I was at a wonderful tasting last month hosted at Corky Wine Bar for Domaine Netofa. There was some light food served which was perfect for the event (and if you haven’t been, you need to get some of the baked Camembert – off the charts). The tasting was led by Pierre Miodownick, the famed winemaker himself and it was wonderful. There really is nothing like being able to taste through a portfolio with the winemaker and getting their perspective – especially when you are talking about a man like Pierre… We tasted through all of the current releases as well as a few soon to be released wines thrown in as a treat. In some news, just as a teaser, there will be 2 Rosés this year – in addition to the standard GSM Rosé (notes below) – there will also be a Rosé made of 100% Tempranillo under the Latour label (Edit: which has just been released – I will add to the below post as soon as I have tasted). Also, we are slowly approaching the release – in 2020 – of the first kosher Tawny Port-style wine. For those of us always looking for quality desert wines, this is welcome news indeed!
2017 Domaine Netofa White– Pre-Release. This wine is finished but will not be released for another month or so. As always it is 100% Chenin Blanc and unoaked . VERY fruity on the nose. Great acid – with a nice mouth feel. Slightly rounder that previous vintages – Enjoyed very much.
2016 Latour Netofa – Nice citrus pith, mineral and slate with some apples and quince. EXCELLENT. Stock up (I did).
2016 Tel Qasser – White – This wine is 100% Roussanne, aged for 10 months in oak Bright gold in color, with light green reflections. Slight funk on the nose (which was unexpected) – giving away to some floral notes. Excellent weight to the wine. This wine needs TIME to open. It was really closed on pour. It opens slowly (over 2 hours) – to give you citrus and a nuttiness with lower acid that I would have expected. A really delicate and refined wine. Big win here.
2017 Domain Netofa Rosé – Pre-Release – Pre-filter but finished. GSM – With Syrah making up 50% of the blend and the rest being split equally. Less acid that the 2016 which sort of gives the wine a slight perceived sweetness (but really – just a touch) – giving way to nice bitter hit on the finish. While I prefer the 2016 – this wine is going to be a huge crowd pleaser for sure.
2016 Domaine Netofa Red – GSM – 60% Syrah, 25 % Grenache, 15 % Mourvèdre – 6 months in oak. Nice smoke and meat with a bit of Tar and a slightly bitter finish. Medium to low tannin and some nice acid holding it together. Perhaps a step below the 2014 – Simple, but nice.
2014 – Latour Netofa – 70% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre – EXCELLENT. More ready at this stage than previous vintages though still needs time to open – Very nice floral nose. Earth and warm spice with some dark fruit. Elegant. Should develop nicely.
2016 Tel Qasser – Red – 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah – 10 months in oak. On the nose – hits you with red berries. This carries through on the palate where the berry flavor is front and center. But with air, the fruitiness blows off totally leaving a fresh tobacco flavor and other green herbs with a touch of pepper on the awesome finish. Low tannin – medium acidity. While slightly fruitier than you average Netofa – this never bothers me. Impressive wine.
2016 Netofa Latour Tinto – 60% Touriga Nacional, 40% Tempranillo – No change from my last tasting. Totally consistent with previous vintages. Chocolate, roast coffee and tobacco. This is a love it or hate it wine – I happen to love it.
2016 Dor – Barrel Sample – 100% Tempranillo – 15 months in oak. As this is a barrel tasting I won’t give notes – but I will say that it was my favorite wine of the night (but I am a HUGE tempranillo fan – so I am perhaps not objective) – I am waiting for this one with bated breath!
Ruby Port NV (but mostly 2013) – 80% Touriga Nacional , 20% Tempranillo – Not on par with 2010 – slightly flatter – but I think better than the 2012 (which wasnice – just not great) – overall balanced. Not cloyingly sweet with no raisiny flavors which often kill these style wines. Every bit as good as the true ruby kosher ports currently available.