Last night (now should correctly read, “Last week” because there was a computer problem delaying the publishing of this post), we opened a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Adir Winery. Though they consider themselves a “boutique” winery, I would classify their operation, perhaps, as a family-run, small, but a very high quality enterprise. They have combined the marketing of milk products from their goats with wine from their vines in a natural way. Both the herd and the vineyard are located at Moshav Karem BenZimra, and they display and sell all the products at the Adir Visitor Center, located in the Moshav Dalton industrial area. This is a “must-visit” when you are on a trip to the area. The crisp lines, modern decor, and cleanliness contribute to the warm feelings imparted upon entering. On the left side is the cheese bar and on the right side seen in the picture, the wine tasting area. In between is a modest hall for lectures and workshops. All three areas open to the back porch with tables and chairs covered by large umbrellas for relaxing if you care to sit outside. You can order breakfast complete with coffee, breads, salad, and, or course a selection of cheeses. All of the staff are young, friendly and knowledgable. You may even be lucky enough to meet Avi Rosenberg, the vintner, who will answer your questions about his philosophy of wine and details about its production.
First, a word or two about their milk products which consist of goat’s milk, yogurt, and various cheese varieties. In addition, they produce several flavors of frozen yogurt. It is all fresh and delicious. The winery was started in 2005 and has grown to an annual production of 70,000 bottles, which is why I say they have outgrown the “boutique” stage. They make a sweet desert wine, a port-style wine, and varietals from Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I list these three in increasing boldness and ability to age in the bottle. Their flagship wine at the top of the line is a Cabernet Sauvignon called Plato. It is not pronounced as you would expect, similar to the Greek philosopher, but sounds more like the word plateau. This is because of the location on a flat piece of ground where the several rows of grapes that were found to have exceptional qualities are grown to produce this wine. And when the grape quality does not meet their high standards, they do not market it as Plato. Naturally, it has the most pronounced complexity of all their family of wines. It also demands a higher price than the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal.
But more on what we opened and drank, the Cabernet Sauvignon from 2009. It is a deep purple bold wine with high tannin level and a degree of acidity that says, “I am not ready to be released from the bottle so put me to rest in your wine cellar for a year and then come back for a visit to see if I have matured sufficiently.” Because of this it is hard for me to give it a grading and I try not to use numbers but stick to words as descriptive of its qualities. Of course, the conditions of storage are important and I plan on talking a bit about this in another post when I am caught up on reporting my tastings.
Because of the computer breakdown induced time warp and wines I have tasted since this tasting, I am at a loss to say more so I’ll cease and desist. Wishing you happy tasting of the wines of Israel from the israelwinetaster.