A Wine Lover’s Near-Weekly Guide To $15 Wines – A Rose From The Israeli Galil Mountains

The Upper Galilee is a fine Israeli wine region and has been growing grapes for some two thousand years. The vineyard is near a mountain range stretching a kilometer, about three-fifths of a mile, into the sky. While it’s not Everest (which to my knowledge grows no grapes) this is Israel’s highest elevation. The Galil Mountain Winery produced about 1.2 million bottles of wine last year, of which 90% were red. Their website includes winemaker’s notes for this wine. If you’re in this lovely neighborhood they offer a guided tour for a charge. The companion wine is a dark rose from central Italy at little more than half the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Galil Mountain Rose Kosher for Passover 2009 12 % alcohol about $15.

There were no marketing materials so let’s start by quoting the back label. “Region: The higher elevations of the Upper Galilee, the northern part of the Galilee viticultural area. Grapes: 74% Sangiovese; 14% Barbera; 12% Pinot Noir. Style: Dry and lively with attractive aromas of fresh strawberry, rose petals, citrus fruit and spices. Aging: Over 2 years from time of harvest. Best served at 46º-50º F (8º-10º C).” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was light but its acidity was definitely excessive. I sensed that strawberries were trying to break through. Salted pistachios managed to lessen the wine’s acidity, but it was still excessive. I noted a metallic taste in the background. The initial meal centered on a commercial baked Ziti Siciliano doused with grated Parmesan cheese. In response this rose was long and showed balanced between fruit and acidity. It was somewhat metallic once again and presented dark cherries and burnt or at least cooked strawberries. Dessert was frozen high-quality French-style custard pie with a buttery crust and strawberries. The strawberries in my plate and those in the wine did not mesh.

My next meal started off with Japanese Wasabi crackers. The liquid was floral and round but not forceful. When tasted alongside a barbecued chicken leg with paprika-dusted skin this libation was long and round. It offered dark cherries and tasted metallic, pleasantly metallic. The side dish of sliced vegetables in a honey-mustard vinaigrette muted this wine. Dessert was chocolate raisin and dried current cookies. In response this blend was round with light acidity and tasted of raspberries.

My final meal centered on an excessively spicy omelet. The libation had good length with sharp acidity and the taste of burnt.. The commercial potato salad side dish gutted this liquid to some extent. Dessert was a homemade fruit smoothie with chocolate chips and nuts. The rose responded with a burnt taste and dark chocolate. It was long.

When it encountered a marbled cheddar cheese this wine was oily and round. It tasted lightly metallic and slightly sweet with citrus. Then I paired it with an imported Swiss (from Israel, not from Switzerland). In response this libation was long and somewhat dark with a tinge of sweetness and nice acidity.

Final verdict. If you’re in the market for a medium-priced Kosher rose this is a fairly good choice. But otherwise, there is no need to bother. It’s just too expensive for most wine and cheese tastings. I might want to try some of the winery’s other offerings.

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