Thursday, October 7, 2010

Swirl Wine Club October Wines

News Flash… Israel is producing wine! Really, really good wine at that. Why shouldn’t they? They have had almost more time practicing than anyone else in history and have been making Pinot Noir and other wine since biblical times. Oh how I can’t wait to visit these wineries, walk in the footsteps of the carpenter from Nazareth and drink the juice of this Holy land. I’m almost willing to bet that 90% of you have yet to try wine from Israel. You might be surprised that Israel can produce such great wines in the cool climate of northern Galilee. These wineries have raised the standards of Israeli wine and have put Israel on the map to compete in quality on the world stage of wine. Club members, enjoy!

2006 Galil Mountain Shiraz/Cabernet - 24.99
(Upper Galilee, Israel)

Wow… the benchmark in Israel may be set. Forget everything you think you might know about Israeli wines. This Shiraz/Cab simply rocks! Off the gates, the nose is unbelievable… Bill Hamilton may even roll off his chair. Ripe cherries, blueberry jam, chocolate, pepper, spice and a touch of mint come through all too well. Put to your lips and you know beyond your upper senses that this is a killer wine. Aged for 10 months in our very own Minnesota Oak, this 2006 Shiraz/Cab is perfect right now! The approach is like soft and warm molten lava cake, the middle a fruit bomb with spice to boot, and the finish… hello!… long, jam packed fruit, warm spices, toasty oak and well supported by those silky tannins. This finish is long, solid and worthy of another sip… and more, and more. This is fun stuff. Dang, I love my job. Really? Try this wine and tell me this does not drink like a $40 + bottle of wine at retail.

2009 Golan Chardonnay - 19.99
(Golan Heights, Israel)

Congratulations Israel on producing a world class Chard… dare I say to give Cake Bread a run for their money? No joking… at a Minimum of $25 per bottle less, this 2009 Golan Chard is serious juice from the volcanic plateau of Northern Galilee. With the first breath, you know it’s going to be a beautiful Chardonnay. Golden reflections are at it’s core and throughout. Lightly buttered Orville Redenbacher comes to mind on the nose with a nutty component, toasty vanilla, light apricot and floral overtones. Here’s what I like best: The progression. The approach is light with maybe even tangerine, the middle shows excellent body and is creamy with a natural and classic Chardonnay flavor profile and the finish is rich and creamy with a big time finale of buttery almonds and a really hard to find finish that extends, dips and then lingers again with silk and grace. Chardonnay fans enjoy!

2007 Golan Merlot - 16.99
(Golan Heights, Israel)

Here within the high latitude and cool climate of the Golan Heights lies this soft, approachable and very elegant Merlot. This is certainly not a wine of muscle and might, but more a wine that reflects grace, beauty and the natural inherent features of the classic Merlot and northern Israel terrior. Its color is deep ruby at the core, gently fading only at the edge to a lighter brick red. The nose is pretty with fragrant floral and ripe cherry berry notes rounded out with hints of spice and fresh herbs. This 2007 Merlot is very well structured and actually could benefit from another year or two in the cellar. If you open it now, let it breathe a bit or decant it. It’s ageing for five months in American oak is evident on the palate with vanilla and spice showing through along with elegant tannins and fresh red fruit.

Galil Mountain Cabernet Sauvigon - 19.99
(Upper Galilee, Israel)

This will probably be a Cab for even those that aren’t Cab lovers. Lightly sweet and floral, with rich purple fruits, this is an all-steel-aged wine that underwent malolactic fermentation giving it a very smooth appeal. Personally, I love it!! Far from California style, this 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon represents the king of grape varietals in a very natural and uncomplicated way. It’s color is deep red and garnet and the nose reminds blueberry, cassis, spice and hints of eucalyptus and cocoa. The approach is lively with fresh black fruit. The middle shows a truly gorgeous medium to full body transitioning to this wines best part: The finish - It lingers long and is extremely well balanced with blackberry fruit, cassis and chocolate nuances backed by perfectly integrated tannins.

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