Monday, December 9, 2019

Israeli Shiraz Reminds Of Rhône Valley

Carmel is Israel's largest wine producer, makers of about half of the wine from the country.  It was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, whom you may know as the owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux.  Chief Carmel winemaker Yiftah Perets is listed on label along with his signature.  The wine is mevushal - flash-pasteurized - and is kosher for Passover. 

The winery has released a trio of premium reds under the banner Private Collection, which recognize Israel's 137 years of modern winemaking. 

The grapes for Carmel’s 2018 Private Collection Shiraz were grown in Shomron, the Hebrew name for Samaria.  That is where God instructed vineyards to be planted on the hillsides, according to Jeremiah. The wine was aged for only eight months in French and American oak barrels, hits 13.5% abv and retails for $17.

This wine may come from Israel, but it smells like the southern Rhône Valley to me.  Tastes a bit like it, too.  There is a liberal amount of tar on the nose, along with black olives, beef jerky and a whiff of cigar shop.  The palate is juicy and ripe, with a mouthwatering acidity.  Flavors of blackberry and blueberry get a slight touch of oak spice.  The tannins are fairly gentle but the wine finishes quickly.

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