Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Israeli White Wine Deserves Spot At The Table

Yatir is billed as one of Israel's premier boutique wineries, releasing some 12,000 cases of wine each year.  The winery works with select vineyards which showcase the terroirs of Israel's Yatir Forest in the southern tip of the Judean Hills.  The Yatir wines have won high praise from critics internationally.  Yatir's general manager, Yaakov Ben Dor, says wine presses existed in the region more than 3,000 years ago, so the heritage is there.  The winery itself has been around for fewer than 20 years, and Israel's present wine industry is very young.

The grapes for the 2017 Yatir Mt. Amasa White - 52% Viognier, 33% Chenin Blanc and 15% Roussanne - were grown in the Judean Hills wine region.  The wine was fermented and aged for five months in a mix of concrete, steel and huge oak barrels.  Alcohol hits only 13.5% abv, and it is imported by Royal Wine Company.

The nose on the Israeli white wine is quite nice.  The usual suspects from Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Roussanne show up - citrus, floral, nuts - and there’s a savory salinity to it as well.  The palate is a delight, with the savory aspect again rivaling the fruit.  The acidity is wonderful, so it's food friendly and would be welcome on the table for any holiday feasts on the calendar.

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