Your behind-the-scenes look into Israeli Wine Direct and the re-emerging Israeli wine scene!
I recall the hot summer of 2007 sitting around a long wood table inside Pelter winery in the Golan Heights with Israeli winemaker Tal Pelter, his brother Nir and father Sam, sampling Tal's wines after espresso.
What struck me then - and still does - was the freshness of the wines, their liveliness, the unoaked naked fruit + stoniness of the whites, the soft oak integration and Mediterranean spice of the reds.
I love how Pelter is a true family winery, each member contributing a unique role to the enterprise inside Israel and abroad.
At the time I first met them, the winery was only a few years old and yet already on its way to rock-stardom in the re-emerging Israeli wine scene.
Fortunately for us, after studying winemaking and working in Western Australia, winemaker Tal Pelter returned home to Israel and began making wine in the Golan Heights. The Golan Region in the north of Israel is characterized by: cold dry climate, day/night temperature differentials, basalt soil, high altitude, and high levels of sun radiation.
Recently, leading Israeli food and wine critic Daniel Rogov completed one of his regular reviews of Pelter wines in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Here's what he said about the wines:
Pelter, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010: Light straw in color with green and orange reflections, this unoaked, medium-bodied wine opens with notes of navel oranges and red grapefruit, which make way for tropical fruits, stony minerals and a tantalizing hint of freshly mown grass. Crisp acidity makes the wine simultaneously complex and easy to drink. Drink now through 2012. Score 90.
Pelter, Chardonnay, 2010: As it is every year, this is a medium-bodied, unoaked white, damp golden straw in color, opening to show an appealing array of citrus, tropical fruits and white peaches on a background of flinty minerals. All this comes together as a refreshing and elegant whole. Drink now through 2013. Score 90.
Pelter, Trio, 2008: Dark cherry red to garnet, this is a medium- to full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Reflects its oak-aging with notes of sweet and spicy wood, showing soft tannins and lively acidity. Opens to show aromas and flavors of currants, red and black berries, and on the long finish, dried herbs. Drink now through 2013. Score 90