Last night, to welcome the Shabat, we opened a bottle of Galil Mountain Winery’s Alon from their Galil Series Vintage 2010. We tasted it one year ago and wrote about it in a previous article, extolling its virtues. However, we doubted its ability to age well in the wine cellar. Well, now, more than one year later, we have to take back those doubts as it has matured and rounded out, but still with a gentle, rich complexity of aromas and flavors. It is, what we term, an Israeli Blend. Perhaps you might say a New World Blend. I call it a New World Wine despite the fact that Wikipedia describes this term as wines produced outside Europe and the Middle East. In wine style, we here in Israel are very much not, in my opinion, of the European styles of wine. Our Alon is not the usual Bordeaux Blend of the dominant Cabernet Sauvignon and the soft, passive Merlot, nor is it an American Meritage, similar in composition to the French Bordeaux Blend. It is a blend mainly of two dominant varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, also called Shiraz. In doing research for this article, I discovered that this blend is very much New World as it was pioneered in, and can be referred to as an Australian Blend. This blend has been repeated by many wineries here in Israel, so I have referred to it as the Israeli Blend, even though more properly called the “Great Aussie Blend” that they talk about in the Land Down Under.
Not recalling those old tasting notes when we drank this Alon yesterday evening, we were reminded of a musty dark forest with mossy and earthy aromas. It brought back memories of the dark, bubbling brook at “camp” in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. There were flavors of mixed dried fruits and mature pears with a certain smokiness to it. The finish was long lasting and pleasant on the palate. There was not even a hint of bite or bitterness. There were still plenty of easy tannins, indicating its ability to age even more, but it certainly is ready to drink and enjoy now. I rate it an A for its ability to give close to great enjoyment at a low price. Assuming that the price at the winery of 70 ₪ (shekels) has not changed since we purchased it a year ago, and which, at the current rate of exchange is roughly equivalent to $19, it is a bargain for a wine you can drink for every day, or even for special occasions. It also makes a nice gift to bring with you when you are invited to eat dinner at the home of friends or family.
L’Haim and Shabat Shalom from The Israelwinetaster.