Adir Winery – Latest releases

adir-winery-and-dairy-2I have been visiting Adir Winery for years now, and it finally dawned on me that I have not yet made a proper post on the winery. I did post about the winery in passing two times, here and here, but it was high time to take a little more time to talk about this winery and to post wines notes for the current releases.

This was my third winery that I visited on my trip to the north, on my last visit to Israel. I had already been Kishor in the early morning, followed by Matar by Pelter after that, and then on to Adir Winery after Matar.

Adir winery started long before it was a winery, long before they thought of a winery. It started with the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families. The Rosenberg family came to Israel in the late 1940s, leaving war-torn Poland for a new life. The Ashkenazi family immigrated to Israel in the early 1950s from Turkey. Eventually, they both found themselves in the Upper Galilee, near Moshav Ben Zimra. The Rosenbergs started planting vines in the 1980s, and then again in the 1990s, essentially planting much of the vines on the now famous Kerem Ben Zimra slopes and plateaus. In the meantime, the Ashkenazi family raised the largest flock of goats in the north, producing milk and cheese.

In 2003, the families got together and built what to many did not seem obvious from the start, a dairy and a winery in one. The dairy serves lovely cheeses and ice cream to the masses that come to the winery, while the wine is served on the other side of the building.

The winery has three main lines of wines. The first is their Kerem Ben Zimra wines, which has Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Then there is the A wines, which are blends, and have a white and red. Finally, there is the Plato and now a 10th Anniversary wine.

As I was visiting this time, Adir is in the midst of its biggest ever expansion, moving from two large building to 3 even larger buildings. The current wine cellar will move to another building, while the current tasting room will expand into another building as well. It will all be state of the art, and from what I could see very cool, with audio and visual sensory technology, along with lots of space to serve more cheese and wine than before.

After tasting through the new 2013 and 2015 wines, I can say that this set of wines is a slight step behind last years. The new 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is dead on, but the 2015 Adir A white is a step behind the 2014. The new 2015 Ben Zimra red wines are nice, but not as good as the 2014 or 2013. The 2013 Adir red a, is pushed, and that surprised me, really it did, as I thought 2013 was a great vintage for Israel for reds. The 2013 high-end wines, the Plato and the 10th Anniversary wines were quite nice.

As I stated  here already, some 2015 reds are showing well, while the 2015 whites and rose were, as a whole, a real letdown. The folks who picked early in 2015 are actually creating wines that remind me of 2011! The earlier than normal harvests, by those that chose to handle the situation in 2015 in that way, allowed for less ripe wines, and wines that are more tart and green, but still well-balanced. Instead of the classical bombastic wines of Israel. Others chose to pick later and of course that was, a more region by region decision. The 2015 wines by Adir, were very akin to this schism I see in Israeli reds, some like 2011 and some more like 2009/2010 (which were hot years). The 2015 Adir Kerem Cabernet is more like a 2011, while the 2015 Adir Kerem Shiraz is more like a 2009/2010.

I have placed my two tasting into a single post. The wine notes from this recent visit, along with notes from my visit a year ago. I do this mainly because the 2015, shmita wines, are not availble here in the US.

My many thanks to Yossi and the Adir winery – my wine notes follow below, in the order they were tasted:


2016 Adir Sauvignon Blanc, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: B+ to A-
The nose on this wine is nice, with good spice, gooseberry, cats pee, with bright fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, with good acid, showing grapefruit galore with dry core, of quince and citrus, nectarines, passion fruit, and herb.The finish is long and spicy with slate and pith. Nice.

2015 Adir A Lavan – Score: B+ (Shmita)
This wine is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is nice, with good apple, lemon, with good spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, but lacks the caid needed to pull it all together, still it shows good focus, with apple and lemon curd taking center focus, with brioche, and lemonella with nice citrus coming in behind, with nice melon and pear. The finish is long and spicy, with a citrus core, showing slate and spice.

2015 Adir Shiraz, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: B (Shmita)
Sadly, this wine shows now as a classic overripe Israeli wine, with ripe plum and fig giving way to blue and black fruit. The mouth was totally unbalanced to me with date and blueberry taking center focus. The wine does show good acid.

2015 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A- (Shmita)
Where the Shiraz was unbalanced, this wine is quite nice actually, with lovely red fruit, earth, and mineral. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is well-balanced, dry, showing an approach that works well with raspberry and strawberry, followed by dark plum and nice earth, all coming together with lovely tannin, almost elegant, with green notes and oak. The finish is long and well balanced with good acid, nice chocolate, and earth showing more old world, with mineral, tar, and nice tobacco. Nice!

2013 Adir A red – Score: B+
This wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is quite nice with good spice and lovely green notes, showing great red fruit, cherry, raspberry, with earth, floral notes, and foliage galore. Sadly, where I found the 2012 vintage to be quite nice, this vintage is a bit too pushed for my liking. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine shows rich extraction, but a slight loss of control with lots of fruit, earth, good acid, crazy green notes and mouth-draping tannin, and nice spice. The finish is long and leathery, with tobacco, mineral, and a lingering tart red fruit finish.

2013 Adir Plato – Score: A-
This wine is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. The nose on this wine shows elegance, and impressive dark and supple aromas of earth, green notes, with spice, and mineral. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine shows rich spice and lovely acid, with impressive control,  with blackberry, and more black fruit that is elegant with also being a bruising fruit focused structure, really nice extraction, with tart and juicy fruit, raspberry, strawberry, with spice and green notes. The finish on this wine is green and tart, with chocolate, lovely tobacco, and foliage. Leather, chocolate and tar, with hints of blue tart berries linger long. Nice!

2013 Adir 10th Anniversary – Score: A-
This wine was made in honor of the winery’s 10th anniversary from its creation, and its first vintage in 2003. The wine is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Shiraz, and Cabernet Franc. This wine is a real fun and joyful wine, showing impressive elegance and control, with rich green notes, rich mineral, foliage, and still impressive fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is elegant, with sheer control and mouth draping tannin, giving way to a structure that is still not coming together, with great extraction, rich blackberry, lovely herb, lovely dry red fruit, all based in rich mushroom, dirt, and herb. Not a classic Israeli wine in any way. The finish is long and impressive, with layers of concentrated fruit and complexity showing good balance, acid, tar, mineral, and green notes. Impressive!

Wine tasted in February 2016 at winery


2014 Adir A Lavan – Score: A-
This wine is a blend of 90% Chardonnay, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is bright with gooseberry, tart green apple, and butter. The mouth on this round and medium-bodied wine shows nice acid, with a good focus of nectarines, orange, with guava, grapefruit, and an overall nice mouthfeel and weight. The finish is long and tart, with a lovely viscous mouthfeel, but also well-balanced with tart fruit, sweet oak, pith, more acid, and rich spices, with cloves, butterscotch, and nice herb. (Tasted February 2016 in winery)

2014 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A-
This wine is lovely, with rich blackberry, lovely garrigue, but well-balanced with green notes, followed by earth, and forest floor. The mouth on this round and full-bodied wine, shows a lovely attack of black currant, rich vanilla, with great tannin, green notes that follow into a rich ribbon of chocolate and red fruit, with cherry, and dried raspberry. Long and acidic core finish with great body and spice, showing layers and good complexity, with tobacco and dill. Nice! (Tasted February 2016 in winery)

2014 Adir Shiraz, Kerem Ben Zimra – Score: A-
Nice nose of blueberry and blackberry, with good dirt, earth, and lovely licorice. Nice medium-bodied wine, with great acid and good mouth coating tannin, but the fruit is closed to start with good extraction, lovely blueberry and blackberry, with earth and dirt all wrapped in heavy butterscotch and blue fruit, followed by black currant and spice. Nice! (Tasted February 2016 in winery)

2012 Adir A R (red) – Score: A-
The wine is a blend of 60% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is lovely and blue, with blueberry and dirt, showing chocolate and sweet notes. The wine has a lovely full body with plush tannin, rich extraction that lingers with great spice and control, very impressive that so much alcohol shows so well with lovely blue and black fruit, plum, blackberry, blueberry, and forest berry. Lovely long and saline finish, with more draping and elegant tannin,  with spice, sweet and tart fruit, and mineral. Nice! (Tasted February 2016 in winery)

2012 Adir Plato – Ssore: A-
This wine is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Shiraz. The nose on this
lovely and elegant wine, shows rich power, with mineral, graphite, and rich herb. The mouth on this lovely full-bodied wine, is rich, layered and extracted, showing rich black and blue fruit that is restrained but viscous and vigorous, with impressive saline, mineral, graphite, earth with rich blackberry, draping tannin, and elegance that shows rich coffee, scrapping tannin with plum, dark cherry, and currant. Long and saline finish, with spice and rich acid, with tobacco, cloves and black pepper. Bravo! (Tasted February 2016 in winery)

Posted on February 14, 2017, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Uncategorized, Wine Tasting, Winery Visit and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What is the drinking window on A and Plato 2013? Thanks.

    • I was not a fan of 2013 A red, I would drink within next year or so if you have some. The 2013 Plato is nicer and I would drink it from 2018 – 2021.

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