Another round of QPR (Quality to Price ratio) Hits and Misses

It has been a few months since my last QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) post and 10 or more people have been emailing me about the EPIC 2019 terra di Seta Chianti, that I said, I had to pump out another post ASAP!

Thankfully, no matter how garbage and pain I subject myself to, we are still blessed with quite a few wonderful QPR wines out there. This post includes superstars like Elvi Wines’s new 2017 Clos Mesorah and many others. It goes to show that when wineries reasonably price wines, even 70 dollar wines can be a QPR winner!

We have quite a lovely set of QPR WINNERS:

  1. 2017 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
  2. 2019 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico
  3. 2019 Cantina del Redi Pleos Toscana Sangiovese
  4. 2019 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib Pinot Noir
  5. 2019 Chateau D’Arveyres Bordeaux Superieur
  6. 2016 Chateau La Clare Grand Vin de Bordeaux
  7. 2018 Vieux Chateau Chambeau Reserve
  8. 2018 Hagafen Cabernet Franc
  9. 2018 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. 2019 Hagafen Riesling, Off-Dry

There were also a few wines that are a slight step behind with a GREAT or GOOD QPR score:

  1. 2016 La Chenaie du Bourdieu Grand Vin de Bordeaux
  2. 2018 Secret des Chevaliers Grand Reserve
  3. 2020 Bartenura Prosecco Rose
  4. 2019 Golan Heights Winery Riesling
  5. 2020 Sheldrake Point Gewurztraminer
  6. 2020 Unorthodox Sauvignon Blanc
  7. 2016 Hagafen Merlot, Prix, Reserve
  8. 2016 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon, Prix, Reserve, MJT
  9. 2018 Hagafen Merlot

There are a few wines that got a QPR Score of EVEN – meaning expensive or average:

  1. 2019 Hajdu Montepulciano – a nice wine but very expensive
  2. 2019 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel – nice enough but very expensive
  3. 2019 Golan Heights Winery Pinot Noir, Gilgal (Gamla) – not interesting but cheap
  4. 2020 Gendraud Patrice Chablis – nice enough and expensive
  5. 2020 Vitkin Israeli Journey
    2020 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc
    2020 Domaine De Panquelaine Coteaux Du Giennois
    2020 Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc – OK or even nice enough but expensive

The others are essentially either OK wines that are too expensive, duds or total failures:

  1. 2016 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Prix, Reserve
  2. 2017 Chateau de By, Grand Vin de Bordeaux
  3. 2019 Hajdu Grenache
  4. 2019 Hagafen Don Ernesto’s Ah-Ha!
  5. 2016 Hagafen Melange, Prix, Reserve
  6. 2017 Herzog Quartet
  7. 2019 Flam Classico
  8. 2019 Twin Suns Pinot Noir
  9. 2019 Vanita Nero d’Avola
  10. 2018 Tabor Eco, Red
  11. 2017 Segal Cabernet Sauvignon, Dishon
  12. 2016 Tabor Merlot, Adama
  13. 2017 Tabor Shiraz, Adama
  14. 2018 Matar Startus
  15. 2018 Matar Cumulus
  16. 2018 Celler de Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib (Mevushal version)
  17. 2020 Shiran Chardonnay
  18. 2017 Hagafen Chardonnay, Prix
  19. 2018 Tabor Eco, White
  20. 2019 Covenant Lavan Chardonnay
  21. 2020 Domaine De Panquelaine Sancerre
  22. 2018 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, Le Classique
  23. 2018 Binyamina Chardonnay, The Chosen
  24. 2019 Chateau le Petit Chaban
  25. 2019 Chateau Mayne Guyon Grand Vin
  26. 2019 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon

Some things that made me stand up and take notice (AKA QPR WINNERS):

The first BIG takeaway for me, was that Hagafen Wine Cellars is back, at least in regards to red wine! I was there to taste some wines with Gabriel Geller and I was impressed by the 2016 and 2018 red wines. There were some misses as well but overall, 2 QPR WINNERS and 3 QPR GOOD to GREAT scores – that is good stuff!!! There is also the very nice, but expensive, 2018 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc, Prix. It is really fun and while it is oak-driven, it is a nice wine and it just needs some time.

Terra di Seta Continues to CRUSH it! Two more EPIC wines at QPR WINNER status, we need a super QPR WINNER status! Fear not I am joking. Anyway, the 2019 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico is beautiful, more elegant than previous vintages, but without the sheer power of the 2018 vintage. The 2016 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Riserva, is a sheer powerhouse, but one that is far more accessible than previous vintages, this may well be the best in some time!

Royal has another Italian QPR WINNER with the 2019 Cantina del Redi Pleos Toscana Sangiovese, yes another Sangiovese, and no, it is not better than the TDS and it is a bit more expensive, and it is not Mevushal, so I am not sure how it fits into the Royal portfolio puzzle, but hey, that is not my job to worry about!

The 2019 Capcanes Pinot Noir is on point a very nice wine – the 2019 vintage, from all over the world, has given us a bounty of choices for Pinot Noir!

Finally, there are more French QPR WINNERS, like the 2019 Chateau D’Arveyres Bordeaux Superieur. The previous vintages were bad to horrible, but this one returns to its old form. The 2016 Chateau La Clare, Grand Vin de Bordeaux also is very nice, it continues its theme of well-priced Bordeaux wine for a reasonable price, and it is Mevushal. I would happily drink this or 2015 at a restaurant – no questions asked. Finally, the 2018 Vieux Chateau Chambeau Reserve is a nice wine for the price, though it is harder to find, it may be worth the effort.

Other wines worth of note (AKA QPR GREAT or GOOD):

I am happy to say there are other solid wines – and many are European. I found some of these at NYC stores (not online) and others online.

The 2016 La Chenaie du Bourdieu Grand Vin de Bordeaux, is not a new wine for me, I had it at Taieb in 2019 and I was happy to see it here in the USA. Another nice wine was a new one for me, the 2018 Secret des Chevaliers Grand Reserve, a simple enough wine but at the price, it has a SOLID QPR.

I was shocked to finally find a Prosecco I could taste without physically making me ill. I have had a few in the past, but this one is the best of the bunch, for now. I am talking about the 2020 Bartenura Prosecco Rose, solid if this is your kind of wine. For me, there is no better QPR WINNER or bubbly, for the price, than the Yarden and Gilgal (AKA Gamla) wines.

Talking about Yarden, the 2019 Golan Heights Winery Riesling is nice, not my cup of tea, but for those with a sweeter tooth than mine – BUY THIS or the Pacifica Riesling.


The same can be said for the 2020 Sheldrake Point Gewurztraminer. I liked the 2020 Sheldrake Point Riesling and scored it a WINNER, the Gewurztraminer is not as good, but that is fine, this is another wine made for those with a sweeter tooth.

The shocker for me, in my previous tastings at home, was the 2020 Unorthodox Sauvignon Blanc! Look, I have had their wines for years, and they have all made me unhappy. This is, honestly, the first Unorthodox wines, of any sort, that I have liked. Solid deal.

The rest of the good to great QPR wines are all Cali. There were three more wines from 2016 and 2018 at Hagafen that I liked but not as much as the ones above. The 2016 Hagafen Merlot, Prix, Reserve, 2016 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon, Prix, Reserve, MJT, and 2018 Hagafen Merlot, are nice enough wines. They lack complexity and tug to make me more interested.

Wines that are either good but too expensive or average (AKA EVEN):

The only wine I wanted to highlight is the 2019 Hajdu Montepulciano. It is a lovely wine that while I enjoyed it is just too expensive for the value.

Wines that are either OK but far too expensive or bad wines (AKA BAD):

I wanted to highlight the 2019 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2019 Covenant Chardonnay, Lavan. They are nice enough wines but not like the days of old, and expensive. The same idea can be said for the 2017 Hagafen Chardonnay, Prix.

There are also, many duds to losers and I will just leave you to peruse the names and scores down below.

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2017 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah – Score: 94 (QPR: WINNER)
This is a super elegant, floral, and feminine wine, bravo!! The nose on this wine is beautiful, showing floral notes of violet, white flowers, with blueberry, black fruit, smoke, roasted duck, earth, and loads of smoke, dirt, and loam. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is so elegant, layered, concentrated, earthy, fruity, smoky, and richly extracted, with boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry, plum, smoke, earth, loam, and lovely sweet cedar, with green notes, sweet tobacco, sweet basil, and lovely acid. The finish is long, green, with draping elegant tannin, sweet smoking tobacco, dark chocolate, white pepper, and anise. Bravo!! Drink from 2025 until 2035. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico – Score: 92+ (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is lovely, with ripe notes, which is classic for a Chianti so young, with classic notes of burnt rubber, balsamic vinegar, rich smoke, incredible mineral, dark red fruit, menthol, and roasted animal, with loads of roasted herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, richly extracted ripe, and layered, with incredible acidity, this has to be the highest acid we have ever tasted on Terra di Seta wines, the body is lighter than previous vintages, with incredibly ripe fruit, at the start, but the crazy acidity makes it work, with dark plum, rich ripe cherry, menthol galore, with incredible minerality, showing saline, rocks, charcoal, with light tannins, showing beautiful mouthfeel but after a short time the mouthfeel goes thin and the fruit-focus is gone, this is a strange wine indeed! The finish is a bit short, with lovely smoke, mineral, dark chocolate-covered espresso, with more dried herbs, oregano, and dried mint. Drink by 2027. I am surprised by this wine, I will need to see where this goes, for now, I like it, and I will buy more, but it may not be for long holding.
OK, so that was the notes after opening the bottle and tasting. The next day – the wine evolved into the classic wine we all take for granted! Now the nose is intoxicating, the ripeness has calmed down greatly, as I expected, but now the nose is dominated by lovely dried porcini mushrooms, dense fruit, menthol, smoke, roasted duck, and soya sauce galore, wow what a nose!! The mouth has evolved beautifully, and while the tannins are still gentler than in previous vintages the wine is lush, plush, and mouth-filling, the hole or shortness is gone, and now it is everything I want in a wine, though the weight has not filled out and I think this is just a lighter wine but the tannins are draping and mouth-filling, elegance is clear and the wine is lovely. This is a wine that can be enjoyed earlier than previous vintages, the minerality on this one is off the charts! 2018 is richer and fuller, while 2019 is more elegant, simply stated. Bravo!! Drink from 2022 until 2029, if you want it now, decant for 5 hours or take a glass, close it and enjoy it the next day. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Cantina del Redi Pleos Toscana Sangiovese – Score: 91+ (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is classic, dirty, earthy, smoky, with controlled ripe fruit, nice structure and loads of earth, lovely floral notes of rose and violet, and dark fruit in the background. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, and concentrated with nice extraction, showing nice acidity, rich fruit-focus, with black plum, strawberry, dark raspberry, hints of blackberry, with an intense acid and mineral core, showing richness, with layers of fruit, dirt, earth, charcoal, rosehip, mouth-draping tannin, and lovely structure. The finish is long, dark, with hints of green, mushroom, red and dark fruit, tannin, more floral notes, and earth lingering long, with coffee, and leather. Nice!! Drink until 2026. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib Pinot Noir – Score: 91+ (QPR: WINNER)
This is the first Capcanes wine I would buy since 2015 – I hope this is a sign for more good news in the future. The nose on this wine is well-balanced and very classic for a Pinot Noir in a warm climate like Spain or Cali, with nice warm spices, strawberry, black fruit, lovely rose water, rose petals, rich earth, smoke, and nice green notes. With time, the nose turns darker, but still controlled, with black fruit, more smoke, rich earth, bright fruit, and good floral aromas. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is lovely, it starts with the acid core, followed by the layers of sweet but balanced fruit, ripe strawberry, cranberry, candied dark cherry, with coca-cola, nice smoke, sweet oak, nice tannin, and roasted herbs, very nice! The finish is green and red with lovely tart cherry, saline, mineral, smoke, acid, and coffee grinds. Very nice! Drink until 2027. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Hagafen Riesling, Off-Dry (M) – Score: 91+ (QPR: WINNER)
While I was not a fan of the 2018 vintage, 2019 is quite a nice wine! The nose on this wine is almost intoxicating, very pretty, rich floral notes, violet, with lime, Meyer lemon, crazy honeysuckle, with rich saline. The mouth on this richly layered medium-plus-bodied wine is nice, sweet as expected, but well balanced, with good acidity, great saline, fun and refreshing, with citrus, orange, Orange peel, and honeyed pear and lemon-lime, nice! Drink until 2027. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Chateau D’Arveyres Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
Chateau D’Arveyres is back! This vintage is nice, and no it is not for long holding, but nice now. The nose on this wine shows nicely, with notes of roasted mint, herb, bright black and red fruit, mineral, loam, dirt, and lovely foliage. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a lovely mouthfeel, with good acidity, fruit-focus, with blackberry, tart raspberry, red plum, crazy acidity, nice mineral, saline, green olives, smoke, tar, and a lovely tactile feel to the mouth that grabs you with nice tannin and good green notes. The finish is long, green, earthy, smoky, tart, and showing graphite, with hints of tar and charcoal. Nice! Drink until 2023. (tasted March 2021)

2016 Chateau La Clare Grand Vin de Bordeaux (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
In comparison to the 2017 Chateau de BY, this wine is well balanced, plush, and fun, and yes – Mevushal. The nose on this wine is balanced, showing aromas of red, black, and blue fruit, with green notes, foliage, herb, mint, anise, followed by smoke, tar, and lovely vanilla. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is as plush as the 17 Chateau de BY, but the control is better, with sweet notes, ripe fruit, with blueberry, juicy strawberry, ripe blackberry, and better acidity than the 17 Chateau de BY, with hints of heat, there is some scary brooding fruit there, time will tell, with mineral, and more foliage. The finish is long, ripe, green, with mouth draping tannin, along with milk chocolate, tobacco, and more ripe fruit, mineral, graphite, and black fruit on the long linger. With time, this wine emerges, the heat calms down, the ripe black notes are still there but also calm down, with lovely smoke, mushroom, earth, dirt, tar, green notes, herbs, mineral, and lovely acid. Drink until 2027, probably longer. (tasted March 2021)

2018 Vieux Chateau Chambeau Reserve – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is dense, rich, and fruity, with good control, smoke, earth, black fruit, red berries, with rich mineral, graphite, currants, and lovely saline. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered, rich, and concentrated with red fruit, currants, dried cherry, blackberry, hints of plum, rich fruit- focus, with lovely acidity, green notes, foliage, mint, and asparagus, lovely! The finish is long, green, dense, smoky, earthy, with lovely foliage, dark chocolate, smoking tobacco, tar, and roasted animal, lovely! Drink from 2023 until 2031. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Hagafen Cabernet Franc (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This is a lovely wine, it is rich, varietally true, and quite enjoyable. The nose on this wine is nice, spicy, showing red fruit, lovely minerality, earth, dirt, smoke, and lovely green notes, lovely! The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is well-balanced, rich, layered, plush, and elegant, with sweet oak, lovely smoke, roasted animal, rich salinity, mineral, graphite, with nice draping tannin, dark plum, cherry, blackberries, and rich loam. The finish is long, green, fruity, with butterscotch, rich vanilla, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, really nice! Drink until 2026. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
Another solid cab, great acid, lovely fruit, refreshing, even with American Oak, showing nice green notes, menthol, sweet dill, mint, vanilla, earth, red and black fruit, green notes, and foliage. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is well balanced, plush, concentrated, with gripping tannin, earth, smoke, blackberry, dark raspberry, plum, and nice fruit, with mineral, graphite, and smoke. The finish is long, fruity, balanced, with tart blackberry, vanilla, and dark chocolate lingering long. Nice! Drink by 2027. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Chenaie du Bourdieu Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
The wine is a bit slow to start but with time shows beautifully. The nose on this wine is lovely, with great notes of blue fruit, along with red and black fruit, that gives way to cherry, sweet oak, foliage, and nice garrigue. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, balanced, well made, with sweet oak, tobacco galore, with great acidity, gripping tannin, that give way to blackberry, sweet blueberry, cedar galore, dark cherry, loam, and green notes. The finish on this wine is rich, layered, and ripe, but well-controlled, with milk chocolate, menthol, tar, graphite, anise, with dark fruit and garrigue lingering long. Nice! drink by 2024. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Unorthodox Sauvignon Blanc (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a solid, fun, simple, Sauvignon Blanc with good acidity, classic notes, and enough to make me happy. The nose on this wine opens a bit slowly, but with time it shows ripe gooseberry, flint, orange blossom, hints of nectarines, guava, and passion fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, it has good acidity, I would have liked a drop more, it is round, it is ripe, but it is still balanced enough, and shows enough fun notes of passion fruit, gooseberry, flint, pomelo, and citrus, with flint and green notes galore. The finish is lovely, tart, green, and showing more acidity than in the front, with more citrus, guava, and passion fruit on a long finish. Nice! Drink now. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Sheldrake Point Gewurztraminer – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
While I like this wine it does not have the same pull as the lovely Riesling. This wine as well shows the RS (Residual Sugar), which comes in at .8% RS. The nose on this wine is muted to start, with time the wine opens to show pineapple, peach, guava, orange, orange blossom, floral notes, and sweet notes. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine has enough weight and acidity to grab your attention but after that, it lacks the intensity to take it to the next level. The mouth has nice enough acid, with kiwi, guava, pineapple, floral notes, and spice. The finish starts a bit short but completes with good sweet notes, acid, heather, and sweet spices. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Golan Heights Winery Riesling – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
The Gamla/Gilgal Riesling is essentially like the Golan Heights Winery Coca-Cola product, even in a horrible 2019 vintage, they make a perfectly fine, off-dry, Riesling, that most people would find highly enjoyable. The nose on this wine is sweet and tropical, with notes of pineapple, guava, kiwi, and lychee, with lovely orange blossom, honeysuckle, sweet mandarin orange, and spice. The mouth on this well-balanced, medium-bodied wine is well made, with bracing acidity, nice mineral, good spice, and a nice fruit focus that makes this wine very nice. The finish is long, tropical, well-balanced, with flint, more pineapple, honeyed peach, honeysuckle, and rich spices. Nice! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Bartenura Prosecco Rose (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Noir. This wine is a revelation, for those that like simple sparkling wine, not as complicated as Cava or Cremant but very nice nonetheless, and the rose aspect adds to the fun. The nose on this sparkling wine is fun, it is made, like all Prosecco using the Charmat method, and the notes are clean with strawberry, raspberry, lemon/lime, a bit of crème, and orange blossom with orange notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, the acidity is excellent, crisp, rich, and the fruit has enough focus to keep your attention, with notes of cranberry, quince, lemon/lime, hints of black peppercorns, and nice slate. Drink now! (tasted March 2021)

2018 Secret des Chevaliers Grand Reserve (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This being a 2018 vintage I was worried about wine with so much Merlot but it showed well overall, though you could taste the mevushal effect on the end of the finish. The nose on this wine is quite nice, it shows nice floral notes with red berries, nice loam, green notes, wet dirt, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, floral, feminine, with cranberry, currant, with nice tannin, with green notes of asparagus, artichoke, and nice mineral. The finish is long, green, floral, and smoky, very nice! Drink until 2024. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon, Prix, Reserve, MJT (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This was another hit – Hagafen had many of them during this visit. This was another well-balanced wine with good fruit and acidity. The nose on this wine was nice, showing bright red and black fruit, with green notes, anise, saline, smoke, and tar. The mouth on this medium-plus-bodied wine was rich, layered, but well balanced, with great acidity, lovely fruit focus, blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, and lovely green notes, menthol, nice earth, cacao, and smoke. Bravo! Drink until 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Hagafen Merlot, Prix, Reserve (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This was the first red wine I liked and bought for a few years now from Hagafen winery. To me, the tasting showed well, and overall, the winery seems to have tilted in the correct direction. The nose on this Merlot is really solid, with nice dirt, smoke, toast, sweet but well-controlled fruit, brightness, and nice mineral. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, but well balanced, with great acidity, showing a lovely plush and rich tannin structure, with nice ripe black and blue fruit, blackberry, blueberry, elegant, cloves, sweet dill, nice smoke, saline, and graphite, well made, nice! Drink until 2026 (tasted April 2021)

2018 Hagafen Merlot (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
This 2018 wine is not as nice as the Cabernet Franc or the Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is quite nice all the same. This is another hit, solid wine, really nice, well balanced. The nose on this wine is riper than the other 2018 wines, with ripe black fruit, tart red fruit, smoke, and earth. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has nice acidity, great ripe blackberry, raspberry, cherry, with smoke, sweet oak, sweet dill, green notes of mint, menthol, and oregano, with sweet fruit, brooding fruit in the long finish, green, and vanilla. Drink until 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Hajdu Montepulciano – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
So, I have been very hard on California wines, Herzog and Banyo have been the best, but even they have been given low scores. California is moving riper and if it helps to sell wine good for them, I will just spend my time and money elsewhere. This wine is not unbalanced. In the end, when I rail on wines it is because the ripeness is not balanced with mineral or acidity, in this case, it is balanced, for now. For now, I am excited about this wine, it shows bright notes of blue and black fruit, it is ripe, this is very New-World, it has control, with enough brightness, so far to pull off this wine, with licorice, sweet oak, and nice mineral, with sweet herbs, and spice. The mouth on this medium-bodied plus wine has what I crave, ACID, really well done, balanced, and true acidity, with layers of dark and brooding fruit, leather, spice, blackberry, yes plum, with tart boysenberry, strawberry, but not prune, with a lovely mouthfeel, rich salinity, very nice tactile drying tannin, that gives way to clean mineral, saline, and spice. The finish, again, for now, is long, clean, with nice acidity, dark chocolate, lovely control, spice, earth, smoke, garrigue, charcoal, and graphite, with black and blue fruit that give you a long lingering feeling. Bravo! Drink from 2022 until 2025. (tasted March 2021)

2018 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc, Prix (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine starts oaky but with time it calms down to show a lovely buttery wine that is well balanced with good acidity, smoke, and fruit. The nose on this wine is oaky, with nice bright fruit, gooseberry, lemon, butterscotch, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich, layered, and oaky, with nice acidity, lovely peach, apricot, tart green apple, with nice sweet oak, and nice citrus, lovely. Drink by 2024. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Gendraud Patrice Chablis – Score: 89+ (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is lovely, with green notes galore, yellow blossom, asparagus, orange notes, orange blossom, green apple, and flint galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, tart, rich, and fun, with green apple, peach, and toast, with lovely mineral, and good foliage. The finish is long, green, acidic, screaming lemon, and grapefruit. Drink until 2023. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Tishbi Gewurztaminer – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is good enough, it is off-dry and not very captivating. The nose on this wine shows pineapple, soap, wax, guava, peach, lychee, intense spice, smoke, and citrus. The mouth on this weighty medium-bodied wine shows a good mouthfeel, with an almost oily texture, jasmine, pineapple, tangerine, smoke, and loads of sweet fruit, mango, and guava, but it has good acidity, sweet spices of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and rosewater. The finish is long, sweet, and balanced. Nice. Drink now. (tasted May 2021)

2020 Vitkin Israeli Journey – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 45% Colombard, 15% Grenache Blanc, 15% Chenin, 15% Viognier, and 10% Gewurztraminer. This vintage is not as good as 2019. The nose on this wine is round, flat, but still not bad, with loads of soap, pineapple, and sweet notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, a bit round, with great fruit focus, but it is a bit short, round, and it has nice fruit from the nose, with rock, flint, and foliage. drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is flat and so is the wine, showing notes of peach, apple, citrus, and some citrus blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a bit more weight than other Sauvignon Blanc, but the wine is bland, it has fruit, some guava, passion fruit, and pomelo, but not much else. The finish is long, green, with loads of lemon pith. Drink Now. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Domaine De Panquelaine Coteaux Du Giennois (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is nice, it is the strong suit for this wine with notes of gooseberry, orange blossom, orange notes, heat, flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ok, the acidity is good enough but it is too round and plain, IMHO, a bit flat, good enough, with gooseberry, flint, orange, nectarines, and some more acid. Drink now (tasted April 2021)

2019 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Petit Verdot. The nose on this wine is ripe, with sweet tobacco, roasted herbs, blue fruit, and smoke galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, round, and sweet, with sweet tobacco, mint, sweet menthol, herbs, basil, and ripe fruit, with oregano, and loads of candied fruit, and date juice on the long finish. Drink by 2028. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is also a flint monster, but where the rose had a hollow this is more balanced, but it is very uniform and lacks complexity. The nose on this wine is first and foremost flint, followed by flint, followed by pear, apple, gooseberry, and more flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, it has enough acid to work, the flint is lovely, along with smoke, great fruit, lemon/lime, grapefruit, gooseberry, pear, and saline. The finish is long, green, passion fruit, and more mineral, smoke, and flint. Sadly, after an hour the wine falls apart and the flint is gone, the fruit is gone and it becomes a hollow of its older self. Drink now! (tasted May 2021)

2019 Golan Heights Winery Pinot Noir, Gilgal (Gamla) – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
No matter what they make red Yarden, AKA, Golan Heights Winery cannot help themselves but to make ripe Pinot Noir, I should just stop hoping. The nose on this wine is ripe, but also tart, with ripe notes of pomegranate, Rooibos, with deeply candied cherry, nice earth, and mineral. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is all over the place, no focus, with nothing really interesting, just heat, ripe fruit, and not much else, other than the ripe pomegranate, cherry, plum, and almost date-like notes. The finish is ripe and that is all I get. Drink by 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Shiran Chardonnay – Score: 90 (QPR: POOR)
Again, my main issue with this wine is the price, $35 for a nice enough white wine, there are cheaper and better options, but it is a well-made wine. The nose on this wine is clean, with lovely minerality, toast, and flint. with citrus, white flowers, orange blossom, and tart stone fruit. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine has lovely acidity and fruit-focus, with a nice mineral core, all wrapping tart green apple, quince, pear, and gooseberry. The finish is long, green, tart, with an almost tannin structure, with intense minerality, acidity, slate, rock, and saline. Nicely done! (tasted March 2021)

2016 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Prix, Reserve (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
The wine is nice enough, again there is nothing to grab me here. The nose on this wine is classic Cali Pinot, with loads of sweet oak, sweet dill, sweet spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark ripe cherry, and loads of toast. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, Cali-ripe, with more smoke, toast, Kirsch cherry, nice draping tannin, and that is about it. To me, it is a bit too ripe, not balanced enough, with more oak than I care for. Drink until 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2017 Chateau de By Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 87 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is riper than the 13% ABV it says on the label, wow! This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is ripe, but what is strange is the blue and black notes that are not common for this wine, in the past, with notes of prune, heat, loads of ripe notes, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is too ripe for me, it is not date-juice, but it is too ripe and unbalanced, IMHO, showing blackberry, dried plum, prune, smoke, green notes, blueberry, but it is also plush and will work for those that like red wine to be riper. The finish is long, ripe, sweet, with foliage, and loads of fruit, and mineral. Drink by 2025. (tasted March 2021)

2017 Hagafen Chardonnay, Prix (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: BAD)
The wine is fine, it has no flaws. The wine was aged 13 months in Oak. While the wine is nice, it does not grab me. It has very nice acidity, nice weight, but lacks complexity, with tart pear and apple. Drink now. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Hagafen Pinot Noir (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is ripe but more controlled than the Gilgal/Gamla Pinot Noir, with a more controlled approach to winemaking than in previous vintages, showing nice sweet oak, sweet dill, vanilla, cinnamon, dark red fruit, roasted herbs, smoked animal (Almost Bacon) and smoke galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, Cali ripe, but not date ripe, with good acidity, dark plum, dark cherry, sweet oak, toast, burnt notes, and menthol. The finish is long, ripe, red, and smoky, with more smoked meat, vanilla, graphite, earth, and candied cherry lingering long. Drink by 2026. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Tabor Eco, White – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
45% Viognier, 40% Roussanne, and 15% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is pure oak juice and peach, with apricot, straw, smoke, white pepper, star anise, and Asian pear. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ok, with enough acidity, toast, Asian pear, green apple, peach, and apricot, with sweet oak, and green notes. The finish is long, green, oaky, peach, and has enough acidity to make it work. Drink now!!! (tasted April 2021)

2019 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
This a well-made wine with good structure but it could have used a bit more acid and a bit less fruit. The nose on this wine is the best feature of this wine with lovely pencil shavings, smoke, dirt, earth, black tea, sweet notes, and loam. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, and there lies the issue, it is richly extracted but the fruitiness is too much for me, with sweet blackberry jam, sweet oak, earth, bracing tannin, nice acidity, and green notes. The finish is long, sweet, earthy, and riper blueberry and blackberry. Drink from 2023 until 2030. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Covenant Lavan Chardonnay – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is ripe, oak, and not very complex, still a fine wine with pear, peach, apple, more oak, and butterscotch galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied-wine is not complex but what is worse is that it feels hollow, it has the oak, the buttered bread, the smoke, toast, and apple, but it lacks anything to grab me and say – hey I am here. There is acid, but not enough to bring this all together. The finish is short, with smoke, toast, and some nice sweet spices. Drink by 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Hajdu Grenache – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is nice it is still well balanced but it lacks the intense acidity of the Montepulciano and while it is well-balanced I wish it had a bit more acid. The nose on this wine is ripe, balanced, yet more milk chocolate, but with notes of garrigue, graphite, roasted herb, smoke, roasted meat, and green notes, nice! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is balanced, but riper than the Montepulciano, with green notes, blackberry, ripe and juicy boysenberry, ripe strawberry, and rosehip, with nice floral notes, all wrapped in sweet oak and mouth-drying tannin, more chocolate, and mineral. The finish is long, green, dark, smoky, milky, and chocolate, with good acidity, earth, and ripe notes. Sadly, this wine evolved into the overripe fruit bomb I was worried it would. The Montepulciano has a chance to evolve over the next 2 years. Drink until 2023. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Hagafen Don Ernesto’s Ah-Ha! (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
This wine, like all Zinfandel wines, is ripe. It does have the acidity to balance out the fruit, but in the end, the ripeness just does me in. The nose and body show nice acidity, ripe black and red fruit, with cherry, sweet spices, and loads of heat to start, with green notes, smoke, and earth. Drink by 2024. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Hagafen Melange, Prix, Reserve (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
We had this wine after all the lovely 2016 and 2018 wines and I found this wine too ripe, too unbalanced, and not for me. To me this wine was so all over the place, just really ripe, concentrated, with loads of blackberry, plum, candied fruit, and some dirt. In the end, not for me. Drink until 2026. (tasted April 2021)

2017 Herzog Quartet (M) – Score: 85 (QPR: BAD)
The wine is not for me, it is very ripe, candied, and lacks the balance to bring it all together. The oak is overhanded as is the fruit. I am sure some will like the full-bodied wine with blue and black fruit, but for me, it was too much. Drink by 2025. (tasted April 2021)

2017 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, Premier Cru – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
Sadly, this wine has died, which makes me very sad, it was lovely before and now it has fallen off the cliff, with muted notes, no acid, and loads of lemon juice, and lemon acidity, and not much else. Drink now!! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Domaine De Panquelaine Sancerre (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is simple, round, boring, and fruity, really need to write no more than that. The nose on this wine is boring with gooseberry, funk, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is boring, round, almost no acid, with gooseberry nectarines, and flint. Sad. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2018 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, Le Classique (M) – Score: 83 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is dying, so sad, it has green notes, green apple, pear, and then not much else. The mouth on this wine has acid and nothing else, with lemon, apple, and that is it. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Terra Vega Sauvignon Blanc (M) – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is cooked and uninteresting – sadly. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Flam Classico – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This is an OK wine, the wine is all over the place and it does not come together. This wine is a blend of 42% merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. The nose on this wine is ripe, fruity, with green notes, blueberry, blackberry, and earth. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, sweet, with a short finish, with nice pencil shavings, earth, black fruit, but it is round and not enough acid. The finish is short and boring. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2019 Twin Suns Pinot Noir – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This is another candied Cali Pinot Noir, if this your style buy some, however, for me, it is a hard pass. The nose on this wine is too ripe for me, candied, with loads of smoke, toast, sweet oak, and sweet candied cherry, sweet dill, and candied red fruit. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is ripe, concentrated, and candied with candied raspberry, candied cherry, good acidity, nice sweet tannin, and loads of sweet oak, dill, and some earth, with vanilla, and too much ripe fruit for me. The finish is long, ripe, chocolate milk-covered candied cherry, and not much else. Drink by 2026. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Vanita Nero d’Avola – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
Sorry, I had high hopes for this uniquely kosher wine, but it is like another average, or below-average European wine, boring and hard to enjoy.
The nose on this wine is green, floral, and without anything to grab me, showing intense rosehip, rose water, licorice, and green notes, with red fruit, and not much else. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is green, burnt, and boring, too much of nothing and not interesting, the acidity is great, but the fruit of burnt currant and cherry, is not interesting and the flower petals are all this wine has, with hot peppers with OK tannin. The finish is long, acidic, and dank, with more floral notes, overpowering this mouth, along with burnt notes and nothing fun. Drink until 2023. (tasted April 2021)

2019 Chateau le Petit Chaban (M) – Score: 79 (QPR: NA)
This wine is another small boring Bordeaux that is empty outside of white pepper, jalapeno, and green notes galore. The mouth in under-ripe, cheap, boring wine, with good acidity, green notes, and more jalapeno. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2019 Chateau Mayne Guyon Grand Vin (M) – Score: 77 (QPR: NA)
This wine is hollow, boring, and uninspiring. The nose on this wine is cheap, green, and under-ripe. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is under-ripe, green, hollow, with a bit of tannin, and not much else. Drink now (tasted April 2021)

2018 Tabor Eco, Red – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
This wine smells like pure date juice, hot, with nothing fun to write about, and many offensive things that I did not write. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is ripe, and hot, and sweet, and boring, and I do not like it, it has acid, and that is about it. Drink now if you can. (tasted April 2021)

2013 Ella Valley Cabernet Franc – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
The nose on this wine is nice but the mouth is a pure mess. The nose is ripe, green, and a bit off-balance. The mouth on this wine is ripe, date juice, and undrinkable. Drink now if you can. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Binyamina Chardonnay, The Chosen – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
This wine is flat, boring, and useless. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Festa D’Estate Pinot Grigio (M) – Score: 65 (QPR: NA)
This wine is worse than the Terra Vega so yeah, let us move on, cooked, flat, lifeless, and not interesting. (tasted March 2021)

2019 Binah Chambourcin – Score: 65 (QPR: NA)
This wine is not even one I would want to write notes on beyond the fact that it is ripe and yet empty. It is sad as there are hope and desire for great kosher wines and while I wish them luck so far the two wines I have tasted from Binah – I am left feeling empty. (tasted March 2021)

2017 Segal Cabernet Sauvignon, Dishon – Score: 60 (QPR: NA)
The wine is undrinkable – not for me. Pure Date Juice, round, boring. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Tabor Merlot, Adama – Score: 55 (QPR: NA)
NO, this is all I can write, worst of all the wines so far today – congratulations for all the wrong reasons. (tasted April 2021)

2017 Tabor Shiraz, Adama – Score: 52 (QPR: NA)
Another horrible wine, this is flat, metallic, date juice – not an easy thing to do – move on! (tasted April 2021)

2018 Matar Startus – Score: 52 (QPR: NA)
Undrinkable – pure pain that is not describable in notes. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Matar Cumulus – Score: 52 (QPR: NA)
This wine is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. This is a really bad wine, the only saving grace is lovely pencil shavings, but after that, it is a total mess, date juice, and not much else. This is ripe, full-bodied, and undrinkable. So sad. Drink now. (tasted April 2021)

2018 Celler de Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib (M) – Score: 45 (QPR: NA)
This wine is badly cooked it is a true mess. This is the Mevushal version of the 2018 Peraj Ha’abib and this is a pure mess. This wine is a blend of 35% Carignan, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Grenache. No thanks! (tasted April 2021)

Posted on May 27, 2021, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, QPR Post, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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