Galil Mountain Winery were kind enough to send me some samples of their lower-tier wines (as well as the pictures included herein), which is a first for me, actually reviewing wines like this. Having said that, I haven't drunk any of their wines in ages, but in my first couple of years as a wine geek, I was rather fond of their Sauvignon Blanc and Yiron, before my tastes shifted and expanded.
It seems, however, that the labels changed while I wasn't looking.
This is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, and it weighs in at, drum rolls, 15% ABV, which I find extravagant on paper, although it manages to carry the alcohol decently. It's ripe, with pleasant green streaks, overall very round and flattering, and there's a candied aspect that makes me think of Australian Shiraz. But it's a tasty drop and the dusty tannins complement the sweet fruit handsomely. And despite the Australian resemblance, it's quite Israeli without too many of the glaring the faults that I'm usually too inclined to dwell on. (Mar. 7, 2012)
About 70 NIS and good value for that, especially if you don't need 'interesting' as much as you need 'delicious'. Which is really all you should be looking for at this price point, anyway, and if you are looking for tasty, you came to the right place.
Pinot Noir, 2010
I guess if you're willing to accept 15% ABV in a Bordeaux-plus-blend, you shouldn't have an issue with a 145 ABV Pinot, but for me, it raised my hackles even higher. The initial impression enforces my prejudice, as the nose shows an alcoholic streak, along with candied fruit. Otherwise, there's some complexity and interest there and a comely earthiness that Pinot will almost always give you, if you treat it right - as well as a Mediterranean herbaceousness. But the palate, I'm sad to report, is not the most balanced expression of Pinosity that I could imagine (and my imagination is pretty darn good, where Pinot is concerned). (Mar. 11, 2012)
About 70 NIS, too, and as always, I have to wonder what makes so many wineries attempt Pinot at a price point where you really can't do the variety justice. I guess someone has to stock the kosher table with every possible grape, and Golan Heights Winery, and their daughter winery, Galil Mountain, are always ready to take one for the team.
|And we have a winner!|
Sauvignon Blanc, 2011
Of all the samples that the winery provided me, this was perhaps the one I was most looking forward to tasting. And my anticipation was amply rewarded.It leans towards the New Zealand paradigm, with gooesberries, green apples, lime and minerals on the nose and a crisp palate that culminates in a hint of salinity. It's vibrant and refreshing and although arguably a little austere even for an SB, it yet shows why mass production works sometimes, no sarcasm or irony intended. (Mar. 12, 2012)
55 NIS. I think the price is higher than I remember from 7-8 years back, but I'd buy again.