The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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Page 43 of 148

{ }  43 B----------------------------� ISRAEL: Judean Hills Finally, Joseph Herzog, eight-generation fam- ily member from Herzog Wine Cellars and importer Royal Wine Company, presented their estate bottled Domaine du Castel 2013 Grand Vin, Judean Hills, Jérusalem ($65). This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, planted in clay soils as high as 2,600 feet, offered mixed red berry notes, rose petals and earth, wild herbs and cedar smoke; it ws juicy and plush with powerful tannins, nice acidity. Herzog noted that Merlot planted in the Judean Hills "will be bigger and more acidic," than even Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Napa Valley. Discussion then turned to ques - tions about kosher vs. non-kosher wines. Marks asked whether the process to make wines kosher changes the sense of place or terroir? "No," Herzog said confidently. "A wine that is kosher is handled by someone who observes the Sabbath" and must be made from kosher ingredients—it's not a factor that impacts terroir. Dig This With that, Marks expressed thanks to all participants and offered up the idea that perhaps terroir is a combination of "geography, soil, climate and"—adding, after a pregnant pause, "what you do to the wine." Coming from a Master, that was the last word. Master Sommelier Brian Cronin from Palm Bay International. PORTUGAL: Southwestern Coast Choosing to highlight varieties specific to a place, Master Sommelier Brian Cronin, from Palm Bay International, presented the Jose Maria da Fonseca 2013 Perequita Reserva ($15). "Perequita" is a synonym for Castelão, one of Portugal's many indigenous variet - ies, and widely planted in the hot, dry, sandy vineyards in the south of the country. "Because it's hot as hell there, Portugal only recently started making drinkable dry wines," Cronin said half-jokingly. "Cooling technology made it possible," he added. Marks noted that the wine is particularly smooth for such a high-tannin variety. Cronin conceded that apart from terroir, that smoothness is a result of winemaking. "Cold-soaking retains freshness and brings out the fragrance of dried flowers," so that smooth quality comes from "part new French oak and part the blend of Castelão, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional," said Cronin. Cronin further added that the soils have a big impact on texture. "Sandy soils give it the mid-palate texture," he said, "so manage - ment of those sandy vineyards is where human intervention on terroir becomes crucial in southern Portugal. "You don't need to graft because sand obviates the need for grafting, but you do need to manage the stewy characteristics from excessive heat with rootstocks and clones." Joseph Herzog of Herzog Wine Cellars/ Royal Wine Company.

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