2017 Domaine du Castel Petit Castel Kosher Judean Hills, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

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.  

2016 Psagot Edom, Israel, Judean Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$34.00USD

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.  

2017 Dalton Crimson Cabernet Alma

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

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.  

2014 Tulip Winery Black Tulip, Israel, Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

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

2012 Yatir Yatir Forest, Israel, Judean Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

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

2016 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve David Vineyard, Israel, Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

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.  

2017 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin Judean Hills, Israel, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

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

2017 Tulip Winery White Tulip, Israel, Galilee, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

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.  

2007 Carmel Vintage, Israel, Judean Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a "Port" like wine from Israel.  We served it at our Seder with a flourless chocolate tort and it was an excellent match.  This is made from Petite Sirah grapes.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dark chocolate, alcohol and raisins.  On the palate, this is sweet but not cloying.  It does have a fair amount of heat but it settles a bit with air.  Some depth.  It is a very interesting wine and proved popular at the table.  Our wines were limited to Kosher and from Israel, so this was a nice find.  Perhaps a bit pricey, but so it goes.  

2008 Yatir Yatir Forest, Israel, Negev, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

During our Seder, my son commented that he was surprised they made wine in the Negev desert in southern Israel.  i told him that not only did they make wine, they made some great wines.  This bottle, which we had purchased in Israel a few years back, was brought up and opened.  It needed some air, so we decanted and gave it some vigorous swirling before serving.  Even then, it really needed more air and a glass in the decanter the next day was the best.  The wine is made from 58% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 32% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot grapes, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color

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