Sommelier – The First 25 Tasting Notes

By: Daniel Rogov

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By: Daniel Rogov

Monday and Tuesday (17 and 18 Nov 2008) found me from 10:30 until about 17:00 at the Sommelier wine exhibition, there tasting in all over 250 wines. As might be said: “Ain’t no way that all of those notes are going to be posted in a single day”. It may come as a surprise to many but writing up and formalizing tasting notes actually takes longer than the tasting process. I will, however, be posting between 25 and 50 tasting notes daily until all have managed to make their way here and to articles being written and as entries in my future books. Following are the first 25 of these notes.


Red Poetry Winery

Red Poetry, Ehrlich, 2005: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, a medium- to full-bodied blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Reflects its 12 months in oak with soft, lightly spicy tannins and a note of vanilla, those parting to reveal wild berries, plums and blackcurrants. In the background an appealing hint of freshly tanned leather. Drink now-2010. Score 86. (Tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Red Poetry, Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Deep royal-purple in color, medium to full-bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins and hints of smoky oak. A blend of 80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, developed in new French oak for 12 months and showing forward plum, wild berry and currant fruits show nicely on a background of earthy-herbaceousness. Drink now. Score 86. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Red Poetry, Merlot, 2006: Flushed out with 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 12 months in oak. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft, albeit somewhat chunky tannins, opening to reveal appealing red and black fruits on a lightly spicy and earthy-herbal background. Drink now-2010. Score 85. (Tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Red Poetry, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied and developed in barriques for 14 months, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Showing soft, near-sweet tannins, spicy and vanilla-rich wood that open to show blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry fruits. Not complex but generous. Drink now-2010. Score 85. (Tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Red Poetry, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Medium- to full-bodied, showing good balance between soft tannins, spicy cedar wood and black fruits. A soft, round wine with a medium-long finish. Drink now-2010.Score 85. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Red Poetry, Chardonnay, 2006: Dark, almost burnished gold in color, full-bodied, reflecting its 12 months in new oak with a too generously creamy and vanilla background that tends to hide the pear and apple fruits that try to make themselves felt. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 81. (Tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Somek Winery

Somek, Syrah, 2005: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, reflecting its development in French oak for 20 months with a generous overlay of spicy and dusty wood and gripping tannins. Need time in the glass to open and reveal the near-sweet black fruits, chocolate and espresso coffee notes. Drink now-2011. Score 88. (Tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Somek, HaNadiv Valley, 2004: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah (60%, 35% and 5% respectively). Garnet towards royal purple, with good balance between spicy wood, gently mouth-coating tannins, wild berries and black fruits, all with hints of tobacco and licorice that make themselves felt. Drink now. Score 86. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Ben-Shoshan Winery

Ben-Shoshan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kfar Shamai, 2005: Aged in French and American oak barriques for 16 months, showing generous dusty wood and chunky tannins. Opens to show skimpy black fruits on an acidic and medicinal background. Showing signs of premature aging Drink up. Score 75. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Ben-Shoshan, Merlot, Kfar Shamai, 2005: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with chunky, country-style tannins. Fading quickly, the once youthful red and black currants and wild berry fruits now all but hidden under distinct medicinal aromas and flavors.. Score 70. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Meishar Winery

Meishar, Shiraz-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon, #41, 2004: Dark garnet, medium-bodied, with gentle sweet cedar and spicy oak overtones highlighting blackberries, black cherries and an array of herbs and spices. Look for hints of minerals and anise on the crisp finish. Drink now. Score 89. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Meishar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve 730, 2004: Showing much at earlier tastings. Full-bodied, this reflecting its 18 months in new French oak with firm tannins and sweet cedar notes, those integrating nicely with black cherries, blackcurrants and blackberry fruits along with light chocolate mousse flavors that come in quietly on the finish. Drink now?2010. Score 89. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Meishar, Merlot, 2004: Dark royal-purple in color, this gently oak-aged medium-bodied wine was blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon. Long, soft and round with plum and blackberry fruits backed up by hints of Mediterranean herbs, chocolate and freshly turned earth. Drink now. Score 87. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Meishar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve 730, 2005: Dark royal purple in color, full-bodied, with softly caressing tannins and notes of sweet and spicy cedar wood, opening to reveal blackcurrants, blackberries and cherry fruits, those supported nicely by notes of bitter-sweet chocolate and, on the moderately-long finish, a hint of smoke. Drink now-2011. Score 87. (Tasted 20 Nov 2008)

Meishar, Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, #41, 2005: A blend of 40% each Shiraz and Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Light ruby in color, light to medium-bodied, with soft tannins and forward berry, cherry and cassis notes. One-dimensional and somewhat dilute. An acceptable quaffer. Drink now. Score 83. (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2008)

Yiftah’el Winery

Yiftah?el, Shiraz, 2006: Oak-aged for 12 months, dark, almost inky-garnet, full-bodied, and with soft, mouth-coating tannins. Opens to show black fruits, and goes on to reveal black pepper, licorice and spicy wood, all coming together and lingering nicely. Drink now?2010. Score 86. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Yiftah’el, Sangiovese, 2008: A youthful, nouveau style wine, light- towards medium-bodied, cherry red in color, with a near-absence of tannins and simple but refreshing red berry fruits. An appealing little entry-level quaffer. Drink up. Score 82. (Tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Yiftah’el, Sangiovese, 2005: Light ruby in color, with some clearing at the rim, showing soft tannins and simple but appealing berry, cherry fruits on a light peppermint background. Drink up. Score 80. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)
Yiftah?el, Merlot, 2005: Showing much as at earlier tastings. Ruby to garnet, reflecting its 12 months in barriques with spicy cedar wood. Medium-bodied with chunky tannins, a simple but appealing country-style wine with berry and cassis fruits. Drink up. Score 80. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Yiftah?el, Petite Sirah, 2006: Full bodied, reflecting its 12 months in oak with firm tannins in good balance with spicy wood. On first attack licorice, chocolate and tobacco, those followed by red berry and cherry fruits. Generous, mouth-filling and with a near-sweet, moderately long finish. Drink now?2010. Score 85. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Salomon Winery

Salomon, Stav (Autumn), 2005: An oak-aged blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (60%, 30% and 10% respectively) showing garnet towards royal purple in color medium-bodied, soft and round. On the nose and palate black and red berries matched by notes of Mediterranean herbs, cigar tobacco and licorice. Appealing but somewhat short on the finish. Drink now-2010. Score 85. (Tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Salomon, Shiraz, 2005: Dark garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and showing generous plum, berry and licorice notes all leading to a moderately long finish. Drink now-2010. Score 85. (Tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Salomon, Merlot, 2004: Showing much as at an earlier tasting. Deep garnet, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and generous spicy oak along with berry, cherry and cassis fruits. Not complex but appealing. Drink up. Score 84. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Salomon, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Despite its youth, showing signs of premature aging. Medium-bodied, with tannins more gripping than at an earlier tasting, with its once clean cherry, plum and sandalwood aromas and flavors now taking on a hint of barnyard. Drink up. Score 78. (Re-tasted 17 Nov 2008)

Salomon, Stav (Autumn), 2004: Medium-dark garnet in color, a blend of Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (45%, 34%, 12% and 9% respectively), opening with a burst of spicy oak on the nose, that opening somewhat to reveal a rather flat nose and black fruits with an odd and unwanted bitter note. With gripping tannins and wood rising again on the finish a sharp and unbalanced wine. Drink now. Score 77. (Tasted 17 Nov 2008)

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