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DavidRhodes / wine / The World's Best Brandy, Again?
The World's Best Brandy, Again?
The Tishbi Family isn't playing fair. In 1996, when they released their Cognac style French Colombard brandy they won a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London praising their brandy as "the world's best". Well, how do you beat that? Well, how about releasling the same vintage, the 1993, as a 16 year brandy. Now, I admit my expereince with brandy is more limited than with wine however I've had many fine brandies, armanacs cognacs and fortified wines and can appreiciate the delicate balance between delivering sweet nectar and a heavanly kick in the ass.
Now this wasn't a bottled brandy yet but a barell tasting in the stage before water is added. So instead of the smooth finished 40% alcohol expected of most brandies, I was treated to 70% power punch to my palette with no complaints. The tight grained Limousin forest oak barells from France imparted an envelope of majestic honey, vanilla which i found to be a carmel apple and honeysuckle motiff.
One of the reasons the brandy is so worthy of distinction is that all the brandy passes through a distinctive alembic two-chamber distlliery made by the famous Remy Martin family of 100% copper in the Cognac tradition in 1912.
This upcoming release of 16 year old brandy i's expected to fetch 1500 NIS or about $364 in current exchange rates which seems reasonable compared to its quality and what other world class brandies form France get on te open market.
- Sounds interesting. But my contention here is whether this is in fact "world class", and as such warrants a world class price.
This reminds me a lot of the issue Israeli wine producers are having integrating their wines into the mainstream. They find a willing audience locally (in Israel) at a certain price, and believe their goods can fetch that price around the world.
What they do not seem to understand is that the demand at a certain price might be there within Israel, but it is often not there for a mainstream audience that has PROVEN alternatives from other countries at much more reasonable prices.
I'd love to have an Israeli brandy to drink over the Passover holiday. Sadly, at these prices, I think I'll be sticking to the French stuff...
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David Rhodes worked at wineries in California & Israel, hosted over 100 wine parties.as a sommelier & adviser for the SDSU Business of Wine program. He speaks weekly about wine on Rustymikeradio.com & writes for ESRA magazine. Israeliwineguy@gmail.com