The latest crop of Kosher QPR wines and some losers

It has not been long since I last posted a new list of QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) Kosher wines. But I am always looking for more winners, and I am sure some of these will be on the QPR wine list of 2019.

To me, Terra di Seta continues to prove that Italian wines can go mano-a-mano with the rest of the kosher wine world. They continue to excel in delivering QPR wines and they continue to prove that you can create impressive to great wines for less than 40 dollars. I have yet to taste the 2015 Terra di Seta Riserva and sadly I was not a fan of the ALWAYS QPR worthy 2017 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico. The 2017 Elvi Rioja Semi, another perennial QPR winner was not my cup of tea but the 2018 vintage is a ripe wine, Mevushal, but still nice and QPR winner.

Another of those QPR superstars, in the sparkling wine world, is, of course, the Yarden Winery. Gamla is their second label behind the Yarden label, but when it comes to bubbly, the Gamla label is always well accepted. Of course, the stupid spat between Yarden Winery and Royal Wine means that we have a single wine called Gamla in Israel and Gilgal here. Why? Because these two wine businesses cannot make nice long enough to come to their senses and figure out a way to be civil with each other. I am so surprised that this is still going on today. The Gamla label, a wine made by originally by Carmel in Israel for this label in the USA, and now who knows who makes it, either way, it is not a wine worthy of this bickering, but sadly, here we are.
Now, back to the wine, I wrote about the new Gilgal Brut back in January, and the wine has moved beyond its insane acid lemon trip and it is now rounding out a bit, with some added complexity and richness.

Domaine Netofa was always on my QPR list, but sadly that was just for Israel, but thankfully Royal and have combined to bring the entire line back to the USA! I hear it is going well so get on these before they disappear!

Now, I also wanted to add a list of losers as people have been asking me what I thought of some of the newer wines and here is my response, so I have a QPR list and a NOT so QPR list.

I wanted to keep this simple, so the wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2017 Domaine Netofa, Red – Score: 91 (QPR Superstar)
This wine is now exclusively imported by and I hope they are selling well. This has really stabilized now. It is a bit fruity still, but it also has some nice old-school style and swagger. The nose on this wine is nice and smoky, with great control and roasted animal. The fruit is blue and black and lovely. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is layered and with nice blueberry, blackcurrant, great acid, and great control showing earth, raspberry, root beer, that give way to spice, vanilla, and loads of dirt. The finish is ribbons of mineral, charcoal, graphite and bitter coffee, Solid!! Drink by 2021.

2017 Domaine Netofa Latour, White – Score: 91 to 92 (QPR)
Crazy Oak nose with yellow pear and apple, quince and rich saline with hay and dry herb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is crazy good, layered, extracted and richly round, but tart, and saline bomb, with lovely tension and rich herb, and lovely sweet spices and sweet Oak. The finish off long, green, with vanilla, herb, and mint, and lemongrass, with tart lemon curd and spices. Drink by 2023.

2017 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red – Score: 91 (QPR)
The 2017 vintage is less austere than 2016, it is more accessible now and will still hold. The nose on this wine is really nice with rich black currant, blackberry, and blue notes that give way to smoke, Oak, toasty notes, and lovely tar. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is super tart and really bright, with great acid, blackberry, blueberry, black currant, with garrigue, sweet but well-balanced note, with mouth-coating elegance and layers of concentrated fruit and earthy notes, with chocolate and sweet spices. The finish is long, bright, tobacco, mineral, pencil shavings, with tar, and root beer. Lovely! Drink now until 2022. (To be released soon I think)

2016 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red – Score: 92 (Crazy QPR)
This wine is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Mourvedre. The nose on this wine is lovely, ripe and balanced, with sweet oak, blueberry, boysenberry, with bright fruit, and loads of dirt. This wine is really still very young, showing great potential, with incredible tannin, great acid, rich layers of blue and black fruit with great aging potential, loads of chocolate and rich spice, dark fruit, and herb, all wrapped in a plush yet elegant mouthfeel. The finish is less green than past vintages, showing a more ripe fruit profile, but still clearly balanced, with foliage, tobacco, mint, and sweet spices and herbs. Bravo!! Drink from 2020 till 2024.

2018 Ramon Cardova Albarino, Rias Baixas – Score: 92 (QPR Superstar)
The 2018 vintage of this Albarino, in its second vintage, shows less tropical and ripe than the first vintage, 2017. This bottle also had the thermal active label, and it shows up when the bottle is at the proper drinking temperature. My only REAL and serious complaint is the cork, why would Royal waste the money and my money of a real cork? Use a Diam or any other amalgamated cork, like almost everyone else is. I really hope I do not hit a bad cork for the wines I have.
The nose on this wine is better than the 2017 vintage, Lovely nose of rich mineral, with loads of straw, with which salinity, and lovely peach and dry pear, with honeysuckle, gooseberry, along with green notes galore. Lovely! The mouth on this lovely green and acid-driven wine, has a more oily mouthfeel than the 2017 vintage, showing rich salinity, green olives, with lovely dry quince, green apples, more peach, green apple, but also with lovely lime and grapefruit, no sense of guava or melon-like on the 2017 vintage, with a tinge of orange notes. The overall mouth is lovely and it comes at you in layers. The finish is long, green, with gooseberry, tart fruit, with an incredible freshness, and orange pith, slate, rock, and incredible acidity lingering long. Incredible!! Bravo!! Drink until 2022.

2017 Herzog Chardonnay, Lineage – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR)
I like this wine because it is a cross between those big “Kendal Jackson” style Chards and a simpler less-oak bomb Chards of today. The nose on this wine is quite nice showing peach, apple, sweet oak, and lovely melon with hints of almonds and sweet spices. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely with a lovely weight of sweet fruit, but really works for it is the rich acid core and lovely fruit that all come together in a creamy mouthfeel, with oak, sweet apple marmalade in a lovely fresh baked apple pi=e, with Asian pear, and heather. The finish is long, sweet, well balanced, and toasty, with hints of smoke, nice earth, great sweet spices, cinnamon, cardamom, and sage. Bravo! Drink until 2021.

2017 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR)
Tasting this side by side the 2018 O’dwyers Creek the nose on the 17 is truer than the 18. The 17 is classic in its cat pee, passion fruit, and gooseberry, while the 18 is far more reserved and less tropical but also less enjoyable.
The nose on this wine is beautiful, with classic cat pee, gooseberry, passion fruit, and really green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is great, classic, lovely, with screaming tart fruit, crazy pith with flint galore, followed by tart citrus, screaming grapefruit, more guava, passion fruit, and pear, yes this wine is tropical, who cares it is so well balanced and tart that it is truly enjoyable. The finish is long and green and lovely and tart.

2017 Chateau Mayne Guyon – Score: 90 to 91 (Mevushal) (QPR)
This wine is a classically styled Blaye wine, not a wine that will blow you over, but nicer than I first thought when I tasted it last, and Mevushal. However, I must say, that the boring and simple Blaye wine really turns into a nice wine with a day or air, impressive.
This is now a year later since I tasted it and it is getting there, almost ready, but it still needs time to really come around. The nose on this wine is red, with a bit of earth, dirt, tons of smoke, tar, and fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, it has crazy acid, still showing tight fruit, mostly red with raspberry, dark cherry, and hints of dark plum, with very nice earth, some mineral, a bit of saline, and loads of green fruit and notes, with nice mouth-drying tannin, and tobacco. The finish is long, green, with enough red fruit, earth, hints of mushroom, herb, mint, and Oregano, with pencil shavings, and tart fruit. Nice!
With time, the wine changes to a more polished wine, with rich fruit on the nose and mouth. The wine never goes truly complex, but it adds layers of fruit, it adds a more polished and plush mouthfeel, and it rounds out the short finish and clunkiness that it shows at the start. If you must enjoy it now, please decant for a few hours. Drink from 2020 until 2023.

2018 Or Haganuz Amuka Blanc – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR)
This wine is a blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is really nice, showing a beautiful and incredible control, with crazy saline, gooseberry, tart green apple, white flowers, and rich mineral. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is really lovely, showing incredible balance, backed by bracing acidity, with crazy gooseberry, passion fruit, showing intense mineral saline, and lovely pith lingering long with rich and crazy grapefruit and orange blossom. This is not for holding drink up by the end of the year. Bravo!

2018 Domaine Netofa, White – 90 to 91 (QPR)
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.

2013 Yarden Rose, Brut – Score: 93 (QPR Superstar)
The nose on this wine is showing beautifully, with big bright fruit, lemon, lime Fraiche, with creamy notes of strawberry, and herb, withy loads of mineral, and rock. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is slow to open, but with time is shows searing acidity, with the elegance of dried pear, tart green apple, tart raspberry, with layers of fruit, acid, green notes, with herb, showing rich saline, melon, with layers of acidity, with grapefruit, lime, and rock. The finish is long, green, tart, with crazy acidity, and mineral, hay, and slate galore. Bravo!! Drink until 2028.

2016 Chateau La Tonnelle – Score: 91 (QPR)
This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. The nose on this wine is lovely, with loads of mineral, sweet fruit, with smoke, mineral galore, and roasted herb, with forest floor, funk, sweet fruit, and loam, nice! The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is layered, smoky, with layers of fruit, mushroom, sweet fruit, blackberry, with mouth coating tannin, blackcurrant, with dark cherry, raspberry, and green notes galore, garrigue, and earth. The finish is long, green, garrigue, screaming mineral, graphite lick, with saline, earth, mushroom, and rock, with garrigue, and mineral lingering long. Bravo! Drink until 2025.

2016 Chateau Lamothe-Cissac, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc – Score: 91 (QPR)
This wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. This is a fun wine, remember that we have not yet seen the big wines of 2016. As I have said many times on this blog, the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux may well be better than the 2015 vintage! For now, the few 2016 reds we have seen from Bordeaux are showing nicely.
The nose on this wine shows very nicely with rich loam, dirt, green notes, followed by bright and big black fruit, with hints of mushroom in the background, lovely mint, and menthol notes abound as well. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun and alive, with screaming acid, that gives way to intense tannin that is soft and yet rich and mouth-coating, with great fruit focus, showing blackcurrant, blackberry, with red cherry, and olives, that give way to green notes, mouth scraping mineral, foliage, and tobacco. The finish is long and green, at the start it is a bit too astringent and green to truly enjoy, with time it comes around with nice spice, earth, graphite, sour notes, more red and black fruit, and nice coffee/chocolate mix. Nice! It can be drunk now, but to really appreciate it, I would decant it for a good 3 hours, to cut some of the green and astringent notes. Drink now (with decanting) till 2027.

2016 Harkham Semillon, Aziza’s – Score: 91 (QPR)
This is the second time I am tasting this wine and this time it really shows very well. The nose on this wine is lovely, a truly redolent joy, showing rich honeysuckle, mineral, smoke, flint, with incredible notes of jasmine, orange flowers, orange, nectarines, and Lanolin, and wet hay. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fantastic, oily and layered with notes from the nose with mounds of grapefruit, lemon/lime, and more honeysuckle, with a core of acidity, followed by the mineral, slate, and more lanolin. This wine is really fun, a uniquely true joy, with mineral, acidity, floral notes, and oily notes lingering long. Bravo!!! Drink by 2021.

2016 Eagle’s Landing Pinot Noir, Herzog Wine Cellars – Score: 92 (QPR)
The nose on this wine is smoke, cherry, and loads of mineral, with raspberry, mushroom, and herb, lovely rose petals, and earth. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is first and foremost mushroom-driven, wow, with fruity notes, earthy, smoke, and mushroom, followed by raspberry, dark cherry, loam, and drying mouth tannin, with lovely controlled fruit, smoke, and red fruit galore, with searing acid, and forest floor, lovely! The finish is long, green, red, and toasty, with smoke, and earth, and mushroom lingering long, with floral notes, and herb. Bravo!!! Drink by 2026.

2018 Kos Yeshuos California Kid (QPR) – Score: 91 to 92
Ok, so this is the fifth time I have had this wine and it really ready to go. Also, the sweeter side of the wine has moved to a drier side, the orange and nectarines are gone, with more passion fruit, and citrus galore lingering.
This wine is a blend of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine starts to show like a 100% Sauvignon Blanc, showing crazy gooseberry, fresh-cut grass, cat pee, with herbal notes, and nice peach in the background, lemongrass, and really fun and bright citrus notes, with loads of green notes, with peaches and creme in the background! The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine is rich and acidic, with a lovely acid core, followed by more peach, grapefruit, and more lovely gooseberry, with salinity that is off the charts, now the orange and nectarines are gone, and now what we have is more lemongrass, more saline, and hints of melon. The finish is long, green, tiny hint of orange, and tart. Bravo!!! Drink by 2021

2017 Domaine Netofa Tel Qasser, White – Score: 92 to 93 (QPR Superstar)
This wine has changed, and so much more for the better, bravo as usual to Pierre! Please be careful, this wine is not ready for showtime, the acidity does not come put until at least 8 hours of bottle air time, please do not be careless with this wine! Also, do NOT drink this wine from the fridge, please let the wine come to almost room temperature, much akin to red wine.
After many hours, the nose on this wine is showing beautifully, a lovely Roussanne, showing earth, mineral, rich brightness, lovely floral notes, with straw, yellow plum, lanolin, almonds, walnuts, and apple. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered, rich, and nicely extracted, with piercing acidity, showing a rich oily structure, with layers of green apple, quince, lovely richness, with mineral, grass, straw, and lovely acidity showing long with flowers, and rich lemongrass. The finish is crazy good, showing lovely acidity, rich heather, hints of smoke, and loads of mineral, straw, dry grass, and quince lingering super long, with acidity, and loam!! BRAVO!!!! Drink from 2021 until 2025.

N.V. Gilgal Brut (Gamla in Israel) – Score: 91 (QPR)
This wine is not one for the ages like its bigger brothers, the vintage Blanc de Blanc. Still, this wine has evolved and is finally coming into its own. It is no longer lemon juice with bubbles. It is now lovely and evolved sparkling wine.
The nose on this wine is lovely with yeast and citrus, with heather, and lovely floral notes. This wine is nice, and it finally is showing complexity, with the obvious citrus now calming down, and instead, we get a balance of quince, nuts, yeast, with sweet pear, all backed by citrus, grapefruit, dried lemon, with herb, with great small bubble mousse, with a full-throat attack of fruit and mousse. The finish is long, tart, and green, with great citrus, and loads of yeast, and a nice creamy mouthfeel, nice! Drink by 2021.

2018 Jean-Pierre Bailly Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 91 to 92 (QPR)
The nose and mouth on this wine are more tropical and is a slight step behind the 2017 vintage, which we tasted side-by-side. The nose on this wine shows nicely, but the tropical fruit peeks out with hints of mango, melon while showing nicely with mineral, and chalk, with green apple, and loads of floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, layered, rich, and complex, with crazy grapefruit, lovely mineral, slate, and green apple, with Asian pear, but also with a bit too much tropical notes of melon, and hints of pineapple. The finish is long, and green with lemongrass, nice saline, and mineral, but not as much as the 2017 vintage, with stone fruit, more tropical notes, and citrus galore. Bravo!!! Drink until 2022.

2017 Flechas de Andes Gran Malbec – Score: 91 (QPR)
Wow, this only has an ABV of 14%, pretty low for Argentina Malbec, and it shows. There are no ripe and fruit-forward sweet notes, new-world for sure, but well controlled for such a region. The nose on this wine is ripe with lovely notes of loam, tar, earth, ripe black and blue fruit, with loads of roasted and smoked meat, followed by green notes, and forest floor. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is lovely, solid control, with finesse, showing ripe blackberry and plum, followed by blueberry flowing in layers of fruit, followed by a great acid core, with lovely sweet tannins, and sweet spices. The finish is long, green, with meat, earth, tobacco galore, and sweet plum, with vanilla, and smoke lingering. Lovely! Drink until 2022.

2016 Chateau Greysac – Score: 91+ (Mevushal) (QPR)
This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is lovely, a step above the 2015 Greysac vintage, showing mineral galore, showing a nice elegance, with wonderful pith, rich salinity, balanced with great black and red fruit, earth galore, and tar. The nose on this wine is really the star, showing incredible tar, black and red fruit, with menthol galore, followed by hints of blue fruit, with loads of dirt, mushroom, garrigue, and forest floor. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich and layered, with wonderful concentration, great extraction, with blackberry, ripe dark cherry, raspberry, rich earth, and lovely mineral and crazy graphite, with searing acid, nice tannins, and lovely saline, and loads of roasted herb, Mint, Oregano, and rosemary. The finish starts off a bit short but with time it opens to show a wine that I am really impressed by, this wine is more accessible now because of the Mevushal process, but the core of what makes this wine so fun is not going anywhere any time soon. The finish has leather, more roasted herb, tobacco, and garrigue galore! Bravo!! Drink from 2020 until 2026.

2018 Elvi Wines Herenza Rioja, Semi – Score: 90 to 91 (Mevushal) (QPR)
It is back! The 2018 vintage is very reminiscent of the 2016 vintage which essentially sold out within a few weeks. Get your hands on this ASAP! So, the nose on this wine is ripe, for sure this is a new world, but well balanced with great mineral, tar, earth galore, loam, with rich red fruit, and coffee grinds galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, the acidity is just fantastic, the sweet notes make an appearance, but so does the well-balanced palate, with ripe and juicy strawberry, dark cherry, red fruit, and so much dirt and extraction that is balances the sweetness very well. The finish is long, green notes, sweet ripe cherries, with mineral, graphite, smoke, tar, loam, and more red fruit, star anise, and cloves. Bravo! Drink until 2021.

2018 Shirah Gruner Veltliner, Tasting Room – Score: 91 (QPR)
WOW! Yes, it is back!! Lovely! This is how white wines should be, light, crisp, though this wine has a serious presence as well, with an oily and weighty feeling to boot! The nose on this wine is beautiful, showing classic notes of hay, straw, with fresh-cut white flowers, citrus, lemongrass, more mineral, with hints of melon, and loam. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is present, it shows a weight that is lovely and almost oily, with a beautiful texture, showing great acidity, lovely with nectarines, pink grapefruit, and hints of orange. The finish is long, green, with passionfruit, more citrus, hay, lemongrass, and floral notes lingering long. Bravo!! Drink until 2021.

2013 Eccelenza, Bianco Umbria – Score: 92 to 93 (QPR Superstar)
This wine is a blend of 70% Verdicchio, 30% Malvasia. WOW!!! This is a wine that was produced by Ricardo Cotarella for his own usage and usually not commercially available, yet this one is and for the first time kosher. What a wine, the nose on this thing is out of this world, so old school and old-world it is crazy. The nose is incredibly redolent with loads of peach, rich herb, mint, oregano, along with freshly peeled almond, walnut shells, with crazy wildflowers, white flowers, honeysuckle, and loads of hay and straw. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is beyond unique, it is layered, rich, and oily, almost unctuous, with sweet peach, apricot, ginger, pepper, cloves, and white cinnamon, with rich orange, mandarin, nectarines, all wrapped in a cocoon of funk, mineral, sweet yellow plum, and loads of roasted herb. The finish is long, green, sweet, herbal, oily, with saline, honey, almonds, and sweet notes lingering forever long. Bravo!!! Bravo!!! Drink now! It was still nice a day later, but it had lost its verve and tension, so drink up now to enjoy the wine at its max.

2014 Chateau Leroy-Beauval – Score: 90+ (QPR)
Another QPR winner from M & M Importers. This is a well-made wine, a wine that out of the box is lovely, but with time opens to a really fun wine indeed. The nose on this wine shows a bit of age though it has legs on it, with dark to black currant, cherry, smoke, tar, and nicely tilled earth, with garrigue, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, a bit ripe, with more of the notes from the nose, with plum, dark cherry, nice smoke, mushroom, loads of graphite and roasted herbs, mint, oregano, and nice sweet tobacco, all wrapped in sweet mouth-coating tannin and an overall nice balance. The finish is long, green, and ripe, with more sweet herbs, blackcurrant, sweet dill, and black fruit, lingering long with mineral and green notes. Drink by 2021.

2011 Yarden Blanc de Blancs – Score: 91 to 92 (QPR)
This is less sharp than the 2010 or the 2008 vintage. This is a bit more fat but the acidity is bracing and it does come together nicely. The nose on this sparkling wine is tart and ripe, with beautiful notes of peach, apple, and citrus, with brioche. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a big upfront mousse of small bubbles, with lovely citrus and grapefruit, backed by apples, and gooseberry, and more citrus, with lime backing slate, more brioche, and lovely saline that lingers long, with lemongrass, and a lovely tart, refreshing mouthfeel, with lemon/lime, saline, and mousse lingering long. Bravo!! Drink by 2025.

2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 91 (QPR)
Love the screw tops, we need to embrace screw tops for one-year wines. The nose is classic, with gooseberry, passion fruit, cat pee, and straw with mineral. The mouth on this wine holistic, while the group was nice but lacked this complexity and overall acid structure. The mouth on this wine is crazy fun, really bright, with rich gooseberry, citrus, grapefruit galore, with incredible bright fruit structure, that blends well with the fruit powerful not not out of place, with layers of acid, tart ripe tropical fruit, with impressive lemonade and pink grapefruit candy that gives way to tart lemon, fun. The finish is long, green, and crazy tart, with slate, flint and really fun. Bravo! Drink this year.

2017 Jean Philippe Marchand Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits – Score: 92 (QPR)
The nose on this wine is lovely a pure Menthol forest, with pine sap, truffle, tilled earth, with lovely red and black fruit, with forest floor, meaty notes, and foliage. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is layered and rich, with dried currant, wrapped in powdery tannin, but showing lovely earth and dirty mouthfeel, with junipers berry, capers, and salinity, all backed by more dirt, forest floor, and mushroom. The finish is long, green, foliage, but really dirty, with herbal notes galore, mint, oregano, chocolate, and saddle leather. Bravo!! Drink from 2020 until 2026.

I HOPE These turn QPR

2017 Carmel Kayoumi Riesling – Score: 90
The nose on this wine is nice, but nowhere near the greatness of the 2014 vintage. At the opening, this wine is a step behind the 2016 vintage of Carmel, but with time it shows better, but still never eclipses the 2014 Carmel Riseling.
The nose shows a little bit of Petrol, not as much as previous vintages, with more green apple, with more tropical notes than previous vintages, showing almost pineapple, and gooseberry. Like stated above the mouth and the wine is slow to open, I think this wine needs more time. The mouth is nice, well balanced, but showing more tropical notes, with guava, light melon notes, with more petrol, great acidity, and nice mineral, with green apple, peach, and notes of smoke and flint. The finish is long, green, tropical, and sweet, with nice acidity lingering long. Drink from 2020 until 2023.

2018 Hagafen Riesling, Dry – Score: 90 to 91  (should improve) (Mevushal) (QPR)
Of all of the Rieslings tasted today, it is the most tropical and sweet fruit-focused, with pineapple, guava, melon, peach, with nice notes of petrol, and mineral. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, tart, nice acidity, with more petrol funk, showing nice balance, with good acidity, ripe fruit, green apple, tart grapefruit, tart stone fruit, and slate galore, though showing a hole in the middle that is easily covered up by the funk and acidity. The finish is long, green, with intense mineral, slate, flint, and lovely petrol that gives way to nice acidity, and hints of tannin. This wine needs time, with time it should come around to more petrol, but for now, the hole in the middle is a real issue. Drink from 2020 until 2023.

Non-QPR list

2018 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 88 to 89 (Mevushal)
The nose on this wine is far more muted, tasting it side-by-side 2017, showing little gooseberry, slate, flint, citrus, and apple and pear. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, but what it lacks is the layers/complexity of the 17, with much more restraint of tropical fruit than the 17,  with apple, gooseberry, with a slight hint of hollow in the middle, with nice acid all around, with garrigue, grapefruit, and citrus. The finish is medium with green, slate, and fruit. Drink up! This one is not long for this earth.

2015 Cuvee Hautes Terres, Chateau Fourcas Dupre (Mevushal) – Score: 88
This is the Mevushal version for the USA and it feels more tired than the European version that is not Mevushal. Normally, Mevushal has no impact on Royal wines, but this one shows it more. The nose is classic Fourcas Dupre with rich tar, controlled green notes, earth, smoke, and tobacco, and sweet notes of fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied is tannic but sadly that is about it, it is a bit too fruit-forward for me, it shows ripe and round, it is indeed much more accessible than the Fourcas Dupre, but this wine is missing life, with ripe dark cherry, raspberry, black forest berries, that gives way to forest floor, gripping tannins and nice focus with foliage galore. The finish is a bit short and green, with herb, tobacco, and graphite galore. Nice quaffer. Drink until 2021.

N.V. Rothschild Champagne – Score: 89 to 90 (Mevushal)
This is a new bottling and while the wine is nice, it does not blow me away. The nose shows lovely mineral, with lemon-lime notes, showing rich yeasty notes, with brioche, tart quince, yellow apple, melon, and green notes galore, with tart drying fruit. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine with lovely acidity, nice pith, followed by rich saline, small mousse bubbles, and rich mouthfeel, that gives way to more quince, tart lemon, and mineral galore. with earth, scraping mineral, and more tart fruit lingering long, with green notes, and lime pith, and earth. The finish is a bit short and this wine is not long for this earth. Drink up!

2017 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib Pinot Noir Edition – Score: 88
This is a very sweet Cali wine, It is not a Pinot Noir in style in any way, it is a sweet Cali Merlot or Carignan, showing crazy ripe fruit, with blueberry, blackberry, cassis, sweet oak, star anise, and ripe plum. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, with candied black fruit, showing more blackberry, but still blue in nature, with ripe sweet plum, and crazy tannin, with enough acidity, but the tannin greatly exaggerates the sense of acidity, with loads of fruit, spice, and candied notes. The finish is long, ripe, fig-like, with candied meat, rootbeer, and earth. Drink until 2021.

2016 Chateau de By – Score: 88 (Mevushal)
This wine is a blend of 66% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is green, black and red, with rich mineral, saline, with rich earth, forest floor, and foliage galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, rich, layered, and concentrated, but there is an issue of ripeness that lives behind the wine’s tannin and acidity, with time that sweetness dies down, but in its place is a sense of roughness that does not dissipate, almost not professional in nature, with blackcurrant, cassis, and green notes, so the sweetness does show with time and then recede, but the green notes, foliage, and earth helps to balance the dark fruit notes that lives in the background. The finish is short, the shortness is hidden behind the absurd roughness, it finishes with earth, saline, loads of tannin, spice, along with loads of roasted herbs, and green notes. Nice!! Drink by 2023.

2017 Hagafen Riesling, Lake County, Clearwater Ranch – Score: 89 to 90 (Mevushal)
Fair disclaimer, I am not a fan of off-dry Riesling, and for sure not a sweet Riesling, this wine has 2% residual sugar. The nose on this wine is sweet, which should be obvious, with guava, mango, and loads of honeysuckle, with a bushel full of honeyed fruit, hints of pineapple, and sweet brown sugar. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine desperately needs acid to manage all the sweetness it has on it, sadly, it lacks the needed acid to raise the round mouth out of its doldrums, it does have acid, but given the sweetness level, it needs more, the sweetness flows into more honeysuckle, ripe pear, mango, and orange, and nectarines. The finish is long, sweet, with hints of acid, petrol, mineral, slate, and more ripe/sweet notes lingering long. Drink until 2021.

2018 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Coombsville, Motington Vineyard – Score: 88 (Mevushal)
The nose on this wine is very nice, round, with good fruit, ripe red fruit, loads chocolate coffee beans and more chocolate on the fruit, with lots of spice, and too much oak/wood, and licorice. The mouth on this wine is full-bodied, layered, with a big attack of tannin, layers of strawberries, blackberry, and loads of Kirche cherry, with green notes, and loads more oak, and lacking acid. The finish is long, green, sweet, and almost cloying in the fruit/oak, with a bit of pith and coffee lingers long.

2018 Domaine de Panquelaine Coteaux du Giennois, Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 87 – 88 (Mevushal)
This wine is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The region of Coteaux du Giennois is a region very close to the famous region of Sancerre but at a lower price. The region is in the Upper Loire appellation and has similar limestone terroir to Sancerre.The notes on this wine are classic Sauvignon Blanc, but not from France, more like New Zealand, though minus the cat’s pee. The nose is ripe with gooseberry, guava, melon, and peach, followed by mineral and flint, and hints of citrus. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is a bummer, it lacks the bracing acidity I need and the middle feels hollow with nice grapefruit, lemon Fraiche, and loads of citrus pith and mineral. The finish is long, ripe, and pith-driven, with some slate and grapefruit lingering long with its pith and orange/nectarines notes. Drink up!!

2018 Domaine de Panquelaine Sancerre – Score: 89 (Mevushal)
This wine is clearly superior to the Coteaux du Giennois and you are getting what you pay for the Sancerre terroir and name. The nose on this wine is far more subdued, less in your face, with a bit more elegance, showing clear minerality, slate, rock, and stone, with flint followed by limestone, with lemon, pear, orange blossom, and apple. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, well structured, not ripe, with dry/tart fruit, showing drying texture, with lemon, tart green apple, loads of quince, hay/straw, and wet grass that gives way to lovely acidity and nice fruit, with the acid, mineral, and hay taking front stage. The finish is a bit short, green, with dry quince, more blossom, rose hips, and wet rock lingering long with flint and nice lemon pith. Nice! Drink from now through 2020.

2017 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico – Score: 88
Ripe to start, after many hours, the wine notes calm down, with floral notes, though it still feels a bit hot. The mouth is ripe, with blackberry, plum, and earth, with loads of tannin, and spice. The finish is long, ripe, with loads of chocolate, cinnamon, and sweet spices, and oak. Drink now.

2016 Elvi Wines Herenza Rioja, Crianza – Score: 88
Nice fruity with nice Oak, really controlled fruit, with cherry, raspberry, and dark fruit, with menthol, and garrigue, and earth. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is oaky, with ripe blackberry, chocolate, with red fruit and spice with heady cinnamon, cloves, and pepper. The finish is long, sweet, and spicy with chocolate, and coffee, and mineral. Drink until 2023.

2017 Elvi Wines Rioja, Semi – Score: 87 (Mevushal)
Nice and tart nose, slightly sweet with pomegranate, plum, with sweet cranberry. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sweet, slightly cooked, with clear blackberry and black currants with sweet blue fruit and lovely sweet red berry, with nice sweet tannin, and spice. The finish is long and sweet with chocolate, sweet noted, and dark juicy and tart and sweet strawberry. Drink up.


Posted on October 30, 2019, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks! Always love these posts! I assume the 2016 Eagle’s Landing, Herzog Wine Cellars is the Pinot Noir, correct?

  2. What is the designation “semi” on the Elvi Herenza? I don’t see that term in the listing on jwines. Thanks for your effort on behalf of the klal!

  3. Is there a typo with the year in the 2017 Jean-Pierre Bailly Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc post?

  1. Pingback: 2019 kosher wine year in review, Taxes, Tariffs, and more | Wine Musings Blog

  2. Pingback: 2020 kosher wine year and decade in review – glass half empty | Wine Musings Blog

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