Since I will be spending most of the upcoming holiday season abroad and will probably be drinking allot of French and American vinos, I had to get an early start on tasting of new Israeli wines. Following are several suggestions of recently released red wines available in Israel. As you will see when you visit your local wine shop, many will be offered at special reduced prices so if you find a wine or two that you like and have room in your wine cooler or other cool-shaded area in the house, it is worth stocking up on a case or two.
Barkan, Superiur, Petit Verdot, 2010 – Barkan’s flagship label only released to the market in years when the winemakers feel that they have reached superior results with a specific vineyard or wine, this is the first Petit Verdot in the series. 96% Petit Verdot and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon that adds a bit of structure, on the nose and palate layered notes of black pepper, dark berry fruits, cherries, cloves and tobacco leading to a long finish.
Bazelet HaGolan, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in the Golan Heights, the wine is full bodied and a bit “chewy” with pleasant aromas of dark berry fruits, chocolate, black pepper and plums and refreshing green overtones, all coming together nicely and leading to a long finish.
Bravdo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 – 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot, a generous dose of oak on the attack, full bodied with generous notes of dark and red fruits, tart cherries and refreshing green -herbal overtones and supporting acidity all leading to a long and mouth filling finish.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Malbec, 2012 – there are only a handful of Israeli wineries that produce a varietal Malbec and for the past few years, Golan Height’s version has shown some fine results. 100% Malbec aged for 18 months in barriques, result in a full bodied wine with notes of red and black berry fruits, pepper, black tea leaves and sweet spices leading to a long and balanced finish.
Derech Eretz, Shiraz, 2014 – the “house brand” from Derech HaYain (the wine route), a leading Israeli wine store-chain, at NIS 30 this is a very approachable and easy drinking red vino. Serve slightly chilled, dark purple in color the wine suggests pleasant aromas of dark berry fruits, cherries and peppery notes leading to a clean finish.
Ramat Negev, Ramon, Petit Verdot, 2012 – 100% Petit Verdot from vineyards in Nitzana in the southern part of the country. Dark purple towards garnet, medium bodied, showing pleasant notes of plums, cherries and dry herbs leading to a medium-long finish.
Mony, Nahal, Petite Sirah, 2014 – Petite Sirah grapes from the Judean hills developed for 6 months in oak, result in a rather approachable red vino suggesting pleasant notes of black fruit, subtle notes of oak and purple flowers leading to a medium finish.
Teperberg, Inspire, Integritage 2014 – a new vino under Teperberg recent mega rebranding campaign, the Integritage is a Mediterranean style blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Merlot and Grenache, 8 months oak, the wine offers pleasant notes of red berry fruits, plums and peppery notes supported by good balancing acidity and a clean finish.