A wonderful day spent with Gabriel and Yael Geller

On another recent business trip, I spent a day with Gabriel and Yael Geller. My many thanks to my friends for hosting me for the day. The food was awesome, smoked ribs, and roasted chuck, and a game of blind tastings that was really wonderful. The wines we tasted blind were mostly 100% HORRIBLE but the last one we enjoyed was why I just stated that it was wonderful, because GG was so kind to pour a bottle of the 2002 Smith Haute Lafitte a wine I had not tasted till that moment. It was beyond wonderful – thanks so much, buddy!!!

We also took a tour around Teaneck, NJ’s Kosher takeout establishments and they were all horrible. Sorry. There was nothing good to report here. However, the wine shop where we bought a vast number of horrible wines was very nice. The wine shop is called Filler’up. The owner is called Mendy Mark and he was very kind and helpful in finding all the new wines that I have not yet tasted. Sadly, 95% of those wines were horrible but that is not Mendy’s fault there is far too much horrible plonk in the Kosher wine world.

So, if you are in the Teaneck area definitely swing by Filler’up they have a great selection and the staff is very nice. However, do not buy takeout food from around there that stuff is really bad.

Ok, thankfully, the takeout food was just a test of the quick food in the area, not really food we had that evening. If I had an image of the smoked ribs it would have been the post’s featured image, the animal was black bark heaven, with loads of spice and smoke. Do not forget breakfast and lunch before that which was also beautifully served and with such panache, my many thanks again!

I bought a bunch of wines and they were all duds other than one very nice French Mevushal wine that came in a 375ml format, but it also comes in 750ml format, but it is not available at any of the common shops that I can buy from. If someone finds it at a place that ships and does not charge an arm and leg, please tell me, more on the best of the tasting below, other than, of course, the EPIC 2002 Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte.

GG did a blind tasting and they were all bad to horrible, again, other than the 2002 SHL. To be fair, I did not take long notes for wines that were undrinkable. I have listed the blind and non-blind tasted wines below in different sections. Many thanks to Gabriel and Yael Geller for hosting me and for sharing his time, wonderful culinary feats, home, and wines with me. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2018 Route Victor Cabernet Sauvignon, California – Score: NA
The nose on this wine is bulk in nature, candied fruit, cherry, and cheap. The mouth on this wine is cheap, far too acidic, and a lack of body, cherry, acid, and vegetables. Move on

2016 Padre Bendicho, Yecla – Score: NA
This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Mourvedre. This wine is 100% PURE date juice, in all the glorious ways it can be!
2016 Chateau Vallon – Score: NA
Another wine that is painful, with nothing there, cherry and green notes. Move on

2015 Chateau Chambeau, Lussac Saint-Emilion – Score: 91 (350 ml) (Mevushal)
This is a nice wine! The nose on this wine is lovely, green, asparagus, artichoke, with great red and black fruit, with smoke and grilled meat, nice with loads of mineral and earth. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is really fun, crazy tannin structure, with loads of ripe raspberry, black fruit, with green notes, foliage, with earth, graphite, mushroom and forest floor, with layers of fruit and nice tannin, bravo! The finish is long, green, tannic, with a lingering mouthfeel that never ends, with sweet oak, tannin, green notes, sweet cedar, and lovely smoke and tobacco. WOW!! Drink from 2021 until 2027.

2016 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Kabb Ranch, Single Vineyard – Score: 90 (350 ml) (Mevushal)
To me, this is a nice wine, but the oak and fruit are far more pronounced with less of the elegance of the 750 ml and this one is Mevushal which normally is not an issue with Herzog wines, but maybe at 350ml it is an issue.

2014 Hevron Heights Winery, Isaac’s Ram – Score: NO
The nose on this wine smells like a friend’s of my house, moldy, green, and smoky from the firewood he uses to warm, the place. Move on!

2018 Route Victor Chardonnay – Score: 89
The nose on this wine is clean, floral, with green apple, and tart fruit notes, unoaked, and really interesting. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, with great acidity, showing clear residual sugar but it is still quite nice, well balanced, with screaming tart green apple, pear, quince, and tart gooseberry, with grapefruit pith, and lemon. Nice enough. Drink now.

2018 Piodelramo Verdejo Joven – Score: 86
The nose on this wine is really green, clean, with a bit of elegance, with gooseberry, floral notes, showing not much else. The mouth on this wine is sadly flat, showing a nice beginning but not much else after that with green notes, floral notes of roses, quince, and garrigue. Sorry, I wanted to like this, but it lacks the acid and finish that is needed. Drink now.

2016 Mayacamas Chardonnay – Score: NA
Sadly, this was a topical oak monster with no real life to it.

2017 Domaine Netofa Syrah (Final name to be determined) – Score: 90 to 91
To me, this wine has some Tempranillo, as the bitter notes and green/smoke are too much for pure Syrah. The nose on this wine is smokey, with classic new-world notes, showing roasted animal, with far more control than the 2013 Netofa Dor, with lovely earth, loam, mineral, and sweet black and blue fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine, shows bitter notes, with blackberry, blueberry, with awesome acidity, showing ripe fruit, with racy minerality, bitter notes, with blackcurrant, boysenberry, and earth. The finish is long, green, black, smokey, tobacco, with leather, and ripe fruit that truly scares me and makes me think this is not long for this earth. Drink by 2023.

2015 Domaine Condorcet, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Anais – Score: 92
The nose on this wine is funky, ripe, yet so old-world, with intense roasted animal, showing incredible smoke, mineral, black and blue fruit, and loam that goes on forever, with incredible licorice, anis, and white pepper, with time that nose shows anise galore, and crazy sweet cinnamon and allspice, with roasted sage. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is layered, with lovely saline, smoke, acidity, followed by blackcurrant, blackberry, and dark plum, and boysenberry, with rich loam, and racy tart and juicy strawberry that lingers long, under a mushroom cloud. The finish is long, green, ripe, tart, and juicy, with blue fruit haze of tobacco, smoke, earth, graphite, and sweet tannin. Bravo!!! Drink from 2021 until 2028.

Blind wine tasting

Bottle #3: (tasted blind)
2018 Dalton Pet-Nat – Score: 82
This is not a common nose to sparkling wine, it shows ripe fruit, with sweet citrus, floral notes of jasmine, and quince, tart fruit in the background. The mouth on this sparkling wine is far too floral and feminine, with jasmine, rosehip, and not much else on the mouth. Bummer.

Bottle #1 – (Tasted blind)
2018 Kanatir Semillon, Light Cape – Score: 80
The nose on this wine is Chardonnay and ripe, with loads of creamy apple, creme brulee, and smoke, with green notes, oak, and butter. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is an oak bomb, with loads of oak, sweet fruit, with a short finish, showing green and yellow apple, with sweet oak/cedar, followed by Asian pear, and fruit-forward, with saline, and nice mineral backbone, with a finish that is short, but the acidity is OK, and crazy pith that goes on forever, but the oak is too much.

Bottle #2 (Tasted Blind)
2018 Barkan Beta Riesling, Single Vineyard – Score: 88
This is another fruity, petrol, with loads of fruit, mineral, spice, and classic notes of smoke, but showing sweeter fruit, mango, nectarine, tropical in nature. The mouth on this wine is nice, but a shade underbalanced, but with time it opens to show dar more acidity, with a load of tropical notes, mango, melon, with pineapple, and tropical notes, with a mineral backbone that really helps, showing sweet notes, with nectarines, and pear. Nice! The orange and grapefruit pith linger long, well made. Drink now.

Bottle #8 (tasted blind)
2002 Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte – Score: 94 to 95
The nose on this wine is incredible and yet this wine is so young, again I have no idea what this is, it smells old and young at the same time, with incredible notes of bitter notes, with rich saline, mineral, graphite, green notes, with cherry, smoke, anise, tar, and more graphite, wow! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is incredible, old-world in style, with layers of fruit (wherein the nose the fruit is nowhere), showing dark plum, earth, graphite, scraping mineral, mushroom, with earth, forest floor, and lovely layers upon layers of fruit, smoke, but to me the fruit is second-fiddle to the other characteristics of this wine, showing mushroom juice, barnyard, and lovely earth. The finish is long, barnyard, smoke, graphite, pencil shavings, and green notes, with fruit, raspberry, and oak, and mushroom, with barnyard, tobacco, wow! Drink until 2026 (if stored correctly).


Posted on November 5, 2019, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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