The last round of winners and some more losers for 2019

So, I tasted a bunch of these at the KFWE in Miami and I spent my entire time there tasting through wines that made me cry. I mean they were so painful, all I could write was NO. Some I wrote nice and some I wrote good stuff. Overall, the Israeli wines were undrinkable and so painful that I had to go back to the French table just to clean my palate. It continues to make me sad to see such potential thrown out to meet the absolute lowest common denominator – fruity, loud, and brash wines.

Sadly, Cellar Capcanes continues its downward spiral. The 2018 Capcanes Peraj Petita is not very good at all. Far better than 2017 or 2016, but that is not saying much. So sad, to see such a storied franchise being thrown away for what I can only guess is the need for a new winemaker to make her mark.

Domaine Netofa continues to crush it and thank goodness it is selling well here in the USA, so that means I can stop schlepping Netofa from Israel! The 2015 Chateau Tour Seran was also lovely while the Chateau Rollan de By was OK, while the 2015 Chateau Haut Condissas showed far better than it did in France. The 2018 Pacifica Riesling, Evan’s Collection was nice but it was less of a WOW than the 2017 vintage, at least so far anyway.

At the tasting, the 2017 whites and 2018 roses were all dead, please stop buying them. Heck, even many of the simpler 2018 whites were painful.

So, here are my last notes before the year-end roundup and best of posts that I will hopefully post soon! These wines are a mix of wines I tasted at the KFWE Miami and other wines I tasted over the past month or so since my return from France. I wanted to keep this simple, so the wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2018 Capcanes Peraj Petita – Score: 87
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot, and 15% Syrah. This wine is ripe really ripe, with dark blackberry, with loads of dark brooding fruit, floral notes, and herb, and heather. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sweet, ripe, and date-like, with dark cherry, sweet candied raspberry, smoke, candied black fruit, and sweet notes galore. The toast, earth, sweet fruit, and smoke finish long. Move on.

2018 Capcanes Peraj Petita – Score: 89 (Mevushal)
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot, and 15% Syrah. This wine is far better than the not-Mevushal version. This wine is actually showing less ripe, with dark blackberry, with loads of red fruit, floral notes, and herb, and oak. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is much less sweet, with dark cherry, sweet raspberry, smoke, candied black fruit, with nice tannin, and good acidity. The finish is long, slightly green, smoky, and herbal, with toast and red fruit. Very interesting how the mevushal is less ripe, go figure. Drink now.

2018 Domaine Netofa Latour, White – Score: 92+ (Super QPR)
Wow, what a lovely wine, this wine is 100% Chenin Blanc aged 10 months in oak barrels. The nose on this wine is pure heaven, but it is slow to open, once it does, the wine is lovely with loads of floral notes, yellow flowers, orange blossom, rosehip, and lovely white fruit, pear, peach, and smoke/toast. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, with great acidity, clear and present, with layers of sweet and dry fruit, with candied and toasted almonds, hazelnuts, with hay and straw, followed by floral notes, tart melon, lemongrass, citrus galore, yellow apple, quince, baked apple, and dry grass and earth, lovely! The finish is long, dry, tart, and butterscotch-laden, with toast, smoke, ginger, and marzipan, Bravo!! Drink from 2021 until 2025.

2018 Pacifica Riesling, Evan’s Collection – Score: 90 (QPR)
This is a drier wine than the 2017 vintage but it lacks the petrol level and funk of 2017, still a nice wine.The nose on this wine is almost dry, with lovely notes of floral notes and loads of melon, sweet fruits, and stone fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice with lovely pith, hints of saline, with hints of petrol, dry flowers, with lovely peach, guava, and loads of citrus and mineral. The finish is long, dry, with hints of sweet notes, funk, and pith that is fun. Nice. Drink by 2022.

2015 Chateau Tour Seran, Medoc – Score: 93 (QPR)
Lovely nose of mineral, roasted herb loads of mushroom and forest floor with elegance and control. The mouth on this full-bodied wine starts off very slowly with loads of sweet fruit, closed, with layers of blackberry, cassis, with great acidity, showing mineral, graphite, with crazy loads of green notes, foliage, and scrapping and mouth coating tannin, with tart fruit focus and tension, showing a wine that is beautiful yet so very young, with bell pepper, truffle, and smoke. The finish is long, tar and tart fruit, with great control elegance and mineral and foliage that linger forever. Drink from 2023 until 2030.

2015 Chateau Rollan de By, Medoc – Score: 90
Another very good wine from Rollan de By. The nose on this wine shows lovely green notes, with red fruit, and herbal notes, with lovely notes of tar, crazy roasted herb, foliage, and mineral. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, really ripe, with dark fruit, showing some control but not as elegant as the Tour Seran, with layers of blackberry, crazy ripe and candied cherry, raspberry liquor, with too much Oak and cedar, candied fruit, with layers of ripe fruit, black and red fruit, with green notes in the background, with too much fruit and not fun. The finish is long, ripe, green and saline driven with loads of olives and tar on the long sweet and ripe finish. Shame. 90 2022 until 2026.

2015 Chateau Haut Condissas, Medoc – Score: 92
Showing much better than in France with more mineral, attack, saline, herb, earth, everything I love. Sweet for but very nice. Drink from 2023 until 2030.

2017 Domaine du Castel C Blanc du Castel – Score: 90
Solid, great acid, Oak, creme brulee, with peach apple and smoke. Nice. Drink by 2023.

2017 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel – Score: 80
So sad. This wine has drastically changed for the worse. It was nice a year ago and now it is another Israeli wine that shows that aging and control are not in the Israeli wine book.

2017 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin – Score: 83
So sad, this wine was far too ripe for me to like it. Sure it had the classic Cabernet stylings of the Grand Vin, but the notes and fruit were so over the top that the wine felt unbalanced, laked the acidity, and made the wine overall very flabby.

2017 Tzuba Chardonnay – Score: 90
Nice, the nose is bright and the mouth is tart, with good fruit focus, showing lovely acidity, and very nice baked apple pie, with a creamy mouthfeel that is not over the top, in regards to oak. Nice! Drink by 2021.

N.V. Laurent Perrier Champagne, Cuvee Rose – Score: 90 to 91
This wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir fruit, and the color is not achieved by blending white and red fruit together, but rather by using the same Saignée that still roses use, to give the wine its lovely color. The nose on this wine is classic rose notes of ripe and juicy strawberry, raspberry, with some rhubarb, and green notes in the background. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine hits you quickly with its medium-bubble mousse, followed by a layer of acidity, that comes right before the mid-palate tannin, showing vibrant yet tannic fruit-structure, that is a bit more refreshing than the Drappier Saignee Rose Champagne, but one that has a fuller mouthfeel than your average Champagne, and more red and dark fruit, but all well balanced by racy acidity. The finish is long, ripe, tart, juicy, and well balanced, with more acid, yeasty notes, and loads of mineral, slate, and hints of graphite. Nice! Drink now!

2014 UVA Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Limited Edition – Score: 89
The last time I had this wine it was a disaster, but so far it is showing better. The nose on this wine shows a bit of heat on opening, but overall it shows nice dirt, earth, mineral, smoke, with loam, red fruit, mushroom, and vanilla, with sweet notes lingering in the background. The mouth on this wine starts off closed but with time it opens to show sweet notes, ripeness, but also a concentration of dark cherry, raspberry, smoke, sweet fig, with good acidity, and loads of earth, with mouth-coating tannin, and herbs galore. The finish is long, smoky, earthy, and dirty, really dirty. Drink by 2021

2017 Carmel Meditaranian Blend, Selected – Score: NO
Sadly, all I get is blackcurrant, damp notes, sweetly ripe and date fruit, and loads of tannin. Total pass for me.

2014 Chateau Remo Hosen Blend – Score: 85
This wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot. The nose on this wine is straight date juice and the mouth on this very sweet full-bodied wine was equally painful. However, with time, the sweetness does calm down a bit, and the acidity shows better, with sweet notes, acidity, nice tannin (the best part of this wine), and green notes. Overall, a total pass, but hey progress I guess.

2016 Or Haganuz Merlot, Single Vineyard Marom – Score: 85
The nose on this wine is milk chocolate, green bell pepper, Jalapenos, with screaming blue and black fruit, smoke, and really ripe fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine again is showing progress, sure it is date juice, but hey it has some elegance, with crazy green notes, Jalapenos, loads of black pepper, with enough green notes to hide the overwhelming fruit, with blackberry, blueberry, and tar. The finish is long, green, and painful from the peppers and Jalapenos. Unique wine to try and that would be it for me. Drink up!

2014 Or Haganuz Cabernet Sauvignon, Namura, Single Vineyard – Score: 80
Wow, what a thought I actually smell Cabernet Sauvignon, finally! The nose on this wine is indeed a straight Cabernet smell, sadly the mouth and finish are elegant date juice.

2017 Chateau D’Arveyres, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: 89 (Mevushal)
The nose on this wine shows of hot pepper, Jalapenos, and not much else, the Jalapenos take over, with hints of dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is simple, with good structure, not showing any real fruit, with nice mouth-coating tannin, and loads of green notes, and smoke, with herbs, and mint. The finish is short and it is its flaw, with saline, green, crazy Jalapenos lingering long, with red fruit in the background. Nice. Drink now.

2017 Chateau Cantelaudette, Graves de Vayres – Score: 86 (Mevushal)
The nose on this wine is too simple, dirt, earth, and red fruit, with loads of foliage, and green notes. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is too round and boring, not showing any real life, other than some mouth-coating tannin, there is really not much else.

2017 Chateau Le Petit Chaban, Bordeaux – Score: NA
The wine was not for me. This wine is one of those old green Bordeaux wines that taste like cucumber, green notes, tinny notes, and no balance. Dummer.

2017 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red – Score: 91
This is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre. The 17 is less austere than the 16, 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, with chocolate and sweet spices. The finish is long, bright, tobacco, mineral, pencil shavings, with tar, and root beer. Lovely! Drink now until 2022.

2016 Chateau Leydet-Valentin, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru – Score: 89
The nose on this wine is ripe but controlled, to start, with notes of blue, black, and red fruit, with loads of earth, and herbs, floral notes of violets, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is showing far too much oak at this point, with loads of sweet cedar, too much sweet fruit, dill, smoke, green notes, with blackberry, blueberry, and earth, with nice acidity, wrapped in a nice fruit-structure, and herb. The finish is long, green, sweet, earthy, oaky, and dark, with layers of milk chocolate, sweet spices, cinnamon, sweet liquor notes of cherry, and screaming tannin that goes on forever. Drink by 2023.

2014 Famiglia Cotarella Montiano, Lazio – Score: 91+
This is from the same winery that used to be called Falesco. They have renamed the wines to Famiglia Cotarella.
Wow, this is ripe, scary, showing dark fruit, smoke galore, with loads of blue and black fruit, with air that opens to less fruit, with herb, blue, black, and red fruit, and forest floor. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sweet, ripe, with layers of sweet fruit, lovely acidity, loads of mushroom, forest floor, with crazy tannin, sweet oak, and layers of tart juicy raspberry, searing acid, and mouth-drying tannin, with chocolate, and sweet tannin galore. The finish is long green, dark, earth, with incredible black and red fruit with mineral and sweet toast. Drink from 2021 until 2026 (probably longer).

2017 Domaine Netofa, Red – Score: 91
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.


Posted on January 21, 2020, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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