About Israeli Wine

About Israeli Wine
As a wine-producing country, Israel has reinvented itself, moving away from the sweet, grapey concord wines for religious celebrations to an industry that now is known for complex, well structured red and white table wines. Today in regions such as Galilee and the Judean Hills, beautifully crafted versions of several red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are being produced. Quality is very good to excellent, with prices ranging from inexpensive to the high $20 range for American retail shelves. While most wines in Israel are still kosher, there are some that are not; these are small lot production, often made by garage winemakers. The bottom line is that Israel has been accepted as a quality wine producer for several years and things will only get better in this regard.

Top Picks for Israel

Yarden 2010 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Galilee
94 points
$32.99
Yellow straw color. Aromas of buttered brioche, apricot preserves, pear blossom, key lime, and sweet cheese danish with a satiny, racy, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, layered, medium-long Italian lemon, pickled ginger, marble, and toasted walnut finish with moderate oak flavor. Sonorous acidity and intense minerality make this a wine with fantastic cellarability; drink through 2040
94 points $32.99
Yarden 2007 Katzrin Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Galilee
94 points
$105.99
Golden straw color. Fresh aromas of lemon curd, brioche, dried apricot, lime leaf, and pressed flowers with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long graham cracker, beeswax, and mango yogurt finish with light oak flavor. A mouth-filling, full-flavor sparkler from Galilee that offers a sophisticated, poignant Champagne-style wine.
94 points $105.99
Shiloh 2017 Privilege Wine Makers Red Blend Judean Hills
94 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Brick red color. Complex aromas and flavors of chocolate bar, caramelized bacon, blackberry yogurt, and hint of tarragon and parsley with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, layered, long finish with notes of honeyed olive focaccia toast, lemon muffin, salted nuts, and pencil shavings with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich and stimulating red blend with great depth and evolving flavors.
Awards: '2018 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Israeli Red Exceptional Value
94 points $19.99 Best Buy
Psagot 2017 Sinai Red Blend Jerusalem
92 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of dried rose, buttercream, tar, acacia, cedar, and ripe plum with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, long finish with suggestions of blackberry jam, pastry crust, and honey. A deep and dynamic red with exquisite style and substance.
Awards: '2019 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Israeli Red
92 points $19.99 Best Buy
Jezreel Valley 2017 Alfa Red Blend Galilee
91 points
$19.99
Black violet color. Aromas of baked blackberry cobbler, polished furniture, roasted walnut, black tea, and coriander with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity full body and a peppery, nuanced, long dried figs and dates and poppyseed babka finish. A big and bold Israeli blend begging to accompany succulent grilled meats.
Awards: '2019 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under'
91 points $19.99