Libations of love

Many small wineries from the Negev to the Golan are producing excellent red and white wines.

By OFER ZEMACH
September 22, 2006 21:02
2 minute read.
golan wines 88

golan wines 88. (photo credit: )

The increasing number of boutique wineries in Israel has had a tremendous impact on the wine industry. Thousands of acres of vineyards are planted, from the Negev in the south to the Golan Heights in the north, and many of these small wineries are producing excellent red and white wines. Buying the product of a boutique winery doesn't always guarantee a quality wine, and most don't meet kashrut requirements. Yet all the winemakers of these tiny to medium establishments are devoted to their profession. This presents a great chance to enjoy a wide selection of fine wines on Rosh Hashana. The wines of the boutique winery Teperberg are distinguished by the unique climate of the Judean Hills. The grapes are hand picked from the vineyards located in Nahal Sansan, Dir Rafat and the Ella Valley, and are closely monitored at each step of the growing process. The winery has released two red wines for the holiday: Teperberg Selection, Meritage 2005: Made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with a small percentage of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The combination of aroma, softness and a good structure makes this wine an extremely modern, pleasant and delightful beverage. NIS 53 (kosher) Teperberg, Cabernet Sauvignon reserve 2003: On the palate, this 100% Cabernet shows flavors of blackberry and concentrated notes of currant, anise and black cherry. The well-proportioned finish is accompanied by firm but not overpowering tannins. NIS 95 (kosher) Yatir, Ya'ar Yatir 2003: This is the winery's flagship wine, handled with extra care by winemaker Eran Goldwasser. It's a very intense modern wine that has been aged for 12 months in oak barrels before bottling, then matured for another 18 months. Dark red in color, this rich and balanced wine still needs time but already has great fruit flavors that burst as soon as it hits the palate. After a little breathing time, it reveals a layer of oak and spices which adds interest to the long, lovely finish. NIS 165 (kosher) Yatir, Yatir 2003: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz grapes have been thrown into the blend of this wine. The result is an interesting and complex wine, very aromatic, with scents of plums, cassis and a hint of exotic flavors rounded out with just the right touch of oak. NIS 99 (kosher) Tulip, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004: Made from grapes grown in Karmei Yosef, this wine showcases everything good about Cabernet Sauvignon. It's dry, ripe in cassis and cherries, lush in tannins yet expressive and forward. Very velvety with layers of vanilla, pepper and plenty of elegance. NIS 75 (not kosher) Bashan Winery, Eitan, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in this new winery's organic vineyard in Avnei Eitan at the Golan Heights, the wine is balanced and tasty. It is bursting with fresh fruit flavors that are complemented by velvety smooth tannins and a touch of good oak. NIS 90 (kosher) Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: This single vineyard wine strikes the nose with ripe fruit aromas focused on blackberry and cherry. After aging for 15 months in oak barrels, it is full bodied, lush and rich in flavors, displaying the perfect mix of concentration and softness. Finishes supple, with smooth tannins and hints of tobacco and oak. NIS 115 (not kosher) Odem Mountain, Nimrod, Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2004: This series is named after the Nimrod fortress in the Golan Heights. The blend of this concentrated wine is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. It has a clean, fresh fruit nose and a bright ruby color. Displaying red and black fruit aromas with notes of bitter chocolate and herbs, it has a long and significant finish. NIS 72 (not kosher)


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