Popped and poured; consumed over a 4-day period. Best on Day 3 and 4. Day 1 and 2 were so primary that I didn’t pour myself more than just a small glass. By Day 3 and 4, while still primary, it had uncoiled enough to properly enjoy…and there is a lot to appreciate.
In the glass, the 2019 “Maus Vineyard” pours a deep ruby color with an electric magenta rim; medium viscosity with moderate staining of the tears and signs of some slight sediment. On the nose, the wine is developing with concentrated notes of black currants, blackberry pie, tobacco, third wave espresso, a touch of varnish (some VA or EA?) but not overwhelming, and very faint warm spices. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ tannins and medium++ acid. Confirming the notes from the nose. The finish is long and has remarkable freshness.
Having enjoyed Ketan Mody’s BETA wines for a handful of years, I can say with a high degree of confidence that nobody is making wines like this in Napa/Sonoma. They’re like the singular wines of Tenuta San Leonardo from Trentino Alto Adige but lacking the pyrazines (thanks to the CA ripeness) and yet, this weighs in at a modest 13.4% abv. These wines are special and the best is yet to come. Drink from 2025-2039 — 22 days ago
terrible days in Israel.
an Israeli off dry riesling and that's a change.
medium to full body.
white flowers, lemon rind and leaves, lime, peach, green apple peel and hints of ginger.
on it's own sweetness is hinted.
combined with not too spicy indian style veggie take away it felt much sweeter and lifted the cuisine.
very interesting. feels like a good but not great kabinett german Riesling.
great vfm @ 80 nis. — 3 years ago
My first experience with Tegan’s Chardonnay and I nerded out on this one. The fruit for this wine was the last harvest from the “Chuy” vineyard, a dry-farmed mountain vineyard at 1000ft elevation with 45yr old vines. It was particularly fun for me because Ketan Mody also harvested Chardonnay from Chuy in 2018 to make a one-off Chardonnay under his Beta label. Both are delicious expressions of the variety. My notes on this one below:
Popped and poured. A very brilliant color reminds me of a yellow diamond and beautifully transparent with medium viscosity. On the nose, kumquat, passion fruit, and lime. Slightly reductive. On the palate, tropical fruit and saline minerals with the silkiest of textures. Medium+ acid helps deliver a long, satisfying finish. Lovely now but could probably cellar for a bit too. If only I had been allocated more than one bottle. — 2 years ago
(French) colombard used to be the most planted white variety in Israel. used as the white blend workhorse. lost it's popularity a few decades ago and now being used again.
most winemakers consider it a fresh not to be aged crisp week day quality sipper.
this is my second try, the other one was ok-ish.
apricot, peach, grated 🍋peel and a hint of nuttines. maybe a guava slight memory.
balanced and interesting.
medium + 🎯
had it on it's own by the pool while vacationing in the dead sea desert area.
lovely sipper and great vfm (79 nis) — 3 years ago
Popped and poured; enjoyed over a several hour period. No formal notes. I figured this would be a baby and it certainly was. At this point, everything is wound up into a tight coil. The nose is loaded with dark crunchy fruits, green bell pepper, tobacco, dried Italian herbs, aromatic wood and light baking spices. On the palate, the fruit is super fresh. This comes across elegant however the structure is pretty significant; the acid in particular with the tannin being a bit more on the sneaky side. I drank alongside the 2018 Beta “Maus” and while the nose on the San Leonardo was a bit more exotic, these shared a lot of similarities from a body, texture and structure standpoint. I expect this will begin to show better after 2026 however, I have no plans to touch my remaining bottle until after 2030. Patience will be handsomely rewarded. — 10 months ago
My first experience with the 2015 “Vare Vineyard” and the first of my three allocated bottles. Ketan mentioned this was his best “Vare” bottling to-date and while I can’t speak to that (since all of my previous experiences with Beta have been the Montecillo Vineyard in Sonoma), I can verify that it has Ketan’s signature all over it. I did not decant this bottle though, it probably would have benefited from it. Never the less, the bouquet was bursting with character: predominately black fruits, anise, eucalyptus, coniferous forest floor, Anaheim pepper…the overwhelming message of freshness and one of the most unique noses I’ve ever encountered from a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, things were a little more subdued with black currants, tart black cherry and black bramble fruit with a little hint of baking spices. It seemed a touch green, to be completely honest. Bone dry and endowed with substantial structure; medium+ tannin, medium+ acid, all the while framed by a medium- body; a welter weight of a wine.
This seems right in-line with what I have come to expect from Ketan Mody’s approach and, while I don’t expect anyone to peg this as Bordeaux in a blind tasting, it certainly has some Old World sensibilities and reminds me of the way Cabernet Sauvignon was made in California 40+ years ago. And, after drinking a few 40 year old Napa Cabernet’s this past week plus the aforementioned balance of fruit/structure, I believe this has a long life ahead of it with a rather exciting upside. Drink with patience or cellar. FWIW, I don’t have any immediate plans to open my second bottle before 2025. — 3 years ago