Wine Cellar: A tribute to vintners

The range of red and white wines in Binyamina's Yogev series is a tribute of the winery to the devoted vintners who maximize the grapes' quality.

grapes 88 (photo credit: )
grapes 88
(photo credit: )
Growing grapes can be described as farming. But it requires knowledge of botany, chemistry, viticulture and other scientific approaches. There are as many ways to grow grapes as there are varieties of the fruit, each with its own portfolio of chemicals producing flavor and aroma. Another key to growing grapes for a truly great wine is the passion of the vintner. The range of red and white wines in Binyamina's Yogev series is a tribute of the winery to the devoted vintners who maximize the grapes' quality. The Yogev ("farmer" in Hebrew) series is a set of easy-drinking wines that are crafted to appeal to a greater number of wine-lovers. As one of the country's five leading wineries, Binyamina winery produces over two million bottles per year, and uses a wide range of grape varieties. The vineyards are spread around the entire country, from the Golan Heights through to Upper Galilee and down to Mitzpe Ramon in the South. The wines in the series are made as a blend where each component adds its own characteristics to the wine's flavor. Three new kosher wines in the Yogev series have been released this week, for NIS 59 a bottle. Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2007: Half of this blend is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the vineyard of Eli Heiman in Karmei Yosef, and the Merlot grapes are from the vineyard of Dror Eliraz in Moshav Lachish. This medium-bodied wine has red fruit flavors and a light scent of oak gained from the barrels it was aged in for six months. Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz 2007: Equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were sourced from the vineyards of Zvi Shoseyov in Karmei Yosef (Cabernet), and Yossi Abramson in Kfar Kisch to craft this wine. Revealing fruit aromas and a hint of vanilla, this food-friendly red wine is very elegant and ready for drinking now or in the next two years. Cabernet Sauvignon-Petite Verdot 2007: 80 percent of Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 percent of Petite Verdot were combined to make this young, fruity red. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are from Lower Galilee and the rest are from the Mitzpe Ramon. This is an appealing wine filled with aromas of strawberries and other fresh fruits. It would taste great with a wide variety of meats and rich sauces. Another wine recently released is the Pinot Noir 2006 in the Estate series of Tishbi, a family-run winery in Zichron Ya'acov. Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow, and is rather particular about its growing conditions. It typically produces its best results in cool regions, and its character can be hard to qualify. If Pinot Noir receives too little heat in the growing season, its wines are thin and pale, and if the growing season is too warm, the wines have an overripe, cooked flavor. Over the past two decades, some vintners and winemakers in our country have tried to grow this grape and make into fine wine. But it's only a few who managed crafting a properly done wine out of this Burgundy varietal. Tishbi's recent release is not one of them. The grapes for this Pinot Noir were handpicked at different vineyards in Gush Etzion at 800 meters to 900 m. above sea level. The wine is quite fruity, but has no real flavor or depth. It feels like it's been bottled too early and needed a few more months to mature. NIS 89 (kosher) On the bubbly side: The Golan Heights Wineries has launched Gamla Brut NV, a new sparkling wine made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The wine was produced using the same traditional winemaking method as in France's Champagne region. With delicate notes of citrus and green apples, this is a lovely, refreshing wine to break the heat. Just don't forget to chill before serving. NIS 70. (kosher) [email protected]