2017 Backoushe Winery The Tailor Semillon – and a possible future change in the way I score

It’s been a while since I wrote a straight wine review – months in fact. I am sorry for that. Not sure if that is going to change any time soon as I am really trying to evaluate whether or not to change my scoring system after some intense conversations on methodology with my friend David Raccah, which resulted in this post on his kosherwinemusings.com site.

There are a number of things holding me back from switching my rating system. First – in Israel, there are no massive online stores that sell everything (or almost everything – like there are in America. Pricing and availability varies GREATLY depending on which store you buy from. And quite frankly there are few stores that I trust with storage even on recently released wines. I have witnessed wine stores getting delivery and the cases of wines sitting outside in the heat for hours until someone brings them in. This leads me to often buy direct from the winery – which sometimes is more expensive – or to frequent the same stores that I trust. In any event, the playing field is much more complex in terms of determining mean price.

All if this is a preamble to say that until I figure out how to get the data I need, I will likely just use my current system, which counts value as a factor in the final score. And now – on to the wine in question.

I received a bottle of 2017 Backoushe, The Tailor as a gift from someone the week of Pesach. The winery is quite small, and I believe 2017 was its first kosher vintage since opening in 2011. Honestly, the only time I had ever seen the winery was at Sommelier this year, where they had a very limited supply of any of the kosher wine, which I missed. So I was happy to get a chance to taste it as I usually will NOT invest in a boutique winery’s product without at least tasting before hand – I simply don’t have that kind of budget, and so large scale tastings and winery visits are how I taste through, but I don’t usually give formal scores there as conditions are often not ideal. So this was a unique opportunity to spend quality time with a wine and winery I had never had before – and until I started writing this piece, had no idea even what it cost. Each wine at Backoushe is named after a craftsman trade – The Blacksmith, The Carpenter, The Shoemaker, etc. The Tailor is 100% Semillion, sourced from a vineyard in Gush Etzion. Color here is sort like freshly baled hay. Slightly less pale and a little greener. This wine’s nose is slightly reminiscent of the 2013 Dalton El Kosh Semillon – with excellent funk, flint with some citrus in the back. In the mouth – WOW – as soon as it hits you are impressed by how this wine is built. Excellent funk and minerality with the fruit present but mostly in a supporting role – tart green apple, grapefruit with a touch. The acidity here is AWESOME and balanced out by a beautiful full almost waxy mouthfeel. This is a medium + bodied white. So hard to get a dry white that has so much body and is not flabby – or if it has acidity is not somehow out of balance. This wine just fires on all cylinders – and comes in at a perfect 12.7%.

In terms of price – it’s about 100 NIS, which is not cheap, but certainly not stratospheric either – on the plus side, this is a wine that has enough structure to likely hold and possibly develop for a good few years – putting it into a category of moderately ageable whites. While I have no experience with this producer, it will be interesting to get a couple of bottles and see how they do. Note the 2018 has just been released and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on that too!

Bottom Line:

  • Price: NIS 100
  • For Aging: Quite possibly (no track record with this producer…)
  • Would I Buy Again:  Yes
  • QPR Rating:  Average-
  • Taste/Depth/Quality: Great
  • Overall Rating (1-5): 4

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