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 2020  Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$19
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of lemon grass, lemon poppy seed, ginger ale, and passion fruit with a soft, bright, bone-dry light body and a smooth, brisk finish with notes of ripe pear, white pepper, and white peach with fruit tannins and no oak flavor. An elegant Sauvignon Blanc in a refined and distinctive style; this is an exciting, somewhat Francophone take and is well worth a try for any lover of the varietal.
Awards: 2021 Best Israeli White '2021 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 5 White Wine $20 and Under'
93 points $19 Best Buy
Galil Mountain 2018 Yiron Red Blend Galilee
93 points
$38
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of prune, black currant, fresh rosemary, and adobo pepper with a tannic, lively, dry full body and a peppery, nuanced, long finish that presents suggestions of blueberry, cured meat, kalamata olive, and cigar box with firm, drying, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. Savory and herbal notes mingle with hints of soft vanilla in this wine that culminates in a long, complex finish.
Awards: 2021 Best Israeli Red
Hermon 2020 Mount Hermon Indigo Red Blend Galilee
91 points
$14
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of cherry jam, violet candies, licorice, and sassafras with a chewy, crisp, dry full body and a warming, medium-long finish that shows accents of blueberry compote, iron, and slate with chewy tannins and heavy oak flavor. This unexpected take on Cabernet is dripping with ripe fruit and licorice; pair with venison or game.
Awards: '2021 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $15 and Under'
91 points $14 Best Buy
Galil Mountain 2019  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$17
Best Buy
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of baked blueberry, maple candies, eucalyptus, and black olive with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, complex, long finish that exhibits impressions of date, blackberry, cinnamon stick, and charred plum with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A laser focused Cabernet blend that brings harmonious structure to the table.
91 points $17 Best Buy
Yarden 2019  Chardonnay
91 points
$22
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of phyllo pastry, slivered almond, and clementine with a supple, crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length finish that shows shades of apple fritter, pear, and meyer lemon with well-integrated, soft tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fruit forward Chardonnay that will bring interest to pairings.
Galil Mountain 2020  Syrah
89 points
$17
Ruby black color. Aromas of hibiscus black tea, cassis, smoke, and peppered jerky with a medium-to-full body and a peppery, delightful, long sweet stewed plum, blackberry , graphite, pink peppercorn, and bitter chocolate finish with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A layered Syrah that unfolds notes of spice and chocolate without losing focus on brooding fruit.