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Carmel Muscat Prvt Collection (half-bottle)
The grapes for the dessert wine were carefully pruned to allow the cool breezes to penetrate the fruit, thus avoiding any mould or disease. The vines were inspected at close intervals and then mechanically night harvested at the very end of the vintage, mid October, at an optimum sweetness of about 13 baume. First fermentation took place in contact with the skin in order to extract maximum flavour and aromatic compounds. The fermenting juice was then drained into stainless steel temperature controlled tanks and the fermentation process was continued until the desired sugar content was obtained. Fermentation was arrested by fortification of the wine to a strength of 15.5% alc/vol by the addition of Carmel's fine, mature brandy. After maturation in 225 limousin oak barrels, the wine was racked, fined, filtered, stabilised and bottled in long, elegant 375ml bottles.
Tasting Notes A delicious dessert wine, full bodied and richly balanced with typical Muscat nose. Amber in colour, with golden hues.
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.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.