Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Andre

  1. Thank you for the article, I can't say I agree with the sight as related to flavor. Many fine wines are wrongly judged by their appearance. In many of my TN's I even choose to skip the sight and move on to smell, taste, after taste and an overall impression. I am speaking from a more experienced point of view. I had bottles of wines returned to me simply because they look over the hill. Many winemaker are too concerned with this issue in order to sell their wines.
  2. Andre

    Flying with wine

    I never found any use for the bubble wrap. This kind of packing is not worth anything under pressure. It is important to pack the wines in the same direction and as mentioned, wrapped with clothes and seperated by cardboard. The clothe will also be able to isolate against extreme temperatures, at least for a while.
  3. Thank you Craig, I will follow your advice with North- Eastern Italian wines on mind and a bottle of Spanish Sherry or perhaps a very dry south-African sherry; A Rene Santhagnes by Santa Petra, Stellenbosch [ its the place they make everything, even tequila or Agave ]. Cheers, Andre
  4. The door suddenly opens during a wine tasting class. An old friend from Hungary has just dropped in for a few days. “May I join?” he smiled. The class enjoyed some very fine wines for the rest of the evening. Two days later I managed to drag him out of hid very tight working schedule and at 20:00 we landed in the Northern city of Acre in the famous Greek restaurant Abu-Christo with a couple of whites. Pastoral evening with an oil-like calm sea that reflected the lights of Haifa from the other side of the bay. My father in low Christo, the owner of the restaurant was pleased to see us. “Crabs?” “Certainly” we answered with enthusiasm. Some Mezze were brought to the table as we watched the young children of Acre bathing in the Sea-pool. A joint venture between nature’s huge rocks that sheltered the Restaurant from the Sea and the Historical wall that managed to stop the brilliant Napoleon. There isn’t a single kid in Acre that didn’t learn to swim here, we were told. A Huge pile of Mediterranean blue-crabs appeared in the center of the table in a “Nature” form. “ O.K. Hard work awaits us. “ A bottle of Regaleali Bianco by Tasca del Merita from Sicily was opened. The Tasca Sauvignon, the major gtape variety of this wine, did little to compliment Poseidon’s art. It was disappointingly nothing but O.K. “These crabs can stand up to the best crabs I have eaten, in northern Spain” my friend remarked. Hard work prevails and the empty crab tray was replaced with fried baby-calamaries. This was a slightly better match though fried sea-food is a tough match for wine. Even though completely full, none of us denied the tray of sea-bream fish that appeared next. I regard this fish amongst the best tasting in the world. The long green empty bottle of the Regaleali was replaced by a burgundy shaped Reserve Verdelho 1995 from Australia. The Reserve Verdelho, Swan valley by Talijancich 1995 was light green vibrant toward yelowish color, The nose was rich in green grassy, lemony notes with a peachy aroma hovering very smoothly and very well balanced with lightly toasted finish. A full bodied wine, rich in lemony and grassy notes, sweet on the palate with dominant peach and dried tropical fruits, very well balance between the toasted oak, sweetness, fresh grass and fruits. A very good wine. Mind the sweetness if you wish to have it with food. I didn’t and the great tasting Sea-Breams lost their charm under the influence of this wine. I skipped dessert both as a matter of self-punishment and due to the fact I was 110 % full, but my friend was happy he didn’t. The children of Acre were still bathing in the sea when we left, way passed midnight.
  5. Enjoyed very much, It reminded me of the time I started passing wine courses back at the end of the 20th century [ you must admit that sounds impressive ]. I was speaking abou fruits and spices and the group had difficulties to understand what I was talking about or how can that be found in wine. For the next lesson I took them to the market and had them smell fruits, dried fruits, herbs, dried herbs, spices etc... Then we started looking for a wet dogs and cat wee wee [ just kidding here ]. At a later stage I brought in the Nez du Vin. I was not too happy about that because it seemed to lack a dimension, even though many found it entertaining. Was a pleasure to read.
  6. Andre

    Portuguese wines

    I like the Casa Santos Lima wines. From my own visit last February, I picked the Camarate 2000, Touriga Francesa 2000 and the Syrah Castelao as my favorites. I will add my TN's from this winery: Casa Santos Lima: Situated in the Alenquer region [ located inside Estramadura ], approximately 40 km north of Lisbon, in the estate Quinta da Boavista [ also called Setencostas ] and the Quinta do Espiga. Launched their first bottles 1996. Reds: Quinta de Bons-Ventos 2001, Vinho regional Estramadura. Dry earthy flavors and very well balanced though a one-dimensional wine. I feel very ripe grapes, slightly alcoholic, good acidity, round and easy drinking. Quinta do Setencostas 2001. D.O.C. Alenquer Fruity dominated by raspberries and strawberries, concentrated sweet fruits with a slight incense aroma with an excellent well balanced finish. A good body with very pleasant tannins , pleasantly low acidity, for drinking now. Palha-Canas: Even though this was a Wine Spectator best buy and the wineries most famous and more expensive wine, I found the addition of American Oak to the Portuguese oak as unfitting the classical regional taste. Though a well made wine that might be rated 88 I would not have it on my menu of authentic regional wines. Camarate 2000. The first varietal wine I have tasted from this winery from a very good vintage. A Very interesting wine with a good balance between oak an fruits, good acidity and with a returning motif of the incense. Touriga Francesa 2000. Another varietal wine from this excellent winery. Full bodied soft and well balanced, rich in flavors with a little damp wood aroma on the finish. A pleasure. Two more interesting wines I will not elaborate on since I can barely read my own handwriting: Estramadura Touriz 2000. A full bodied blend, still young. Syrah-Catelao 2000 A very nice blend, well balanced. Whites: The Quinta de Espiga 2002 The nose is slightly aggressive with tiny hints of Amonia. A fresh, tasty and well balanced light wine. A simple pleasure. Palha Canas 2002 Unfotunately Chardonnay blends into the assemablage of this wine with a rather disappointing body after a promising nose. A bit closed, should try again in a few month to check the direction of this wine’s development. Moscatel 1999: A confusing powerful and intense entrance softens up immediately to provide a simple gentleness with a rather dominant finish. Sweet talk and lead me on…. To sum up… Good quality wines, fairly priced easy drinking dry wines though I found nothing exeptional.
  7. This company is a living breathing example of perfect marketing. Simply admirable.
  8. Money makes the world go around.... Tzora winery, established 1993, was a one man show led bu Mr. Roni James. At the time, nobody believed a winery could exist in a kibuts where all should share. In todays world, marketing is a big issue. Tzora entered the market in the wrong places with the wrong price. The only showcase provided was a poor looking winery with milk containers for fermentation tanks and the stink of hundreds of cows, one of the kibuts's main industry filling the air. The fact that Mr. james pulled through to what Tsora had become now, is amazing, yet, compromises were made. One of the astonishing ones was for James to be behind the glass while he monitored the making of his first kosher wines, the stone ridge 2002. Perhaps the simplest Tzora red to be produced so far, yet, sold out to the American market in no time, cash on the spot. The other big change was that several kibuts members joined Mr. James's team, with little to no vision at all and fast money as their goal. A probabl next step would be the penetration of multinationals into the Israeli wine market wishing to add an Israeli kosher winery to their list. Several meetings were held on the matter in the last Vinexpo, with very famous Californian wineries and others. Recanati was established as a kosher winery with two main share holders The Ben-Ari family [ owners of some of the estate and the land ] and Mr. Leni Recanati [ main investor ]. Wine maker Louis Pisco an ex - californian wine maker and chef, is currently the wine maker. Their idea is to use the many connections the owners have to export their wines. I will post some of the TN's of the better wines after I orginize them a bit Thank you all for the compliments.
  9. A Glance at the Israeli Wine Market: I tried to keep this short. Feel free to ask about specific wines or any other related issue. Israel is a young developing state, well connected to many countries in the world and mostly influenced by the United States and Europe. Towards the end of the 19-century, Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Bordeaux, sends the first commercial amount of vines to Israel in order to support the young Jewish settlements. Most of the planting took place in the mid-coast of Israel and the first wines produced were through the Union of Vintners. Several years later the Union becomes Carmel Mizrahi, Israel’s largest winery currently responsible for nearly 60% of the wines and produces apx. 20 million bottles a year. The first wines produced were the simplest form of whites, Rose’, and reds. The mass market of wine consumers, consisted mostly of Eastern Europeans [ Romania, Poland, Russia, ]. Several family owned wineries on a rather large scale, some of them backed up by the Baron, started emerging. Tishbi [ the Baron Vineyards ], Eliaz – Benyamina, Segal – Karmei Tsvi, and Barkan were amongst the famous ones. Christian monasteries were also making wines at this early stage. Latroun, Located at the foot of the Jerusalem mountains. French style wines producing the first Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer in Israel along with Cinssault and others. Cremisan, located in Beit Jallah near Bethlehem is an Italian style winery producing Marsala style wine, Carignan based wines and a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. Even though, some twenty years ago, they were considered as the best wineries in Israel according to dry and namely red wine lovers, today, both Latroun and Cremisan produce rather simple wines with very few exceptions to the rule. Most of their wines are exported to Jordan. In 1983 the Golan Heights winery was Established. 13 settlements consisting from Kibutsim and Moshavim, initiated a research conducted by Professor Kornilyus of U.of C. in Davis, of the best location for vineyards. The Upper Galiliee and The Golan Heights were chosen to Cultivate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Muscat, Emerald Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and recently Syrah and Gewurstraminer. An open budget brought in winemakers from California, French oak, Top of the line equipment and good quality grapes. Export brought in the first medals and an important phase of consistent good quality wines was on the road. Indeed Carmel and others were exporting wine at the time but their export focussed mainly on wine surplus to the Jewish kosher markets in the United States and Europe. GH Local marketing focussed on the restaurants as a showcase and their own wine shops priced their aged wines at shockingly high prices. Wine was sought after as a worthwhile investment. The early 90’s mirrored the Australian 50’s in a way. The boutique wineries started popping out. Those who did not fully focus on their wineries [had other businesses] remained with simpler less character oriented wines. Many were faulty selling to mostly wine ignorants in a developing wine country. In 1993 Tzora vineyards breaks loose from the grasp of the Carmel giant. Under the soul and soil penetrating viticulturist and now wine maker Roni James, this boutique winery was established. His vast knowledge in the vineyards lead him to the feet of the Judean Hills surrounding Jerusalem. The Soreq valley [ Soreqa is the biblical name for the best vine ] in the Moaav Yehuda region proved worthy of his insight. Even though the focus was on the cooler Galilee region with the Volcanic soil, Full bodied and most importantly, distinctive wines are produced today in this booming wine region with over 20 wineries around. Currently there are over 150 wineries in Israel ranging from The Snowy mountain of the Hermon [ Jabal El Sheikh ] in the North to the Negev dessert in the South. Moving from North to South here are some of the better ones: I am not into politics and I think politicians are the lowest form of humans and that borders serve their needs. I will address the location as the map flags them. Northern Lebanese border and moving East to the Golan Heights and Syria. Galil Mountains: The new ultra modern winery of the Golan Heights producing their first wines last year with wine maker Gabi G. [ guess where he studied ] producing a rather simple Merlot and Cabernet [ 8$ ] Chardonnay [8$], a nothing to right home about Pinot Noir [15$] and a fairly interesting Yiron Cab-Merlot blend. [20$]. Kosher. Rosenbaum: A rather simple boutique winery apx. 12000 bottles with Merlot 2001 being their best since their 1999 debut. Owner and wine maker Avi Rosenbaum, intends to start the first union for upper galilee growers. Miles: [ spelled miless ] 5000 bottles of med. to good quality Merlot and Cab. First vintage 2000. Located at the famous Ben Zimra vineyards in the upper Galilee. Eyal Miles ownes some very good vineyards in the famous Ben-Zimra area. Dalton: 300,000 bottles. Recently moved up in quality to produce average to good wines, under the supervision of a South African wine maker. Good price for the money. Recommended: Sauvigon Blanc Reserve 2002. Cab Reserve 1999. Kosher. Bazelet Hagolan: 6000 bottles with no consistancy in quality. These guys will be able to make better wines if they focus. The winery produces Cab. and Merlot. Their 2000 was the best vintage so far. Golan Heights: Dominates the Israeli good quality wine market with apx 3 million bottles. Classic Californian oak aged style with wood overpowering their higher range [Yarden \ Katserin ] when young and sometimes all through. Series from best to simpler: Katserin [ selected years ] , Yarden, Gamla and Golan. They produce very correct wines but lack characteristics of the vineyards and complexity. Kosher Chateau Golan: A rising star of a showcase, rather small, boutique winery with apx. 20,000 bottles. Heavily invested in top equipment and a young talented Uri Chets as the winemaker.[ Studied in Oregon ] Perfect med. + bodied Cabernet and Merlot with Syrah on the way. [30$] Moving south to Lake Galilee and the Tabor area: The Lower Galilee. Tabor: Heavily invested 300,000 bottle winery with a bad start in 1999 but the 2001 are showing promising Cab. Merlot and Chardonnay. Kosher. Even though this is a major vine growing area, there are very few wineries. Go West young man…. After relaxing on the sunny beaches of Haifa we move South along the cost to Zichron. Zichron Yaacov is famous for one of the 2 Carmel wineries, Tishbi and Binyamina wineries. Mostly large industrial wineries of Medium quality. Amphora: Certainly a winery to look out for. Talented Gil Shatsberg [ Davis ] is now out with his second vintage of new world wines perfectly balanced with oak and a med + body. Their new 2001 Cab-Merlot is their best so far. Margalit: Talented Chemist Yair Margalit is famous for his dark and dense wines that became a trademark for expensive boutique wines. Privileged customers on his list are aloud to buy up to 24 bottles from his 10 to 15 thousand bottles. Apx. 40$ 1993 and 2000 his best vintages so far. Recanati: Another heavily invested 300,000 bottles new winery with 3 series on mind. Recanati: simple Cab. Merlot and Chardonnay. 10$ Recanati Reserve: a bit more interesting Cab and Merlot with a good oaky Chardonny. Recanati Special Reserve: Med to full bodied Cab-Merlot blend 30$ Kosher. A new cheaper line is on the way. Alexander: Over priced Yauppie boutique winery ranging between 30$-50$ a bottle for medium bodied to med+ not o complex wines. Apx 7500 bottles An interesting Port style wine was produces last year 45 $ Saslove: Med. bodied oaky wines that lack both complexity and character produced by Canadian Barry Salove. 20,000 bottles. Look out for the 1999 Reserve Cab. as one of his best. Even though the winery is 8 years old, like many other Israeli wineries, the winery changed vineyards during its short life span, making it difficult to characterize the wine. Orna Chillag: Long time peace activist and a woman of many talents happened to fall into Antinori’s lap during her wine studies in Italy. She joined the production of the famous 1998 Guado Al Tasso, and tends to preserve the classic world techniques with minimum intervention. Look out for her 2001 Merlot. Very promising. Karmei Yossef: 2001 is the first vintage of Prof. Ben-Ami Bravdo and his student Prof. Nussoyov. Both experts managed to come out with a fairly drinkable Med. + bodied Cab. apx. 5000 bottles produced. An excellent start 30$. Flam: Carmel’S chief winemaker Israel Flam directed well his two sons Golan and Gilad. Golan trained at the famous Carpineto winery in Tuscany and in Australia and combined classic and new world technique in their new winery. They produce Cabernet and merlor in the Reserve line [35$ ] and a secon label blend of Cab. And Merlot - Classico, 17$. A very good start for this winery. Meishar and Zauberman Two small boutique wineries that managed well in the hot climate of southern Israel. These gargiste managed well in the Meishar Cab 730 2000 and the Zauberman Melot 2000. Ramat Arad: Carmel’s new winery in the southern area Be’er Sheva. Look out for their Merlot as one of Carmel’s best. Kosher. East towards Jerusalem… Tzora: Medium and full bodied wines producing distinctive wines since 1993. The best expression of terroire in Israel from the 300 m Soreq hills [ stone ridge ] and the 600m Neveh Ilan [ Misty hills ]. Jancis Robinson Ranked the 1999 Ilan as the best Israeli red wine she tasted. Personally I find this winery as the most Interesting in Israel. Not objective here so I’ll move on. 60,000 bottles from Cab., Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay, Muscat. Kosher from 2002. The winery intends to double production in 2004. Moni Winery The bishop must love wine. This winery is located at the heart of the Deir Rafat convent. The Artul family attends to a rather large sectuion of the fine vineyards surrounding and the wine production. Apx. 5000 bottles are produced with a faily drinkable Nouveau Merlot out and the Reserve Cabernet and Merlot still being aged in French oak. Impressive knowledge is being expressed in the vineyards with over ten different varieties grown in different location surrounding the monestary. Castel: In 1992 Sereena Suthcliff [ hope I spelled that right ]of Sotheby’s received a bottle of wine from owner Eli Ben Zaken. Tasting it in her kitchen she complimented it by comparing it to a Bordeaux wine. The heavily invested winery with new French oak, modern wine equipment, beautiful location on the Jerusalem mountain and excellent PR, produces Cab-Merlot blends with Bordeaux flavors in mind. 35 $ a bottle for the Grand vin and 27 $ for the Petit. And 30$ for a Chardonnay sur lie called Castel C. Well made wines that are mostly dominated by the French oak. Kosher from 2002. Sea Horse winery. Movie director Ze’ev Dunya, opened his Garagist winery at the year 2000. Sitting on his porch in the Bar Giyora village in the Jerusalem mountains, I inquired about the name. “A noble creature I simply love to watch” he answered. His wines are usually blended mostly from Cabernet and Merlot with a small addition of Syrah. Currently he is experimenting on Zinfandel and Grenache. Look o ut for his Elul 2001. Medium to full bodied, fairly complex and well balanced. 25 $. Soreq: Wine maker Nir Shaham is into medium and full bodied wines. His wines tend to open – up after 2-4 years with Cabernet and Merlot as his leading varieties. Apx. 20,000 bottles produced. Interesting though not too complex. 20$-40$. Constantly improving after a rather bad start in 1995. Ella Valley Winery: Under construction with a heavy foreign investment. A glance at the new equipment revealed what any winemaker would dream of. The must looked very promising. The idea is to have different fermentation tanks for each vineyard. Will be Kosher. Local habits: Medium dry Emerald Riesling rules about 25 % of the market. Most of the Israeli wine quantity produced is Kosher since Supermarket chains, hotels and wedding halls can not sell non-kosher wines [they will be banned by the religious jews. Export markets are much easier when the wines are kosher. Famous wineries like Castel and Tsora have gone kosher since 2002. Professional wine shops are selling mostly red wines. The wine market is rapidly developing both in terms of production and consumption. Competition and knowledge will push up the quality considerably. Who drinks what: Orthodox Jews: Only Badats Kosher and Mevushal Most Jews: local rabbinate Kosher not necessarily Mevushal. Moderate Jews. Kosher not necessary. Muslim Arabs: mostly don’t drink alcohol. Moderate Muslims: Into scotch mainly but also wines lately. Bahai: No alcohol allowed. Christian Arabs: Depend on local habits but more and more are interested in wines. My own view of the market: Most wines are fairly simple with very few exceptions. The large wineries are aiming at the international Jewish communities and the Iraqi war has answered their prayers. The Local garagists are trying to fight their way with the expression of their terroire and mostly they are not Kosher. Over all, prices of good wines are expensive, but as long as the local market serves as the main market, prices will have to come down once the surplus hits the producers in the face. To sum up: a very young fast developing industry with little expression of the soil. TN's not included. Thanks for reading Andre
  10. Andre

    Forest Fire Smoke

    I looked into the matter of the effect of the fire on the vines. Apparently, as long as the vines are not exposed to extreme heat, the ashes can be even good for the vineyard. I recall, in places like Champagne, they intentionally burn branches and vine leaves to fertilize the soil.
  11. Andre

    Forest Fire Smoke

    A friend of mine is currently wine tatsting in Okanagan. He describes most areas as impossible to breathe. They are praying for the rain to control this uleashed beast. The wineries most probably hit buy the fire are Hubertus, CedarCreek and Summerhill. St. Hubertus, a delightful little winery that is probably hit the most. I know of vines being hurt from different types of pollution but have no experince with fire. I join the Okanagan people in their prayes for rain.
  12. A very good question. It is like diregarding the Pita in the Falafel. Personally I never paid attention to the types of vine leaves exept that they should be fresh, elastic and with a minimum of vains [ easier to roll ]. To store the fresh leaves in season, simply semi-cook the leaves. pack them well in batches and freeze. My Lebanese aunt is known to be the best there is but My own grandmother, makes the best I can get in Israel. Well she practiced for over 60 years... Enjoying, Andre
  13. " More specifically, my mother, who was capable of being a really good cook, would feed us stuff that would have tasted like crap to any objective person, full of brewer's yeast, raw soy, liver powder. She thought it tasted good because it was "good for you". " Ouch, And I thought my childhood was bad when I was forced to eat chicken. We have to differetaite between what nature provides us and things we tamper with in relation to the term taste. If we grow up to eat MacD. This is what meat should taste like for us. Modern parents find this quick and available solution comfortable with little thought about the aquired taste of the young ones. Mass marketing forces you to go with the flow.
  14. Well said, Kosher is much more brutal than modern methods. "taste should be determinant of taste" I am afraid this sentence is very subjective. I see this as just another fight between the "big brother" and nature. Modern research serves the means of those in control, to brand and market with what nature already provided us. Knowledge is not always wisdom. You grow up being exposed to certain flavors and knowledge and this is what you base your assumptions on. Old style parents used to feed you from the healthy products of the land. In the 70's these things changed favoring the new money making agriculture. Vegetables neither tasted nor had the health benefits of the naturally organic products. On the other hand, the simplest form of organic started costing 5 and 10 times as much. processed sugar is a good example of that. The next step - the animals. Ducks, chickens, calves, fish and so on, became too controlled by those power driven lunatics up there. I am not reffering only to cruelty here, though being humane, it should be a primary concern. The "big" chefs and Ms Child is a good example, were searching for "clean" flavors to create their perfect dishes. Luckily for goats, they are usually unable to deliver a "clean" flavorless taste. Now all of this is going to hit us streight in the face. No more complexity, no more different, no more unfamiliar, slowly but surely we will loose track of nature to become a mere tool in the hands of power hungry players. We could be living in a settlement in outer space for all it matters. This may sound extreme, but we are definitely on the right track.
  15. I afraid things are much simpler in my eyes. There is money and there is a humane behavior. Once the Israeli Prime Minester Barak authorised force feeding geese - I took the best selling item out of my deli. and I put a bid sign upfront - no foi gras. I manage great with humanely raised veal. My own cousin used to raise and distribute the meat himself, and now, like many small businesses, he's unemployed. He tought me the "natural way". I did not have one steak returned in 5 years unless undercooked. All we have to do is divert our energies towards the right thing and most importantly, find the time to get to know nature. I feel blessed to be able to do that.
  16. Andre

    Dinner with friends

    Very well balanced meal, excellent choice of winesw, though I admit, the rather daring combination of grilled, open faced sandwich of olive bread, mozzarella, tomato, pesto, EVOO and fresh basil with the 1999 Chevillon, Roncieres would have never crossed my mind. Chapeau !
  17. Andre

    Wine pairing suggestions

    Great suggestions and a great choice of dishes for this time of the year. Here are some different pairings that might work well: Est Est Est, Poggio Dei Gelsi by Falesco with Asian Style Tuna Tartare Regaleali Bianco [ Sicily ] with Seafood Cocktail Campeche A good Vinho Verde with Composed Summer Vegetable Salad A Sardignan Cannonau by Argiolas or similar with Pork Loin stuffed with Sausage and Apricots And a Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico by Giovanni Allegrini or similar with Berry Gratin Take a walk on the wild side...tu. tutu..tutu....
  18. I will prepere a new topic of my view of the Israeli wine market. I will do my best to be objective and to keep preferences and emotions out of it. Feel free to pull in the direction of your interest after reading. I am currently finishing a rather large reoprt for a local wine magazine with an ignorant as an editor. Frustrating. So I apologize it will take some time. regards Andre
  19. Tough prices. Perhaps if you have the time you could help us get a closer look at those 150 wineries. I am sure there are a few serious ones we don't ever get to see. I would love to learn more. This could be an interesting and ongoing new thread. As Lord Farquad would have said: " I have the honor, no, no, the privelage..." Give me general guidlines of what might interest you, or where to start, or you leave it to whatever flows.... regards Andre
  20. "70% tax talk about criminal. Do they do this to protect your own wine industry?" So they say. A young 58 year old country, tends to be forgiven especially when so politically "busy". Wines from the States, for example, should have no taxes at all [ what are freinds for ? ], yet a Mondavi Woodbridge is around 20 $, Colombia Crest Merlot 19 $, Wente whatever 12 $ Beringer California, 19$ etc. Ther are ways to rase prices other than direct taxation. Imagine what a 2buc chuck would cost. [ amusing thought... ] In the last 5 years we moved from 20 to 150 wineries and counting. Finally there is something to protect though the market is far from steady to be controlled by any rule.
  21. I tried the 1991, 1994 and 1995 Don Melchor and had a plaeasant surprise from a Casillero del Diablo 1989. Truth is I did not intend to age the Diablo, but after forgetting about it for a while, curiosity crept in. Excellent balance between dried prunes, dark chocolate, nutmeg and soft tannins, this wine seemed to be in a perfect condition for its age. The 1991 Diablo is at its peak with dark red towards brownish edges with a heavy bouquet of dried prunes, choclate, vanilla and spices. The 1995 is still ruled by a massive amount of dominating tannins with a big question about the development of the fruits. It is a well made massive wine, yet I would expect more complexity from Concha Y Toro's best. I tasted the Don 1995 right after the Undurraga Founder's Collection. There was a huge gap between the New world Dond and the classic Chilean Undurraga. Most of those who attended the tasting went for the very well focussed Melchor while my own preferance was the more complex Undurraga. I join your assumption that the 1994 will not add any complexity to deserve aging and will loose a lot of its character if the tannins soften.
  22. I just had a bottle of the Morellino Di Scansano 2000 by Elisabetta Geppetti and liked the wine very much. A great value at only 7 Euro. The plastic cork was in good shape, worked perfectly and I was quite happy to see it. Certainly the customer is not always right (except as Mark S. so deftly noted), but if a super-expensive wine is spoiled because of the cork it should be returned. If you order a huge piece of Kobe beef you would send it back to the kitchen if it was spoiled - no matter how much it cost. If the sommelier agrees that the wine is corked - I can't imagine a restaurant not taking it back. Now if the sommelier determines the wine is fine that is another matter. If you order old wine you as a customer take a risk as to its condition. If it is over the hill it is your problem. If it is corked it is theirs. They are different issues. Very glad to hear you like the wine. In my country the price is closer to 20 Eur. [ 70% taxes + small quantity shipment that must be very expensive, I'd rather stick to this excuse ]but still I find it interesting enough to buy. I simply love this side of Sangiovese. Happy to hear your corks were in good shape. I've written the winery several months ago, complimenting the wine and complaining about the cork with several pictures attached. No respone yet. Older wines tend to penetrate the cork deeper, exposing the wines to a higher risk of TCA or any other bacteria found in the cork. Do you think the customer should be notified in advance and having to rely almost completely on the Sommelier's decision ? A major factor in a restaurant is the service, and a lot of money is a sensitive issue. Aiming to be a perfect host, this is a tricky question.
  23. I fully agree that there is no need for natural cork on the short run. New Zealand is a big fan of the screw caps yet I see little export of Nrew Zealan wines with them. It seems the plastick corks left a bad impact, namely when a lot of South-African wines were exported with them. There are still a few questions left unanswered: What do you think will happen if there is a change in temperature and the wine needs to expand ? Will it seal the bottle in the same manner if it heats up ? The plastic corks suffered the most from wines with high acidity. If I am to pick an Italian wine: Morellino Di Scansano 2000 by Elisabetta Geppetti. The plastic cork was in a bad state all through the many wines I opened. Do you think acidity iss an issue when it comes to the screw cap, even though bottled don't need to lie down ? Craig: "an expensive old bottle and it is corked that it can and should be returned." From a customer point of view, a big yes, but that could mean the end of aged wines in a restaurants or any other than private stocks. The customer is always right could pose a problem in this case. Would love to hear Mark's response as well.
  24. There's plastic and there's plastic. The stuff they're using to line the insides of screw caps is pretty damn inert. If they made whole bottles out of the same material, I doubt you'd be able to detect a difference between glass and plastic bottled water. I assume it's just that the material would be too expensive for water bottles, so they go with cheaper plastics that do impart some (though less and less over time as technology improves) taste. The screw cap is yet to stand the test of time. Looking at the other side of things. Aged wines are in touch with the cork and some flavor will affect the wine over the years. Don't you think that would be missed ? Humans used to use barrels as a mean of transportation since glass was so sensitive. Now we use barrels mostly for flavors and even moved on to oak chips.
  25. Metacork: http://www.bullworks.net/daily/metacork.wmv
  • Create New...