Opened at a holiday party to join in the fun with a "Chanukah" wine as it is made in Israel. Israel is making some excellent wines these days and this is an outstanding Syrah. Deep purple in color with ruby swirls. The nose is very meaty with black raspberries, bacon fat, and black pepper. Medium bodied. On the palate, this is somewhere between a Rhone style Syrah and one from California. It is delicious but slightly restrained fruit. Black raspberries over roasted meat and earth. Good acidity. Long finish. This will work well with stews and roasts. It should drink well for the
This is a modern style of Chardonnay from the center of Israel. It is 90% Chardonnay with 10% Sauvignon Blanc added. This is a very nice white with energy and some verve to it. Light golden in color. The nose has lemons and minerals. Slight oak but no butter. On the palate, this is clean with nice minerality and slight lemon/citrus. Good length. It is drinking well now and probably should be drunk up in the next year. It will go well with lighter foods, salads and sea foods.
This is the second wine of Domaine Castel. It is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Purple in color. The nose has cassis, plums, chocolate and slight black olives. Nice texture. On the palate, sour black cherries, some black raspberries over char and earth. Medium tannins. This needs a couple of years to sort itself out and then should be good for a decade. A nice choice for roasted meats, fowl and veggies.
Impressive showing for this wine. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis and slight olives. Great texture. On the palate, black raspberries, black cherries. Sweet tannins. Nice finish. This is young and could improve a bit with a few years in the cellar. It will drink well for at least a decade after that. It will go well with brisket, burgers or roasted meats and fowl.
This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis, cherries, slight chocolate, char and spice. On the palate, this is soft, accessible and easy drinking. Layers of black cherries, cassis and char. Light tannins. Medium finish. This probably should be consumed over the next five years. It will go great with burgers, ribs or pasta.
This is the best Israeli wine I have had. It is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot. Purple in color with a thin ruby line at the rim. The nose is very nice with spice, black raspberries and tobacco. With air, some milk chocolate comes out. On the palate this has a lovely texture. Medium tannins. Black raspberry fruits, cherries with a forest floor base. Great balance. Long finish. This seems just a touch young but is drinking very well. Probably about five to seven years from peak and should be good for another ten to twenty a
The Yatir Forest is on the edge of the Negev desert in southern Israel. I have had this wine before and thought it was labelled Negev but this 2012 vintage is labelled Judean Hills. I am not sure where the boundaries of the wine regions are. According to the label, this is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Petite Verdot, and 9% Tannat. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis, plums, char and baking spices. On the palate, this is more boysenberry with black cherries over a gravelly char. Slight tannins. Nice finish. This took some time to open and then kept opening all evening. It seem
Purple in color, shimmering bright. The nose has some volatile acidity along with cassis and a slight earthiness. Nice texture. Slightly tart and slightly bitter cherry fruit. A bit of chocolate on the finish. This is a solid, easy quaffing wine. It is probably best drunk in the next few years. it should work well with medium bodied foods like pizza, pasta or burgers.
Castel is probably the consistently best top winery in Israel. Although modern Israel wine is a very young industry, so this is always changing. Castel has a proven track record. The Grand Vin is the best wine that they make. This is quite young and just not giving up much right now. After a couple of hours of air, it had improved but its best days are at least five years in the future. Inky purple in color. The nose has nice baking spices along with some cherries. On the palate, firm tannins. Black cherries. Monolithic at present. It is tasty but needs time develop a complexity
This was served in a Sukkah before an Israel wine tasting. Fun. Light yello/gold in color. The nose has nice limes, lemons and slight wax. It is a blend of 65% Gewurztraminer and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. The Gewurtz was not identifiable and this drank like a Sauvignon Blanc. That said, it is a nice wine. The palate has nice minerality with some lemons and a bit of tropical fruit (Guava?). Good finish. It is not mevushal but it is kosher.