Tasting Castel Winery’s Blanc 2011 Vintage

I guess should have said the famous quote from the movies, “I’ll be back,” but I didn’t know that I would be gone for so long. Looking back at the date of the last posts that I wrote, more than four months have passed since I was actively writing at a pace of approximately two articles per week. Who would have expected that such a tragedy would befall us. One never seriously considers that tomorrow, or even today, brings such a momentous change. But every day people suffer from unforetold accidents and diseases that can result in not being able to communicate, or to see, or to walk. I guess that if we constantly thought of such occurrences happening to us, we could not make it through the day. But when my dearly beloved wife, companion, playmate, and editor of this blog went to sit on a broken chair and fell on her back, a series of dominoes began to fall, each bringing us closer to her present state of complete paraplegia. So my message here is for all of us to live life to the fullest each moment, so when something like this happens, we have no regrets.

But when I opened a bottle of 2011 vintage Castel Winery’s Blanc varietal Chardonnay, I was blown away. Actually I was transported back in time to the 1970’s when I visited France and tasted the famous white wine of Chablis. I had forgotten that their wines are, indeed, from the Chardonnay grape, but as I smelled the aromas, put the first pouring into my mouth and tasted the oaky, flinty fragrances, I was unconsciously transported back in time and place. I didn’t remember that this grape variety was the one from that place, but it was confirmed when I looked it up.

We have tasted the Blanc du Castel before when we first visited the winery, but this time, here at home and being able to focus on the wine without the distractions involved in a social/business visit, it seemed to be different. There was no bite or bitterness, but just a lingering aftertaste of mellowness and pleasant fragrances wafting about in my mouth and up to my olfactory senses. Jancise Robinson is quoted in the Wikipedia article on Chablis as being ‘one of the “purest’ expression (sic) of the varietal character of Chardonnay due to the simple style of winemaking favored in this region.”This Chardonnay from Castel sure fits the taste characteristics of the Chablis wines that are described as flinty, steely, and wet stone, the images that came into my mind when tasting Castel’s version.

I think that perhaps they should change the name of the place where this wine is made from Moshav Raziel to Moshav Chablis en Israel. It is a very expensive wine, but well worth the price, and certainly cheaper than flying to the Chablis region of France. Open it, pour it, smell it, taste it and close your eyes in order to be “transported” to Chablis, France:-)

Bon Appetit. L’Haim


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