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Tzora Shoresh 2017
The Tzora estate is located high in the Judean Hills and is widely regarded as one of the best of Israel’s pioneering modern wineries. Although wine has been made here for over 5000 years, over the past couple of decades innovative winemakers have begun to revitalize the wine industry here, realising the potential of the gentle Mediterranean climate in the Judean Hills and the high elevation which helps to preserve freshness in the grapes.
Tzora’s Shoresh wine is crafted in collaboration with Mr. Jean-Claude Berrouet who formerly was the Technical Director at Chateau Pétrus. Grapes are carefully sourced from the estate’s Shoresh vineyard where the rocky soils provide a challenging environment for the Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot vines. This forces them to produce lower yields of more intensely concentrated and flavoured grapes which in turn produce this remarkable wine.
Following the fermentation process the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 16 months to fully integrate the different varietal components and add extra complexity to the finished wine. The result is a very polished Old World style red which will continue to develop and evolve if cellared over the next decade or so.
Tzora Judean Hills 2017
Tzora Vineyards was established by Ronnie James in 1993 with the ambition of revealing the viticultural potential of the Judean Hills to the world. The region is close to the Mediterranean Sea with vineyards planted at high elevation where they receive plenty of cooling breezes from the mountains and mists rolling in from the coast, making it well suited for producing elegant and refined wines made in an Old World style.
Today Ronnie’s son, Dor James, is in charge of the vineyards while Eran Pick, Israel’s first Master of Wine, is the head winemaker. Their wines are made as single vineyard bottlings and a light touch is used in the winery to allow the unique terroir of each plot to shine through in the finished wine.
The Tzora Judean Hills red is a delicious blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes which are harvested from hillside vineyard plots on the estate. Following vinification the young wine is aged in French oak barrels for 16 months to integrate the different varietal components and add subtle spicy notes to the flavour profile. This creates a vibrant medium-bodied red wine with abundant dark fruit, leather, and dark chocolate notes and a long finish.
Domaine du Castel La Vie Rouge 2017
Domaine du Castel was founded by Eli Ben Zaken who emigrated from Milan to Israel with his family in the 1970s and bought a small farm close to Jerusalem. Despite not training as a winemaker, Eli decided to plant the first modern vineyard in the Judean Hills in 1988 and started to produce tiny quantities of wine using the books of Emile Peynaud as a guide. Before long word got out and he sent a bottle to the head of the wine department at Sotheby’s auction house, Serena Sutcliffe, who was very impressed with Eli’s Grand Vin.
Today the estate is widely regarded as one of Israel’s finest boutique wineries and it produces a range of styles. The La Vie Rouge is an exuberant fruit-forward red made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah all grown in the Judean Hills. Here the sunny summer days and cool nights are ideal for producing red wines with great complexity and depth.
Eli crafts this wine in concrete tanks where it is aged for a year before bottling in order to preserve the natural freshness and aromatics. The ripe dark fruit, medium body, and soft tannins make this an excellent wine to serve with casual dinners and it can even be served slightly chilled during the summer.
Domaine du Castel Petit Castel 2017
The Petit Castel is the second wine of Domaine du Castel and it is made in a classic Bordeaux-style from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes sourced from the estate’s finest plots. Following vinification the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and then matured in concrete tanks for an additional 4 months before bottling.
On the nose there are seductive hints of crushed dark berries, wild roses, and leather while the first sip reveals a rich full body, smooth tannins, and bright streak of acidity which will help the wine to age gracefully over the next five years or so. The excellent balance between ripe fruit flavours and firm structure make this a great wine to pair with food, especially red meat dishes like a fine steak, beef stew, or even game.
Domaine du Castel was founded in 1988 by Eli Ben Zaken who had emigrated to Israel from Milan and purchased a small farm near Jerusalem. He planted the first modern vineyard in the Judean Hills and received an incredibly positive response to his first wine, the Grand Vin, which he still produces in very limited quantities.
Flam Classico 2017
Founded by Golam, Gilad and Kami Flam in 1998, the Flam estate has quickly gained recognition as one of Israel’s most exciting boutique wineries. Set in the idyllic Judean Hills close to Jerusalem, the estate makes stunning kosher wines that are inspired both by Israel’s ancient winemaking heritage and modern European techniques and technology.
The Flam family have been making their Classico red blend for 19 years since the early years of the estate. It’s a complex, multi-layered blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Petit Verdot grapes grown in the Mata vineyard in the Judean Hills. This site lies some 650 metres above sea level which means that the hot and sunny days are balanced by cooling breezes from the mountains and colder nights. These climatic conditions help to preserve freshness in the grapes while ensuring they reach optimal ripeness.
In the winery the Classico spends 10 months in French oak barrels followed by a further 6 months of ageing in the bottle. On the nose there are attractive dark berry notes along with hints of chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and sweet spice. Take a sip and you’ll discover a generous full body, firm tannins, and impressively long finish.
Flam Syrah Reserve 2017
Brothers Golan and Gilad Flam were inspired to found their own winery after touring some of Tuscany’s finest estates in the 1990s. Their mother, Kami, takes care of the business side of the venture while Golan is in charge of winemaking after studying in Italy and gaining valuable cellar experience in South Australia and Tuscany.
The tiny boutique winery produces just 150,000 bottles per year and their wines are admired by collectors and wine critics across the globe. Their line of Reserve wines are made in an Old World style with the finest grapes harvested from the family’s Ben Zimra and Dishon vineyards in the Upper Galilee. The grapes are harvested by hand at night to preserve acidity and the delicate aromatics so they arrive in the winery in perfect condition. Following vinification the Syrah Reserve is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and then left to mature in the bottle for an additional 10 months.
Inspired by a trip to the Rhone Valley, this intense Reserve wine is reminiscent of its French cousins with an abundance of rich dark fruit and herbal hints on the nose. The first sip reveals a full body, fine tannins, and firm structure which will help this wine age beautifully in the cellar over the next decade or so. For those who prefer to enjoy it now, try pairing the wine with hearty red meat dishes like a fine steak or beef bourguignon.