A lot has been said and written about the fact that Pessach is not only a religious holiday but also a holiday for the wine industry, and percentage wise, over 30% of the annual sales take place in the weeks leading up to the Pessasch holiday. Here is some information about the various specials offered throughout the country and new wines release to the market.
I will get straight to the point and include a few holiday wine suggestions. While many prefer to drink red wine during the Seder, in my opinion, a good white vino definitely has its place on the table as well.
Chillag, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 – a light and very refreshing white wine comprising 90% sauvignon blanc and 10% viognier, both from vineyards in the Upper Galilee. On the nose and palate plenty of fresh fruit, flowers and good acidity leading to a clean finish. Serve chilled during the Seder or on a warm holiday afternoon.
Bravdo, Chardonnay, 2011 – 100% Chardonnay grapes, Bravdo’s Chardonnay has shown some very good results over the years and the 2011 is also very enjoyable. Straw with golden reflection, good body and pleasant notes of green apples, pineapple, grapefruit and vanilla leading to a medium-ling finish. A bit creamy on the palate but not overly oaked – a very enjoyable and well balanced chardonnay.
Galil Mountain, Galil, Alon, 2009 – a new addition to the winery’s portfolio, the Alon blend comprises Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes. Bright purple in color, full bodied, the wine is rather fruit forward, opening in the glass with concentrated slightly jammy aromas and flavors of red cherries, ripe plums and blueberries followed by notes of dried herbs, sweet coffee and cloves leading to a mouth-filling finish.
Bazelet HaGolan, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 – Grapes from the Golan Heights and 20 months in oak barrels result in a full bodied, fruit forward and generous-concentrated red vino. Dark ruby in color, ripe but not too jammy, suggesting notes of various berry fruits, plums, chocolate and roasted coffee leading to a long and mouth filling finish. Bazelet HaGolan focuses on producing varietal wines relaying on Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Or HaGanuz, Elima, 2010 – Or HaGanuz offers some very nice wines and another advantage (for some) is the high level kashrut. If in doubt when being invited to an observant friend/relative, it is always better to play it safe. Bright ruby in color, medium-full bodied, slight alcoholic sensation on the attack, the wine suggests tart plums, cherries, blackberry fruits with a medium-long pleasant finish.
Teperberg, Malbec, Terra, 2009 – among the few varietal Malbec wines produced in Israel. 100% Malbec grapes from vineyards in the Judean Hills, concentrated purple in colour, this wine is medium bodied with soft tannins, suggesting aromas of various red berry fruits, flowers and young plums followed by hints of dried meat and oak with a slightly bitter aftertaste.