The Continuing Controversy of Viognier from Israel

Today, after a morning of working in the avocado orchard of my friend, mentor, and wine guru, Naftali Admoni, we went over to Kfar Yasif and picked up an order of chumous and chips to go complete with olive oil, pickled hot petters, onion, tomato, and olives and returned to eat lunch while gazing at the trees.  I am now sorry that I didn’t bring my camera and that my ancient cell phone doesn’t take pictures or video.  There’s always next time!  So we opened a bottle of Viognier 2010 from Galil Mountain Winery and enjoyed its fragrance and flavor.  It hit me that what I smelled reminded me of my childhood travels through Georgia in the summer and stopping on the road to purchase and eat the soft, juicy, flavorful peaches from the farmers selling from the back of their pickup trucks.  The soft and mellow butter-like smoothness appealed to my sense of what a white wine should be.

But Naftali informed that soon the Yarden Viognier from the Golan Heights winery, which we consider to be the premier wine producer in Israel. will be releasing their wine from the 2008 harvest.  Wow, I thought.  Here we are drinking the 2010 release from Galil Mountain Winery and Golan Heights is just allowing their 2008 to be sold.  Sure, some 60% of it was aged in oak casks and then mixed with the rest fermented in stainless steel.  But how long does that take.  Naftali laughed at me, saying that the Golan Heights version of Viognier is THE BEST OF THE LITTER.  It can be put in your wine cellar to be aged several years, whereas the one that we were drinking must be imbibed now.  The Yarden, he says,  has the complexity and depth which gives it that something extra special.  But for me, until my israelwinetaster tase buds instruct me otherwise, I’ll stick with the young vibrancy of the 2010 Galil Mountain Winery Viognier.

Now I am back home and preparing for an afternoon nap after waking up at 4:30 this morning to work in the avocado orchard.  Hope you have a Shabat Shalom, a good weekend and a very Happy Fourth of July.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s