Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jerusalem Wine Festival 2018

It's that time of year again, when the evening starts to cool off and the crowds start to gather at the largest annual social gathering in Jerusalem!
This year 18 Kosher Israeli wineries (plus some foreign and one or two not under Kashrut) came out for the week and are pouring some nice enjoyable wines.
Although the number of wineries has decreased, either due to the festival taking place during the harvest or due to some other reasons discussed in previous posts, it is important to note that several wineries, among them are Adir and Five Stones are new to the show, and the quantity value for money wines being sampled is perhaps the best I've seen in the last few years.
Only one winery that I know of is pouring something special under the table. but as much of the consumer base looks for more value based wines, the wines available are something to be proud of.

Here are some of my favorites:

5 Stones Winery located below Tel Azeka in Ella Valley is relatively new to the seen. The wines in the D vs. G (David vs. Goliath) series are lighter in body and smoother in finish making the wines very approachable. I would start here first, with the white (Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc) and the rose (Merlot and Cabernet) both very interesting wines as is the red.

Covenant Winery is hosted this year by Jeff Morgan himself who is in from the US for the harvest as well as his daughter's wedding. As usual, all their wines are exceptional even if the Reserve (if they have it when you get there) might be a bit young.

Tulip Winery is pouring from the new line of whites as well as the Esperro 2015. All are suggested.
Maia has all three of the regular line (White, pink and red) and is perhaps the best example of Mediterranean varietals in the show.

Matar as usual is pouring top notch! I tasted the Sirus (shiraz), Petite Verdot and well - a little secret with a big bold flavor. This in addition to Covenant will be your place to be spoiled with the fancy, high end super premium stuff.

Lueria scores again with the Lueria white and the Terrace which is perhaps the best value for money wine in the whole show (also one of my favorites).

At Ramat Negev I only tried the rose, but as with the rest of the Kadesh Barnea series, it is a very nice wine in it's price range of NIS 59

Har Bracha has their new Gewurztraminer open, as well as the award winning Jozef Cabernet (bronze medal at Decanter England). In addition you would be missing out if you didn't try the Shiraz.

Additional mentions for the tastings without taking away from them in any way are:
-  Adir:
 Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Odem Mountain:
Yaar Odem white, Yaar Odem Red and Volcanic Shiraz
- Jaques Capsuto
White, Rose and Red

Other wineries at the show include:
Golan Heights, Galil, Recanati, Tishbi, Gros, Jerusalem

In short, If you are going to look for wines that you would really enjoy having on your table and would actually buy on a semi regular basis, or if you are looking for a fun night out with friends definitely go!