Matar (By Pelter) Winery – newest 2015 wines

mount-hermon-covered-entirely-in-snowWell, in case you have not realized it yet, I am posting for each of the wineries I visited in the two days I was actually in Israel, outside of my one day at Sommelier. Of course, I visited the wineries that I love, and so far I have visited Netofa Winery and Kishor Winery, up till this point.

After I left Kishor Winery, I made my way northeast, to Ein Zivan, another 2+ hours away from Kishor. By this point I have driven 5 hours from Tel Aviv, to my host, then to Kishor, and now to Ein Zivan. It is the farthest north I would travel. From here it is all south. The image above, was a picture I took from the side of the road up north, showing a fully snow-covered Mount Hermon! Beautiful!

The destination was Matar by pelter Winery, a winery I have written about in-depth before. In my opinion, it is a winery that I think is building the best compromise, for artistic, yet non-religious, winemakers who want kosher as an option, but also like to interact with their wines. As you know the only real issue with kosher wine, is the religious jew requirement to make wine kosher. There are a few other ones, but that is the biggest, and most difficult one on the list.

So, if you are a non-religious winemaker and you want to make kosher wine, you have two options. You either stop touching the wines or you make non-kosher wines. Pelter decided to combine those options, and by doing so, it gives Tal Pelter, the head winemaker of Pelter and Matar Winery, the ability to still interact on a very personal level with his Pelter wines, while also being able to expand his portfolio with Matar wines to the kosher market, at the same time.

Anyway, getting back on track, the 2015 vintage was not bad for Matar. While most wineries could not put out a good white wine from 2015, Matar continued its impressive run, with good Shmita wines. The Rose was of course, much like the rest of Israel, average and not inspiring, the only “miss” for Matar in 2015, so far. The red Cumulus was nice as well. So far, IMHO, 2015 has been bad at most wineries in Israel, in regards to the white wines. For reds, there is more hope, with the best wineries creating very acceptable to very good product.

My many thanks to Matar/Pelter wineries for letting me enjoy the wines – my wine notes follow below:


2015 Matar Rose – B+ (Shmita)
This wine is made of Grenache. The nose starts off nice, with good mineral, saline, and citrus. Sadly, the mouth is flat and lacks the life I expect from a good rose. The Green apples are nice, as are the lovely citrus notes, but the lack of that killer acid, leaves me let down, in comparison to the previous vintages.

2015 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Score: A- (Shmita)
What a very good 2015 white, quite nice indeed! The wine is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. The nose on this lovely wine is redolent with sweet fruit again, but this time well-tempered with bright fruit notes as well, grapefruit, with guava and melon, Asian pear and herb. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has that lovely acid its need to balance the sweet fruit, with good focus, along with nice tart fruit, pineapple, tart lemon, orange blossom, and great spices. The finish is tart and bright, with more citrus, slate, great mineral, and green notes. Nice!

2015 Matar Chenin Blanc – Score: B+ to A- (Shmita)
This wine is far more ripe and less bright than previous vintages. The wine tastes sweet, from the very ripe fruit, but it is indeed dry, and far sweeter than the previous vintages, and even more sweeter than a Netofa Chenin Blanc of any vintage.
The nose on this wine is crazy sweet, with honey and honeysuckle, that gives way to intense citrus, with crazy guava, and blossoms. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is sweeter, with less acid than I crave, giving way to honey covered apples, apricot, and hints of sweet quince and pear. Long and sweet finish, with nice acid, good slate and mineral. Nice!

2015 Matar Chardonnay – Score: A- (Shmita)
The nose on this lovely wine, is rich with wood, and fruit, with apple, brioche, showing less wood than a classic Israeli chard. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has impressive acid, showing in the mouth more like a Chablis than a burgundy, with lovely grapefruit, rich mouth feel, lovely herb, lavender, with blossom, pear and more good acid. The finish is long and bright with great focus and spice. Slate, herb, and pith lingers long. This may well be the best 2015 white I have tasted from Matar, a step ahead of the lovely Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon.

2015 Matar Cumulus – Score: A- (Shmita)
This wine is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc, aged in French oak for 15 months. The nose on this wine is a lovely blue and red wine, with dirt and nice mineral, with roasted herb, saline and rich loam. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is  red in nature, showing red fruit galore, dry, rich, draping tannin, with lovely spice, dried plum, currant, and more earth and lovely spice. The finish is long and spicy with great coffee and chocolate, showing pith, old-world style, really nice, not pushed, but rich and expressive with dried fruit and garrigue lingering. Another 2015 red that was made well. Impressive!

2014 Matar Merlot – Score: A-
Lovely nose with rich red fruit, lovely green notes, and earth. The mouth on this medium plus bodied wine, is very tart and focused, with rich earth to start, followed with dark plum, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, garrigue galore, foliage background, mint, with green herb and elegance. The finish is long and green, with nice dirt and loam, giving way to cedar, tobacco, with some mineral and graphite. Nice!

2013 Matar CB (Cumulonimbus) – Score: A-
This wine is the flagship of the winery and is a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Shiraz, 8% Petit Verdot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. The grapes were sourced from the Golan Heights, the Upper Galilee, and the Jerusalem Hills. There were only 3480 bottles of this wine made, and this wine was aged in French oak for 22 months.
The nose on this lovely wine shows rich earth, cherry, with smoke, charcoal, and dried raspberry. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is showing nice elegance with draping tannin, crazy fruit structure, with boysenberry, plum, currant, showing rich extraction, lovely saline, rich mineral, crazy tobacco and coffee, with black fruit in the background, showing more red and blue with elegance and tannin and dirt with dried fruit. Lovely and elegant. Nice!

Posted on February 8, 2017, in Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine Tasting, Winery Visit and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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