A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Guide To $15 Wine – Revisiting A Galilee, Israel Cabernet Sauvignon

Here we revisit yet another Kosher Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for this wine grew in the northern regions of Upper Galilee and the Golan. In this beautiful part of the world the geography is hilly and rocky, and the soil is thin; these are all good signs for winemakers if not for ranchers. Barkan traces its history back to 1899 and now owns over 1200 acres (500 hectares, or to use the local measure 500,000 dunams) making them the second largest winemaker in the country. They process over 8,000 tons of grapes per year. The companion wine is also a rerun, a Sicilian red blend at about two thirds the price.

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

Wine Reviewed Barkan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 13 % alcohol about $15. (You can probably buy it for less.)

Let’s start by quoting the back label, “Cabernet Sauvignon is famous for the fine red wines it produces. Our Galil vineyards in northern Israel yielded rich, ripe Cabernet grapes during the growing season, which led to the production of a truly fine wine. The wine displays a deep ruby red color, a bouquet redolent of spicy berry aromas intermingled with oak, and a full, rounded body that pairs well with grilled meats and sauces.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was quite long and fruity as well as woody. The meal kicked off with a potato knish (a potato and onion mixture in puffed pastry) that gave me more of the same, really quite pleasing. The main dish consisted of sauteed home made chicken breast nuggets in a combination of coriander, cumin, black pepper, garlic flakes, chilies, and turmeric. In response the libation was round but sweet, really too sweet, but did provide dark cherries and wood. The side dish of green beans in tomato sauce gave the drink some metal but it was still sweet.

The second meal began with Japanese rice crackers and somewhat fiery Wasabi peas. In response our Israeli friend was long with the weak taste of dark cherries. When it met the main dish, sliced beef over barley, the fermented juice was rich and metallic. I added lots of green Yemeni jalapeno pepper mix to the meat, and the wine was weakened. Fresh strawberries took away the drink’s fruit and almost everything else.

Matjes herring launched the final meal. Now my libation was round; tasting of dark cherries and a tinge of tobacco. Then came a salsa-based chili on a bed of quinoa. This drink soured and shortened. Zesty guacamole rendered the wine sweet, round, and rather fruity. Fresh blueberries paled the liquid and yet it remained pleasant.

Final verdict. I have no plans to buy this wine again at this price. But if you can get it for $10 and need a Kosher wine you could do worse.

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