Wine Enthusiast again covers a wide variety of Israeli Wines

Once again Israeli wines are getting more good attention – a large divergence from its almost invisible past. This time, the Wine Enthusiast did rather large wine tasting, covering many importers, and most importantly – not JUST for their once-year obligatory Passover article! So first off – Kudos and Bravo for giving Israel, Greece, and Cyprus coverage and showing the world their potential.

I can already hear the ubiquitous first question – was this tasting just wines from Royal Wine’s portfolio and their new IWPA? The answer, a resounding no! For this tasting, there were double the number of Israeli wine importers involved, in dramatic contrast to the Wine Enthusiast Passover article in April, 2012 where all 49 or so wines reviewed were Royal or Yarden wines. This month, there were 32 wines, imported by the ubiquitous Royal Wines and Yarden Wines, but it also included Recanati wines that are imported by Palm Bay and a few wines from the highly underrated Happy Hearts Wine Importers! My only complaint – why did Happy Hearts not include the wines from the wonderful Bravdo Karmei Yosef Winery?

The wines included many that we have written about in the past, from the Royal wine tasting (IFWF) in Los Angeles, and the Gotham wine event. The most prominently showcased winery was the Recanati Winery, which had four whites, one rose, and six red wines. The highest scoring Recanati wine was the famous 2009 Recanati Wild Carignan, Reserve, which we liked as well. However, in classic Recanati style, and as we discussed in the post, Recanati is famous more for its wines that score 86 or higher and are priced at 12 to 15 bucks. Those are Recanati’s bread and butter wines, and the product that is starting to get some good attention.

Some of the lower scoring wines that were interesting, was the 2010 Psagot Shiraz, that scored an 85, the Recanati White RSR which was scored an 88, and the Psagot Cabernet Franc which was scored an 86. There were no other real low scoring shockers and there was not a plethora of 91+ scores either. Rather, the review was chock full of 88, 89, 90, and a few 91 scored wines – which is highly respectable. Once again proving that Israeli wines are getting there. They are improving the quality, with solid grape and vineyard management, along with better wine production extraction and processes.

Bazelet HaGolan continues to impress in the wine press, though it is a winery that for reasons beyond my comprehension, produce wines that I cannot get my head around. I was really happy to see Carmel continuing to receive great wine scores and notes. The Carmel Appellation wines all scored 90 points, received great wine notes, and all of them were Editor’s Choice to boot! The winner, if you must call it that, would probably be Domaine du Castel – being that both of their wines were given a score of 91 – nicely done!

Also, all the wines are new vintages for the United States, except for maybe a few and that bodes well for Israel, as 2010 and 2011 were really bad growing years, and still the scores are more than respectable.

So, congratulations to the continued solid work and wine production by so many of the wineries in Israel and our appreciation to the Wine Enthusiast for adding Israeli Wines to the September edition! Once again, the scores are listed below in the order that the Wine Enthusiast scored them:

White Wines

  1. 2010 Domaine du Castel ‘C’ Chardonnay – 91
  2. 2010 Recanati Chardonnay – 88
  3. 2010 Recanati Special Reserve (RSR) White – 88
  4. 2011 Recanati Yasmin White – 85
  5. 2010 Recanati Sauvignon Blanc – 85


  1. 2011 Odem Mountain Rose, Volcanic Dry – 86
  2. 2010 Recanati Rose – 86

Cabernet and Blends

  1. 2009 Bazelet HaGolan, Reserve – 91
  2. 2009 Domaine du Castel, Grand Vin – 91
  3. 2009 Carmel Cabernet Franc, Appellation (Editor’s Choice) –  90
  4. 2009 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon, Appellation (Editor’s Choice) – 90
  5. 2009 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz Blend, Appellation (Editor’s Choice) – 90
  6. 2009 Or Haganuz Winery, Namura Select – 90
  7. 2010 Psagot Edom – 90
  8. 2009 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve – 90
  9. 2009 Binyamina Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve – 89
  10. 2009 Or Haganuz Winery, Merlot-Cabernet-Petit Verdot, Amuka – 89
  11. 2010 Psagot Cabernet Sauvignon – 88
  12. 2009 Mony Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve – 87
  13. 2010 Or Haganuz Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Har Sinai – 86
  14. 2010 Psagot Cabernet Franc – 86
  15. 2011 Dovev Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Buy) – 85
  16. 2010 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon – 85
  17. 2011 Recanati Yasmin, Red – 85


  1. 2010 Bazelet HaGolan Merlot – 87
  2. 2010 Recanati Merlot – 86
  3. 2009 Odem Mountain Merlot, Volcanic – 85

Other Red Wines

  1. 2009 Recanati Carignan, Reserve, Wild – 90
  2. 2010 Recanati Shiraz (Best Buy) – 90
  3. 2010 Binyamina Carignan, Reserve – 86
  4. 2007 Hevron Heights Judean Heights Tempranillo – 85
  5. 2010 Psagot Shiraz – 85

Posted on August 27, 2012, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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