Judging from the month of December, it is clear that Binyamina Winery means business. A couple years ago the winery was purchased by a group of investors, with a mission to improve the quality of the wines and double its current production capacity from 2 million bottles per annum to 4 million.
On the 15th of December Binyamina launched three red wines from their premium series titled Avnei Hachoshen all from the 2006 vintage. The name refers to the precious stones which were imbedded in the chest plate worn by high priests in the days of the first and second temples.
The event started off with an interesting presentation by winemakers Sasson Ben Aharon and Assaf Paz, followed by a sampling of the wines. Binyamina's CEO, Mr. Ilan Hasson, mentioned that "the winery has invested several million euro in the purchase of state of the art equipment and the planting of new vineyards. We plan on increasing both exports and our presence in the local market. The Israeli wine drinker is becoming more sophisticated and the demand for quality wines is on the rise".
Binyamina, Avnei Hachoshen, Sapir, 2006
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (25%) and Shiraz (35%), dark and concentrated in color, this red is showing ripe plums, various berry fruits, black pepper and dark chocolate all leading to a long and pleasant finish.
Binyamina, Syrah, Avnei Hachoshen, Odem 2006
Blended with 3% Viognier grapes, the wine offers generous aromas of dark berry fruits, plums and cherries along with distinct peppery and smoked-meat (bacon or smoked goose breast come to mind) notes. On the palate the wine comes on rather sweet with a medium-long finish.
Binyamina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Avnei Hachoshen, Tarshish, 2006
100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from vineyards situated in the Golan Heights (Kidmat Tzvi), the wine is showing concentrated black fruit aromas including: wild berry fruits, cherries and plums along with black pepper and hints of roasted coffee beans and eucalyptus.
The winery also offered a sneak preview to a new member of the Avnei Hachoshen series – the Ya'halom (diamond) from the 2007 vintage. The wine, which will be released in a few months, was introduced by Binyamina's special consultant, winemaker Mark Dvorkin, from Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, who is very proud of this wine and stated that it is one of the best wines he helped produce.
Binyamina, Avnei Hachoshen, Ya'halom, 2007
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Syrah (30%) and Petit Verdot (20%), in my opinion this is one of the best wines produced by Binyamina in recent years. Dark ruby in color, the wine is showing aromas of both red and black berry fruits, fresh herbs along with slight coffee and earthy notes. Long and elegant, the wine will go well with quality meat dishes or simply enjoy it on its own.
Earlier in the month, Binyamina launched two new products as part of the winery’s Yogev series. ‘Yogev’ – the biblical term for farmer, is dedicated to the farmers and vintners that are an inseparable part of the wine production process.
This time Binyamina is launching a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wine produced using 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The winery recommends serving the Yogev, Cab, 2008 alongside light meat dishes such as a veal schnitzel or baked fish dishes in lemon, olive oil and herb sauce.
The winery is also launching two kinds of extra virgin, varietal olive oils; one produced from Leccino olives, an olive variety originating in Tuscany and the other from the Greek variety Koroneiki.