Jezreel Winery Carignan (OK Kosher) 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This inky, red-violet colored wine offers aromas of black plum and lavender. Flavors of black cherry, raspberry, vanilla, espresso and violet sit among silky tannins that offer a pleasing textural experience to the entire palate. The finish is notable for a short burst of orange zest.
The 2014 Carignan Shfeya Vineyard, sourced from 45-year-old vines, was aged for 22 months in 30% new French oak. It comes in at 14.25%
alcohol. Bring on da funk. This feels and smells like an aromatic Rhône, with plenty of beef, garrigue and game. It adds nice structure, reasonable depth and mid-palate finesse. Not everyone will love the funk, but it isn't that strong. Meanwhile, this is rather beautiful, elegant, well structured and complex. This is not the only nice Carignan in Israel—the grape may be on its way to becoming an Israeli signature—but this vintage certainly proves that Jezreel is on board and ready to help push the train faster. It should age well too. Don't drink it too warm.
The Jezreel Valley Boutique Winery was established in 2012 and is located in the northern part of the valley in Hanaton. The winery specializes in growing and producing wines from the Syrah, Carignan, and Crimson varieties, as well as Viognier and Gewurztraminer, from the perception that these varieties are particularly suitable for growing in Israel.
The wines made from them demonstrate the incredible quality that our country has to offer in wine. Exceptional adherence to uncompromising quality from the growing stage in the vineyards to the bottle is integrated with an uncompromising concept of adapting the wines to the Israeli climate and cuisine.
With a rich history of wine production dating back to biblical times, Israel is a part of the cradle of wine civilization. Here, wine was commonly used for religious ceremonies as well as for general consumption. During Roman times, it was a popular export, but during Islamic rule around 1300, production was virtually extinguished. The modern era of Israeli winemaking began in the late 19th century with help from Bordeaux’s Rothschild family. Accordingly, most grapes grown in Israel today are made from native French varieties. Indigenous varieties are all but extinct, though oenologists have made recent attempts to rediscover ancient varieties such as Marawi for commercial wine production.
In Israel’s Mediterranean climate, humidity and drought can be problematic, concentrating much of the country’s grape growing in the north near Galilee, Samaria near the coast and at higher elevations in the east. The most successful red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, while the best whites are made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many, though by no means all, Israeli wines are certified Kosher.
Responsible for some of the most stunning old vine red wine on the planet, Carignan has an amazing capacity to survive dry, arid climates and still produce lovely, mouthwatering wine. In Spain it goes by the name of Mazuelo or Cariñena and while it may have originated there in the province of Aragón, its popularity lies elsewhere, particularly in Languedoc-Roussillon. Somm Secret—Historically Carignan did not enjoy the respect that it does today. In the mid 20th century, Carignan covered nearly 140,000 ha in Algeria, where it was made into low quality bulk and blending wine to supply mass-market demand.