Daniel Rogov: il vino in Israele e in Libano

inserito da
Daniel Rogov: il vino in Israele e in Libano
Sono passati esattamente 7 anni dalla morte di Daniel Rogov, famoso e influente critico enogastronomico del quotidiano israeliano Ha’aretz, e appassionato autore della Rogov’s Guide to Israeli Wines. Non ebbi mai l’occasione d’incontrarlo in persona, nonostante frequenti viaggi lavorativi in terra santa; comunque dal lontano 1998 in poi eravamo frequentemente in contatto sui paleo-social di allora, i newsgroup (alt.food.wine). Ma un giorno decisi di telefonargli, perché avevo un progetto speciale.

All’epoca lavoravo per una startup israeliana nelle telecomunicazioni, e ogni trimestre mi recavo a Herzlìya per le solite riunioni. Non ci voleva molto per capire che ero appassionato di bere e mangiare, e così il mio boss mi propose di preparare una “presentation” di un’ora per “insegnare ai miei 50 colleghi israeliani qualcosa sul vino”, magari portando qualche vino dalla Francia e dall’Italia.

Le difficoltà logistiche mi parvero insuperabili, allora decisi di usare vino israeliano, così magari imparavo qualcosa pure io. Ne parlai con Daniel, che mi richiamò qualche giorno dopo per dirmi che, tramite un’enoteca di fiducia che avrebbe fornito tutto gratuitamente, aveva fatto preparare calici, sputacchiere, decanter e una selezione sua di vini emblematici di tutte le zone vinicole israeliane, in quantità sufficiente per i miei allievi, e che tutto sarebbe stato consegnato nella sala conferenze della ditta alla data convenuta… GASP! Gli proposi di venire come guest speaker, o almeno di cenare insieme, ma aveva da fare, doveva finire la sua guida, e intanto mi mandò qualche articolo suo sul vino in Israele, sulle zone vinicole, sui terroir, sul vino kosher.

Mi misi a studiare e preparai 60 slides di Powerpoint, di cui intendevo usare una ventina, lasciando il resto per chi volesse leggerle e approfondire.

Il mio intervento fu molto apprezzato. Dieci anni dopo incontrai uno dei partecipanti a una fiera a Monaco di Baviera. Mi disse: “I still remember that course, I learned so much. Now when I go to a restaurant I ask for Sauvignon, I tell the sommelier it has an aroma of cat pee, and he agrees with me. This always impresses the girls”.


Le zone vinicole

GALIL – la Galilea include il Golan, la regione più adatta alla viticoltura; a quel tempo la Golan Heights Winery, Dalton, Segal, Margalit e Saslove stavano espandendo le loro attività, piantando Cabernet S., Merlot, Sauvignon, Chardonnay.
NEGEV – zona desertica che riesce a produrre vino tramite irrigazione.
SHOMRON – vicino alla costa Mediterranea, a sud di Haifa, è la zona vinicola più estesa, con le wineries di Baron, Binyamina, Carmel Mizrachi Zichron Ya'acov, e varie “boutique wineries”
JUDEAN HILLS – intorno a Gerusalemme, con clima fresco in altitudine, eccellente zona per Chardonnay, con tante piccole aziende, alcune specializzate nel vino kosher dolce.
SHIMSHON (Samson) – tra le Judean Hills e la pianura sulla costa, nota per la Carmel Mizrachi.


Vino Kosher

Ero abituato ai vin kosher in America, dolci e imbevibili come il tipico Manischewitz, fabbricato a Naples, NY. In Israele i vini kosher sono prodotti essenzialmente dalle grandi wineries industriali; per le piccole aziende, produrre kosher non è economicamente viabile. Anche perché gran parte degli israeliani non è praticante, e beve vino normale.

I principi del vino kosher sono, in breve:

• le piante devono avere un minimo di 4 anni
• ogni 7 anni non si vendemmia, si abbandona il raccolto
• è proibito coltivare altre verdure o frutta nella vigna
• si possono usare solo recipienti e arnesi dedicati solo al vino kosher
• i recipienti e tubi devono essere puliti
• solo ebrei ortodossi praticanti possono lavorare nell’area dedicata al vino kosher
• l’1% del vino prodotto va gettato ritualmente nei campi; simbolizza l’antica tassa del 10% che si versava al Tempio di Gerusalemme


Vini israeliani e libanesi

I migliori vini israeliani sono prodotti da piccole aziende. Purtroppo ottimi vini israeliani come Clos de Gat o Margalit sono praticamente introvabili in Europa o in America. Da noi è più facile trovare vini libanesi, come il famoso Château Musar. Anche per quel poco che so dei vini libanesi ho un debito verso Daniel Rogov, che li apprezzava molto. Una volta mi mandò le sue note di una degustazione di vini libanesi organizzata il 22 Marzo 2001 al Grape Man (Ish ha Anavim) di Jaffa, lo spazio enogastronomico d’avanguardia di Haim Gan.

Per chi volesse leggere oltre, ecco la verticale libanese commentata da Rogov. La metto qui come documentazione storica, in ricordo di quel grande appassionato del vino che ci ha lasciati il 7 settembre 2011.


21 Wines from Lebanon - A Special Tasting
Daniel Rogov

Recipes (and some say hashish) cross the Israeli-Lebanese border with relative ease, but because of outmoded and somewhat silly laws, it is a rather tricky affair for the citizens of either of these two countries to sample each other’s wines. Until recently, the two best ways to arrange for such international samplings were to visit Vinexpo in Bordeaux or to make your purchases in London or New York. Happily, I was recently invited to a tasting of Lebanese wines. Sponsored by The Grape Man (Ish ha Anavim) in Jaffa, the tasting included vintages ranging from 1985 – 1996 from four Lebanese wineries. The day after that tasting, I opened and re-tasted my own last bottles from six more vintages. Following are my tasting notes. Those marked with an asterisk (*) were tasted at the Jaffa based tasting room of The Grape Man. The wines are listed not in the order of their scores but from most recent to older vintages.

Chateau Musar

Chateau Musar, Blanc, 1996: So grassy and herbacious, this white wine will make you think of Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc and so full bodied and oily it will call to mind German Riesling. Whatever, made from Obaideh (which some believe to be the ancient ancestor of Chardonnay) and Merwah grapes both of which are indigenous to Lebanon, this full bodied wine has now passed its peak and even though it still shows some signs of fruit it is far too dominated now by a resin-like aftertaste. Drink now if you have any on hand. Score when the wine was first tasted in 1997, 87. Current score 84. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001) (*)

Chateau Musar, Rose, 1995: When this wine was young it had a truly pink color but as it has aged it has taken on a pale caramel color. With its fruits going down rapidly and now barely felt and a bit of oxidation sneaking in on the nose, this is a wine to drink at once. Score when the wine was first released, 86. Current score 82. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001). (*)

Chateau Musar, 1993: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. Medium to full bodied, with a near absence of fruits but with plenty of spices, tea and Demamara sugar in its flavors and aromas, this smooth wine almost attains elegance. Drinking well now, and not meant for further storage. Score when the wine was tasted in 1996, 87. Current score 85. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001). (*)

Chateau Musar, 1990. When I tasted this wine in 1999, I wrote “there may be some good bottles of this wine but those that I sampled here and abroad were all disappointing. Because of bad bottling and bad corking this is not a wine that will age well and I would hesitate to invest in it”. I see no reason to change those notes. Score 85. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001)

Chateau Musar, 1988: Although this wine has a strong medicinal aroma when first poured, that soon makes way for herbaceous, peppery, tea and leathery aromas. Medium to full bodied, starting to show a bit of brown around the rim but still drinking well. Drink now or in the next 2 – 3 years. Score 87. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001). (*)

Chateau Musar, 1986: When I first tasted this wine in 1990, it was luxurious and full of herbal and spicy flavors. Even then, however, I noted that the wine was basically imbalanced and suggested drinking it in the next two or three years. Today, the wine has oxidized completely, turning from its original deep amber to brown, featuring harsh and cooked caramelized flavors. Unscorable. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001). (*)

Chateau Musar, 1985: Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, this wine maintains its deep red-brown color and multi-layered bouquet that is rich with the aroma of casis, cedar wood, vanilla and fresh. The strawberries that could be found as recently as 18 months ago have vanished but the wine maintains its smoothness, has flavors that linger nicely. My current estimate is that the wine will continue to store well for 10 – 12 years longer. Score 92. (Most recently tasted on 22 Mar 2001). (*)

Chateau Musar, 1979. As if to demonstrate the longevity of the pre-1985 Musar wines, this still fruity and deep purple wine maintains its charm and although fully ready for drinking now should store nicely for another 4 – 5 years. Score 90. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001).

Chateau Musar, 1978. Although beginning to brown around the edges, the color of this wine remans one of deep red-purple plums. Elegant and with with a sweet and attractive bouquet, the wine is well balanced and full bodied and will make for good drinking now or in the next year or two. Score 90. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001)

Chateau Musar, 1970. A wine that amazes me constantly because even though it is now well into its 30th year, it maintains a youthful appearance and its peppery, herbacious character. Drink now or in the next 5 – 8 years. Score 93. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001)

Chateau Musar, 1964. An excellent vintage and a wine so well balanced that only now is it beginning to go down. Despite minor losses, the wine remains elegant and stylish and has flavors (especially of Mediterranean herbs) that linger nicely. Drink now or in the near future. Score 92. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001).

Chateau Musar, 1961. From an extraordinary vintage year, this remarkable wine simply refuses to die. As deep, rich, concentrated today as it was in its youth, and still showing tantalizing ripeness, this is a magnificent wine. Drink now or until 2010. Score 95. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001


Kefraya

Kefraya, 1995: Surprisingly devoid of fruits but with appealingly deep flavors and aromas of herbs and spices, this deep purple wine opens nicely in the glass. Look for the hint of berries as the wine lingers on the palate. Drink now or in the next year or two. Score 88. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001) (*)

Kefraya, 1994: A year older than the wine reviewed above (the ’95 of Kefraya), but amazingly it feels five or six years younger. Fuller bodied, fruitier (look for blackberries, black cherries and currants) and well balanced, the wine is drinking beautifully now and should last nicely in the bottle for another 3 – 4 years. Score 89. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001) (*)

Kefraya, Coteaux de Kefraya, 1988. With an attractive red-brown color, a bouquet that hints equally of black currants, oak and fresh herbs, this is a complex, especially attractive wine. Ready to drink now and will continue to age well for five - six years longer. Score 89. (Most recent tasting 22 Mar 2001) (*)

Kefraya, Coteaux de Kefraya, 1987. Despite its attractive deep red color and tempting Cabernet Sauvignon bouquet, this wine has passed its peak. If you have any on hand, drink it now or in the very near future. Score 85. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001)
Kefraya, Coteaux de Kefraya, 1983: This very deep colored wine has an outstanding blackcurrant bouquet, and rich, smooth lingering flavors. Drink now or in the next year or two. Score 86. (Most recent tasting 23 Jan 1999)


Chateau Ksara

Chateau Ksara, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cuvee Speciale, 1996: With a deep but lively color, this distinctly old-world wine remains highly tannic and still half-asleep, almost as if waiting to open. Well balanced and medium to full bodied, my prediction is that the wine will be ready for drinking only in another year or two and then will last nicely in the bottle until about 2006. As it wakens, look for herbaciousness and hints of leather. Score 87+. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001) (*)

Chateau Ksara, Close d'Alphonse 1983. As it has been since its youth, this is a country style wine, based primarily on Cinsault with small amounts of Carignan and Grenache grapes. Despite its roughness (and its age), the wine has a surprising depth, concentration and ripeness. Perhaps best categorized as a wine-lovers wine. Drink now. Score 87. (Most recent tasting 23 Mar 2001

Chateau Ksara, Clos d'Alphonse, 1968. Based heavily on Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with small amounts of Mourvedre and Grenache grapes, this wine has a medium red-brown color, a calm, dignified Cabernet Sauvignon bouquet and a very good balance and delicate flavor. The wine is now rare, but worth trying if you can find it. Drinkable now and for another 5 - 6 years. Score 89.
(Most recent tasting 20 Jan 99)


Clos St. Thomas

Clos St. Thomas, 1998: A blend, I believe based on Cabernet Sauvignon with Carignan and Cinsault, this new-world wine has a lively red color. Medium bodied and with smooth tannins this lively wine is fully ready for drinking now or in the next year or two. Worth trying. Score 86. (Tasted 22 Mar 2001) (*)
  • condividi su Facebook
  • 668
  • 0
  • 2

#0 Commenti

inserisci un commento