Chanukah Tasting of Carmel Single Vineyard Kayoumi and Yarden Single Vineyard Yonatan

These two wines are both fantastic results advances of Israel’s viticulture and oenology in recent years. Perhaps, also, they give us insight into the future of the wine industry of Israel. I predict that this small country will increasingly be known throughout the world for its high quality wines. But enough of going out on a limb for now and let me concentrate on the matter at hand.

Tonight is the last night of Chanukah and we will discover why it is also called the Festival of Lights when we see all the light from the eight candles. Let us return to the first night when we had a wonderful evening at the home of Naftali and Michal Admoni and were joined by her parents, Eli and Rahel Bloomenthal.

Eli is a gentleman in every sense of the word, and is the one responsible for opening the world of high quality wines of Israel to Naftali, who, in turn, is responsible to introducing this world to me. So, “Thank You, Eli.” 

We lit the first candle with blessings and singing and went on to a wonderful traditional dinner of tomato and white bean soup with levivot, as latkes are called in Israel.

As far as the wines are concerned, we wanted to taste these well known and highly respected representatives of their respective wineries without being influenced by the labels.

The two bottles were opened about two hours before and covered with aluminum foil, so only one of us knew which one was which..

We were each given two glasses and the two wines were poured. Much discussion ensued as regards which one was better. I will try to give you my impressions of each, referring to them as the “Left Wine” and the “Right Wine” which is how they were presented to us.

The “Left Wine” was a deep purple color and had a complexity of aromas of wood and rich berries, raising memories of a dark forest. In the mouth it imparted a fullness of body as a thick milkshake might feel. Despite its high tannin level which portended an improving future when stored in the bottle additional years, it was gentle and balanced. In addition to the dark berry taste, there were hints of oak and chocolate. All of us agreed that its finish was a pleasure to focus on as the tastes lingered, titillating the tongue and cheeks. It well deserves an “A” rating on the israelwinetaster wine grading system and might be given a 91 by those subscribing to the more popular, and what has become traditional, Parker grading system.

The “Right Wine” was of an almost identical deep purple color with complex aromas, but seemed to be a bit more sharp. It was more fruity and by itself, might be described as a fullness of body, but, in comparison to the other wine, imparted a greater degree of thinness. Its flavors were more reminiscent of bananas, mushrooms and cherries and it had a shorter finish than its “competition” which could be described as medium in length. We thought that it could be graded as an israelwinetaster “B+” or given a score of 89.

The “Supreme Court” of Israelwinetaser-Land has voted four to one with one abstention. Most of us preferred the “Left Wine” and all agreed that they were both a pleasure to taste. This tasting sure stimulated a lot of discussion which was at times, a bit heated. All in all, it was a wonderful culinary and oenological experience.

Oh, you ask which of these two single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the two major wineries of israel was which? Which one was the Carmel Kayoumi and which one was the Yarden Yonaton? Before this is revealed at a point in time in the near future, I ask you to fill out the form below and place your bets, based on the evidence above. Note that the only required field is to vote for the wines. No need to identify yourself or your email. No spam, flaming or phising please. THE POLL IS CLOSEDHERE YOU CAN FIND OUT THE RESULTS OF THE POLL AND THE BLIND TASTING REVEALED.


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