2014 Golan Heights Winery Galilee

Just a quick review today. This is actually a first for me, I’ve never had an Israeli wine before. This red is from Galilee in the north of Israel, specifically the Golan Heights region. If the name sounds familiar it might be because of the sea of Galilee located nearby, which is where Jesus is said to have walked on water. According to their website the vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 1,300 feet to 3,900 feet, the Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin in the central Golan. img_2551.jpg

This wine is a blend of five international Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The ambitious blend is more Right bank in style with ripe fruit that seem more reminiscent of Franc and Merlot. This wine seems to be made in a fairly ripe style, which is personally not something I particularly enjoy but if you’re in to more ripe new-world style wines than this one may be for you. I get notes of cherries, plum, blueberry, vanilla, rosemary, cinnamon and smoke. While the ripe fruit shines through there’s definitely a distinct spiciness, something that gives the wine some interest. While the tannins are starting to resolve this wine suffers from a lack of acidity, something that I think keeps the wine from feeling balanced and makes the fruit, perhaps a little flabby. I’d be willing to give this wine another try though, although likely in a different vintage. I haven’t seen any reviews of the 2014 but from what I’ve seen online the 2012, 2013 and 2016 have been well received. All in all it was interesting to try something different and I will definitely be looking to try more if I can find it (here in Newfoundland we currently don’t have any).

Have a wine from Israel you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers,
Ben

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