Deep cherry red and medium-bodied with notes of ripe fresh berry fruit, spices and coffee on the finish.
Carmel Winery is the historic winery of Israel. It was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite in Pauillac, Bordeaux. The story of Carmel represents the story of Israel, and the recent developments of Carmel's wine, symbolizes the revolution of Israeli wine in recent years.
Carmel Winery has 3,472 acres of vineyards, which cover the land of Israel from the Upper Galilee in the north, to the Negev in the south. Carmel's winemakers can therefore choose from vineyards with different terroirs from all the wine regions in Israel. Carmel has a particularly strong vineyard presence in the cooler climate of the Upper Galilee, from where many of the leading wines are sourced.
Carmel's Zichron Ya'acov Wine Cellars, built in 1892, is the largest winery in Israel. On the premises is a modern, state-of-the-art facility making small quantities of quality wines from Carmel's finest vineyards. The most advanced, modern winemaking technology blends in with the historic 120 year old cellars. The name of the winery is in memory of Edmond de Rothschild's father, Baron James Jacob (Ya'acov) de Rothschild, who purchased the famous Bordeaux winery, Château Lafite, for the Rothschild family. Zichron Ya'acov is a charming town which still has an atmosphere of pre-state Israel. It is situated south of Haifa on the southern slopes of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
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 generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.