Tasting Galil Mountain’s Meron & Castel’s Grand Vin

This is a double tasting which was done on the occasion of the Passover Seder with the Karlen family. Nicki and Eli prepared a great meal for these two great wines. The traditional four cups of wine consisted of two cups from each. Incidentally, I call this a tasting, but what with the reading of the Hagadah, singing, family interactions, and active discussions regarding life in Israel and ancient traditions, the “tasting” was not primary in everyone’s minds. Nonetheless….

The Meron vintage 2007 from Galil Mountain Winery (GMW) aged extremely well in our cellar. It’s aroma burst forth and arrived in the nose bringing images of a winery’s cask room with its rich wood and grape smells. In the mouth it felt like velvet and was thick and full bodied. It titillated the palate with tastes of fruits, nuts, and chocolate. And despite a high tannin level, it did not have a hint of acidity or harshness. The finish was long lasting and pleasant. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday.

The Grand Vin 2008 from Castel Winery was exclaimed by all as “The Wine of the Year” and unanamously received accolades, such as, “I don’t ordinarily drink wine, but that’s a wine that I love.” It was smooth and gentle, filling the nose and mouth with a complexity of aromas and flavors reminiscent of vanilla, pears, and lavender. Compared to its companion, the GMW Meron, it was subtle and feminine.

I plan to do an individual tasting of each of these wines so I can focus on them, giving them the attention that they deserve. This event was more a wine drinking than a wine tasting. They both brought an air of celebration to the Passover Seder ceremony, but deserve a real tasting, with more focus on their sensory effects, complete with note taking and filling out of the Israelwinetaster Tasting Form. But for now, I give them both an A on the Israelwinetaster Grade system shown below.

Israelwinetaster Grading System


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