I have been invited to two press trips to Israel. I suppose someone appreciated my reviews of Israeli wines available in Canada or perhaps my reviewing some great Israeli films. The first one was a wine and food tour but I was already booked for a wedding in Greece that conflicted me out. The second was organized out of the Israeli consulate in New York and as I write about travel it was more of a travel trip such as seeing some key touristic sites. Three days before the trip I was rudely disinvited as the organizers thought I was American and the tour was starting at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv where the Americans were all arriving on the same flight. Talk about being jilted. So while these feet may not be walking in Israel these lips have not forsaken Israeli wine which ranges from excellent to mediocre just like any other wine producing country in the world. Canadian consumers are frightened by the unknown and that is what Israeli wines are in Canada. What a pity.
One of the best wineries in Israel is Galil Mountain Winery. I must have reviewed a dozen or so of their wines and most were in the 80’s and low 90’s in terms of score.
So we try a Galil Mountain Red. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. On the nose there are some notes of black cherry, blueberry, dates and milk chocolate. On the palate the tannins are moderate. There are rather stern notes of cherry, spice and blueberry. While the nose is inviting the palate is somewhat stern and stiff hiding its marvels perhaps for food and never having gone on that wine and food tour my knowledge of Israeli cuisine is very lean. I would suggest beef brisket or Mami Ribs. The palate does not deliver. Galil Mountain can definitely do better, much better but this is most likely their entry level wine and at $26.95 and simply not competitive quality wise in its price range.
(Galil Mountain 2018 Red, KP, Upper Galilee, Galil Mountain Winery, Kibbutz Yiron, Israel, $26.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 5477866, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 86/100).