Friday, August 15, 2008

2006 Pelter Winery Trio

I don't have much familiarity with wines from Israel but have tried a few in the past, including recently a 2005 Galil Mountain Rosé which I very much enjoyed. The Rosé was particularly interesting as I did not know they grew Sangiovese in Israel. Most of the Israeli wines available in my area are also Kosher wines. I am still hoping to find an Israeli Pinotage.

I recently posted about a new online wine store, Israeli Wine Direct, which focuses on hand-selected, artisanal, mostly non-kosher wines from Israel. They even have their own blog. As most wine stores carry few, if any, Israeli wines, Israeli Wine Direct expands your options. I received a couple of samples from them and recently opened one.

The 2006 Pelter Winery Trio ($28.99) is from the from Galilee region of Israel. Pelter Winery was established in 2002 by Tal Pelter, who learned much about wine making in Australia. Initially it was located on a family farm in Moshav Zofit. It soon became apparent they needed a larger facility and chose a location at Kibbutz Merom Golan. But, temporarily, the winery was established on Kibbutz Ein Zivan, adjacent to Merom Golan. The winery's grapes come from the Golan, the Upper Galilee and the Jerusalem Mountains.

The winery produces two main categories of wine: the Pelter series, which are quality wines at reasonable prices, and the T-Selection series, limited edition & exceptional wines. So the 2006 Trio is one of their value wines.

The 2006 Trio is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. the grapes were hand picked and the wine spent about 14 months in French oak barrels. It has and alcohol content of 14.5% and about 870 cases were produced. I paired this wine with some lightly seasoned steak tips.

The wine is fairly dark red in color with a mild nose of spice and black cherry. It was medium-bodied with an interesting taste of spice, black cherry, blackberry and a hint of herbs. I definitely think the Cabernet Franc makes itself noticeable. The tannins were moderate and the wine had a long and spicy finish. It went well with the steak tips. I do think this wine is ready to drink now though it probably could mature for a few years as well. This is a wine I would recommend as a Drink & Buy.

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