“Grapes are harvested and then artificially frozen; the grapes are then pressed, extracting a very sweet and concentrated nectar. Served with desert or on its own, this is a great way to end any meal…” Yonatan Sternberg extols of the virtues of new Israeli summer release wines to get your through the sticky season.
With the temperatures rising and already in the middle of summer, I often find that I prefer drinking a refreshing chilled white or a light to medium bodied red with my dinner rather than an intense full-bodied red. As mentioned in my previous article “Cava” the sparkling Spanish white wine is also an excellent option for a light summer white, usually providing pretty good value for money.
Recently, the Dalton Winery released two new wines - the Alma, 2007 and the Viognier Reserve 2008. The latter is produced using Viognier grapes grown in vineyards situated in the Judean Hills. Straw with golden reflections in color, the wine offers various aromas of white fruits, flowers and honeysuckle all leading to a relatively long finish. To those of you who aren’t familiar with the Viognier, this white grape variety is capable of producing full-bodied, aromatic whites and is probably best known for the wines produced in France’s Rhone Valley. The Alma, 2007 is a medium bodied red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (22%) and Cabernet Franc (13%), suggesting red berries, spices, cloves and plums.
The Binyamina Winery’s recent offerings include, the Yogev Aromatic, 2008. This off-dry blend is made using French Colombard, Gewurztraminer and Muscat of Alexandria grapes. The result, a very aromatic yet simple white blend, suggesting green apples, citrus peel and flowers, serve chilled.
The Golan Heights Winery also joined the summer celebration, launching the Yarden, Sauvignon Blanc 2008 and the exclusive desert wine, titled “Heights Wine”, 2007. The first is a classic and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc offering green and citrus like aromas and flavors. The Heights Wine is the closest Israel product to the famous ice wines of Austria and Canada. In this case, instead of leaving the grapes to freeze on the vine, grapes are harvested and then artificially frozen; the grapes are then pressed, extracting a very sweet and concentrated nectar. The Yarden, “Heights Wine”, 2007 offers generous layered aromas of tropical fruits, honey, apricots and slight hints of spices. Either served with desert or on its own, this is a great way to end any meal.