Alexander Sandro (OU Kosher) 2016
The wine’s hue is a deep maroon with a noticeably black shade. Its aroma is of tobacco with a background of green pepper. This wine has soft, gentle tannins, and its complexity will match any meal.
Blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Granache, 15% Mourvedre, 7% Shiraz, 7% Petit Verdot
Alexander Winery is one of Israel’s finest boutique wineries, producing award winning wines of great quality and individuality. It was founded in 1996 and is situated at the farming village of Beit Yitzhak, on the Mediterranean coast, between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The winery is owned by Yoram Shalom, who was inspired by family, heritage and tradition to create his own family wine. The winery combines traditional winemaking techniques with state-of-the-art technology. Everything is geared to making handcrafted wines of the highest quality. The winery pays homage to Shalom’s family and their professional expertise. The wine traditions come from 120 years of winemaking firstly in Italy, and then in Tunisia. The love of wine came from his father Alexander, for whom the winery is named and his portrait is etched on the labels. On his mother’s side they were jewelry craftsmen and some of the family’s distinctive and rare pieces of jewelry are recreated on the unique, striking metallic labels. The Alexander Winery Visitors’ Center is modern, innovative and offers a unique wine experience. Wine lovers, connoisseurs and tourists may sit on the deck overlooking a vineyard, whilst sampling wines, enjoying the food. It is a meeting place for those that want to taste, buy and talk about wine.
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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.