Wine Advocate’s Israel Tasting

Since 2007, there have been annual tastings of Israeli wines by the Wine Advocate, the mouthpiece of Robert Parker, the world’s most influential wine critic. Mark Squires, who is the specialist on Israeli wines in Parker’s wine tasting team, did the tasting as usual.

There were 80 wines from 21 different wineries. The highest scores were achieved by Yarden El Rom Cabernet Sauvignon, Yatir Forest and Tzora Or. A score of 90 points or more is a target for Israeli wineries. Yatir and Tzora each had three wines which achieved this, Golan Heights Winery and Ella Valley had two each. The following wines were most successful:

Carmel Mediterranean  2009  90 points

Clos de Gat Ayalon Valley 2004  90

Domaine du Castel Grand Vin 90

Ella Valley Vineyards 32 N 35 E 2008 90

Ella Valley Vineyards Chardonnay 2010  90

Flam Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay 90

Golan Heights Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon EL Rom 2008  92

Golan Heights Yarden Merlot 2008  90

Shilo Merlot Secret Reserve Sod 2009  90

Tzora Vineyards Misty Hills 2010 90

Tzora Vineyards Neve Ilan 2011 90

Tzora Vineyards Or 2011  91

Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon 2009  90

Yatir Petit Verdot 2009  90

Yatir Forest  2009  91

Since the first tasting in December 2007, only 23 Israeli wines have succeeded to score 91 points or more. The highest score for an Israeli wine is still 93 points, an achievement shared by Clos de Gat, Castel, Margalit and Yatir. By far the most successful wineries over the five years have been Domaine du Castel and Yatir Winery.  Castel has had no less than 13 wines being awarded 90 points or more, followed by Yatir with 11.  The positions are reversed for wineries at 91 points or more with Yatir leading with 6 wines followed by Castel with 5. And the two most successful wines? Yatir Forest and Castel Grand Vin, the flagship wines of Yatir & Castel. Yatir Forest has received a score of 90 or more score from the Wine Advocate for seven successive vintages between 2003 and 2009. Castel’s Grand Vin has also received seven scores of 90 points or more.

In the absence of a dominant wine critic in Israel like Daniel Rogov, who sadly passed away in 2011, the scores provide an important barometer of the progress of Israeli wines in the court of international opinion.

 

Recanati in Wine Advocate

Recanati Winery has gained some excellent scores in the Wine Advocate, the newsletter owned by Robert Parker. Robert Parker is the world’s most famous wine critic. Mark Squires, a specialist in Israeli wines and part of Parker’s team, did the tasting.
Three of their wines scored 90 points or more. One scored 91 points, the Recanati Special Reserve. It became only the twentieth Israeli wine to gain a score of 91 points or more in the Wine Advocate.

The most successful scores were as follows:

Recanati Special Reserve 2009 91 points
Recanati Syrah Viognier Reserve 2009 90 points
Recanati Wild Carignan 2009 90 points

From Rothschild to Parker

(The following article was written by Adam Montefiore for TASTED magazine and is reprinted with permission from wines-israel.com)

Israel is a ‘new world’ wine country, in one of the oldest wine regions on earth. In this Biblical land, one can find a curious combination of the new, old and ancient world of winemaking in a country no bigger than New Jersey or Wales. Ancient Israel, with roots going back deep into Biblical times, must have been one of the earliest wine producing countries – at least 2,000 years before the Greeks & Romans took the vine to Europe. It took a Rothschild to renew the tradition and create a modern wine industry.

Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite, founded Carmel Winery in 1882 and built two large wineries with deep underground cellars, at Rishon Le Zion and Zichron Ya’acov. Until today, they remain the two largest wineries in Israel. The cuttings were from Château Lafite and the first winemakers of Carmel were from Bordeaux. The initial advice and expertise was French, even the winemaker of Lafite, Charles Mortier, was one of the early consultants.

However in those days the interest in Israeli wine was not great and inexpensive bulk wine or sweet wine was what the market desired. The quality revolution only really arrived in 1980’s, when expertise was brought from California. It was the Golan Heights Winery, which introduced ‘new world’ viticulture and winemaking techniques, and their Yarden wines began be noticed.

In the 1990’s a new awareness of quality food and wine began to spread in Israel. A growing number of small wineries were formed. Most famous of these was Domaine du Castel, which was ‘found’ by Serena Sutcliffe MW, and then by Decanter magazine. The owner, Eli Ben Zaken, taught himself how to make wine from Emile Peynaud’s book on winemaking. Another was Margalit Winery, founded by Dr. Yair Margalit, a chemistry professor. Since the beginning of the 2000’s, wineries of the caliber of Yatir Winery and Clos de Gat were formed. Yatir was a pioneer of a total new region, and Clos de Gat, was Israel’s first true estate winery. Each received international recognition to draw attention to Israeli wines.

Since then, something close to a wine fever has gripped the country. The area of vineyards has increased to 5,000 hectares and there are now 35 commercial wineries and more than 250 wineries in all. The larger wineries are: Carmel, Barkan-Segal, Golan Heights, Teperberg, Binyamina, Galil Mountain, Tishbi, Recanati, Dalton and Tabor. The best of the smaller wineries are Castel, Yatir, Margalit, Clos de Gat, Chateau Golan, Flam, Pelter, Ella Valley, Saslove, and Vitkin. However all this is relative, because Israel is still a tiny wine country, producing even less than Cyprus. The difference though, is the focus is on development and ongoing improvements in quality.

The main quality red wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. There are also some interesting varietal Cabernet Francs. Characterful Old Vine Carignans and Petite Sirahs give a hint of what Israel may become known for in the future. Amongst the whites, apart from Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, there are also Gewurztraminers, Rieslings and Viogniers. Although Israel has won major awards for dry white wines and sparkling wines, it is probably best regarded for its red wines and dessert wines.

Israel is famed for its agriculture. Drip feed irrigation, which is used worldwide, was an Israeli invention that revolutionized the global agricultural industry. Israel’s viticulturists are technologically advanced and up to date. As an Eastern Mediterranean country, it is not a surprise that the climate is mainly Mediterranean. The country is divided into five registered wine regions: Galilee in the north, Shomron, Samson, Judean Hills and the Negev Desert, in the south. Like many thin countries, there are a surprising number of microclimates in so small an area. The most successful sub-regions for producing high quality wines are those with cooler climate and higher altitude, like the Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and Judean Hills.

Israel’s two most famous wineries remain Carmel and The Golan Heights. These are large wineries producing good value wines at every price point, but their best wines are amongst the finest in Israel. Carmel has vineyards all over Israel, including some quality old vine vineyards. The winery is particularly well-represented in the Upper Galilee, where it has a new small winery and a number of young vineyards. This is where their award winning Kayoumi Single Vineyard and most of their Appellation wines come from. The Golan Heights Winery is situated at Katzrin. Yarden and Gamla are produced from vineyards on the Golan Heights plateau. Carmel and Golan represent the terroirs of the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights respectively.

Israel’s most celebrated wineries are Domaine du Castel and Yatir Winery. Castel is situated in the mountains west of Jerusalem. Yatir Winery is situated in the north eastern Negev Dessert at Tel Arad, but the vineyards lie in Yatir Forest, Israel’s largest forest, at up to 900 meters above sea level. The repeated successes of both these wineries illustrate the growing respect being given to wines from the Judean Hills.

Most of Israel’s wineries are modern, technologically advanced and all the major wineries employ internationally trained winemakers, with experience in major wine producing countries. For example, the winemaker of the Golan Heights Winery, Victor Schoenfeld, is from California. He studied at U.C. Davis and had previous experience with Robert Mondavi. Carmel’s Lior Lacser, studied in Burgundy, worked in Burgundy and Bordeaux, including a spell with Michel Rolland. Eran Goldwasser, winemaker of Yatir, is a graduate of Adelaide University and included work experience at a Southcorp/ Fosters winery.

Lately, sommeliers, retailers and wine critics all over the world, are beginning to show new interest in Israeli wine. They are impressed by the youth, knowledge and dynamism of Israel’s viticulturists and winemakers. Critics are also reporting favourably. Castel was awarded four stars in Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2010. Yatir Forest, the premier label of Yatir Winery, scored 93 points, the best yet for Israel, in the Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon made the Wine Spectator’s Annual Top 100, for the first time. This does not hint at the depth and variety of the Israeli wine revolution. Robert Parker’s latest Wine Buyer’s Guide devotes nine pages to Israel. The previous edition did not feature even one Israeli wine!

The Eastern Mediterranean was the cradle of wine culture. Israel, like other countries in the region, reeks of wine through its history, archaeology, culture and religious ritual. It has had 5,000 years of practice, and finally the wines are of good quality, showing regional character and improving. Israel today is arguably producing the best quality wines to be found in the Eastern Medterranean.

Article written by Adam Montefiore for TASTED Magazine

Israeli Wines in the Wine Advocate

The Wine Advocate, owned by Robert Parker, the world’s most famous & influential wine critic, has again tasted wines from Israel.
This is encouraging because Israel now seems to appear at least once a year in a formal tasting. It was not so long ago that Israel was off the Parker radar. However today that has all changed. In Robert Parker’s Wine Buyers Guide No. 7, Israel receives more pages than South Africa and the same as New Zealand.

The important scores from the most recent tasting were:

  • Clos de Gat Sycra Syrah 2007 92 points
  • Yatir Forest 2004 91
  • Yatir Forest 2006 91
  • Castel Grand Vin 2007 91

A Recanati wine also scored 90 points for the first time. However, the full list of results are available only to subscribers to the Wine Advocate.

The specialist on Israeli wines in Robert Parker’s team is Mark Squires. He has visited wineries in Israel and also has now completed a number of formal tastings of Israeli wines. His efforts must make him arguably the leading international expert on Israel.

Since the first tasting in December 2007, the following Israeli wines have distinguished themselves by scoring 91 points or over.

  • Yatir Forest 2003 93 points
  • Castel Grand Vin 2004 92
  • Clos de Gat Sycra Syrah 2007 92
  • Tzora Or 2006 92
  • Yatir Forest 2004 91
  • Yatir Forest 2006 91
  • Castel Grand Vin 2007 91
  • Castel Blanc du Castel 2005 91
  • Yarden Katzrin 2003 91
  • Yarden HeightsWine 2005 91

Yatir and Castel each appear three times in the list. The best score in the Israeli category remains Yatir Forest 2003, with 93 points.

The following is the list of Israeli wineries which have succeeded to get 90 or more points from the Wine Advocate on more than one occasion:

  • Castel 8 times; Yatir & Carmel 7 (together); Clos de Gat 6; Margalit 4
  • Golan Heights & Galil Mountain 3 (together) and Tulip 2.

There is always a question whether Robert Parker himself tastes Israeli wines. The answer is yes. In Business Week, after writing tasting notes on wines from Yatir, Castel and Carmel, he wrote: “The wines are getting better all the time, and some of them are superb.” Coming from the great man himself, this was about the best compliment Israeli wines have received to date.

(The preceding post first appeared in wines-israel.com and is reprinted with permission – note that the Israeli wine tastings in the Wine Advocate are not officially done by Robert Parker but rather are tasted by Mark Squires, who is in charge of wines from Israel)

Israel’s World Class Dessert Wines

Unfortunately most Israelis associate sweet wines with Kiddush and religious ritual, and therefore the very word ‘sweet’ has connotations of a cheap and nasty wine. Something which is to be avoided, at all costs. However some of the world’s most sought after and expensive wines are sweet, pudding wines. An Eiswein or Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany, Icewine from Canada or Sauternes from Bordeaux are sweet, but it would be a tragedy if a wine lover never experiences them because of a prejudice against sweet wines.

The Eastern Mediterranean is famous as being home to some of the world’s most original dessert wines. Commandaria, from 14 villages on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, is the world’s most historic wine, dating back to the Crusades. Greek wines such as Mavrodaphne from the northwest Peloponnese, Vinsantos from the Assyrtiko grown in the volcanic island of Santorini or Muscats from the island of Samos, are some of the world’s best dessert wines. The Keo St John Commandaria, Achaia Clauss Mavrodaphne, Argyros Vinsanto and Samos Muscat are well worth seeking out. Even Lebanon makes quality dessert wines, like the Kefraya Lacrima d’Oro.

Lately, Israel is joining its neighbours in the Eastern Mediterranean and becoming known for excellent dessert wines. Twenty years ago Israeli wine lovers would sneer at sweet wines. The wines that changed the view were Yarden Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest 1988 and a wine that was originally sold under the name ‘Yarden Port Blanc.’

Continue reading Israel’s World Class Dessert Wines

Mark Squires Tastes Israeli Wine in the Wine Advocate

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has a new tasting of Israeli boutique and garagiste wineries by Mark Squires (who authored the first two reviews of Israeli wine in the Wine Advocate).

While Squires’s first mark_squiresreview was widely received with several wineries receiving scores of 90 or above and the rest receiving scores in the 80s, today’s tasting received lower scores. Although quite a few wines also did not receive super scores.

Some of that is a matter of taste. The Wine Advocate is notorious for liking big fruit-forward wines, as Parker has specific tastes and wines can get “Parkerized.” Mark Squires seems to have a bias against “green” wines – which are common throughout the Mediterranean, not only in Israeli wine but also in Italy’s finest.

As Daniel Rogov explains:

It is also fairly clear that Squires seems, in a mere two years since his first report, to have lost much of his enchantment with Israeli wines, continuing to focus rather heavily on what he considers the “green notes in Israel Bordeaux blends”, notes that more than he prefer not so see. Everyone is entitled to his/her tastes but it might be a good thing to realize that many Mediterranean residents rather like those green notes. Something akin to olive oil perhaps – Americans like theirs extra-virgin and on the fruity side, Mediterranean types like theirs on the distinctly spicy side.

Of course, the Wine Advocate’s first review was of Israel’s top boutique wineries, while this latest tasting was of some wineries that even Rogov hasn’t heard of and of private labels — while some of the larger wineries have been left out.

Rogov summarizes the tasting thusly (I haven’t yet gotten access to the article):

In this latest report Squires has reviewed 113 Israeli wines. And in that he has chosen to focus largely on small, boutique and garagiste wineries. A noble chore but it does give a somewhat skewed picture for among the wineries completely missing in the list of wines are any from, e.g., the Golan Heights Winery, Recanati and Dalton. How wineries such as those can be left out of such a major tasting eludes me. Nor is it known to me how those wines tasted were selected or obtained, whether they were tasted fully blind, whether they were tasted in an entirely Israeli tasting, whether they were sent by the wineries or purchased in the USA or here. I do wish I knew some of those things for some can impact on one’s conscious or unconscious stereotypes or pre-conceptions. 

Whatever, in Squires first tasting of Israeli wines a host of wines scored 90 points or higher. In this report only ten wines of the 113 tasted attain that honor. “Winners” in the scoring race seem to be Castel, Margalit and Clos de Gat. The big loser in this particular race certainly looks like Pelter who, despite being the rage of most local critics (including myself) and quite a few critics abroad attains not a single 90 but falls as low as 83 on one wine. Even Yatir, attaining acclaim world-wide earns not a score over 89 points. ‘Tis a puzzlement. 

As to the totals (a quick count on my part):

24 wines received scores of between 77-84
21 wines received scores of 85 or 86 points
40 wines received scores of 87 or 88 points
18 wines received scores of 89 points
10 wines received scores of 90 points

robert parker's wine_advocate_logoWhile it’s unclear in what way Squires tasted — in a blind tasting, non-blind, did he know there was Israeli wines, etc. — this matters. On the other hand, perhaps it’s good for the Israeli wine industry to get knocked down off its pedestal. Israel is a tiny country and geographically isolated (although a plane ride to Europe isn’t THAT far away) and it’s easy to live in our little bubble.

Israel is making some great wines. And some not-so great wines. But, there are a few who see that the Wine Advocate gives a few 90s to Israel’s top wineries — ignoring that this represents only a handful of wines — and say that Israeli wines – as a class – are the best in teh world. Well, I’m not sure. Where are the exceptional wines that age for decades and receive scores of 97, 98, 99, or 100? They aren’t there yet.

Perhaps it’ll take a few 80s or 85s or, gasp, even an 89 to get Israel to that illusive 100.

Reuters: Israeli wine flows onto international shelves

Israeli wine flows onto international shelves

The following is from the Reuters wire service. Read the full article at Reuters

logo_reuters_media_usJERUSALEM (Reuters Life!) – Israeli wine has long stirred up associations with the syrupy libations of religious rituals, but modern techniques imported from top winemaking nations are now helping it find space on shelves from Paris to New York.

“Today, you’ll find that people are looking for Israeli wines that meet international standards and the good thing is we are actually producing wines like that,” Israeli wine critic Daniel Rogov says in an interview at a busy Tel Aviv wine shop.

“There is no contradiction between wines that are kosher and wines that are excellent.”

Israeli wineries, both industrial-scale and boutique, make over 33 million bottles a year, according to the Israeli Wine Council, but the vast majority of Israeli wine is kosher or made in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.

Whilst the rabbinical seal has long been associated with wines made to appeal to observant Jews rather than connoisseurs, the quality of Israeli wines is improving, helped by government incentives for smaller producers, and some vintages are now garnering international plaudits.

Robert Parker, among the world’s most influential wine critics, has heaped praise and points on some 40 Israeli wines. Fourteen of them won more than 90 out of a maximum 100 points in Parker’s rating system.

Wines from neighboring Lebanon, which traces its winemaking industry back over 4,000 years, have been winning international awards for decades. Israel enjoys the same Mediterranean climate.

Weighing in with 93 points was the red 2003 Yatir Forest label from a subsidiary of Carmel Winery.

Due to copyright restrictions, I am not posting the rest of the article. Read the rest from http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE57H1R520090818

Scoop: Wine Advocate re-tastes Israeli wine

SCOOP: The latest issue of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has a new tasting of Israeli wines by Mark Squires. This is important because it means that the Wine Advocate is paying continued attention to Israeli wine. As I said, the secret’s out. Israeli wine is good and not just for kosher-keepers.

Here are Squire’s scores from the latest issue of Wine Advocate:

2005 Carmel Limited Edition 87
2006 Carmel Carignan Old Vines 85
2005 Carmel Shiraz 88 Early 30
2005 Carmel Gewurztraminer Sha’Al Vineyard 87
2007 Carmel Gewurztraminer Sha’Al Vineyard 88
2007 Carmel White Riesling 85
2006 Carmel Petite Sirah Old Vines 87
2005 Dalton Zinfandel 81 30
2006 Galil Mountain Avivim 86
2006 Galil Mountain Chardonnay 87
2004 Galil Mountain Syrah Yiron 87
2007 Galil Mountain Viognier 86
2004 Galil Mountain Yiron 87
2003 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon El Rom Vineyard (Yarden) 89
2004 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon El Rom Vineyard (Yarden) 88
2006 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Golan 84

2004 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarden) 87
2005 Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Katzrin Yarden 87
2005 Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Odem Organic (Yarden) 86
2005 Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Yarden 84
2005 Golan Heights Winery Gewurztraminer Heights Wine Late Harvest (Yarden) 91
2007 Golan Heights Winery Gewurztraminer Yarden 86
2003 Golan Heights Winery Merlot Yarden 86
2004 Golan Heights Winery Syrah Ortal Vineyard Yarden 88
2006 Golan Heights Winery Viognier (Yarden) 85
2007 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon 80
2007 Recanati Chardonnay 86
2006 Recanati Merlot 82
2005 Recanati Merlot Reserve 85
2005 Recanati Syrah 82
Red Wine 2007 Recanati Yasmin 79
White Wine 2007 Recanati Yasmin 81
2005 Yatir Cabernet Sauvignon 87
2005 Yatir Merlot Shiraz Cabernet 88
2005 Yatir Yatir Forest 90

Why Israeli Wine is World Class (My Philosophy on What is Good Wine)

Golan Heights Winery's Katzrin premium Israeli wine
Israeli wine is world class. Yes, we’ve heard this recently from the likes of Robert Parker, Mark Squires, Gary Vaynerchuk, Wine Spectator, Decanter, and other wine critics and trade publications. But I think they’ve all got it a bit wrong.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not necessarily disagreeing with their scores and I’ll take the 93 that the Wine Advocate (Robert Parker and Mark Squires) gave the Yatir Forest. Rather, my wine philosophy is that Israeli wine is not world class because of the absolutely excellent Yatir Forest red wine or the Israeli wine that comes from Domaine du Castel but might be mistaken for the finest French chateau. Rather, Israeli wine is world class because of the Carmel Private Collection and its continued rise. Wine from Israel is world class because Gary Vaynerchuk referred to the Segal Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Merom Galil) as better than most California Cabernet Sauvignon’s, yet this wine costs less than $15. Wine from Israel is world class not because the Yarden El Rom Cabernet can be cellared for the next decade or because the latest vintage of the Yarden Katzrin can be a gift for your child’s 21st birthday. It’s not world class because Daniel Rogov gave the 2004 Yarden Ortal Syrah a score of 91. Rather, wine from the emerging eastern Mediterranean region is world class because the Golan Cabernet Sauvignon – the lowest level wine from the Golan Heights Winery – is wonderful, pleasant, and easy to drink vino.

Israeli wine is world class not because the Galil Mountain Winery makes an excellent Yiron and Yiron Syrah, but because the regular series wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier – are all winners and all provide excellent value for money. Several of these wines are even available in supermarkets throughout Israel! Israeli wine isn’t world class because of the Recanati Special Reserve but rather because Recanati’s “regular” line of varietal red and white wines all provide high quality at an everyday price. Israeli wine is world class because Ze’ev Dunie doesn’t overcharge on the awesome and unique Sea Horse label.

I firmly believe that a country is not producing world class wine because their top-of-the-line wine is excellent. That’s not my philosophy when it comes to wine, that’s not accessible for most people, and that doesn’t let people who have a normal budget and a regular salary enjoy the fruit of the vine. Israel isn’t world class because our top wines are world class. We’re world class because we are producing excellent supermarket wines. We’re world class because great wines are produced in Israel that are affordable for a picnic, for a middle class person, for every day and not just a wedding, anniversary, or other special occasion.

I don’t always drink the most expensive wines. But in Israel, I don’t have to. I can drink world class wines at affordable prices. Quality wine comes in all price ranges. That’s why Israel makes world class wines.

Wine Advocate tastes Israeli wines … again

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has a new Internet-only feature on Israeli wine. This article by Mark Squires has reviews, tasting notes, and some of the Wine Advocate’s thoughts on Israeli wine.

I will have more on this topic later, once I go through the tasting notes, but if you are a subscriber check it out and if not, you may still be able to get it from eRobertParker.com.

Robert Parker writes about Israeli wines in Business Week

Robert Parker talks about Israeli wine in his Business Week column, with rankings for Castel, Yatir, Carmel’s Limited Edition. Here is the link.

It’s great to see Israeli wines begin to get the recognition that they deserve. Wine Spectator also recently featured an article about Tulip Winery.

Mark Squires on Israeli wine

Richard, a nice American blogger who also shows the love to Israeli wine, interviewed Mark Squires on his blog Israel Wine Direct (the only other Israeli wine blog, but missing out on a ton since Richard’s in America – but he’s scheduled to bring great Israeli wine to American direct consumers).

The interview is worth paying attention to for what’s needed to improve Israeli wine. Read the whole piece for more, but I have to admit mixed feelings.

Israel has this well-known problem of being associated with poor kosher wines — even poor kosher wines that aren’t Israeli! Squires accidently makes this own association himself when he writes:

3. Does Israel produce the best kosher wines?

I think so. Not that I’ve gone out of the way to search out non-Israeli Kosher wines, but as someone who grew up with Mogen David at Passover Seders, I think Israel has improved on that quite a bit.

What’s the mistake here? Simple – Mogen David — a nasty kiddush wine — ISN’T ISRAELI! Why should Israel be associated with Mogen David and Manishewitz (which I hope goes out of business quickly, as it does a great disservice to kosher wine).  Although even I made this mistake when I interviewed Eli Ben-Zaken by associated Castel with Manishewitz and the whole “kosher wine doesn’t have to be bad.” But if even I and Squires can do it, than this is still a MAJOR hurdle that the Israeli wine industry needs to get through.

I don’t agree with all of Squires comments. Do you?