Covenant Israel Blue C Viognier (OU Kosher) 2020
Bright and fresh with an exotic tropical fruit quality, Blue C is Covenant Israel’s sister label. The name is inspired by our California wine—Red C—a geographical play on the English. Blue C Viognier is barrel fermented in neutral oak barrels for textural richness without imparting oak flavor.
It is perfect for a wide variety of celebratory occasions (as well as lunch, dinner or just pure fun).
In 2011, a trip to Israel by Covenant founders Jeff Morgan and the late Leslie Rudd sparked a desire to make wine in Israel as well as in California, where they have made Covenant wines since 2003. The wine regions of Israel so reminded them of France’s Rhone Valley as well as some of their California vineyards. The call of Israel proved so strong, that they made their first vintage of Covenant Israel in 2013. Since then, the Covenant Israel project continues to be an amazing journey for them, one that they are happy to share with you in your wine glass!
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.
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia. Somm Secret—Viognier plays a surprisingly important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.