Dessert wines are excellent, at least the two specimens I tried. I had to restrain myself from another taste of the Jonathan Tishbi Muscat Dessert Wine 2007 - just really excellent, clean and refreshing, yet sweet with a distinctive fruit note I could not identify. Something like a very fresh, ripe raspberry or tiny sweet framboise. The wine is colored fuchsia with a slightly candied nose and palate.
Though I could have happily played the “name that flavor” game for hours, I had to move on. Yet if you buy it and try it, please tell your thoughts. The other wine was the wildly delicious Yarden Heights 100% Gewurztraminer from Galilee - also crisp and refreshing acidity with sweet flavors of ripe apricot, and pear. Well-balanced and very lean.
Also interesting with Yarden is that their Cabernet Sauvignon El Rom Vineyard 2004 is priced at $75, yet I liked their non-single vineyard 2004 Cab better. To me it seemed richer and riper. “You have good taste,” said the representative behind the table, indicating that Wine Spectator gave it 90 points. I looked it up just now on the Internet and here it is from Kim Marcus:
90 points - Wine Spectator, Sep 30, 2008
"Rich and refined, showing focused flavors of red plum, berry and spice, with appealing herbal overtones. Has excellent balance and structure, backed up by crisp acidity. Mineral and smoke notes fill the firm finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2012. – KM
So there you have it, my day’s adventure exploring the wines of Israel. In my tasting column I reviewed several Israeli wines, yet these are the wines from the bigger producers that are more widely distributed in the United States. It was really a privilege to taste all the different regions today, and I can’t wait until next year.