Another round of QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) Hits and Misses, Six WINNERS – October 2021

To start – I really must state something in advance. I am sorry that I missed the chance to properly remember the 10th Yahrzeit of Daniel Rogov’s passing, which occurred on September 7th, 2011 (it may have been the 6th but Israel time and all).

I wrote two of my posts about the man, you can read them here and as such, I will simply say that I miss him as do most of the kosher wine drinking public. So much has changed in the past 10 years, since his passing, and I wonder what kosher wine would be like today if he was still with us. So much of the world is open to the kosher wine world, which was not the case 10 years ago. I wonder if Rogov would have embraced the opening. I wonder if he would have liked or disliked the fact that Israel is producing and importing loads of kosher wine from France and Italy, specially made for the Israeli kosher wine buying community.

I think, in the end, he would have loved all that is changing and we are all worse off by his lack of presence in our lives today. So I raised a glass of 2011 Yarden Blanc de Blanc in his memory and may we all be blessed for having known such a man!

QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) Wines

It has been a few months since my last QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) post and many people have been emailing me about some unique wine I have tasted and some lovely wines that are worth writing about.

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 Herzog Wines’s new 2019 Herzog Eagle’ Landing Pinot Noir, and a few others. It goes to show that when wineries reasonably price superior wines, even 46 dollar wines can be a QPR winner! Sadly, the Eagle’s Landing Pinot Noir is the most superior wine on this list. There are other nice wines to come but for now – this QPR wine list, overall, was not as good as previous lists.

We have an OK list of QPR WINNERS:

  1. 2019 Herzog Eagle’ Landing Pinot Noir
  2. 2017 Netofa Dor
  3. 2019 Chateau Genlaire Grand Vin de Bordeaux
  4. 2019 Elvi Vina Encina Blanco
  5. 2019 Pacifica Riesling, Evan’s Collection
  6. 2020 Domaine Guillerault Fargette Sancerre

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

  1. 2020 Domaine Joost de Villebois Pouilly Fume
  2. 2019 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin
  3. 2019 Nana Chenin Blanc
  4. 2019 Nana Cassiopeia
  5. 2015 Mad Aleph Blaufrankisch
  6. 2019 Aura di Valerie Zaffiro Super Tuscan
  7. 2020 Vitkin Israeli Journey, Red
  8. 2020 Domaine du Castel La Vie Blanc de Castel
  9. 2019 Herzog Malbec, Lineage, Clarksburg – GREAT Value for a varietal I am not a huge fan of
  10. 2020 Herzog Variations Be-leaf
  11. 2018 Binyamina Sapphire, The Chosen
  12. 2020 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc
  13. 2020 Bodegas Faustino VI Rioja
  14. 2020 Yatir Darom Rose
  15. 2020 Recanati Marselan Rose
  16. 2020 Arroyo del Imperio Chardonnay

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

  1. 2020 Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, Acacia Barrel Series – very unique but expensive
  2. N.V. Herzog Methode Champenoise, Special Reserve – Nice but expensive
  3. 2020 Herzog Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, Special Edition – Nice but expensive
  4. 2019 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico – very unique but expensive
  5. 2020 Matar Chardonnay
  6. 2019 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib, Flor de Primavera – Still too ripe for me
  7. 2019 Weinstock Cabernet Sauvignon, Cellar Select
  8. 2020 Psagot Sinai, White
  9. N.V. Drappier Rose de Saignee, Champagne
  10. 2018 Les Lauriers de Rothschild
  11. 2020 Pacifica Rattlesnake Hills Viognier
  12. N.V. Vera Wang Party Prosecco, Brut
  13. 2019 Or Haganuz Elima
  14. 2019 Binyamina Chardonnay, Moshava

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

  1. 2018 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70 – Lovely wine but expensive for the quality
  2. 2019 Hagafen Family Vineyard Red Blend – Lovely wine but expensive for the quality
  3. 2020 Binyamina Moshava Rose
  4. 2019 Yatir Creek White
  5. 2019 Domaine du Castel La Vie, Rouge du Castel
  6. 2017 Barons Edmond & Benjamin de Rothschild
  7. 2018 Domaine du Castel M du Castel
  8. 2020 Padre Bendicho Rose
  9. 2020 Carmel Private Collection Rose
  10. 2020 Yatir Darom White
  11. 2019 Nana Chardonnay
  12. 2019 Segal Marawi Native
  13. 2019 Mia Luce Blanc
  14. 2019 Nana Tethys
  15. 2018 Odem Mountain 1060 Cabernet Franc
  16. 2018 Odem Mountain 1060 Red Wine
  17. 2017 Odem Mountain Alfasi, Special Reserve
  18. 2019 Mia Luce Syrah and Stems
  19. 2019 Mia Luce C.S.M.
  20. 2017 Tabor Merlot, Adama
  21. 2017 Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon 1/11,000, Limited Edition
  22. 2019 Chateau de Parsac
  23. 2019 Gurra di Mare Tirsat
  24. 2017 Tulip Espero
  25. 2019 Psagot Merlot
  26. 2019 Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon
  27. 2018 Jezreel Icon
  28. 2019 Psagot Edom
  29. 2017 The Cave
  30. 2018 Carmel Mediterranean
  31. 2020 Yatir Mount Amasa Rose
  32. 2020 Flam Camellia
  33. 2020 Netofa Latour, White

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

The real WINNER here, from the entire list, is the lovely 2019 Herzog Eagle’s Landing Pinot Noir, another STUNNING Pinot Noir from Herzog – BRAVO!

There were other high-scoring wines in this overall list, nice wines from Covenant and others, but the prices of those wines put them at a disadvantage in comparison to others in their wine categories, and as such, they have poor to bad QPR wine scores.

In the end, IMHO, the overall list has less quality than the previous QPR list but there are a few nice wines here indeed.

The other WINNERS were the incredible 2019 Elvi Vina Encina Blanco, a lovely Macabeo for 13 dollars! Just lovely! The 2019 Pacifica Riesling, Evan’s Collection, is not as good as previous vintages – but another solid wine that many will enjoy. Finally, we have a Sancerre that I can get up and cheer about and that is the 2020 Domaine Guillerault Fargette Sancerre. It is here in the USA and it is nice!

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

Of these GOOD to GREAT wines – the most interesting of the list, for me, is the 2020 Domaine Joost de Villebois Pouilly Fume. No, it is not as good as the lovely 2019 Jean Pierre Bailly Pouilly Fume, still, it is a Mevushal wine that is reasonably priced, so it gets a solid QPR score. The 2019 Nana Chenin Blanc is nice, but for the price, it is not worth it, and it is DRINK NOW!

The 2019 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin, is nice, yes, but it is too ripe for me and the price is too much for the quality it is, so yeah, nice wine for those that like this style. The 2019 Nana Cassiopeia, is a wine that I found I could taste and at a decent enough price, so yeah, good going.

The 2015 Mad Aleph Blaufrankisch has so many stories revolving around it, that all I can say is, drink it if you like the style. I found it OK, but I do not need to buy any more.

The 2019 Aura di Valerie Zaffiro Super Tuscan is nice enough, but really, why did you need to put those words on the bottle? A Super Tuscon is a term used to describe red wines from Tuscany that may include non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The creation of super Tuscan wines resulted from the frustration winemakers had towards a slow bureaucracy in changing Italy’s wine law during the 1970s (from WineFolly). Why would you place those words on a wine bottle??

The 2019 Herzog Malbec, Lineage is a solid example of what reasonably priced wine from California can taste like! Finally, the newly released 2020 Herzog Variations Be-leaf – handily beats all other no-added sulfite options!

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

There are a few EVEN QPR scoring wines that I want to talk about. The 2020 Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, Acacia Barrel Series is very cool but the price is a bit too steep for the wine’s quality. The 2019 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico, is also nice, but for the price I can buy almost 3 Terra Di Seta Chianti Classico. So, yes it is different in style but not at 3x the value. Finally, the 2019 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib, Flor de Primavera is still a ripe fruit bomb wine and I continue to miss the good old days of Capcanes.

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

I wanted to highlight the 2018 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70. It is a nice wine, but again, for the quality, the price is too high, so the QPR score is low. The same can be said for the 2019 Hagafen Family Vineyard Red Blend. It is a nice wine, just too expensive for the quality.

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:

2019 Herzog Eagle’ Landing Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, CA – Score: 93 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose starts a bit warm but with air that blows off and turns classically inclined. The nose on this lovely wine shows notes of Cherry cola, lovely smoke, dirt, forest floor, and nice rosehip. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine starts a bit underwhelming, yes it is nice, but it shows a bit hollow, with intense spice, cloves, good acidity, soft tannin, strawberry, dark cherry cola, nice menthol, good acidity, a bit hollow, with sweet spices, and good loam. The finish is long, and here the tannin kicks in with more acid, orange pith, smoke, garrigue, and lovely toast. Nice.
With time, and I mean a FULL day, the wine fully opens, the wine was not ready for primetime. The nose did not change, and that was never the issue, still beautifully aromatic and varietally true. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine has finally come around, it now shows lovely oak, sweet dill, sweet vanilla, dark cherry cola, perfectly balanced mouthfeel, refreshing and balanced, with great fruit focus, searing tannin, lovely acid, sweet but balanced cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and loam, with forest floor, and rich menthol, dirt, and sweet spices. The finish is super long, tannic, acidic, and spicy, with good balance, more sweet fruit, loam, dark coffee beans, and lovely sweet tobacco. Drink from 2024 until 2034. BRAVO! (tasted August 2021)

2017 Netofa Dor, Galilee – Score: 91+ (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine starts ripe, and it stays that way but it becomes more elegant with time, this wine needs time, I would decant at this point if you must have it now. Otherwise, I would wait a couple of years and let the wine come to you! After many hours the nose on this wine shows notes of charcoal, roasted meat, deep anise, dark chocolate, smoke, and nice roasted herbs, with dark red and black fruit. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is layered, rich, with deep minerality, with nice raspberry, dark strawberry, blueberry, lovely saline, with a plush mouthfeel (that is slow to come), with mouth-draping tannin, and good fruit focus. The finish is long, green, and smoky, with dark coffee beans, roasted herbs, rich charcoal, graphite, saline, and nice smoke. Nice! Drink from 2023 until 2027. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Chateau Genlaire Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superieur (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This is a fun wine and much better than the 2018 vintage. The nose on this wine is well balanced, with good smoke, dirt, fruit, blackberry, hints of blueberry, raspberry, and dark currants, with a perfumed smoky aroma, nice! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely with smoke, dirt, earth, good mouthfeel, lovely acid, nice mouth-coating tannin, with blackberry, dark cherry, good fruit-structure, earth, dirt, loam, and lovely unction. The finish is long, refreshing, tart, balanced, and well-made, with good acid, smoke, graphite, green notes, foliage, sweet tobacco, and sweet basil. Bravo!!! Drink by 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Elvi Vina Encina Blanco, La Mancha (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this Macabeo is lovely, dirty, stinky, funky, and mineral heaven, everything I want!! The nose on this wine is pure heaven, like the line from Field of Dreams, except the response is not Iowa, it is YES! The nose starts very funkily, a bit too funky, even for me, thankfully, a few minutes later, it turns lovely, with notes of funk, dirt, mineral, slate, smoke, flint, lemon, wax, tarragon, honeydew melon, walnut, and more citrus. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is lovely, the acid slaps you upside the head to start, followed by rich minerality, saline, flint, peach, tart grapefruit, biting quince, gooseberry, and screaming kafir lime and leaves – just lovely!! The finish is super long, tart, acidic, with more saline, slate, smoke, and rock, with tarragon, green notes galore, and smoke on the long finish. Drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Pacifica Riesling, Evan’s Collection, Washington State (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
Like all Rieslings, this one is still too young, but if you give it time, the Petrol notes I crave will come to you, I think we are 8 months out from those notes, and they will build with time. The nose on this wine is lovely, showing rich honeysuckle, honeyed sweet melon, honeydew melon, rich saline, nice flint, mineral, citrus, white flowers, and piercing brightness. The mouth on this almost full-bodied wine is by far their best, this is the 3rd vintage and the best, with crazy acidity, the driest they have ever made this lovely wine, with sweet notes, some residual sugar, perfectly balanced, with honeydew melon, key lime pie, orange notes, rich saline, Asian pear, ginger, smoke, and loads of sweet orange pith on a super long finish. Drink now if you must, but better drink from 2022 until 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Domaine Guillerault Fargette Sancerre, Sancerre – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
OK, finally, we have a wine I crave and at a good enough price to get to the next level. The nose on this wine is pure heaven, it is flint, dirt, smoke, salt, saline, and gooseberry, with yellow plum, honeysuckle, and chamomile. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a nice weight, with good acidity, great minerality, with rich Meyer lemon, gooseberry, smoke, flint, lime, quince, chive, and rich thyme. The finish is super long. dirty, green, smoky, and lasting, with more smoke, flint, saline, scraping minerality, and lovely foliage lingering long. Bravo!!! Drink until 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin, Judean Hills – Score: 91 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 15% Petit Verdot. This wine starts with too much oak influence, but give the wine some time and it will reward you. It took a day for the oak to recede, so either decant this wine for a few hours or follow the tasting window below. 
The nose on this wine is quite lovely after the big oak notes blow off. The nose shows notes of plum, black fruit, green notes, roasted herb, black tea, roasted meat, red cherry, rhubarb, and red pomegranate. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe but well-controlled, with nice red and blue fruit, blackberry, blueberry, dark cherry, nice mouth-draping tannin, good structure, and green notes that bring it all together. The finish is long, green, ripe, smoky, earthy, with good roasted herb, Cuban tobacco, and nice leather. Drink from 2023 until 2026. Yes, it is a strange short window, but the other best option is to decant the wine for 4 hours and enjoy. (tasted September 2021)

2019 Nana Chenin Blanc, Negev – Score: 91 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a correct Chenin Blanc that is in drink-now mode. The price is high but very good still. The nose on this wine is classically inclined, with clean notes of straw, clay, spice, yellow plum yellow flower, and green notes galore. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is clean, correct, with bracing acidity, refreshing, correct, and focused, with nice saline, slate, green apple, ripe quince, almost oily, great texture, ripe peach, lovely sweet gooseberry, and yellow grapefruit. The finish is long, sweet, balanced, tart, and green, with more slate, saline, peach, and sweet gooseberry. Lovely! Drink now! (tasted August 2021)

2020 Domaine Joost de Villebois Pouilly Fume, Pouilly Fume (M) – Score: 90+ (QPR: GREAT)
This is the best Domaine Joost de Villebois Pouilly Fume, made by Royal, so far. The nose on this lovely Sauvignon Blanc, is what I like, mineral, smoke, flint, toast, and great fruit, all wrapped in bright fruit, and more mineral. Lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has tension, attack, great acidity, lovely mineral, smoke, with peach, apricot, green apple, nectarines, passion fruit, gooseberry, orange blossom, and lovely acidity, with a backbone of mineral, slate, saline, and rock – wow!! The finish is never-ending, it keeps going, WOW, I like this, with intense minerality, smoke, flint, rock, slate, and green notes, followed by acidity, grapefruit, lemon/lime, and lemongrass. BRAVO!!! Drink now! (tasted July 2021)

2019 Nana Cassiopeia, Negev – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 85% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, and 3% Petit Verdot. This wine starts like so many Israeli wines, painful and over-the-top fruit, oak, and tannin. The nose on this wine starts hot with sweet and overripe notes of blackberry, blue fruit, smoke, and cured meat. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is over the top, with overripe blackberry, boysenberry, tart black currant, jammy blueberry, licorice, black pepper, with loads of tannin and more smoked animal. The finish is long, black, ripe, smoky, with little finesse, just too much of everything. Though, and this is why I always taste wines for more than a day, this one does move for the better! I can honestly say, this is the first Israeli wine in a very long time that did not get worse, it improved and I drank it two days later. With time, the wine improves to show nice notes of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, sweet tobacco, sweet oak, nice mouth-draping tannin, and good control, with sweet vanilla, nice spice, smoke, and roasted animal. A nice wine I would drink indeed. Nice! Drink until 2026. (tasted September 2021)

2020 Domaine du Castel La Vie Blanc de Castel, Judean Hills – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc & 10% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is nice, with gooseberry, dry straw, grass, cats pee, and hints of passion fruit, with some quince, and dry fruit. This is a nice wine nose as it is lighter alcohol at 11.5% ABV. The mouth is where the issues show, the acidity drops off the cliff, but give the wine some air, after 10 minutes the wine was great, so let it come to you, showing lovely acidity, a great mouthfeel, with more gooseberry, saline, and green notes. The finish is long, tart, and green, with more gooseberry, lovely pink grapefruit, and good slate, nice! Drink now. (tasted July 2021C

2019 Herzog Malbec, Lineage, Clarksburg, California (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a very good wine, both in quality and in price, a GREAT QPR. The nose on this wine is pure boysenberry, dark cherry, blackberry, and rich smoke, with good spice, loam, and hints of green notes. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is riper than I like to start, but with time it calms down and becomes just what you would expect for a mid-level Malbec, balanced, with good acidity, spice, smoke, and a nice dense mouthfeel, with ripe boysenberry, more sweet blue fruit, strawberry, and candied currants. The finish is long, ripe, with leather, sweet spices, cloves, milk chocolate, and more spices. Drink by 2023. (tasted July 2021)

2020 Herzog Variations Be-leaf, Paso Robles, CA (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
I liked the 2019 vintage and this vintage is better, it is still not a winner, but a solid wine for the value, for those looking for a no-sulfite added wine. The nose on this Cabernet Sauvignon shows notes of sweet fruit, black and red fruit, with hints of blueberry, followed by ripe strawberry, and cherry jam. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is balanced, with good acidity, nice raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and flower petal compote, with a good fruit focus, nice tannin structure, and a nice refreshing mouthfeel. The finish is long, ripe, tannic, acidic, with more ripe fruit, with acidity to balance, green notes, flower petals, and dirt. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Vitkin Israeli Journey, Red, Israel – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 55% Carignan, 25% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Marselan, & 5% Grenache. The nose on this wine is fun, with intense salt, saline, olives, sweet chocolate, cedar, followed by graphite, red fruit, and roasted herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well balanced, why can’t more Israeli wines be like this? With good fruit structure and focus, red fruit of raspberry, cranberry, currants, nice roasted herb, tart strawberry, all wrapped in nice tannin making for a very nice and refreshing wine. The finish is long, green, tart, and tasty, with coffee, garrigue, foliage, and roasted mint. Nice! Drink by 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2015 Mad Aleph Blaufrankisch, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This grape is unique, it is the parent grape of Gamay, and in ways, that shows, but it also is akin to Zin, IMHO, and Syrah. A bit too ripe for me, but if you like your wine that way, enjoy, and at a GREAT price. The nose on this wine shows white and black pepper, with both very bright and ripe fruit, followed by Star anise, allspice, rich cinnamon, and cloves. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich and ripe but controlled, with incredible acidity, mouth-draping tannin, bramble, blackberry, dark cherry, blackcurrants, nice saline, good fruit focus, and nice structure. Another GREAT example of what wines can be made, kosher, for a reasonable price, outside of the USA. The finish is long, green ripe, balanced, with crazy acidity, tannin, tobacco, intense black pepper, and more anise. A nice simple wine that is a bit too ripe for my interests, but I am sure many will find this interesting. Drink until 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Aura di Valerie Zaffiro Super Tuscan, Toscano Rosso – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
Another great example of what a good European ripe wine can taste like! The nose on this wine is dense, ripe, but well-controlled, with lovely floral notes, ripe black and blue fruit, ripe plum, cloves, violet, rosehip, baking spices, and lovely smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is balanced, not quite elegant, not quite at that next level, but very nice, with good fruit focus, showing Bing cherry, candied plum, boysenberry, candied blackberry, hazelnut, and green notes in the background. The finish is long, dense, brooding, but balanced, with lovely salinity, minerality, charcoal, great acidity, dense fruit, and sweet cedar. Drink until 2030. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Recanati Gris de Marselan Rose, Shimshon – Score: 89+ (QPR: GREAT)
Another lovely rose, this is 100% Marselan, or so they say, and it is quite nice, better than 2019. The nose on this wine is far more in line with a Gris-style rose, mineral, dirt, saline, tart red fruit, and not much else on the nose. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, it is balanced, tart, with great acid, mineral, saline, tart raspberry, cranberry, lemongrass, lime shavings, gooseberry, pink grapefruit, refreshing, fun, and good focus. The finish is long, green, tart, flint, smoke, and good overall structure. It does not last long do drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Arroyo del Imperio Chardonnay, Valle Central (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: GREAT)
When I opened this wine to start it was flat, undrinkable wine. Then the next day the wine was fun. So, maybe this one needs a bit of time or maybe an hour, I did not taste it right after – but who knows. The notes I am writing here are for the wine once it came around. The nose on this wine is nice, showing peach, pear, green and yellow apple, with nice vanilla, and orange blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, it feels fuller than it is, with good acidity, nice fruit, peach, apple, vanilla, orange, and good orange pith. The finish is long, spicy, green, and acidic, with good minerality, and sweet spices! A nice Quaff. Drink by 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Binyamina Sapphire, The Chosen, Galilee – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Franc & 25% Shiraz. This is the first Binyamina red wine that I have liked in a very long time. The nose on this wine starts nicely and continues to improve, showing lovely green notes, ripe blue and red fruit, with nice smoke, cranberry, bramble, black cherry, and plum. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, not overly extracted, nice ripeness, controlled fruit, smoke, good plum, boysenberry, plum, green notes, bramble, and lovely mouth-draping tannin. The finish is long, green, with good acidity, mouthfeel, sweet tobacco, and good blue and red fruit. Nice! Drink by 2024. (tasted September 2021)

2020 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama, Galilee – Score: 89 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is not ripe but it is also not crazy tart, showing bright notes of gooseberry, passion fruit, but also rounder notes of vanilla, orange blossom, and sweeter fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, tart, still, a bit rounder than I had hoped, with good acidity, nice passion fruit, gooseberry, saline, good grapefruit, lemongrass, and nice orange peel. The finish is long, green, tart, and nice, with good acidity, saline, slate, and nice fruit, nice! Drink now (tasted July 2021)

2020 Bodegas Faustino VI Rioja, Rioja – Score: 89 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is nice, well-balanced, classic in nature, nothing to talk much about, a simple enjoyable Rioja, with cherry, cranberry, oak, and sweet notes. My bottle had bubbles, not fun, but swirl the glass and the bubbles will dissipate. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is simple, dark cherry, sweet oak, nice acidity, good earth, a bit too ripe for me, dark currants, and sweet fruit lingers. Drink until 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Herzog Sauvignon Blanc, Acacia Barrel Series, Lake County, CA (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is closed to start, but with time it opens to show classic Sauvignon Blanc notes, of gooseberry, wet grass, passion fruit, slightly sweet fruit, with sweet spices, lemon blossom, and citrus. The mouth on this medium-plus-bodied wine shows nice weight, and a lovely mouthfeel, with great acidity, nice fruit-focus, and a sensation of sweet cedar, with lovely vanilla, core acidity, grapefruit, citrus, Meyer lemon/lime, passion fruit, and lovely peach. The finish is super long, green, herbal, spicy, and lovely minerality. BRAVO!!! Drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico, Chianti Clasicco – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is slow to open so give it time. This wine is a blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo. The wine is not as dense and plush as other Chianti Classico wines but it has more minerality and loam than those as well, a very interesting comparison for sure. The nose on this wine shows lovely notes of plum dark cherry, roasted herb, intense mineral, dark red berry, roasted meat, dense clay, charcoal, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lighter than other Chianti Classico, with lovely gripping tannin, nice acidity, nice elegance, with lovely red Bing cherry, dark currants, plum, rich loam, earth, clay, and lovely charcoal. The finish is long, green, with dense foliage, more tart and ripe red fruit, nice mineral, charcoal, tar, garrigue, scraping mineral, and lovely dark tobacco. Drink from 2022 until 2027. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Matar Chardonnay, Galilee – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine may say Chardonnay but its profile is far more of a Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is pure SB, with notes of gooseberry, yellow flower, passion fruit, The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a nice weight, I wanted more acidity, still the pith, gooseberry, tart quince, green apple, and cat pee, smoke, flint, and hints of apple. passion fruit and nice saline help bring the wine around. The finish is long, with orange pith, tart fruit, and nice minerality. Drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib, Flor de Primavera, Montsant – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Carignan, and 25% Grenache. The nose on this wine is waxy, meaty, earthy, smoky, and not overpowering with fruit, showing blue and black fruit, with green notes, and earth. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is rich, layered, and smoky, with waxy notes, screaming tannin, nice acidity, ripe blackberry, juicy boysenberry, rich saline, mouth drying-tannin, with good balance, nice structure, and a nice fruit attack, though it is a bit uni-dimensional. The finish is green, sweet, balanced, and long, with good smoke, salami, tobacco, leather, and sweet milk chocolate. Drink until 2030 (tasted August 2021)

N.V. Herzog Methode Champenoise, Special Reserve, Russian River, CA (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This is the first-ever Herzog Winery Methode Champenoise, they have had other sparkling wines, but this is the real deal! It is made from 100% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is lovely, showing notes of green and yellow apple, sweet fruit notes, with nice smoke/toast, freshly baked pear tart, and minerals. The mouth on this wine is nice, but it lacks that acidic punch I expect from Champagne, with nice apple, pear, crisp but not as refreshing as I want, with elegance and good weight. The finish is long, green with ginger, saline, smoke/toast, and nice herbal notes. Drink by 2023 (tasted August 2021)

2020 Herzog Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, Special Edition, Sonoma, Califonia (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
I get the idea, less oak, less butterscotch, less dill, ABC, but this still misses the mark, it lacks the acidity to make this work. The nose on this wine is where things start going bad, it is deeply muted, with dull apple, sweet oak, smoke, toast, sweet peach, nectarines, and a bit of quince. The hope was for deeper fruit and less oak, the mouth on this medium-bodied wine has less oak, but it still controls the overall profile, with sweet apple, sweet quince, sweet peach, melon, mineral, butterscotch, and freshly baked Asian pear pie. The finish is long, but what is missing is acid, the wine feels flatter than it is, a real shot of acid would have helped a lot, it is there and it is slow to come out, but while it is balanced, it lacks the punch. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Weinstock Cabernet Sauvignon, Cellar Select, Paso Robles, CA (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is ripe, too much for me, with blackberry, blueberry, smoke, rich oak, and hints of red fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, and not for me, more blueberry, blackberry, cassis, sweet oak, smoke, and graphite. The finish is long, ripe, smoky, and nice enough with graphite. Drink by 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Psagot Sinai, White, Judean Hills (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 34% Chardonnay, 28% Sauvignon Blanc, 22% Gewürztraminer, 16% Viognier. This is a simple enough wine, more of a gimmick wine than one I would want to drink. The nose on this wine is all about the gimmick, throwing all the varietals together gets you a mix of notes that work together enough, but not in a way that makes you fall in love, with notes of peach, melon, jasmine, rose, pineapple, green apple, sweet spice, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ok, the Gewurztraminer dominates the mouth with peach, spice, apricot, pineapple, lychee, ginger, and cloves, with green notes, and a good enough body. The finish is long, spicy, green, and fruity, with a nice saline finish. Drink now. (tasted July 2021)

N.V. Drappier Rose de Saignee, Champagne (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
This Champagne has a disgorgement date of 6/21. The nose on this wine is nice with notes of raspberry, strawberry, quince, red melon, and slate. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine feels missing, there is some acidity, but not enough, the finish feels short, the mousse is lovely, the red fruit and berries are nice, but overall it feels lacking. The finish is short or not even there, what lingers is the red berries and mousse, with some flint. Drink by 2023. (tasted September 2021)

2018 Les Lauriers de Rothschild, Montagne Saint-Emillon (M) – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot & 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is ripe, like many of the 2018 Merlot-based wines from Bordeaux, though the Cabernet Franc does help, thankfully. The nose shows notes of ripe strawberry, dark brooding fruit, green notes, asparagus, but then comes the dark and dense fruit, with minerality, and nice smoke. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine has some balance, but wow is this wine ripe, it lacks the refreshing balance I crave, the dark blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry, are balanced with some green notes, smoke, and nice minerality, the tannin is dense, and the sweet oak is not overpowering. The finish is long, ripe, and smoky, with green notes, tobacco, bell pepper, garrigue, and leather. Drink from 2024 until 2028. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Pacifica Rattlesnake Hills Viognier, Washington (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is nice, it has good minerality, honeydew, peach, and nice smoke, but not a lot to grab you. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is the same, not enough fun notes to grab your attention, there is just enough acidity, but it feels hollow with peach, apricot, melon, tart lemon, and more smoke. The finish is long, green, with gooseberry, smoke, and tart fruit. Drink now. (tasted September 2021)

N.V. Vera Wang Party Prosecco, Brut, Prosecco (M) – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this sparkling prosecco is not as dry as I had hoped or heard. The nose shows ripe peach, apricot, red apple, hints of orange, orange blossom, and green hints. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has ok weight, a lovely mousse attack, with medium-sized bubbles, good acidity, but the fruit is where the wine lets you down, with sweet mango, melon, apricot, and peach, too sweet for my taste. The finish is long, sweet, and ok. Drink now. (tasted July 2021)

2019 Binyamina Chardonnay, Moshava, Galilee (M) – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
The wine is balanced, not over the top, it is OK. The nose on this wine has sweet vanilla, green apple, and not much else. The mouth of this wine shows bracing acidity, vanilla, green apple, quince, melon, and some citrus. The finish is long, well made, and balanced. Drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Or Haganuz Elima, Galilee – Score: 85 (QPR: EVEN)
I miss the 2016 Elima that was a wine that was balanced and nice, ever since then the wines have been borderline date-juice wines and this one is no different. This wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon & 25% Cabernet Franc. This is the 2nd wine I know that adds no sulfites, the better of the two is the 2020 Herzog Be-Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose on this wine is ripe, too ripe, with blackberry, blueberry, smoke, and candied red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, too ripe, candied, and date-like, with nice acidity, but the fruit is overwhelming and nothing is refreshing here, with candied boysenberry, sweet oak, date, sweet oak, crazy searing tannin, smoke, and graphite. The finish is long, ripe, candied, and not for me. Drink by 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70, Napa Valley, CA – Score: 92 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this dense Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and layered with good fruit, anise, smoke, sweet oak, black and red fruit, earth, loam, and good balance. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is dense, layered, concentrated, and extracted, with good control, a nice mouth-draping tannin structure, with dense but controlled blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, rich saline, mineral, charcoal, and green foliage. The finish is long, dense, rich, spicy, smoky, and ripe, with good fruit, green notes, cloves, cinnamon, milk chocolate, sweet tobacco, leather, and more sweet spices lingering long. Nice! Drink from 2025 until 2032. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Hagafen Family Vineyard Red Blend, Napa Valley, CA (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is oaky, with intense sweet milk chocolate, AKA OAK Monster, with nice black and red fruit, black pepper, licorice, and smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is dense, layered, concentrated, and almost balanced, with a bit too much ripe fruit, intense oak, intense dense tannin, rich extraction, rich blackberry, tart raspberry, dense blackberry, with a lovely fruit focus and structure, roasted herbs, and a nice blanket of spices. The finish is long, spicy, balanced, with ripe fruit, too much oak, sweet milk chocolate, dense tannin, sweet tobacco, leather, scraping mineral, charcoal, and rich saline. Nice! Drink from 2025 until 2030. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Domaine du Castel M du Castel, Negev – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
Look, I get it, people like Muscat, I do not. I liked Dry Muscat, but this one is not a wine I crave. The nose on this wine smells medicinal, like cooked cough medicine, followed by intense floral notes of orange blossom, honeysuckle, and rosewater, brown sugar, Caramel, sweet peach, pineapple, and rich smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered, but still medicinal, lacking acidity, with rich honeysuckle melon, honeyed notes of peach, apricot, sweet and liquor orange, with orange pith, and sweet spices, cloves, cinnamon, and orange zest. Drink until 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Gurra di Mare Tirsat, Terre Siciliane – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of 50% Chardonnay & 50% Viognier. The nose on this wine is heavenly, with beautiful notes of Viognier, ripe peach, apricot, honeysuckle, honeyed notes of yellow apple, brioche, sweet spices from the 6 months in oak, and nice sweet vanilla. The mouth is a bit slow to open, with time it opens to sweet apple, peach, sweet oak, butterscotch, sweet and plush mouthfeel, sadly it lacks the acidity to make this work, it has some but I crave more with sweet notes of almonds, macadamia nuts, and ripe white plums. The finish is long, sweet, and spicy, with sweet cinnamon, cloves, oak, vanilla, apple brioche, and nice smoke. Drink until 2026. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Barons Edmond & Benjamin De Rothschild, Haut-Medoc (M) – Score: 86 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is too green for me. The nose on this wine is green notes, asparagus, green beans, some red fruit, and dirt, boring. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is also too green, with great acidity, more of the green fruit, some raspberry, cherry, and not much else, with some tannin, and more dirt. The finish is long, green, too green, with smoke, and nice dirt. Drink until 2028. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Psagot Edom, Judean Hills – Score: 86 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of 37% Merlot, 32 Petit Verdot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the best Psagot I have had in a long time, I am shocked! All it took was a bit of control with the fruit and acidity! Sadly, after a day the wine turned into a classic Israeli fruit bomb, and all control was lost. If you want to try this wine, do it NOW!
The nose on this wine is balanced, with good tart fruit, smoke, green notes, garrigue, waxy notes, smoke, tart red fruit, and good loam. The mouth of this full-bodied wine is almost balanced, it is still a bit too ripe, a bit less alcohol would have helped, with dark plum, blackberry, boysenberry, strawberry, violet, lavender, and good tannin. The finish is long, green, tart, and nice, with just enough oak, leather, and sweet spices. Drink until 2023. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon 1/11,000, Limited Edition, Galilee (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is far more controlled than the other 2017 Israeli wines I have had so far, it is still ripe, and almost smells like a Cab, but overall, it lacks any finesse or style. The nose on this wine is ripe, with nice roasted herbs, sweet cedar, black and red fruit, hints of brooding fruit, and nice smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, layered, but not as controlled as much as I would have hoped for, with blackberry, candied raspberry, plum, roasted herb, mint, oregano, and nice dirt. The finish is long, green, red, and ripe, with sweet tobacco, garrigue, and graphite. Drink until 2026. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Domaine du Castel La Vie, Rouge du Castel, Judean Hills – Score: 83 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is ripe, too ripe for me, with sweet notes of boysenberry, sweet and candied raspberry, cranberry, and hints of smoke, with undeniably ripe and date-like fruit. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is classic date juice, showing too much ripe fruit, with no balance, the fruit is ripe, concentrated, and dense, with candied boysenberry, raspberry, cranberry, date, and loam. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, candied, and not my thing. Drink now. (tasted July 2021)

2019 Psagot Merlot, Judean Hills – Score: 83 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is ripe, ripe, black, and heavy, with rich fruit, milk chocolate, tobacco, and garrigue. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is overripe, pushed, and extreme, with black fruit, green notes, and no balance. Drink by 2024 (tasted August 2021)

2019 Nana Chardonnay, Negev – Score: 82 (QPR: POOR)
WOW, OK, this is painful, think of oak juice followed by candied sweet dill, dense apple, and ripe melon, nowhere near as good as the Chenin Blanc. The nose on this wine is too much for me, sweet oak, sweet dill, candied fruit, overpowering oaky notes, sweet melon, sweet candied apple, candied quince, just over the top. The mouth is not much better, it is medium to full-bodied, with too much oak, too much fruit, the acidity is correct, but the balance is off, with sweet fruit, apple, white peach, yellow apple, melon, almost guava, too much. The finish is long, still overly oaked, with smoke, toast, brioche, and buttered notes. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Tabor Merlot, Adama, Galilee – Score: 82 (QPR: POOR)
I remember the good old days when the Merlot Adama was heavenly, think the 2010 vintage, what a lovely wine! The nose on this wine is ripe, ripe, overripe with blueberry, blackberry, plum, and hints of figs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, with nice charcoal, too much oak, blackberry, blackcurrant, plum, smoke, but it is too ripe, not refreshing, and sadly not for me. Drink until 2026. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Tulip Espero, Red, Galilee – Score: 82 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of 55% Syrah, 30% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. Another painful Israeli wine, big, brooding, hot, and unbalanced. The nose on this wine is too hot, with black and red fruit, sweet oak, milk chocolate, and nice green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, extracted, brooding blackberry, boysenberry, smoky, and earthy notes, garrigue, loads of sweet oak, candied strawberry, and licorice. The finish is long, brooding, green, and smoky. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon, Judean Hills – Score: 82 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine is ripe, hot, and overall OK, it lacks anything to grab you other than dense fruit. The mouth on this wine is a sledgehammer, it is so hot, unbalanced, and big alcohol wine, burning hot, with nice enough tannin, blackberry, dark plum, cassis, but the fruit is over the top, unbalanced and too ripe. The finish is long, black, dense, and hot. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Mia Luce Blanc, Galilee – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
Another disaster from the 2019 vintage in Israel. This wine is a blend of 93% French Colombard and 7% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is flat, much like the mouth of this wine, with little to offer outside of a bit of funk, grapefruit, and honeysuckle. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is there, but while it has some acidity, it needs some fruit and life, it has a hole in the middle, with green notes of foliage, too much oak for such a light wine, sweet dill, green apple, quince, and not much else. The finish is long, with intense kafir lime and lemon, but that is about it. Drink now. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Flam Camellia, Judean Hills – Score: 87 (QPR: BAD)
This wine has a nice nose of sweet apple, vanilla, toast, caramel, Asian Pear, and sweet peach compote. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ok, the acidity is there, but it is just a bit boring, it lacks the attention to grab you, with a bit too much oak, sweet yellow apple, toffee, creme brulee, and spices, cloves, some citrus, but mostly oak, apple, Asian Pear, and lots of Toffee. The finish is long, spicy, oaky, and butterscotch lingers long with sweet vanilla, cloves, and oak. Drink by 2024. (tasted September 2021)

2018 Carmel Mediterranean, Galilee – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 48% Syrah, 22% Carignan, 13% Marselan, 9% Tannat, & 8% Petite Sirah. The nose on this wine is OK, it is not as over the top as other Israeli wines, with not enough acid or style, sadly. The nose on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, with black and blue fruit, red hints, green notes, and tobacco. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, not horrible, a bit more balanced than others with blackberry, boysenberry, blackcurrants, green notes, intense violet, lavender, with a bit of acid, but more would have helped a lot, the tannin is ok, and the fruit is overpowering. The finish is long, red, with black notes, more violets, and green notes. Drink until 2026. (tasted August 2021)

2020 Netofa Latour, White, Galilee – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is nice what it is badly missing is acidity, and without acidity, it is less impressive. The nose on this wine is nice, with good notes of apple, peach, apricot, straw, and nice smoke/flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has good weight but it feels hollow without the needed acidity, sweet apple, yellow plum, straw, almost oily, with good spices, cloves, sweet oak, and good pith. The finish is long, spicy, and green, with sweet fruit, sweet oak, flint, more yellow apple, quince, and more spices. Drink until 2024. (tasted September 2021)

2019 Yatir Creek White, Judean Hills – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 54% Chenin Blanc & 46% Viognier. Sadly, this is nowhere near the quality of the 2018 vintage. The nose on this wine is the best part with notes of bright peach, tart apricot, lovely straw, earth, hints of pineapple, and good tangerine. The mouth on this wine is flat, with no acidity, there is a nice mouthfeel, good weight, but there is no balance, just fruit and pith and not much else. The finish is long, green ripe, sweet, with pith and mineral bring some of it together, but without the acid, I cannot get this wine. Drink now. (tasted July 2021)

2020 Padre Bendicho Rose, Yecla (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine smells classically cooked and while it has some redeeming qualities – they were sadly cooked out. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is the best part of the wine, but it too is muted poorly by the cooked fruit and mulled wine notes, with cooked apple, peach, strawberry, and pear, with the minerality that could not be cooked, nice acid, saline, and slate – a real shame, I would have liked to have tasted this uncooked. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Odem Mountain 1060 Red Wine, Galilee (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is far more controlled than the Cabernet Franc, with notes of candied plum, raspberry, black fruit, anise, and loads of oak. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is dense but a bit more controlled than the Cabernet Franc, still this wine has too much oak, too much ripe fruit, and no control, a wine with no game plan, showing overripe plum, raspberry, blackberry, dirt, and garrigue. The finish is long, painful, overripe, with more dirt, and green notes, tobacco, and leather. Drink until 2026 (tasted August 2021)

2019 Mia Luce Syrah and Stems, Shimshon – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is a bit balanced with sweet notes of blue and black fruit, anise, smoke, green notes of pepper, charcoal, and root beer. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, more than what shows in the nose, with notes of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, sweet oak, and brooding fruit in the background, that is balanced with good acid, not too much oak, and an overall game plan. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, with green notes, nice acid, mouth-coating tannin, and smoke. There is a bit of a hollow and overall no real finesse, it shows better around other Israeli wines but otherwise, nothing I crave here. Drink until 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Mia Luce C.S.M., Shimshon – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 35% Carignan, 35% Syrah, and 30% Mourvedre. This is another wine from Mia Luce and Kobe that hits the mark from a style perspective, but the wine itself is not that interesting. The nose on this wine is correct with notes of red and blue fruit, charcoal, salt, anise, cinnamon, smoked meat, and sweet spices. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, it has some brooding fruit in the background but the main issue is the hollow middle, with notes of candied cranberry, raspberry, plum, boysenberry, smoke, sweet oak, draping tannin, and green notes. The finish is long, green, sweet, and candied, with more candied boysenberry, root beer, and candied anise. Drink until 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Chateau de Parsac, Montagne Saint-Emilion (M) – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The 2019 vintage is much like the 2018 – boring, green, and tinny, not an interesting wine and one I can be fine without any time soon. White pepper, green bell pepper, cherry, raspberry, not much else. Drink until 2024. (tasted August 2021)

2019 Nana Tethys, Negev – Score: 83 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Petite Sirah. A classic Israeli red wine, no approach, no balance, no control, just overripe fruit, oak, and no finesse. The nose on this wine is ripe, with loads of ripe fruit, no balance, heat, black and blue fruit, mounds of oak, vanilla, sweet dill, and smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is uncontrolled, with no plan, searing tannin, ok acidity, too much oak, and overripe blackberry, plum, cassis, overripe boysenberry, and smoke. The finish is long, dark, brooding, jam-like, with sweet tobacco, and more toast. Drink until 2025. (tasted August 2021)

2017 Odem Mountain Alfasi, Special Reserve, Galilee – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
The wine is a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, & 17% Syrah. This wine is also another classic Israeli wine, with lots of pain and no joy. The wine is s brute of fruit, oak, tannin, and no game plan. While some will like this style, I have no need, plus the fruit is overripe and date-like. Pass. Drink by 2027 (tasted August 2021)

2018 Jezreel Icon, Sharon – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah & 50% Carignan. The nose on this full-bodied wine is dense, ripe, and over the top, and it does not stop, with heat, and too much alcohol, in the end, it lacks the terroir to make it work at this alcohol. The nose on this full-bodied wine is powerful, layered, and over the top, with too much alcohol, attack, heat, unbalanced, with rich blackberry, dark plum, overripe currants, with sweet milk chocolate, sweet tobacco, sweet dill, too much sweet, not enough balance. Some folks will like the sledgehammer wine, but I do not! Drink until 2028. (tasted August 2021)

2018 Odem Mountain 1060 Cabernet Franc, Galilee – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is painful, with classic date juice notes of candied and cooked dates, prune, there is not a single note of cabernet Franc on this wine, other than over the top red fruit. The nose on this wine is overripe and almost cooked, with prune, and candied blackberry liquor, no control, no finesse. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is over the top and very much in the date-juice land, with candied blackberry, plum, searing tannin, a bit of acid, just too much fruit, too much pain, next! Drink until 2026. (tasted August 2021)

2017 The Cave, Galilee – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot. The nose on this wine is ripe, almost date-like ripe, with brooding juicy fruit and nothing else. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, lifeless, and not there, such a shame. Drink until 2026 (tasted August 2021)

2020 Yatir Mount Amasa Rose, Judean Hills – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 81% Grenache, 12% Tempranillo, 7% Mourvedre. The nose on this wine is ok, with strawberry, watermelon, red berries, melon, and rhubarb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is flat, boring, and not fun, sad, there is nothing there that grabs you. Drink now. (tasted September 2021)

2020 Yatir Darom White, Negev – Score: 76 (QPR: NA)
This is a KosherWine.com Exclusive. After the rose, I had high hopes for this Sauvignon Blanc wine – wow, what a huge letdown. This wine is not for me! The nose is flat, the mouth is flat, no acid, no balance, just a face without any content, move on! (tasted August 2021)

2019 Segal Marawi Native, Judean Hills – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
This wine is yet another example of what goes wrong when u ignore acid. This is undrinkable, the lack of acid makes for a flat profile, no joy here, move on! (tasted August 2021)

2020 Binyamina Moshava Rose, Galilee (M) – Score: 70 (QPR: NA)
Another useless wine that I did not need to taste. The nose on this wine is boring, at best, with dried fruit, candied peach, strawberry, apricot, and pomegranate. The mouth on this wine is flat, no acidity to be found, with too much-candied fruit, too little to be interesting, and nothing refreshing, it feels tired, old, and dead. Move on (tasted July 2021)

2020 Carmel Private Collection Rose, Shimshon (M) – Score: 50 (QPR: NA)
This wine has all the issues I dislike in rose, cooked fruit, no acid, and flat as a pancake. Nothing is refreshing here, it is a wine that can be summed up in one word, PASS (tasted August 2021)

Posted on November 4, 2021, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, QPR Post, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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