Sadly, simple kosher red wines are uninteresting and have poor QPR scores, for the most part

So, ask me what is the weakest wine category in the kosher wine market? The answer is simple, the simple red wine. Simple red wine is defined here in my QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) post as a red wine that would not last four years. In other words, a wine made to enjoy upon release and hold for a year or two max.

The sad fact is that there are hundreds of wines in this category and they are all poor quality wines. Remember, QPR scores are not controlled by me at all, but rather by the market forces and prices the market forces on the wines. So, a wine that I score a 91 (which is 100% subjective and up to me), like the 2019 Chateau Riganes or the 2018 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Lineage cannot be given a QPR score by what I feel in my gut, or I think.

The QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) score of BAD/POOR/EVEN/GOOD/GREAT (WINNER) is defined by the wine’s category, in combination with the price of the wine compared against the price of its peers in that category. So, once you realize the Chateau Riganes is a simple red wine and that its price is 14 dollars, on average, and then you compare it against the other wines in this category, you quickly realize it has a GREAT QPR score and is a QPR WINNER. The median price for wines in the simple red wine category goes from 13 dollars to as high as 60 dollars and the wine scores go from 58 up to 91. Essentially an abysmal wine category with 100+ wines I have tasted recently and all but 22 of them score below a 90, with just six WINNERS (though some of those are just in France/Europe). So, the Riganes, with a score of 91 for 14 dollars, again on average, shows this wine is below the median price of its peers (20 dollars) and above the median score of its peers (87). So, for 14 dollars, you can get a simple red wine that is better than the vast majority of other red wines in the same category and for cheaper – the very definition of a GREAT/WINNER QPR wine.

If there was ONE take away from the work I have been doing into QPR, that I guess I did not see coming until I did all the work and wrote it all down into a spreadsheet, would be that wines that have a long drinking window also get higher scores and cost more, on average. All that sounds logical but it was not until I wrote it all up that it was glaringly obvious! The high-end kosher wine category’s median wine score is 92! Again, that makes sense as I would not give a wine like the 2017 Raziel a long drinking window. Mind you that wine may well be “alive” in ten years but it would not be a wine I would think about drinking at that time. The ripeness on it would be so overwhelming that it would turn me off more at that time than it does now. That can also be said for the 2016 Chateau Leydet-Valentin, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru. It will be around for more than almost ANY simple red wine will live, but it will not be enjoyable, to me. So, the drinking window is very short, which places it into a simple red wine category.

It is an interesting byproduct of choosing the vector to compare wines against each other, outside of price, of course. I will keep an eye on it, but for now, the wine category vector that I think gets me the “best” sample size, per wine category option, is the drinking window. This means we will have strange outliers on both sides for sure.

Trying other categories, like wine region or varietal or style will not work – they are not apple to apple. By using the wine’s drinking window we get far more evenly distributed sample sizes and variation in the actual wines.

Finally, many wines are NOT on this list, BECAUSE, this list is of wines that drink NOW to soon. For instance, the 2018 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, is a GREAT wine and is a QPR WINNER, but it is not on this list. It is not on the next list I will publish either (mid-level red wines). It is on the long aging red wines. It is sub 20 dollars and is a wine everyone should stock up on. Same for the 2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Riserva, and the 2015 Assai. That is why the price is not the arbiter for what defines a good QPR wine, nor is it based upon a winery, country, region, varietal, and style.

Sadly, the takeaway here is that this wine category is not very interesting. Still, there are a couple of options and six WINNERS, overall, spread across countries, so I guess we should be thankful for that, at least. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2019 Chateau Les Riganes (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
YES!!! The curse is broken! The odd year 2019 vintage is good! Finally! The nose on this wine is fun dirt, earth, bramble, green notes, followed by fun red and black fruit, all coming together into an intoxicating aroma. This is not a top-flight wine, but it is, once again, a very good QPR wine and a sure WINNER.
The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is not layered, but it has enough complexity and elegance to make this work, with a good attack of dark red fruit, with dark currant, dark cherry, hints of blackberry, followed by loads of dirt, mineral, graphite, and a very nice mouth-draping tannin structure, with fun dirt, loam, and loads of foliage. The finish is long, green, and red, with lovely graphite, draping tannin, green olives, and green notes lingering long with tobacco, oregano, and Tarragon. Bravo! Drink until 2024.

2019 Elvi Wines Rioja, Herenza, Semi (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
I had heard that this vintage was as good as 2016, and I agree, BUT with one caveat, it is ripe to start, this wine is not yet ready. To start, as I hinted to above, this wine is ripe, like shockingly so, but within 5 hours it was really enjoyable. The nose on this wine is ripe, to start, for sure this is a new world, but what I crave is not there, the mineral and tar and replaced by sweet notes of plum and candied cherry, the coffee grinds I love are replaced by rich and really sweet milk chocolate and over the top toast. Thankfully, with time, all I crave does come through, the coffee, tar, and smoke, with bright fruit, emerge from under a blanket of ripe fruit, thank goodness!
The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is an oak monster with a clear leaning towards the Crianza than the Semi, along with a nice mouth-draping tannin structure, dark fruit, blackberry, plum, dark cherry, smoke, earth, and loam, followed by a sweet cranberry/pomegranate note. Again, with time, the brightness emerges, and the sweet pomegranate notes leave, leaving you with all the good things, tart fruit, tar, mineral, earth, smoke, rich umami, soy sauce, with loads of blackcurrants, rich saline, and lovely balance. The finish is long, really spicy, sweet, ripe, and again, too much oak, with nice acidity, loads of milk chocolate, the tar finally appears in the finish, with anise, roasted notes, and toast. The finish stays the same without the sweetness, over time. Bravo! Drink until 2025.

2018 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Lineage, Paso Robles, California – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
Another clean, pretty, and well-controlled Cabernet Sauvignon, wow what a difference a year makes. The 2017 vintage was not the best for California, but the 2018 vintage was massive, with huge yields, and nice fruit, overall, well balanced yet Cali.
The nose on this Paso Cab is more refined and elegant than the Baron, but also with a fruit focus that is quite nice, showing a refinement of the black and red fruit, with nice green notes, followed by tar, mineral, floral notes, and licorice. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is truly showing its feminine side, but also very fruity, with an intense fruit focus, with blackberry, cassis, raspberry, but what hits you first is the feminine cherry and raspberry, then a hint of vanilla and oak, and then the draping and elegant tannin structure attacks you, followed by the big and bold black fruit. A very fun expression and crazy QPR for the price. The finish is dark and fruity, but well-controlled, fear not, with a leaning towards fruity, but so well managed with the toast, smoke, tar, and dirt, all coming together with the graphite and dark fruit that linger long, with hints of elegant oak in the far background, with ground nutmeg, oregano, and roasted herbs lingering long. Bravo!!! Drink until 2024.

2018 Baron David, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER in France)
The nose on this wine is lovely, a perfume of green, smoke, dirt, and herb, and lovely complexity, really fun! The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is really fun, well made, professional, showing green and dark fruit, raspberry, blackcurrants, with tar, straw, lovely dirt, really lovely dirt, nice enough complexity, with mouth-drying tannin, showing graphite and ribbons of charcoal, with lovely earth, and menthol, bravo!! The finish is long, lean, green, great acidity, with loads of earth, fun! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau Bois Cardon, Haut-Medoc – Score: 91 (QPR: US EVEN, France WINNER)
The nose on this wine is well balanced, it is black and blue with fruit galore, with loads of menthol, lots of milk chocolate, roasted meat, and sweet spices. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is nice, layered, and rich, with good acidity, yes it is ripe with a fruit-forward profile, it is well-balanced, with rich blackberry, ripe and juicy raspberry, rich smoke, loam, fresh dirt, with mushroom, and lovely spices. The finish is long, green, sweet, and well-balanced, with lovely mouth-coating tannin, sweet spices, garrigue, sweet tobacco, and sweet green notes. Lovely! Drink by 2024. Bravo!!!

2015 Chateau Roc de Boissac, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER in France)
The nose on this wine is barnyard, floral, and herbal, with smoke, purple fruit, and violet. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is nice, showing a bit rounder than the Pavillon Du Vieux Chantre, with loads of tar, smoke, ripe and juicy boysenberry, dark raspberry, and crazy mouth-drying tannin, with a fruit structure that is incredible for the price. The finish is long, green, herbal, with loads of graphite, screaming charcoal, and sweet tobacco, that is based in acidity, tannin, leather, and sweet spices that linger long. Bravo!! Drink by 2025.

2019 Chateau Trijet, Bordeaux – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This smells good so far, which continues the rule, unabated, I think, that Chateau Trijet is good on odd-numbered vintages and Chateau Les Riganes on even-numbered vintages. Though the 2019 Chateau Les Riganes broke that rule, finally!
WOW! The 2019 vintage is going to be a blockbuster if this wine is any harbinger of things to come for that vintage. We still have 2018 to get through, which was also great, and the 2018 Trijet was boring, as stated above, so who knows.
The nose on this wine is still simple, you still have the obvious green notes that turn many off, but the green foliage is not as overbearing as in past vintages, with lovely menthol, smoke, tar, and black and red fruit, with loam, and forest floor. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is impressive for such a wine, showing good fruit focus, with lovely tart and juicy raspberry, currant, ripe plum, and good mouthfeel, with a lovely tactile and graphite-driven mouthfeel, with gripping tannins, with more dirt, loam, menthol, and screaming acid, with tobacco, and earth. The finish is super long, green, fruity, well-made, with control, finesse, and yes, an overall very impressive wine. Drink by 2023.

2014 Chateau Marquisat De Binet, Cuvee Abel – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is 100% Merlot. The nose on this wine is black, with loads of vanilla, with black and red fruit notes followed by lovely garrigue, green foliage, with nice mineral, sage, bright cranberry, and a mound of roasted herbs. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is gripping, with mouth-coating/drying tannin, that gives way to screaming acid and lovely blackcurrant, plum, rich blackberry, with loads of tart and juicy raspberry, cranberry, and lovely loam, graphite, all wrapped in an elegant and gripping mouthfeel. The finish is crazy, with more gripping tannin, rich tart and juicy red and black fruit, more lovely green notes, foliage, with mushroom, and herb, with licorice and coffee lingering long. Nice! Drink soon.

2017 Chateau Mayne Guyon, Blaye (M) – Score: 90 to 91 (QPR: GREAT)
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 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 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 an hour. Drink until 2023.

2018 Elvi Wines Herenza Rioja, Semi (M) – Score: 90 to 91 (QPR: GREAT)
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 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
Another year and another winner, in regards to QPR wines, this one is better than I remember, in a few years. The nose on this Cab is smoky, dirty, and a bit musty/mushroom, with loads of good fruit, black and red fruit backed by forest floor and loads of roasted herb/foliage, and spice.
The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is as well better than I remember, with a good balance, with crazy acidity and good gripping tannin, mouth draping, and yet rich with fruit, cassis, blueberry, raspberry, with some cherry thrown in. The finish is super long, tart, green and sweet, with great balance and fun fruit, nice vanilla, tar, more roasted herb, oregano, cloves, red fruit, and earth linger long. Bravo! Drink until 2023.

2015 Louis Blanc Beaujolais Julienas – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is 100% Gamay. This is the 5th time I have had this wine and it is the first time I have had it in 2020. The wine is on the edge, and as is my way, my drinking window on it had it drink until 2020, right now the wine is fine, but the last time I had it the wine was not as good. Maybe this is a new bottling or a new shipment, who knows, but this bottle shows better and it should live past 2021, but the notes are still almost the same.
The nose of this wine shows the Gamay fruit in all the correct ways, with nice green and red fruit, followed by some black fruit, with herb, rosemary, loads of floral notes, bay leaf, with nice menthol, and good bright fruit, with smoke, loam, and great fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fuller in the mouth, with ripe red fruit, raspberry, black plum, and good nice tannin structure, with nice sweet strawberry, and crazy floral note, like rosehip, and some nice earth. The finish is long and riper, with good fruit, tannin, and rich earth. Nice. Drink until 2022.

2014 Château La Motte Despujols, Graves – Score: 90 (QPR: US EVEN, France GREAT)
This wine threw me off for a bit, but finally, this came around to me, it has crazy floral notes of violet, rose, and hints jasmine, with loads of red fruit, herbal notes, and dirt. The mouth on this wine is unique, it is bright, tart, and nice, with loads of herb, sweet but well-balanced tart and juicy raspberry, cherry, and rhubarb, with nice mouth-coating tannin, and saline bring it all together with a bed of dirt and green notes. The finish is long, green, earthy, and smoky, with loads of tannin, earth, tobacco, and saline. This kills me. This is a lovely 12 euro wine, that we cannot even dream about having in America for less than 24 dollars. Drink by 2023.

2018 Palais de L’Ombriere, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT in France)
This wine is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec. The nose on this simple Bordeaux has a perfect balance of black and red fruit, with floral notes, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, simple, not overly complex, but well balanced, with lovely blueberry, raspberry, and black fruit, with loads of acid, menthol, garrigue, mineral, and green notes, mouth coating tannin, all coming together under a bed of herb and fresh dirt. Very solid easy drinking and very enjoyable wine! Drink until 2023. (Available in France)

2018 Domaine Netofa, Red – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine starts very sweet, but with time the wine comes around and is fun. The nose is fun, with lovely floral notes of rosehip, with lovely graphite, lively red fruit, smoke, root beer, and earth galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied 18 is riper and fuller than the 17, with lovely raspberry, ripe and tart strawberry, dark plum, and graphite, with tar and smoke. The finish is long and green, with great control, earth, tobacco, and sweet cinnamon, and cardamom. Nice drink by 2023.

2018 Haut de Grava, Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT in France)
Another solid hit from 2018, this is a simple wine, but come on, I wish we had wines like this in the USA that cost 10 dollars and are as enjoyable. The nose on this wine is lovely with loads of blue and red fruit, with hints of black fruit in the background, showing loads of dirt, menthol, and lovely licorice, followed by tar, and more dirt, lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is another hit, showing green fruit, with a nice mouth-coating system, with lovely raspberry, smoke, a bit rounder than the Palais de L’Ombriere, but still lovely. Bravo! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

On an aside for these Lahat wines – I can say this is the first time I have tasted three Israeli red wines, outside of Netofa, where I can see a future and a theme to what the winery/winemaker is trying to do. That said, the prices on these wines are too high for me. Still, it has always been better first and then lowers priced second. Low priced wine that no one wants is not good for anyone. Nice!

2018 Lahat GSM – Score: 90 (QPR: BAD)
OK, we have a GSM, outside of Netofa, from Israel, that works for me! This wine is a blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre. The nose on this wine is dirt, earth, roasted animal, tar, and smoke, with clear Israeli sweet notes, of black and blue fruit, with nice red fruit as well, remind me more of a Shirah or a Netofa than anything European. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is nice, not complex, but well-balanced, but also showing a bit more fruit than I want, with ripe blackberry, ripe and juicy boysenberry, tart raspberry, strawberry, and loads of sweet oak, smoke, sweet dill, cloves, and good spice and nice balanced acidity. The finish is long, spicy, with loads of sweet fruit, nutmeg, tarragon, roasted herbs, and more smoke. Nice. Drink by 2023.

2018 Lahat Syrah – Score: 90 (QPR: BAD)
This seems to be a 100% Syrah wine that clocks in at 13.5% ABV. The nose on this wine is not as ripe as the GSM or the Adom, with nice notes of crazy tar, smoke, earth, asphalt, and dead animal (not even roasted), with bits of reduction (normal for Syrah), with nice black and blue fruit in the far background, and lovely white floral notes, sadly much of those aromas fall away after an hour or two. This is what I would love to see more from in Israeli wines, a medium-bodied wine with crazy acid that hits you in the face, followed by lovely green olives, with a nice fruit-focus, with raspberry, cranberry, strawberry, and blackberry, followed by more earth, smoke, and now the dead animal is roasted, toast, and good acidity overall. Again, sadly, that acid I crave gave way to the fruit in a couple of hours and made the wine feel heavy. The finish is long, tart, red and green, with earth, soy sauce, umami, and loads of saline, all coming together, with nice spice, black tea, and more reduction, but well balanced with the spice, oak, and herbs Bravo! Drink by 2023.

2018 Lahat Adom – Score: 90 (QPR: BAD)
This red wine blend is made from 85% Syrah and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose on this wine is riper than the others, with a still unique nose of soy sauce, oak, mushroom, dirt, and loads of smoke, with notes of licorice, red fruit, black tea, and animal fat/bacon. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well-balanced but not very complex, and the fruit is too ripe for me, showing ripe blackberry, hints of figs, with earth, with boysenberry, and nice saline. The finish is long, black, earthy, and sweet/ripe, with milk chocolate, tobacco, and more smoke. Drink by 2023.

2017 La Petite Metairie Bourgueil, Moise Taieb – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT for France)
This wine is made up of 100% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is far different than the Chinon, showing far fewer herbs, here the nose centers on red to dark red fruit, still tart and juicy, but the green notes are in the background, with a perfume of floral notes and rose. The mouth on this wine is perfect, well balanced, a bit round, but perfect in regards to the mouth, great acidity,  medium-bodied, with mouth coating tannin, showing lovely tart and juicy raspberry, smoke, loads of green notes, herbs, but with an overall ethereal profile, lithe and beautiful. The finish is long, green, red, and smoky, with herbs, and tannin lingering. Lovely! Drink until 2023. (Available in France)

2018 Chateau Terre Blanque, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT in France)
The nose I this wine is simple but fun with tart and juicy fruit, red all the way. The mouth is simple, not complex with nice acidity, good tannin, cranberry, earth, but it is nice, showing a focus, great earth, roasted herb, and loads of smoke and tar. The finish is long, very green, earthy, foliage, and lovely fruit with graphite and garrigue, with tart cherry and nice tannin lingering long. Drink until 2024. (Available in France)

2015 Sieva Bokobsa Bourgueil, Les Perrieres – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT in France)
This wine is nice, well balanced, clean, and fruity with great acid and tannin, showing black and blue fruit and nice spices. Nice! Drink now! (Available in France)

2014 Chateau Leroy-Beauval – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
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 soon.

2016 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Prix – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is oaky and smoky, with lovely dark toast, followed by tobacco, and classic Cali/Napa Pinot notes of toffee, ripe cherry, dark red fruit, and dill, sweet basil, and oregano. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is bright yet ripe/sweet with crazy sweet dill, with more toffee, coffee, dark cherry, plum, dirt, with loads of sweet oak/cedar, and nice mouth coating tannin. The finish is long, sweet, and ripe, yet oaky, with a nice good acidic core, ribbons of mineral/graphite, and good smoke, but for me too much oak and fruit. Nice overall. Drink by 2022.

2018 Hagafen Don Ernesto’s Oh – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
This is a kind of Bordeaux blend, though we have no official varietal make-up. The nose on this wine is ripe but it is also very bright and well balanced, on the nose, with lovely dirt, loam, followed by raspberry, currant, dark cherry, and some smoke, sweet oak, and sweet dill. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well balanced, a perfect BBQ and summer red, with a great approach to the need of the customer, with a good very fruit-focused body and overall refreshing mouthfeel, with draping tannin, control, smoke, more well-balanced red and black fruit, and dirt, and great acidity, and pith. The finish is long, green, with nice red fruit, followed by loam, tobacco, black tea, and floral notes of rosehip, and dried flowers. A very nice approach to red summer wine. Enjoy by 2022, but nice now!

2018 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib Pinot Noir – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine, a 13,5% ABV wine, smells hot out the bottle, which is always interesting, but Capcanes is Capcanes, and sure, I would expect nothing less. The nose on this wine is nice, other than the heat, with good dirt, earth, Kirche cherry, ripe blackcurrant, and loads of spice and roasted herbs, rosemary, and sage. The mouth on this wine shows true varietally, with clear red and black fruit, cherry, smoke, nice acidity, with loads of roasted herb, hints of forest floor, garrigue, foliage, with not much complexity, at this point, with a unidimensional attack of acid, foliage, and red fruit, with blackcurrant, and with nice earth, and spice, The finish is long, overall a well-made wine, but nothing yet to grab my attention, the finish shows coiffed, and more roasted herbs on the long finish. Drink by 2024.

2018 Chateau Genlaire, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a fun wine another winner in the sub 20 dollar wine category, we need much more of this in the kosher wine world. This is not a homerun wine, this is a lovely and simple wine that is what we need more of. This is the kind of wine that 2018 was built for, simple wine that the 2018 vintage raises nicely.
The nose on this wine is lovely, dirty, earthy, and smoky, with loads of green and red fruit, with hints of black fruit, followed by garrigue, and more earth, lovely. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a lovely acid-core, with nice mineral, it is still too young I think, it needs time to come together in the next few months, with the acid calming a bit, once that happens the wine will show nicely, with raspberry, dark cherry, and hints of blackcurrant under a bed of dark chocolate, nice mouthcoating tannin, and green notes, with foliage, mineral, and slate showing well. The finish is long, green, with red fruit, with nice tannin, forest floor, graphite, and more garrigue. Nice! Drink by 2023.

2017 La Petite Metairie Chinon, Moise Taieb – Score: 89
This wine is made up of 100% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is lovely rich, green, with red fruit, and herbs galore, redolent with a perfume of herbal notes, oregano, sweet mint, and sweet Italian herbs, lying above a bed of mineral, and dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is backed by a core of acid, mineral, with loads of herbs, that is front and center, with green fields of grass, followed by floral notes, smoke, and spices. The finish is long, green, herbal, and backed by mineral, juicy tart raspberry, cherry, and dried plum. Bravo!!! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2017 Chateau D’Arveyres (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is filled with 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.

2016 Les Remparts de Bel-Air, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
Another lovely simple and nice wine from Taieb. The nose is fruity, but not over the top. The mouth is simple, but the tannin, fruit structure, and earth are lovely. Drink by 2022.

2016 Chateau Leydet-Valentin, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru – Score: 89 (QPR: BAD)
|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 UVA Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Limited Edition – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
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 the 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 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. Drink by 2021.

2016 Chateau Rigaud, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is green, with notes of heat, at 15% ABV, showing ripe black and red fruit, smoke, tar, and gravel. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, too ripe, with sweet notes, but it has nice acidity, with an elegant mouth-coating and draping texture, sadly, the sweetness sets it off balance, a nice wine for those that like it ripe. The finish is long, green, very ripe, and uni-dimensional, with blackberry, loads of plum, tobacco, and foliage. Drink by 2024.

2018 Yaacov Oryah S.O.B. – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD in USA EVEN in Israel)
This is the 2nd coming for this wine in many ways and it is vastly improved over the 2017 vintage. This wine is a blend of 30% Grenache, 19% Petit Sirah, 18% Syrah, 17% Pinot Noir, and 16% Grenache. The name clearly describes the chutzpah of this blend, Pinot Noir in a “Rhone-like” blend – just insanity in so many ways!|
The wine’s name Special Oryah Blend is tongue in cheek, much like many of Oryah’s wines, after a group of friends who asked Oryah to make them a proprietary blend, and if he is making them a crazy blend, why not be outrageous in name and the blend!
The 2017 vintage had many issues – the Pinot Noir never really settled in and created huge issues. This vintage works as crazy as that sounds.
The nose on this wine is entertaining, I like the red and blue fruit, but what works are the green and earthy notes that come from behind and make the wine balanced, throw in the dirt, mineral, crazy toast, and roasted notes and this wine is fun. Sadly, while the nose is fun and entertaining, the mouth on this medium-bodied wine is more simple, there is little to no complexity, no real pull, what we have is a nice balanced wine with a nice mouth-draping tannin structure, good acidity, and not much else, the fruit that shows is blueberry, raspberry, plum, candied cherry, and smoke, with a bit of earth. The mouth sounds fun, but it is missing something to grab you. The finish is long, green, red, and blue, with nice tobacco, good tannin, and more smoke, candied fruit, oak, and roasted meat. Nice. Still later, the wine did improve slightly, but not for me. Drink by 2022.

2018 Yaacov Oryah Duke Pontiff – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD in USA EVEN in Israel)
More of the whimsical names, this wine is a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Syrah, and 22% Grenache. This too is the 2nd vintage of this wine, and this too is a Chutzpah of a wine blend. Officially, the Duke in this relationship is less in proportion than the Pontiff, but I am getting ahead of myself. Duke is for the Duchy of Burgundy (represented by Pinot Noir here), while Pontiff is for the Chateauneuf de Pape, the classic blend of the Rhone Valley.
My feeling about these strange blends continues, it does not work, unless the Rhone fruit is out of control, like in 2017. Here, in the 2018 vintage, the fruit is far more controlled, but now the Pinot Noir just feels out of place and does not feel like it works.
The nose on this wine feels like a watered-down Syrah and that is sad to me, with notes of green from the Pinot Noir, that commands too much attention, followed by hints of blue and black fruit, with red cherry notes, and herbs galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has the same issues as the S.O.B., it lacks interest, again, there are no flaws, the only flaw is that it is not pulling me. The mouth on this wine shows fruits of cherry, raspberry, plum, blueberry, and herb, with oak, smoke, and roasted herb, and not much else. The finish is a bit short, or the middle is, not clear, with coffee, herb, and more toast. With even more time, the wine did open up a bit but that only made the fruit too sweet and ripe for me, sadly. Drink by 2023.

2015 Chateau Mayne de Valence – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is made from 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. This seems like a different bottling from the magnum. The magnum says it is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cab, and 5% Franc. This says 75% Merlot and 20% Cab. Who knows. This wine has a 2-inch cork, like what??? That is crazy and expensive, whatever.
This may not be a great example of wine in magnum versus 750ml, but the notes are somewhat similar and somewhat different as well. The biggest diff is how long it will last.
The nose of this wine is not as good, it does have green notes, earth, but no chocolate, foliage galore, and red fruit, but it also has notes of VA or some other flaw I cannot pick up, but annoying. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is green, earthy, tart, and fun, with green and red fruit, raspberry, cherry, sweet currants, with a lovely mouthfeel, showing good acidity, nice tannin, mushroom, and green notes that give way to foliage and tart fruit. The finish is green, nice, with good layers of fruit, enough complexity, and earth with tart fruit. Nice! Drink by 2022.

2015 Château Montroc, Lussac Saint-Emilion – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Upon opening this wine is either dead or close to it and the wine feels worse or oxidized quickly. Still, for a bit of time, it is fun.
The nose on this wine is fun, a bit ripe, but well-controlled, with heat showing at first, but that blows off to show lovely red fruit, loads of loam, forest floor, hints of mushroom, and mineral, that gives way to floral notes, and fresh asphalt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is perfect, showing a lovely control of ripe fruit, dark notes, with great acidity, lovely blackberry, plum, with green notes, foliage, menthol, with a lovely mouth coating tannin structure, all wrapped in a silky/velvety texture, sweet oak, and lovely smoke, and gravel and loam below it. The finish is long, green, ripe, yet controlled, with tart cherry acid, followed by smoking tobacco, dark chocolate, lovely floral notes, rosehip, and graphite, and more loam, and rock. Drink NOW and drink once opened – or do not buy!

2018 Tzora Judean Hills, Red – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of the kitchen sink, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 25% Merlot, and 25% Petit Verdot. The nose of this wine is ripe, yeah, nothing new, and 14.5% ABV, not a shocker, with ripe notes of black, blue, and red fruit, also not shocking given the plethora of varietals used in this blend, along with loads of oak, sweet dill, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is ripe, too ripe for me, and an oak-monster, with sweet and juicy notes of boysenberry, cassis, raspberry, with too much oak, sweet spices, crazy sweet tobacco, and loads of Milk chocolate, sweet herbs, sweet dill, tarragon, and sweet basil, all wrapped in a heavy cloak of oak and tannin. Drink until 2023.

2018 Herzog Pinot Noir, Lineage, Clarksburg (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this wine has become a massive oak attack, with loads of toast, spice, and roasted meat, but there is some fruit behind that attack, I cannot smell it. The mouth on this wine is quite nice for a Pinot Noir at this price and it is well made, with loads of oak, but also nice Kirche Cherry, raspberry, plum, and loads of roasted herb, and blue notes as well. The finish is long, green, and tannic, with nice control, with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and good herbs, mint, and oregano. Drink now!

2018 Pacifica Pinot Noir, Evan’s Collection, Columbia Gorge – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this wine is a more balanced wine than the Goose Bay, with nice oak, but not over the top, with smoke, and toast, and sweet red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, showing good acidity, salinity, and mineral, with good structure, with nice dark cherry, cola, and raspberry fruit, with a good fruit structure, and a nice mouth coating tannin approach. The finish is long, sweet, balanced with good acidity, showing nice dark chocolate covered coffee beans, some earth, more mineral, graphite, and saline. Nice! Drink until 2022.

2018 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Coombsville, Napa Valley (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this 14.2% ABV wine shows clean and correct, with nice notes of chocolate, heather, herbs, with clear oak influence, followed by red and darker fruit, earth, and spices. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is quite well-balanced and correct, showing a clear Pinot Noir profile, with dark Kirche Cherry, rich salinity, nice herbs, raspberry, smoke, and roasted notes of animal and oak, with a nice tannin and mouth draping approach, with good acidity and green notes. The finish is long, green, very approachable, but with a body that can last a bit, with more smoke, oak, toast, but well-controlled red fruit, and hints of the ripe fruit and oak starting to make me worried, time will tell. Drink until 2023.

2019 Capcanes Peraj Petita (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
OK, finally, a Capcanes wine, in recent memory, I do not dislike! This wine is lovely, simple, but fun, well made, and controlled, so, yeah nice!
The wine is a blend of 45% Grenache, 25% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, and 15% Syrah. The nose on this wine is fresh and refreshing, with tart fruit, notes of cherry, dirt, earth, followed by floral jasmine notes, along with sweet tea, black fruit, and char/toast. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is simple and sadly boring, showing blackberry, cherry, dark, and brooding fruit – that does worry me, followed by a nice mouth coating tannin, with blackcurrant, and tobacco. The finish is long, sweet, and ripe, with leather, smoke, and tobacco, followed by tar, and more red and juicy currants. Drink until 2022.

2019 Cantina Giuliano Chianti, D.O.C.G. – Score: 87+
So far, this is their best showing yet for Cantina’s Chianti, it is well controlled and overall the winery’s approach for this wine is starting to move towards the elegant approach versus the fruit sledgehammer approach.
The nose starts with loads of dirt, followed by hints of wax and fat, followed by dried currants, loam, sweet spices, and green herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is balanced, yes it is fruity, and I hope that fruitiness will die down with time, followed by lovely cherry, dark and tart raspberry, dark red plum, and almost hints of apple/pear, with a nice overall fruit approach, good tannin, and good earth and smoke, still the fruit is there and I hope it will calm down. The finish is long, green, ripe, controlled, and brooding, with leather, oak, tobacco, and sweet fruit, with good acidity, tannin, and smoke lingering long. Drink until 2024.

2018 Goose Bay Pinot Noir, Small Batch (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
The color on this wine looks a bit off. The nose on this wine is a pure oak bomb, with incredible toast levels, showing burnt rubber, charcoal, and smoke, and some red fruit in there somewhere. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is not as problematic as the nose, but it is very uniform and uni-dimensional, with more burnt notes, nice enough acid and tannin, but the oak is overpowering and the cherry and raspberry are lost in the war. The finish is super long and crazy tannic, with good acidity, and the oak is too much for me right now.

2018 Yaacov Oryah A Dream of Espamia – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD in USA EVEN in Israel)
Ok, good news, there is no Pinot Noir in this wine, and you know, I LOVE Pinot Noir, done well. This wine is a blend of 77% Tempranillo, 18% Carignan, and 8% Grenache.
The nose on this wine, much like the S.O.B. in lovely, ripe, round, with enough brightness, oak, smoke, burnt notes of rubber, with black, blue, and green notes, showing notes of smoked animal, and foliage. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sadly a bit off-kilter, the ripeness is balanced well enough with acidity, but there is a hollow and shortness of finish, with a ripeness that lingers a bit, showing chocolate, ripe and juicy boysenberry, candied raspberry, smoke, and earth. Overall, a nice enough wine, drink by 2023.

2018 Domaine Ternynck Bourgogne, Les Truffieres (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is pure baked goods, with night jasmine and Orange blossom, along with hints of orange and herb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, with rich salinity, herb galore, with roasted mint, oregano, and orange, and nectarine, with sweet notes but well balanced. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, and yet well balanced, with great acidity, saline, with crazy herbs, Orange pith, grapefruit, and slate, with wet rock, and earth. Nice!! Drink soon.

2015 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this beast is ripe, black, brooding, and angry, with loads of blackberry, dark jammy plum, and more jammy and very fruit0forward fruit, followed by sweet oak, sweet dill, and cedar, and smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, well layered, with loads of dark and concentrated fruit, with loads of black and red fruit, showing a bit of juicy raspberry, and more sweet cedar, sweet dill, and some good acidity. The finish is long, ripe, jammy, and mouth-coating with a powerful tannin attack, showing loads of fruit focus, too much, with sweet milk chocolate, and too much dill and oak, a bit of tobacco, menthol, and more dill lingering long. Drink by 2024.

2018 Chateau le Petit Chaban (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: GREAT)
This may well be the best wine from this series, the 2018 vintage’s heat helped this wine, this is normally green and tinny. This is a bit riper and shows more life.
The nose on this wine is showing a classic French wine – with dirt, green notes, maybe a bit too much, even with the 2018 vintage, along with red fruit, hints of black fruit, garrigue, and nice earth. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is where you can see where the 2018 vintage helped this wine, normally the first thing that hits you with this wine is a wall of green notes and tiny steel, now the wine is more balanced, riper, with green notes, but they are in the background. In the foreground, you will find dirt, nice enough tannin, good acidity, ripe cherry, currants, and hints of blackcurrants. The finish is long, green, with raspberry, garrigue, mushroom, and earth. So, while the wine is nice enough it lacks complexity or interest, what it has a complete approach but not a wine with much stuff to grab you. Drink by 2022.

2019 Gilgal Pinot Noir – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
Overall my impression is while it is nice enough and has some good spice, the oak is too much and it is too ripe for my interests on the palate. It is true varietally, but otherwise, not for me. A good enough wine for the price. Drink now.

2019 Grume D’Or Pinot Noir – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this Pinot Noir smells nice, this is what I like, green notes, nice red fruit, herbs galore, mint, Oregano, with nice dirt and loam. The mouth on this Pinot Noir is very simple but it is a nice enough wine, classic cherry, earth, dirt, and a good enough body – and that is about it. Drink until 2022.

2019 La Gravelle Chinon, Cuvee Terroir – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
Sadly, this is nothing like the 2012 wine which was fun until it died. This wine is a total mess, with hot peppers, green notes, and not much else going for it, sad.
The nose on this wine is just that, smells strongly of hot peppers, jalapenos, with cucumber, foliage, some nice floral notes, and that is about it. The mouth’s structure is nice, a good medium body, but the rest of it tastes like cheap French wine, green and not much else, it has some nice tannin, but the green notes overpower whatever else may be interesting. Sad, drink by 2023.

2019 Chateau Haut Bazignan – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine may not officially fit in this category, but it is not a mid-level wine either, so this is a tweener.
I had such high hopes for this wine, not based upon its price, but rather based upon what others said about it. Thankfully, I never buy based upon others, FOMO is absurd and especially in this situation.
This wine is the classic green, tinny, steel notes of a run-of-the-mill Bordeaux wine. Some people will “like” the riper notes, but this wine is a green and tin monster, and there is little here to grab me. The nose on this wine shows green notes, not the good kind, with “flora” green notes overtaking the nose, along with foliage (slightly better green notes), and some fruit somewhere in there but hard to get at. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sub-par, showing really too much green notes, cucumber, asparagus, clawing menthol, and earth, all things I like, when it helps to balance a wine, here it is all the wine has and what I wish for is either not there at all or in the background, with an OK tannin structure, far too clunky and chunky, almost a baseball bat rather than even remotely defined, with hints of currants, cherry, and some earth. The finish is long, green, really green, with earth, menthol, and did I say green notes? Oh yes and MORE green notes!!! Drink whenever u feel green!
So, after a few hours, the green notes finally take a back seat, and yes – black fruit does emerge, blackcurrants, dark cherry, some tar, and smoke, but the wine goes through a dip of mouthfeel in this process and has a gaping hole, that too, fills, eventually. Essentially, this wine is too young at this moment, but even when it does all come around, I do not see this as a wine I need to enjoy, the tannin is supple and the green notes are all over the place with the black fruit in the front. It is improved, from an 83 to an 86, but really, the 2017 Chateau Mayne Guyon is far better, enjoy that! Drink from 2022 until 2026.

2017 Chateau Cantelaudette, Graves de Vayres (M) – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
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, it is not much else.

2019 Botteotto Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, O.D.O.C. (M) – Score: 85 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine reminds me very much of Pinot Noir but with a drop more mineral. The wine shows a rich minerality, but also a ripeness and oakiness that I wish was more controlled, showing ripe plum, blackberry, smoke, earth, and rich milk chocolate. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has enough acidity, the problem for me is the ripeness, whether it’s the mevushal process or the fruit, it is riper and less balanced than I would have hoped for. The oak influence is also clear, with loads of toasty notes, sweet oak, and milky notes that are OK, with dark cherry, blackberry, and a clear spire and spike of ripe fruit that keeps coming at me with every taste of this wine. The finish is long, ripe, and has some green notes, with olives, mineral, earth, and loads of ripe fruit, milk chocolate, and hints of some floral notes like heather and rosehip. Drink until 2023.

2018 Cantina Giuliano Costa Toscana, I.G.P. – Score: 85 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 65% Sangiovese, 18% Syrah, and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is ripe, the fruit profile is fruity and in your face, with acidity, but not enough to make the high fruit profile enjoyable. The nose on this wine is dark and brooding, black and blue, with dark notes of cherry, currants, and earth, along with hints of blue fruit, loads of plums, and floral notes at the finish. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, filled with juicy fruit, dripping with sweetness, with dark blackcurrant that comes over as too ripe, with searing tannin, average plus acidity, and nice earth. The finish is long, very fruity, ripe, with a bit of tannin lingering, smoke, oak, vanilla, and tobacco, with green notes in the background. Drink by 2023.

2018 Cantina Giuliano, Chianti – Score: 85 (QPR: EVEN)
Well, I will be honest, I have not been a fan until now, other than with the 2014 vintage, of this particular wine, and I will let this wine come to me, but at the start – it tastes ripe, but it smells nice. Let us see what time does to this.
To start the wine starts ripe, with notes of lovely tertiary notes, mushroom, dirt, classic cherry, smoke, and good rich loam, with very ripe fruit in the background. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, like date-juice ripe, for me, with too much fruit, too ripe with dark and brooding red fruit, nice loam and dirt, I would have liked more acid, the tannin is nice. The finish is super ripe, with loads of coffee, almonds, and toast. Let us see this evolve. Sadly, this wine did not move off its very ripe stance, it did not evolve into the way I had hoped. Drink until 2022.

2014 Chateau Remo Hosen Blend – Score: 85 (QPR: BAD)
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.

2018 Louis Blanc Vintage, Cote de Brouilly, Le Ferrage – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this Gamay starts hot, which is classical for Gamay from Cote de Brouilly, though I hoped for me at 13% ABV. The nose shows some heat, with lovely green and black fruit, with hints of blueberry, root beer, and lovely dirt, forest floor, with loads of floral notes, sweet notes, iris, and more blue notes. This wine tastes cooked, the mouth on this medium-bodied wine tastes cooked, prune-like, with loads of dark plum, prune, earth, and a nice velvet mouthfeel, with hints of raspberry, dark cherry, with loads of lovely tart strawberry, and spice. The finish is long, sweet, with some green notes, spice, but it is all about the very ripe fruit that tastes cooked, along with dirt, loam, and nice floral notes. Drink by 2023.

2017 Carmel Merlot, Appellation (M) – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
At the start this is not so bad, there is nothing really bad here and no real flaws, the wine is balanced, and for a Merlot at a good price, not a bad idea, sadly, with time the wine falls apart and becomes the Israeli date juice we are all expecting at 15% ABV. The nose on this wine is simple, fruity, ripe, but controlled, with dark and red fruit, along with smoke, and earth. The mouth on this medium+ bodied wine is nice, a good merlot, with plum, raspberry, dark cherry, and earth, nice. The finish is nice, sweet, balanced, red, and cherry joy. Sadly, with time the wine is a mess and should be a wine you open and drink, IMHO Drink now.

2015 Louis Blanc Morcantel Bourgogne, Gamay – Score: 83 (QPR: BAD)
The 2015 Julienas is so nice, why make another inferior Gamay, this one is riper, worse, and not balanced, and overall hard pass.
This wine is 100% Gamay and IMHO, much more like most of the Gamay on the market, IOW, a mess. The nose on this wine starts ripe and only gets worse, this wine never finds its stride. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a good structure, like most overripe and supermarket-quality Gamay wines are oft to do, but beyond that, it is a mess and not worth the time. Drink until 2022.

2018 Segal Pinot Noir, Whole Cluster, Judean Hills – Score: 83 (QPR: NA)
I had hopes, HIGH hopes, finally, a nice wine from Israel, clocking in at 13% ABV. It just goes to prove that, YES, you can indeed make date juice with a 13% ABV. Congrats!
The nose on this wine is ripe, which again, is incredible, given the ABV. The notes of cooked plum, candied cherry, a lot like a candied Cali Pinot, but even riper. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, has little in regards to elegance, but the blackcurrant, plum, and cherry are ripe, and candied and make the mouthfeel out of kilter, with a bit of earth, good tannin structure, and not much else. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, with coffee, tobacco, and loads of candied cherry lifesaver lingering long, with candied blackcurrant. Drink by 2023.

2018 Segal Syrah, Whole Cluster, Judean Hills – Score: 83 (QPR: NA)
Almost a carbon-copy of my feeling for these two wines. I had hopes, HIGH hopes, finally, a nice wine from Israel, clocking in at 13% ABV. It just goes to prove that, YES, you can indeed make date juice with a 13% ABV. Congrats!
The nose on this Syrah is not as ripe and the Pinot Noir, with blackcurrants, blueberry, earth, smoke, and a strange sense of anise and cloves. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is showing a bit better than the Pinot Noir, but it is still out of kilter, with smoke, toast, a softer mouthfeel, and approach than the Pinot Noir, with a drop of focus, but this is still a mess, with a bit of time, the ripeness makes itself felt clear, the clawing fruit without any sense of acidity makes this a tough wine to like. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, and no balance, sad! Drink by 2023.

2018 Cantina Giuliano In Campagna – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
The wine feels like it has RS to me, it is a ripe wine, even at 14% ABV. The nose on this wine smells ripe, with notes of cooked aromas and smoke, followed by cherry and green notes. The mouth tastes cooked and feels like there is some RS in this wine, not a wine I can like. Drink now!

2018 Timbre Pinot Noir, The Rhythm – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
The nose on this wine smells Cali in style, with loads of sweet fruit, but balanced with loads of earth and green notes, but ripe, with black and blue fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fruit-forward, with what I can only imagine is a bit of RS, with loads of blueberry, blackberry, and crazy candied and liquor dark Kirche cherry. The finish is long, ripe, red, and spicy. Drink now.

2018 Or Haganuz Elima – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
This wine has no added sulfites and it is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is ripe and at 14% ABV, on the label, I think it is a bit higher, with heat and alcoholic aromas, sweet oak, cassis, black fruit, and red fruit in the background. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe and uncontrolled, sadly, with clear leanings of overripe fruit, blackberry, candied cherry, overripe currants, and loads of oak and smoke, with nice enough tannin and more oak. The finish is long, sweet, oaky, and sweet, with sweet chewing tobacco galore and a hint of graphite. Drink until 2023.

2018 Vitkin Israeli Journey, Red – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
This wine is a crazy blend of 55% Carignan, 25% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Marselan, and 5% Grenache Noir. The nose on this wine is funky with loads of floral notes, but it is all over the place with blue/black and red fruit, with earth, loads of foliage, green notes, and more fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is all over the place with sweet fruit, date-like, but not really, but also hollow, not interesting, the components never find a way to make sense together? The finish is medium in length, from the hole, along with green notes and herbs, Menthol, Rosemary, and not much else. Drink until 2022.

2015 Chateau Tour des Agasseaux, Lussac Saint-Emilion – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
The nose on this wine is nice, green, with red fruit, with green notes, and loads of oak. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is OK, but not much is there, showing acidity, tannin, and earth, and ripe fruit. The finish is long, green, too green, with loads of dirt, and tannin. Drink by 2024.

2017 Ephod Regesh – Score: 81 (QPR: NA)
I am happy to see another winery using Diam corks for all their wines – this is the future folks, heck breathable screwtops are better!
Like the Keter, this is a wine that I could mistake for a dessert wine – too much sweetness, too ripe, too much date structure, just move on. Still, after a fair amount of time, it does some character, not much, with the green notes and anise coming out from under the blanket of date and overripe fruit, still a mess, sadly. Drink by 2023, if you must.

2016 Chateau Petit Boirac, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: 80 (QPR: NA)
Another sad wine, slightly better, oak juice, with nice tannin.

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

2016 Or Haganuz Merlot, Single Vineyard – Score: 79 (QPR: BAD)
Another wonderful example of what wine should not be like! Classic Israeli date juice that should sell very well for that market. For me this undrinkable – plush, full, coffee, toffee, blackberry, smoke, and so much oak it is crazy. Move on. Drink until 2024.

2019 Louis Blanc Morgon, Gamay – Score: 78 (QPR: BAD)
Another year and another sweet/ripe unfinished Gamay wine that feels like it is more of a 2020 Beaujolais than a 2019 Gamay from Morgon. There are notes but who cares, not worth the effort.

2017 Chateau La Petit Chaban (M) – Score: 78 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is too simple, boring and while there is no flaw, there is nothing to get in this wine, showing a boring approach overall, with raspberry, earth, and not much else. Not enough acid and while the tannin was there it was not there for me. Worst of all the fruit gets riper as it opens, a true mess. Drink until 2022.

2017 Ephod Ebiater – Score: 78 (QPR: BAD)
I am happy to see another winery using Diam corks for all their wines, even the winery’s flagship wine, like this wine – this is the future folks, heck breathable screwtops are better!
This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Petit Verdot. Sadly, the bottle and cork make me smile but the rest of this is a photocopy of the other two wines, ripe, sweet, over the top, unbalanced, and while it shows a bit more elegance, with more mineral, spice, and less date, the wine overall is a hard miss. Drink by 2023, if you must.

2018 Nadiv Reshit – Score: 76 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is sweet, with cherry lifesaver notes, not good, very medicinal, and not fun – why do this? The nose does show some nice notes of menthol and graphite, but it is all covered over by the overripe notes of date/prunes, along with cherry lifesaver, and alcohol. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is pure date juice, heat, alcohol, and no balance, just pain. Drink by 2024.

2017 Ephod Keter – Score: 75 (QPR: BAD)
I am happy to see another winery using Diam corks for all their wines – this is the future folks, heck breathable screwtops are better!
This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The nose on this wine is ripe, and that falls in line with the 14.2% ABV, with notes of ripe black and red fruit, loads of oak, and the extra ripe fruit that reminds me of figs. What can I say, this is a well-made date juice wine, with crazy tannin, oak, and yes, loads of date juice, with a bit of refinement, this is not my cup of tea. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, and clawing, with a bit of saline and graphite, sad. Drink until 2023, if you must.

2018 La Tour Pavee, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
Another horrible oak juice wine, sad.

2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Marco Grand Vin Rouge – Score: 70 (QPR: NA)
This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 30% Syrah (classic GMS). This wine used to be fun, the funk, olives, and brett were more controlled, now it is just pure Brett and the fruit is gone. Now the notes are brett, dirt, graphite, and not much else. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine has nice menthol and some blue notes but you cannot see it behind the wall of Brett, smoke, funk, and nasty stuff. So sad. The finish is long and not fun. drink up!!!

2017 Shiloh Cabernet Franc, Secret Reserve (M) – Score: 67 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a BBQ wine because it tastes and smells like a BBQ sauce and not much else. This is pure fruit and nothing else, no elegance, just a sledgehammer of fruit and that is it. This has no relationship to Cabernet Franc, it may have been made with CF, but you could have easily said this was a Zin or a wayward Israeli Cab, either way – fruit, oak, dates, hickory smoke, alcohol, and not much else. Sad! Drink now if you must.

2017 Psagot Edom – Score: 65 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is miserable, it is sweet, ripe, and it has residual sugar in it, showing as worse than date juice, more like off-dry, next! I cannot understand the appeal this has. It is an off-dry blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 13% Petit Verdot. The mouth is ripe but the RS and the lack of balance make this wine a sad example of what Israeli wine is today! Drink now.

2016 Chateau Viduc, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 64 (QPR: NA)
Sadly, another wine that did not show well at all.

2014 Chateau Rossignol, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 63
This wine did not show well, overly ripe, and just not interesting at all.

2016 Chateau Cardinal Villemaurine, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru – Score: 63 (QPR: NA)
Wow, this wine is super ripe, overly fruity, and showing far too much oak. It is wholly unbalanced, move on.

2017 Carmel Meditaranian Blend, Selected (M) – Score: 63 (QPR: NA)
Sadly, all I get is blackcurrant, damp notes, sweetly ripe and date fruit, and loads of tannin. Total pass for me.

2017 Lestruelle, Medoc – Score: 62 (QPR: NA)
Another overly ripe wine, pushed, and not interesting at all.

2018 Binyamina Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve (M) – Score: 60 (QPR: NA)
Sorry, this is cooked wine, overripe, boiled, and undrinkable – move on.

2016 Chateau Camplay, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 60 (QPR: NA)
Sadly, another wine that did not show well at all.

2019 Bartenura Ovadia Chianti Coli Sensei (M) – Score: 60
I like Chianti, but this is cooked, poorly made, and yes, cooked! Tinny, metallic, and cooked prunes, move on!

2014 Chateau Jaumard – Score: 58 (QPR: NA)
This wine is a VA and Brett bomb. There are notes of strawberry and raspberry, with hints of cherry underneath, but the VA is unfortunate. It is sad, the mouthfeel is not poor, but overall, the VA again ruins it all. Throw in the not-fun version of Brett and it is a hard pass. MOVE On.

2018 Chateau Jaumard, Bordeaux – Score: 58 (QPR: NA)
Painful, oak juice, with crazy fruit notes

Posted on December 10, 2020, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, QPR Post, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. When would you suggest is the optimal year to begin drinking the 2018 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico?

  2. It is shockingly good now as stated here:
    https://kosherwinemusings.com/2020/04/28/cantina-terra-di-seta-continues-its-stranglehold-on-the-qpr-mountaintop-with-the-2018-cantina-terra-di-seta-chianti-classico/

    But I would wait a year or two and then enjoy one/two a year until 2026 – then it should be closing in at peak

  1. Pingback: Kosher Mid-Range aging red wines may well be the sweet spot for the kosher wine market – lots of WINNERS. | Wine Musings Blog

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