant Viognier, Blue C, Israel – Score: 84
After last year’s epic Viognier, I had huge expectations for this wine, sadly, the 2018 vintage is not even close to 2017. The nose is closed, and when it does open, it has little peach, though it is there with more apricot, and other sweet notes, that were not there on the 2017 vintage. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is really not that exciting, with notes that show average acidity, more apricot, a bit of peach, loads of apple, and sadly not much else.

2018 Teperberg Pinot Gris, Essence – Score: 88
The nose on this wine is sweet, with yellow Apple, melon, lychee, and sweet tropical fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is sweeter than the Dalton with tropical fruit with nice salinity and acidity with good fruit and slate. The tropical notes linger long with loads of sweet fruit and nice mineral.


2018 Teperberg Rose, Essence – Score: 88
50% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, and Barbera. Nice balance on the nose, with great bright fruit, strawberry, stone fruit, peach, and cherry. Nice overall wine, weighty, and overall well balanced, with fruit, and not much more.

2018 Covenant Rose, Israeli Blue C – Score: 89
The nose on this wine is fun with funk, quince, red fruit, with sweet fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with sweet and juicy strawberry, quince, with good acidity, balance, and a bit too much sweet notes, with cotton candy and watermelon. The finish is long, sweet, strawberry, melon, and acidity.

2018 Dalton Rose – Score: 88
The nose on this wine is cotton candy, with sweet notes, cherry, juicy strawberry. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is sweet, with nice acidity, but it is sweeter than last year, with juicy fruit, and sweetness. The finish is long and tart yet sweet with more cotton candy and sweet pear and apple.

2018 Borgo Reale Rose – Score: 89
Nice rose again. The nose is controlled, well made with good tart and bright fruit, with raspberry, apple, and green note, and nice citrus, with orange blossom and hints of rose hip. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is fun, tart, and sweet with good balance, acidity, and fun citrus, orange, nectarines, and strawberry. The finish is long, sweet, tart, and balanced, nice,

2018 Flam Rose – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is rich with bright fruit, lovely grapefruit, and sweet notes of gooseberry and guava. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is sweet and yet tart, with nice control, but it is sweet, with good acidity,  and the crazy grapefruit and bitter lemon and pith that helps to temper the sweetness.

2018 Nadiv Rose – Score: 88
The nose on this wine is straight up cotton candy, sweet, strawberry with rose hip and blossom. The mouth is ok, it needs more acid, shows good fruit and structure.

2018 Gush Eztion Rose – Score: 88 to 89
This is good, the nose is funky, with strawberry, cotton candy, watermelon, and citrus. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has flavors that are austere, with a rounding/flat mouthfeel in the middle, with good balance, that comes together with time, opening to sweet notes, but nice saline, acidity, strawberry, lemongrass, tart quince, and herb. Nice.

2018 Twin Suns Rose – Score: 89 to 90
This wine was a shocker! I was not expecting this from the twin sun label. The nose on this wine is classical in nature, showing lovely raspberry, strawberry, with lemon, and mineral. The mouth on this weighty but lithe rose is fun, with tart fruit, fresh and bright, with little sweetness, showing tart and juicy balance, with good mineral, and slate. Nice!

2018 Timbre Rose – Score: 89 to 90
Another wine I was not expecting based upon the previous history. The nose is a bit closed to start, with time it opens to sweet notes, balanced well with hay, and floral notes. The mouth on this wine is balanced, nice, with great acid, gooseberry, hints of passion fruit, with cherry, strawberry, and lovely red fruit balanced by tart fruit, great acidity, with spice and slate galore. Nice!

2018 Ella Valley Ever Rose – Score: NA
Closed, with cherry, strawberry, and fruit. RS pass.

2018 Five Stones Rose, D vs G – Score: 89
The nose is clean, good bright fruit, with lemongrass, nice red fruit, citrus, and tart fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is solid, well balanced, with great acidity that is well balanced with sweet cherry and strawberry but balanced well with slate, peach, and apricot, nice. The finish is long, tart, and green, but fruity and has clear RS.

2018 Amos Rose, La Rose – Score: 60
Sweet, Sweet, and sweeter. Bubblegum and cotton candy. Big pass.

2018 Recanati Rose, Gris de Marselan – Score: 91
Lovely nose of gooseberry, sweet honeysuckle, pineapple, sweet apple, and creamy strawberry. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is balanced, with great acidity, lovely salinity, all wrapped in a nice mouthfeel, showing strawberry, quince, sweet apple, tart gooseberry, pink grapefruit, and acid galore. The finish is long, green, tart, with slate, and nice tart grapefruit and pith lingering long. Nice!

2018 Tabor Rose, Barbera – Score: 90
The nose on this wine is nice, with sweet notes, showing ripe strawberry, quince, apple and loads of melon and guava. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is ripe but well balanced with red berry, tart gooseberry, citrus, and grapefruit, with nice acidity, mineral, and good mouthfeel, with tart fruit, cotton candy, sweet notes, and lovely mineral and acidity and citrus notes lingering long.

2018 Domaine Castel Rose du Castel – Score: 87 to 88
I have had this wine two times now, and while I like it flinty and lithe nature, I find it too lithe to stand up to food. The nose on this rose is lithe and lovely, it is how rose should be, with mineral, slate, and nice gooseberry, white fruit, and melon. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has ripeness to it, but it is well balanced, with great minerality, salinity, and light red fruit notes, with tart strawberry hiding the riper strawberry notes, with lovely grapefruit, lime, and lemon Fraiche, with lovely citrus pith, slate, rock, and mineral, straw, lingering long with core acidity, and lovely pith. Nice!

2018 Tanya Rose – Score: NA
Tropical notes, bubble gum, too sweet. This wine has fake acid and crazy sweet notes, hot and boring.

2018 Teperberg Rose, Impression – Score: 80
Classic strawberry creme, with raspberry, and candied fruit. The mouth on this wine is over the top, too much, like 2017 BS, there is little to no fruit, with saline, acid, and not much else. 80

2018 Domaine Netofa Rose, GSM – Score: 90
Lovely nose of strawberry, raspberry, and rich citrus. The mouth on this wine is nice with good acidity, though I would love to have more, with lovely fresh fruit, tart with hints of bitter notes, loads of mineral, saline, and great bite on the finish, with slate, rock and more raspberry and strawberry with grapefruit and citrus. Drink now.

2018 Domaine Netofa Rose, Latour Rosado – Score: 91
The nose on this wine is tart and really fun with juicy and tart raspberry with citrus galore, showing bright gooseberry and slate. The mouth on this wine is elegant, balanced and lovely, with great saline and lovely limoncello, ripe and juicy strawberry, with dried quince, lovely lime, and citrus that lingers long with slate, rock, orange blossom. Lovely!

2018 Dalton Kna’an Rose – Score: 70
The nose is nice, with good red fruit, apple, yellow notes, and slate. The mouth is residual sugar and fruit city, ripe fruit, no balance, boring.

2018 Peraj Petita Rose – Score: 82
The color of this wine is fluorescent and psychedelic, with glistening raspberry color, and fruit galore. The mouth is all over the place, with acidity, saline, and fruit, not much going on.

Galil Mountain Rose – Score: 89
Nice nose of raspberry and strawberry jam. The mouth on this is nice, all around, with solid acid, good saline, balance, and a little of RS, with peach, and cranberry. Nice, the acid, pith, and slate are nice. 88

2018 Bat Shlomo Rose – Score: 80
Peach, apricot, and red fruit nose. The mouth on this wine is hollow, short finish and fake acid galore, with red fruit, strawberry, and not much else.

2018 Matar Rose – Score: 90
The nose on this is funky, with earth, mineral, and red fruit galore. The mouth on this wine is nice, it has RS in the front, with sweet orange, nectarines, but well balanced, with raspberry, strawberry, with good balance, with good acidity, bitter notes, and slate galore. Nice!

2018 Vitkin Rose – Score: 90
To me, this is the best rose that Vitkin has released since it has gone kosher. The nose on this lovely Gris style wine shows lovely dark cherry, tart, and juicy strawberry, raspberry, with rich saline and grapefruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is fun, tart and rich, with crazy saline and acid, showing rich lemon and lime, with notes of mineral and earth, with slate. The finish is fun, showing lemongrass and rich tart fruit. Bravo!

2018 Kishor Rose – Score: 80
Floral rose water, floral madness, with barely and fruit. Rosewater, with jasmine, barely any fruit, with acid. Boring.

2018 Gvaot Rose – Score: 91
The nose is closed with peach and lemon. The mouth on this wine is old-school, with no RS, with lovely funk, earth, mineral galore, acidity that is not fake, with lemon, grapefruit, and quince, showing well all around. The finish is long, tart, well balanced, impressive, and slate/saline/pith – solid!

2018 Ramat Negev Rose – Score: NA
Winner of the worst rose of the tasting award!

Posted on April 28, 2019, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post. I guess for the most part we will be enjoying whites this summer, got a bottle of the newest RC rose, haven’t popped open as it seems people have had bottle shock from being on the boat. Will probably try it sometime soon. Hope it is as good as last year’s.

  1. Pingback: The 2019 Kosher rose season is open but I am underwhelmed at best | Wine Musings Blog

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