I can’t complain about Israeli wines but we receive such a slim inventory here in Ontario a general statement that they are generally good wines might be taken with a grain of salt. I was offered a media trip to Israel a few years ago but it conflicted with an important wedding so I never had the chance to go on a tasting blitz. Do avoid the “boiled” Mevushal wines!
We might as well start with a Binyamina 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose there is a riot of black cherry and blackberry. Very simple and direct. Also black cherry and blackberry on the palate. There is also a hint of coffee. Not tannic and yet a bit austere on the palate. Drinkable but not exciting.
(Binyamina Winery, Teva 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Israel, $25.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario #539528, 13.5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me Rating 87/100).
We conclude with a Merlot from one of Israel’s best wineries, Galil Mountain. Over the years their wines, except for one disaster, have been very good.
It is black cherry in colour. On the nose black cherry, blackberry, blueberry and dates. On the palate it is the black cherry that wins the battle but that little nudge of blueberry pie is neat! Unlike many a Merlot that swaggers around with lushness this one is fairly well knit together and tight. Would say try with an Eggplant a la Norma.
All in all a decent wine but again not that wow wine you are looking for but it and the wine above show you need not tremble with indecision about trying an Israeli wine.
(Galil Mountain Winery 2018 KP Merlot, Galilee, Israel, $20.10, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 60749, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me Rating 89/100).