Go with the flow

A choice of wines from the Ella Valley, Carmel and Golan Heights wineries.

golan hieghts winery  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
golan hieghts winery
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
It's the end of the 2007 harvest season, and while winemakers are busy putting the new crops in fermentation tanks and barrels, some wineries are now presenting their new releases. Many of you are probably still confused by the abundance of wines launched during the holidays and are still asking which of them are good wines. The answer is easy: any wine you enjoy is a good wine. Yes, it might sound simple, but it makes a point usually missed in the modern obsession with ratings and scores. Wine is about taste, and it's a highly personal and totally subjective experience. Here are a few new releases for you to choose from: ELLA VALLEY WINERIES Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Bordeaux red in color this Cabernet features rich flavors and aromas of cassis, black cherries, and ripe plums. A gorgeous wine, so delicious on its own that it will be a challenge to pair it with food. NIS 99 Merlot 2004 A full-bodied wine that clearly has been hand-picked from the best lots, to judge from the extraordinary quality of the flavors and textures. Red fruits, herbs, earth and a note of coffee, sweetened to perfection under the sun. NIS 99 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah 2005 A blend of 65% Cabernet and 35% Syrah, this wine is bright yet plush, with black cherry, currant, cassis, herbs, and smoke flavors all neatly layered for complexity. It is firm, solid, with ripe tannins which add good structure. Finishes long and lush. NIS 99 Cabernet Franc 2005 Made of 88% Cabernet Franc and 12% Merlot grapes from the winery's Aderet vineyard. An elegant medium-bodied wine with aromas of red berries, spice, and fresh green herbs that explode from the glass along with sweet oak. For me, this wine is tricky, as I know it should be cellared for several years, but it's hard to resist its immediate charms. NIS 118. CARMEL WINERIES Carmel, Kerem, Gewürztraminer Sha'al 2006 Belonging in the winery's top series Kerem (Single Vineyard), this is a gem of a wine. Pure, elegant and aromatic, it shows the perfect balance between juicy honeyed fruit and citrus acidity to make it the ideal dessert wine. It will work marvelously with any kind of fruit dessert and even blue cheese. NIS 80 for 375 ml. Carmel, Regional Series, Carignan 2005 A dry red made of grapes from old vines (30-40 years) grown at the area of Zichron Ya'acov. Aged for 12 months in French oak, barrels this wine shows aromas of blackberry, cherry and pepper, all of which bring a good mouth feel. On the finish it's got some of that espresso bitterness that comes form the toasted barrels. NIS 70 GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERIES Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 This is a serious Cabernet, rich, ripe and intense with plenty of body. Dark red, nearly purple in color, it stains the side of the glass. Any ripe wine can hit the cassis, plum and cherry notes, but few can achieve this level of smoothness that carry into the long finish. Delectable now, but it may well hold for a decade or more. NIS 115