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.
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.
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
This was generously brought to our Seder by a friend. It was stood upright for a couple of weeks and decanted for sediment right before serving. It is a 60/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. A really great showing at age 19. Probably a bit past its prime but still thriving with plenty to offer those who would listen to an older wine. Deep ruby in color, a bit of bricking at the rim. The nose is great with cigar box, dried cherries, fresh cherries, dust and slight pine. On the palate, this has layers of fruit;dried and fresh over a forest floor. Good acidity helps it go well
This is an excellent Syrah. It drinks a lot like a St. Joseph or better Crozes-Hermitage. Purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, spice and slight damp earth. On the palate, this is full bodied. Juicy black raspberries that are ripe enough but just barely. Great texture. Medium tannins. Great balance. This will work with medium of heavier foods/spicy foods very well. Drinking well now, it may still improve but should have another decade.
This is a Bordeaux blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot and 7% Syrah. It is a delicious wine that is very "French" in style. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose is nice with cassis, cherries, tobacco, plums and slight green beans. On the palate, this has nice cherry fruit with some cassis over dry roasted earth. Good acidity. Nice finish. Food friendly. I doubt this gets better but will hold for 5 to seven year or more. It is not a big wine, but worked great with our meal during the Seder at Passover.
This is a really good bottle of wine and for $20, it is a great value. We opened a few of these for our Passover Seder, but I would happily drink this Bordeaux blend any time. Purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, cherries, slight coffee and spice. On the palate, this is medium bodied. Light tannins. The black raspberries and cherries carry thru. Some underlying spice as well. Good balance. Nice finish. This works with a wide variety of food. Tasty. Seems like it should easily do five more years. It probably won't get better though.
This is a 75/25 blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It is quite lively and enjoyable. Light golden in color with some silvery/green swirls. On the nose, this has some peach and some citrus with a slight minerality and herbal note. On the palate, this is slightly crisp with good fruit. It seems like it probably needs to be consumed quickly. Right now it has nice peaches but they dissipate in the glass. Good finish. This worked well with an Israeli Chapped Salad and also with Matzoh Ball Soup (Veg broth). Get the most current vintage you can.
This is much better than the 2009 (tried two years ago). The 2010 should, however, be consumed now. It is not really showing oxidation, but the fruit is fading. That said, this is a solid wine that made for a fun start to our Passover Seder. We consumed it before actually sitting down to the Seder. It went well with dried fruits and nuts and "mock" liver. Light golden in color with a fair amount of medium-ish bubbles. The nose has some green apples and minerals with slight ginger and slighter oxidation. On the palate, the apples carry thru along with some minerality. Not a lot of a