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WINE REVIEW: Galil Mountain Winery 2013 Red Wine, Upper Galilee, Israel ($22)


by Andrew chalk


This wine is a ‘rave from the grave’. Discovered on an excursion to the back of the cellar, first left after the biological experiment. The most memorable thing, so prominent that it jumps out of the tasting note, is how fresh and powerful the fruit is. Despite ten years of age, which 95% of the red wine made won’t survive to, and after which most of the rest become denuded of fruit character, the fruit here is powerful, on-register varietally, and imbued with complex tertiary character.


THE MAKEUP

Back to what the wine is: 51% syrah, 46% barbera, 3% petit verdot. An unusual blend, but one which works in this instance. Aged in French oak for a year (no indication what percent was new). The producer recommends aging for 4-6 years before drinking -- I am glad I missed that suggestion as the wine was really enjoyable now. I tasted it with homemade beef stew and that kind of long-cooked, tasty meat was a good match.


TASTING NOTES

Appearance: Intense garnet, tawny at rim of meniscus


Nose: Pronounced blackcurrant, grass, thyme, licorice, cooked fruit, pastry, raisins and molasses;


Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium acidity, soft mouthfeel, high alcohol (the label’s 14% seems low, as there is some heat in the back of the mouth), full-bodied, pronounced flavors of forest floor, cooked blackcurrant fruit, licorice, mushrooms. Velvety tannins, mature oak. Hints of molasses.


Astonishing power in the fruit for a 10-year old wine.


A high-quality vine that will divide tasters on account of its development. No problem, more for me.



Sample.



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