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4 March, 20094 March, 2009 3 comments wine wine

     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 compare

1 March, 20091 March, 2009 1 comments wine wine

Cabernet Sauvignon in Israel, like most of the wine world, is the king of red wine grapes.  One of the five blending grapes used in many of the world's most sought after wines in it's original home of the Bordeaux region in France.  It's typically the principal grape blended with any one or more with  the other four (Merlot, Caberent Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot).

In the New World of wine, defined as anywhere outside of traditonal European wine regions, Caberent Sauvignon has broken through the shroud of obsticating French wine labels that most often display the region or vineyard but not the grapes on the label. Used in Israel and other "New World" wine regions most often on it's own to make wine's that are fruit bombs and less nuanced than it's traditional roots in France.  FYI: Many wine regions define a blend as any wine with less than 75% or 85% of one principal grape. So a wine for instance with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot might not be considered a blend but marketed as a single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon while a wine with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 35% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc would be a blend.

1 March, 20091 March, 2009 1 comments wine wine

     The Margalit Winery started as a boutique winery in 1989 and has established itself as one of Israel's most respected wine farms.  Located south of Hadera, in the Sharon region, in the foothills of Mount Carmel, the unpretentious surroundings amidst citrus orchards would never give a hint of the superb quality and outstanding reputation (well-deserved) attained by these family vintners, Ya'ir and Assaf Margalit

     In their first release in the 1989, the winery released a modest 900 bottles or about 3 barrels of wine. They growed gradually, though steady, to a current production of 20,000 bottles a year or about 1600 cases.  Many wineries have grown much larger in a 20 year span but it's the family's committment to quality over quanity that has cemented it's name as one of Israel's premier wineries.

     I recently had a chance to meet with Assaf and sample some his works in progress. He tastes his wines every two weeks to ascertain how they're aging and to gauge how he might blend them.  On this occasion, he invited winemakers from a larger commercial winery for the informal tasting. While some winemakers are more guarded about their cr

1 March, 20091 March, 2009 1 comments wine wine

    The Tishbi Winery, located in Binyamina, is one of Israel's better known wineries. With a history of grape growing and winemaking going back for five generations, it's wines have mirrored the trend of improving quality since it's inception in 1985. 

     Jonathan Tishbi, the founder of the winery grew grapes for the the Carmel collective before launching his own commercial winery.  Even though his son Golan Tishbi oversees most of the winemaking details, Jonathan stills steers the helm, chairs marketing meetings and supervises many of the day to day business affairs.  This kind of  father/son team work has been proven sucessful at other notable wineries in Israel such as Domaine du Castel in the Judean Hiills and Margalit south of Hadera. Each winemaker son interned or studied overseas and upon their return grew into the winemaker while their fathers continued on as mentors and cheif executives.    Even though Jonathan is clearly in charge of a staff of 50 employees no job is too small for him or other family members.  Golan modestly says 95% of a good wine's quality comes from good grapes and few grapegrowers have more experience or family tradition in their pocket than Jonathan Tishbi.

    Jonathan can often be seen driving the forkli

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DavidRhodes
Posts: 54
Comments: 59
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

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