Easy drinking white wines for 2020 – better than I expected

Well, the roses from the 2019 vintage, so far, are not inspiring, and initially, I thought the same for the white wines, thankfully, as I tasted through the last 15 bottles of wines things shifted. There is a reason why I have been pushing Price in relation to its quality, AKA QPR (Quality to Price Relationship).

For this tasting, I tasted more than 70 wines, however, I posted only some 49 wine notes here. Rest assured, the others were either not worthy or I did not have detailed enough notes to make it here on this post.

Interestingly, initially, I had zero hope for the white wines, much as I felt about the roses. However, all of this is data-driven and other than my wines notes, the rest is all prices defined by the USA market. The more, I tasted, the more I felt that there are options in the simple white wine category. I was really ready to give up hope, but thankfully, folks like Shirah, Kos Yeshuos, and other Europen wines really pulled their weight. Sadly, of the top 27 wines, there were a total of 11 from 2019. Of them, only two were from Israel. The rest hailed from California, France, and New Zealand. In the end, so far, the vast majority of the Israeli white wines I have tasted from 2019 are also highly uninspiring.

With that said, the median price for the wine category of non-aging white wines is going up! There lies in my over-arching issue, prices keep going up!! The median price for non-aging white wines, here in the USA, is now 24 dollars! Seriously!! COME ON!! This is crazy! As the kids say, total Cray Cray! Turned around, the total number of wines below the median price of 24 dollars that received a 90 or higher was 12, and many of those are our QPR WINNERS. Overall, 2019 is still a dud in Israel, of those that have made their way to the USA, and Califonia is saving the day, so far.

All the wines here are scored both quantitatively, AKA using my classic wine score described here, and using the newly revised QPR score described here. So, yes, there will be more of the QPR discussion that will arise from this post. Thankfully, we have a good number of wines, 7 from my count, that received the QPR score of WINNER, sadly, they are mostly from 2018. Therefore, I repeat again, I am highly unimpressed with how many 2019 white wines I had and how many are subpar. Please be careful with the ones you buy.

Finally, in order of price, the first of the 7 QPR WINNER wines come in at wine #38, sorted by price! That means there are loads of other wines far less interesting than the 2018 Ramon Cardova Albarino, the most expensive of the 7 WINNER QPR wines. This is the kind of data that makes me scream. This is what needs to change! Wineries are willing to produce wines that are more expensive and less interesting, than more than HALF of the wine I tasted! This is what needs to change, kosher wine has gotten out of control, price-wise.

Do yourself a favor, check the price, you do it for everything else you buy! Check the wine, check the price, and then decide!

The wine note follows below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

2018 Ramon Cardova Albarino, Rias Baixas – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is just below the median price line, so this wine SHOULD get a score of GREAT for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
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.

2018 Hagafen Dry Riesling – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is below the Median price line, so this wine gets a GREAT score for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
The nose on this wine is tropical and sweet fruit-focused, with pineapple, guava, melon, peach, but now THANKFULLY the petrol is in full gear, and it commands your attention, with the tropical fruit still very present, along with some nice mineral. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, tart, nice acidity, with more petrol funk, showing nice balance, with good acidity, still, the mouth is sweet and ripe, the petrol and tart notes help, with green apple, tart grapefruit, tart stone fruit, and slate galore, with waxy notes, and tart pineapple. The finish is long, green, with intense mineral, slate, flint, and lovely petrol that gives way to nice acidity, and hints of tannin. The wine has indeed come around and now petrol is more present and the hole in the middle is gone. Drink until 2024.

2019 Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, Lineage – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is below the Median price line, so this wine gets a GREAT score for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
They finally put it all together with the 2019 vintage and for the price, it is really fun! The nose on this wine is really lovely with aromas of gooseberry, cat piss, and passion fruit, with straw and mineral, and citrus galore, NICE! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich and nice with really crazy acidity, lovely honeysuckle, orange blossom, grapefruit, and flint galore. Lovely. The finish is long, green, and lovely with lemongrass, flint, hints of pineapple, lovely! Drink now!

2018 Elvi Wines Herenza White, Alella – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is well below the median price line, so this wine SHOULD get a score of GREAT for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
The wine is a blend of something like 60% Pansa Blanca and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is closed, with time it opens to show beautiful tart fruit, really nice mineral, with mango galore, lovely impressive funk, white peach, with loads of hay and mineral, with citrus and mad orange blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is oily and richer in mouthfeel, but sadly, not as acidic as I remember it from last year, still nice and balanced, with tart pink grapefruit, followed by orange fruit, yellow plum, and beautiful orange blossom. The finish is super long, tart, and juicy, super well balanced, showing more acidity on the finish than on the front of the wine, with fun mineral, more funk lingering long, along with flint, and pith. WOW! Drink from 2020 until 2025.

2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is well below the median price line, so this wine SHOULD get a score of GREAT for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
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 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.

2018 Kos Yeshuos California Kid – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is just below the median price line, so this wine SHOULD get a score of GREAT for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
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.

2018 Pacifica Riesling – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is just below the median price line, so this wine SHOULD get a score of GREAT for QPR. However, it is ALSO one of the few white wines that score at least a 91, and that has a price that is below the median price line, so this wine gets the coveted score of WINNER for QPR. Bravo!!!
This wine has changed a lot since the last time I had it. Second solid showing with lovely notes of sweet fruit, with great bright notes, of sweet guava, sweet peach, apricot, and loads of mango, nice, all well balanced with bright notes, and orange blossom, and hints of petrol. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well layered, plush and oily, with loads of petrol, lovely sweet notes, lemon/lime sorbet, and great mineral, funk, and good rock. The finish on this lovely wine is super long, with slate, rock, petrol, and sweet fruit that is perfectly balanced, Bravo! The plush and refreshing wine is a true joy! Drink by 2024.

2018 Yaacov Oryah Silent Hunter – Score: 92 to 93 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is LOVELY it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even. This is based upon the USA pricing, not the Israel pricing.
The play here is that the Semillon “Hunter is a play on words within the play on words, as Hunter Valley, Australia is home to some of the best Semillon in the world) is silent now behind the Chenin Blanc. The wine is a blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Chenin Blanc. The nose on this wine is lovely, and very unique, with elegant funk, rich mineral, showing great smoke, flint, and slate galore. The mouth on this is lovely with more of the mineral, incredible slate, intense saline, lime, lemon Fraiche, fruit focus, backed well with piercing acidity, screaming rock, and lovely layers upon layers of mineral, grapefruit, citrus, pear, and gooseberry, with passion fruit hiding out. The finish is long, with more slate, mineral, acidic, and crazy tart citrus lingering forever! Bravo!! Drink until 2024.

2019 Kos Yeshuos Pinot Gris – Score: 92 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a VERY nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
This wine is oaked but not heavy oak, no toast, just barrel heads. This wine underwent a multi-day maceration that gives the wine its unique color, though far from a rose, and not an Orange wine, IMHO. This wine is closed to start, but with time shows a unique nose that is closer to a Roussanne than a simple Pinot Gris. The nose on this wine is tight, with time, it opens to show nuts, walnuts, almonds, marzipan, with some lovely apple, pear, yellow plum, crazy hay/straw, and spices, followed by citrus, ginger, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is layered and has a nice mouthfeel, with clear oak leanings, showing stone fruit, orange, nectarine, citrus, lemon, with waxy notes, wrapped in sweet oak, with a tannin that emerges from under the sweet but well-balanced summer fruit, and sweet baking spices. The finish is long, green, oaky, with a wonderful mouthfeel, well-textured, fruit-focused, with a nice creme and oak backbone, pear and apple core, mineral of saline and rock, with lovely spices, and lovely honeyed notes, with lovely roasted and dried walnuts and almonds on the long sweet mineral nutty finish. Bravo! Enjoy until 2022.

2019 Kos Yeshuos Viognier – Score: 91 to 92 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
This wine is oaked but not heavy oak, no toast, just barrel heads. This is a higher ABV and this vintage shows more tropical than last year. The nose on this wine is classically Viognier with peach, mango, guava, with less of crazy peach and honeyed perfume, still, this has a nice oak and honey perfume, with apricot, and creme notes. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is ripe, well-balanced, with clear marzipan, almond, coming from the fruit, no oxidation, with lovely acidity, nice pith, oak tannin, showing nice grapefruit, mango, tropical notes, lovely sweet cedar, earth, green notes, and candied pear, all wrapped with a lovely mouthfeel, salinity, with cedar, acid, and almond pith on the long finish. Drink by 2022.

2018 Jean-Pierre Bailly Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 91 to 92 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even.
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.

2018 Yaacov Oryah Soulmate – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even. This is based upon the USA pricing, not the Israel pricing.
This wine is a blend of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Chenin Blanc. The name comes from a play on how the two components truly come together to create a wine that is greater than its parts. The nose on this wine is lovely, showing more chard than Chenin, with green apple, yellow apple, and quince from the Chenin, with lovely yellow blossom, and hints of orange. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, showing good acidity now, mineral galore, with lemon/grapefruit notes, followed by lovely fruit focus and fruit structure that is quite precise and professional. The finish is long, green, and mineral-laden, with slate, saline, with green notes of gooseberry, and lime focus. Bravo!! Drink by 2021.

2019 Shirah Gruner Veltliner – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
Wow, thank goodness for great wines. Bravo to the brothers, this is a return to the Veltliner of old, a wine that embodies weight but also seriously clean lines and funk. Yay! The difference between steel and terra cotta can be felt, lovely, while the 1/6 Hungarian oak is felt as well! To me, the 2/3 terra cotta fermentation added a bit of the fat to the wine while the 1/6 oak, really beefed the wine up, the steel is that steely acid, super clean lines, that give the wine the backbone it craves.
The nose on this wine is tearing at me from two different directions, it is not a pure steel driven attack of citrus and not much else, no, this is a complex blend of two different approaches, with lovely fat notes of melon, guava, and peach, and lovely citrus, with orange blossom, ginger, green notes, and hay, really a joy! The mouth on this weighty medium-bodied wine is lovely, layered, expressive, complex, and still very refreshing, this is not an oak bomb, like a Viognier or what, with a lovely backbone of steely acidity from lemon/lime citrus, with a great fruit focus of grapefruit, more peach, nectarine, and loads of smoke, really nice. I like the interplay of the fruit, acidity, and flint, that plays and changes with time in the glass and as the wine changes temperatures. Look for white pepper, ginger, cloves, and allspice, with cinnamon as well, with flint, rock, and hay. Impressed. Drink by 2022. Bravo guys!!!

2018 Tzora Shoresh, White – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even.
This wine is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine has no cat pee, with lovely gooseberry, grapefruit, citrus, apple, and pear. The mouth on this wine medium-bodied is beautiful, elegant, plush, with the nose fruit, followed by screaming acid, mineral, slate, straw, with loam, showing lemongrass, and lemon Fraiche, with nice spice and slate. The finish is long and green, with passion fruit and tart fruit lingering long with mineral and green notes, with gooseberry and grapefruit lingering long. Drink until 2023.

2019 Covenant Sauvignon Blanc, Red C – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
The nose on this wine hits you at first with layers upon layers of cat pee, over time that calms and gives way to aromas that are riper than the Yarden Sauvignon Blanc, it has sweeter fruit, tropical in nature with nectarines, guava, mango, and hints of passion fruit that this wine blew past on its way to tropical land, along with orange and hints of blossoms in the far background. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a lovely weight, a great fruit focus, and presence about itself that is really serious in nature, showing an on the point approach, with grapefruit, orange, lemon all in a stronger backbone than the Yarden Sauvignon Blanc, backed by the mango, honeydew fruit weight, wrapped in a pith and slate body, nice. The finish is long, slate and orange linger long with hints of lemongrass, more melon, and citrus galore. Nice! Drink now.

2019 Kos Yeshuos Falanghina – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
This may well be the first kosher Falanghina every made in the USA, there were some made in Europe in the past. The nose on this wine is unique and very much akin to a Roussanne and Chenin Blanc, showing green notes, pine, menthol, with waxy notes, showing loads of citrus, with hay, Orange blossom, and ginger. The wine is a very cool acid bomb, none added, all of this is clearly natural, with a clear leaning to lemon/lime, orange notes, with lemongrass, clementines, with great mineral, with the acid overpowering, with chalk and flint, followed by straw. The finish is long, green, crazy tart, with fun notes of almond, honeyed notes of lemon, and more mineral, with citrus acidity still dominating. Drink by 2022

2018 Joseph Mellot Sancerre, La Graveliere – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even. This wine is crazy expensive here in the USA, in France it is far more reasonably priced.
The nose on this wine is pure heaven, honeysuckle, gooseberry, with crazy loads of orange blossom, passion fruit, and rich saline, lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has lovely weight, showing crazy pith, screaming grapefruit, with citrus and layers of rich slate, spice, nutmeg, and lovely lemon curd, and herbs. The finish is long, green, and mineral-driven, with loads of pith and orange blossoms lingering long Lovely! Drink by 2022.

2017 Les Marronniers Chablis – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
The nose is lovely, this is the second vintage and really lovely. The nose is not marred with Oak or yeast, all-natural. The nose is tart and lovely, not round, bright and rich, with peach, apricot, and lovely tart and dry quince. The mouth is not round and filled with good tension and fruit focus with great mineral focus and rich salinity that gives way to great acid and layers of lovely green and yellow apples that are layered in lemongrass and foliage and mineral. The finish is long and tart filled with crazy acid, hints of smoke and flint, and loads of mineral and rock. Bravo! Drink until 2023.

2018 Vitkin Gewurztraminer, Collector’s Edition – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quality score quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
This nose on this wine is dry and lovely with pineapple, 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.

2019 Shirah Vin Blanc de Bro.Deux – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores a quality score higher than the median for white wines, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
This wine is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc Clone 1, 25% Sauvignon Blanc Musque, and 25% Semillon. The nose on this wine shows almost no notes from Semillon and totally is controlled by classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc notes, crazy cat pee, lovely gooseberry, rich and bright notes of passion fruit, with some hay and straw in the background, green notes, and a bush for the cat to pee on. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a lovely mouthfeel, and while it lacks that upfront and in-your-face acidity that I crave, this wine does not lack from acid, it is just a discussion of acid profile. The acidity is there with loads of gooseberry, tart grapefruit, along with crazy tart Meyer lemon, nectarines, and peach/green apple. The finish is long, green, yet sweet and ripe, with lovely cut grass, lemongrass, and ripe fruit with good acidity lingering long. Bravo!! Drink now.

2019 Goose Bay Pinot Grigio – Score: 90+ (QPR: EVEN)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring it is above the median price for white wines, but the quality score is in the 1st quintile, so the math says the QPR score is EVEN.
The nose on this wine is consistent with what I want from a Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio, AKA the same thing. This wine clocks in at a 13.5% ABV and it shows, with slightly flabby notes of sweetness that comes across as unbalanced, but it is still well hidden behind the facade of tart citrus, lime, orange blossom, honeysuckle, orange, and hay. This wine is fun, refreshing, enjoyable, and while it is fun, it is not very complex, the complexity it does have comes from the salinity and lovely almond pith it has, showing a nice front of acidity, with green apple, nectarines, orange, along with a good weight and an almost oily texture. The finish is long, sweet, with more orange, honeyed notes of honeysuckle, and sweet orange, but well balanced with saline, with sweet and yet tart notes lingering long. Nice! Drink up!

2018 Tzora Judean Hills, White – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it receives a score of EVEN for QPR.
This wine is a blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is vanilla driven, with toast, apple and pear, and nice fresh fruit flavors. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, slightly round, but with be piercing acidity, with a great backbone of mineral, followed lovely fruit structure, with great Asian pear, lovely slate, grapefruit, and rich salinity and precision. Bravo!! Drink until 2021.

2019 Covenant Viognier, Blue C – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it receives a score of EVEN for QPR.
The nose on this wine is ok, it is sweet with ripe peach cobbler, sweet compote of rose, orange, peach, and apricot, followed by orange blossom and more peach, did I say peach?? The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is less focused than the Sauvignon Blancs from Covenant or Yarden, with good acidity but not much else, though the acidity is incredible, with the neutral oak impacting clearly with both weight and flavor of sweet oak, orange notes, and nectarines behind the wall of peach and apricot, and yeah lots more acid. The finish is long, with oaky notes, orange, orange blossom, and mineral. Drink now!

2019 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is above the median quality score and it is below the median price line, so this wine gets a score of GREAT for QPR.
This is one of the few 2019 Israeli Sauvignon Blanc that I want to drink, but not enough to make me buy more! The nose on this wine is clean, it is not overly fruity, it has a backbone of citrus, orange blossom, and rose water, followed by lemongrass, and hints of sweet kiwi. The mouth on this nice weighted medium-bodied wine has a great presence, with fruit focus, showing rich saline, mineral, followed by a great backbone of orange/grapefruit/lemon acidity and pith, wrapped in olives and passion fruit, really nice. The finish is long, green, acidic, with more citrus, slate, pith, and lemon core. Nice! Drink now!

2019 Shirah Riesling – Score: 90 (I am sure that score will improve) (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it receives a score of EVEN for QPR.
This wine is far too young, truly a shame I opened it, I am sorry to the bottle. Riesling needs time to come into its own when it is done correctly. I can say, this is done correctly, get some, and let it come to you, aromas, and taste-wise.
The nose at this point is all wax, bee’s wax, honeysuckle, honey, with lovely jasmine, citrus galore, with hints of pineapple. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine starts to show some tertiary notes of petrol, it will come, with extremely obvious wax, the wax coats the mouth, with layers of screaming acid from lemon, grapefruit, but all coated with the wax, bitter notes of almond and orange rind, with a lovely refreshingness, with loads of ginger, nectarines, and orange notes, really nice! The finish is long, bitter, waxy, and green, with sweet notes, orange blossom, and more pineapple, and sweet notes. Lovely! Drink until 2024. Right now this wine needs six months to come around, let it lie!!

2019 Domaine De Panquelaine Coteaux Du Giennois Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 90 (Mevushal) (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is above the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands a GREAT QPR score.
The nose on this wine takes a bit of time to open, but once it does it has lovely notes of minerality, nice pith, flinty notes, with yellow plum, floral notes, lemongrass, and citrus. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is nice, really refreshing, elegant in its simplicity, and that is its only con, yes it is nice, even cool with lovely refreshing notes of flint, solid to really good acidity, lemongrass, grapefruit, hints of peach, yellow plum, with lovely deep-rooted grapefruit/lemon, but it does not have the complexity to take it above the score, and it has a bit of a hollow in the middle. The finish is lovely, again refreshing, a bit fatty/round, with more of that yellow to pink grapefruit, with great flint/rock, smoke, and nice acidity that lingers long, with orange blossom. Nice! Drink now.

2018 Koenig Riesling, Alsace – Score: 90  (Mevushal) (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is above the median quality score and it is below the median price line, so this wine gets a score of GREAT for QPR. This is a MUCH better option than the horrible roses we have in 2020.
The wine has opened now, showing nice notes of orange blossom and honeysuckle, with hints of petrol, flint, peach, with mineral, and gooseberry. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is really nice, it shows a heavier mouthful than 2017, along with more floral notes, with a great balance of acid, truly a nice and refreshing wine, even if it lacks complexity, with nice lime, Meyer lemon, and spice. Drink by 2022.

2017 Carmel Kayoumi Riesling – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice enough wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is right on the median price line, but the quality score is above the median line for white wines, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
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.

2019 Shirah Vintage Whites – Score: 89 to 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is still sadly expensive at 25 dollars as it clocks in higher than the median price for this wine category, also, it scores above the median, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
Of the four white wines in 2019, at least so far, that have been released by Shirah, this is the weakest of them all. The wine is a blend of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Viognier – not a conventional blend.
The nose on this wine pulls at me again, but with the Gruner that was a compliment, here not so much. The nose is cool with the classic Grenache notes, but it gets muddled quickly with the absurd viognier notes of peach and intense vanilla, in the end, all I get in Vanilla flavored peach ice cream on a bed of green notes and apples, but disjointed. The mouth is not an improvement, yes, the fruit is controlled on this medium-bodied wine, with more peach, apricot, and hints of Grenache Blanc fruit, with pear and yellow plums, but it is hard to find under all that peach and apricot. While there is acidity, it is more about the almond and orange pith, orange fruit, and more pith that defines the finish. Drink now.

2019 Flam Blanc – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and its score is right on the median quality line, which means this has a POOR score for QPR. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change. Wineries cannot charge such high prices for a wine that is 3x the price of better wines than it, like the 2018 Chateau Riganes or 1.6x the price of the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
This wine is a blend of 84% Sauvignon Blanc and 16% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is very redolent with notes of eucalyptus, mint, along with incredible lemon/lime, along with pineapple, and hints of lychee. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is where the wine loses a step, the mouth feels weighty, with a good start, but then it falls apart, with no real complexity and while the mouth shows fruit notes of orange, lychee, lemon/lime, and orange blossom, it lacks the attention-grabbing component it needs, it does show saline, acidity, and loads of almond/orange pith, it feels uni-dimensional. Drink now!

2018 Yatir Creek, White – Score: 89 (QPR: BAD)
While this wine is nice enough it is in the 2nd quintile in pricing – almost at the tip-top,  and its quality score is right on the median line, so it garners a QPR score of BAD. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change. It cannot charge such high prices for a wine that is 3x the price of better wines than it, like the 2018 Chateau Riganes or 1.6x the price of the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
The nose and mouth are aligned and while they are simple enough, there is good acidity and some nice fruit focus. Overall, tart, showing saline, fruit, and well balanced. Drink now.

2017 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, le Classique – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and its score is right on the median quality line, which means this has a POOR score for QPR. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change. Wineries cannot charge such high prices for a wine that is 3x the price of better wines than it, like the 2018 Chateau Riganes or 1.6x the price of the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
While this wine is less elegant than the Premier Cru, obviously, it was still nice enough, with smoke, green notes, green apple, and pear. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is nice enough, but the fruit is less focussed and is not as interesting. Drink soon.

2019 Shiran Semillon – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and its score is right on the median quality line, which means this has a POOR score for QPR. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change. Wineries cannot charge such high prices for a wine that is 3x the price of better wines than it, like the 2018 Chateau Riganes or 1.6x the price of the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
I had high hopes for this one, and while it showed some life early on, it fell apart very quickly. I cannot “like” a wine that is good for 3 hours, it does not work for me.
The nose is blossom, mineral, slate, citrus, and lemongrass, with funk, and a good mouthfeel, with lovely acidity, for 3 hours. After that it falls apart, it is still around, but now the nose is just lemon, flint, and some floral notes, and not much else. The mouth follows the nose with a bit of pith and sadly the acidity has fallen off. Either way, it is multidimensional and nice enough, if you are a pith or Semillon believer. Drink up!

2019 Five Stones DvsG, White – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is higher in price than the median and its score is right on the median quality line, which means this has a POOR score for QPR. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change.
The wine is a blend of 82% Chenin Blanc, and 18% Roussanne. The nose shows nice notes of smoke, earth, funk galore, loads of mineral, with green notes, straw, hay, and yellow plum. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, tastes of smoky notes, green apple, grapefruit, with hints of orange, with great mineral notes, loads of pith, and great fruit focus. Nice! It needs more complexity.

2019 Tabor Roussanne, Adama – Score: 89 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice enough wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is right on the median line for white wines, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
The nose on this Roussanne is more round and less bright than previous vintages, with nectarines, Orange, Orange blossom, and flint. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is nice, nothing special, but well-made, with enough acidity to keep you interested, the fruit profile is lemon, grapefruit, tart gooseberry, and orange/nectarines that make the mouthfeel rounder. The finish is long, tart, and bright, with sweet notes of orange, blossom, and flint lingering long. Drink now.

2018 Route Victor Chardonnay – Score: 89 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice enough wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is right on the median line for white wines, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
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 Domaine Netofa, White – 88 (QPR: EVEN)
Sadly, this wine has slipped in the last few months and while it is still a nice enough wine, with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is below the median line for white wines, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
At this point, the nose on this wine has moved past the mineral and into pure tropical notes, with apple and quince galore, and lovely fruit and blossom. The mouth on this wine has lost a step, with a clear ripe backbone, and the steely backbone is barely keeping it afloat, nice quince, with what used to be an incredible tension between the ripeness and the tart/dry fruit and minerality. The finish is long and green, with slate, more ripeness than I would desire, and minerality! Drink up!

2019 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
While this is still a nice enough wine, with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is also below the median line for white wines, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
The nose on this is pure cat pee, with loads of gooseberry, passion fruit, and lemon curd, pure happiness. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is nice enough but it lacks the acid needed to bring this all together, thankfully it is not flat or flabby, rather it is still tight, but the mid-palate is lacking, also it lacks almost all complexity has very little to grab your attention, other than its clean lines of fruit that mimics the nose. The finish is long, with pith, green notes, lemongrass, and nice pith. A solid wine with little to offer other than its cleanliness. Drink now!

2019 Twin Suns Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 88 (Mevushal) (QPR: EVEN)
While this is still a nice enough wine, with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is also below the median line for white wines, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
The nose on this wine is nice, it is not round, it is well made with peach, apricot, and citrus notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, with a good fruit-focus, showing enough acidity, with tart grapefruit, peach, some tropical notes, but well-balanced with straw, grass, and gooseberry. The finish is long, green, with tropical notes, citrus, lemon, and lime, with slate/chalk, and foliage/herbs. Nice! Drink now.

2019 Barkan Sauvignon Blanc, Classic – Score: 88 (Mevushal) (QPR: GOOD)
This is a wine that is better than the median in regards to price, it is at the 2nd quintile below the price median, but it is below the median for quality, so that gives it a GOOD score for QPR. It is a wine that I would not run after but a perfectly good wine for the price.
This wine starts off smelling and tasting cooked. The nose shows stewed notes of lemon compote and lemongrass. The mouth is even worse, with stewed lemon, quince, apple, and kiwi. Sad and painful. After an hour the nasty aromas blow off and it becomes nice enough. Nothing great, but a nice enough wine. The nose shows notes of gooseberry, lemon, citrus, and hints of kiwi, at 11% ABV this is what I was hoping for. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has more presence than Tabor but less focus and cleanliness, either way, both are boring overall. Still, the Barkan shows enough fruit and mouthfeel to make this wine quite acceptable in a pinch, the acidity and fruit makeup show nicely while having a bit of pith on the finish. Drink now!

2017 Avi Feldstein, White – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
While this wine is nice enough it is in the 2nd quintile in pricing – almost at the tip-top,  and its quality score is below on the median line, so it garners a QPR score of BAD. This is the perfect example of a wine that needs to change. The pricing on this wine is crazy, wineries cannot charge such high prices for a wine that is 3x the price of better wines than it, like the 2018 Chateau Riganes or 1.6x the price of the 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
This wine is a blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Roussanne. The nose on this wine is flat, boring, with green notes and mineral, and not much else. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice but has little to show, with peach and apricot and hints of grapefruit, with loads of pith, hay, and rock. The finish is long, green, and pith driven, the best part of the wine by far. It came around a bit more with time but for the price, it is a pass.

2018 Chateau de Cor Bugeaud White – Score: 87 (Mevushal) (QPR: EVEN)
While this is still a nice enough wine, with my new QPR scoring, it is below the median price line, but the quality score is also below the median line for white wines, so that makes it an EVEN QPR score.
This is a fun wine, showing tropical fruit, but overall well made and quite fun. The nose on this wine shows ripe fruit, with lovely mango, followed by tart and juicy citrus, with lovely herb, and mineral, with floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has enough acidity, followed by tart and juicy fruit, with lovely citrus, orange, grapefruit, and gooseberry galore. It is more round than it is clean. The finish is long, green, passion fruit, with slate, and herb. Drink now!

2019 Shiran Viognier – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
This wine’s quality score is below the median for white wines and the price is above the median for white wines, so it gets a BAD score for QPR.
If the 2019 Semillon was a bit of a letdown, the Viognier was off from the start. The nose is pure peach juice, and while I love Viognier, it needs more than just peach to make it go. The mouth on this Viognier is much like the nose, apricot, peach, and loads of pith on the finish. Drink now!

2018 Shiran Triad – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
This wine’s quality score is below the median for white wines and the price is above the median for white wines, so it gets a BAD score for QPR.
This is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Semillon, and 25% Viognier. Another multidimensional wine, and while it shows OK, it really needs acid or something else to liven it up. This one is again dominated by the peach, and the apple (Chardonnay), the Semillon is lost behind the wall of peach and apple, and again loads of pith. Drink now.

2019 Dalton Pinot Gris – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
Yet another boring wine from the 2019 Israel white vintage. The nose on this wine is boring and shows green apple, lemon, and really not much else, with hints of floral notes of orange blossom. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is really very uni-dimensional, with not much to show other than its very sprite-like attack with loads of acid, along with orange, apple, and melon, and lemon/lime mix. There is nothing there but a crazy attack of acidity. The finish is insanely long, with absurd acidity, that does not feel artificial, with flint, and more lemon/lime/orange. Drink now.

2018 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 88 to 89 (Mevushal) (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
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.

2018 Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, Lineage – Score: 85 (QPR:EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
The nose on this wine is drier than in previous vintages, with green notes, yellow fruit, peach, lemongrass, and foliage. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, dry, with good green notes, foliage, but not enough acidity, green notes, a bit of passion fruit, with green apple, nutty notes, and smoke. The finish is longer than the 17, with nice floral notes, rose petals, nuts, and tart fruit. Drink up.

2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Eva, Blanc – Score: 85 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
The wine is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 15% Roussanne, and 5% Marsanne. Sadly, this wine went off the cliff and is now in DRINK YESTERDAY mode.

2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Albert, Grand Vin, Blanc – Score: 85 (QPR: BAD)
This wine’s quality score is below the median for white wines and the price is above the median for white wines, so it gets a BAD score for QPR.
This wine is in its decline, it is still nice, but drink NOW! This wine is a blend of 65% Roussanne, 30% Clairette, and 5% Marsanne. Sadly, this wine went off the cliff and is now in DRINK YESTERDAY mode.

2019 Domaine De Panquelaine Sancerre – Score: 85 (Mevushal) (QPR: POOR)
Sadly, this wine is below the Median line for quality and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands it as a POOR QPR wine.
This wine is not as fun as the Coteaux Du Giennois. This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc like all Sancerre, sadly, this lacks the MOST important aspect of Sancerre, teeth-gnashing acidity, this one barely has any.
The nose on this wine is really lacking, it has a bit of what can only be described as oak, but Sancerre has no oak, followed by lemon and maybe a drop of white peach, but really boring with some minerality. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine follows the nose with a bit of acidity, some peach, and grapefruit, with almond pith and that is about it. This is not evil but really not much there. Drink Now.

2018 Teperberg Famitage, Inspire – Score: 83 (QPR: POOR)
Sadly, this wine is below the Median line for quality and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands it as a POOR QPR wine.
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.

2019 Segal Chardonnay, Wild Fermentation – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
The fact that this wine sells for 23 dollars and is called EVEN QPR, explains how absurdly expensive these white wines are priced at. This wine should be a POOR QPR, but the score is below the median for white wines and the price is also below the median, so it gets an EVEN score for QPR.
This wine is another example of what a cheap and uninspiring white wine can taste like. This wine is simply put, a pineapple, apple, peach juice wine. Nothing there, other than some bitterness and hints of grapefruit. Sad. Move On.

Posted on May 15, 2020, in Israeli Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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