Carmel Red Ridge 2007 and Gamla Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2009

Carmel Mizrachi Red Ridge 2007

I have always been very disappointed with Carmel Mizrachi wines. In the past, even their NIS 100 plus "Private Collection" have shown the same problem which is a rather rough unpleasant aftertaste on the palette. Again and again I've given Carmel another try in the hope that they would finally get it right only to be disappointed yet again.

Three weeks ago I saw a new wine on the shelves called Carmel Red Ridge 2007. It was cheap (NIS 33) and as it was the end of the month and I had to keep my credit card bill down, I decided to give it a try (against my better judgement). I even commented to my wife as I took the bottle off the self that being the produce of Eretz Yisrael, I so much wanted to enjoy Carmel wines but had never yet found one I liked because of that rough aftertaste characteristic. An American Chareidi guy who was standing near us, laughed, nodding his head. It seems I'm not the only one.

The back label describes the Red Ridge as a dry red wine made mainly from Carignan, with a little Shiraz, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, all grown in vineyards in the valleys surrounding Zichron Ya’acov.

Kiddush Friday night we opened the bottle at room temperature and let it breathe through Shalom Aleichem, Eishes Chayil and giving the children their brachos. As I poured out the wine I was impressed by the colour which was an encouraging medium dark royal red. It had the aroma of fresh berries and a wonderful round satisfying deep fruity taste. I'd describe the taste as young and confident. Now for the aftertaste. I waited for that bitterness my delight it didn't come. Instead I was treated to a long warm taste of stewed garden berries. This wine brought a smile to the faces of the whole family. I took another sip and let it sit in the mouth for a few seconds. Oh boy! Carmel finally got it right!

This might be described as a cheap table wine but don't be snobbish. Give it a try.

Golan winery Gamla Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2009

We opened a new Gamla Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2009 for Kiddush, Shabbos morning yesterday. This vintage hit the supermarkets last week. We were delighted by its attractive colour, aroma and delicious delicate refreshing taste. If I didn't know better I'd think that the Golan winery mixed the wine with fresh tropical fruit juice. Some at the table said "bananas", others said "pineapple'. I tasted a mixture of both.
The 2006 was enjoyable but nothing to write home about (or to dedicate a blog post to). The 2007 vintage was a little disappointing being too acidy, especially considering that the Gamla Chardonnay of the same year was exceptional. The 2009 however is spectacular and simply perfect for a warm Shabbos day.
My advice is to serve this straight from the fridge in tall flute glasses to capture that tropical fruit aroma. (I know many people turn their noses up at serving anything but sparkling wine in tall flute glasses but they are missing out on the benefits of that first nose).

Don't rush through the Kiddush. Make it dramatic and meaningful in the sure knowledge that you have the wine to back up your sentiment. (You'll also give the wine just enough time to breathe). I bought this in Shefa Shuk for NIS 36 (if I'm not mistaken). Great value I'd say.

Shefa Shuk near the Belz Beis Midrash, Yerushalayim.


  1. Thanks for this. It's Sunday morning and I already can't wait for Shabbat.


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