Segal's Special Reserve Chardonnay (OK Kosher) 2016
This wine is made from free run juice of premium Chardonnay grapes from the Upper Galilee region. The wine is fermented in American and French oak barrels, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in sur lie for seven months in the barrel. It shows an intense tropical fruit nose balanced by the woody notes of butterscotch, cashew and vanilla.
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In 1925, Yankel Hirsh Segal and his family emigrated to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv. Brothers Elhanan and Yehezkel established Israel's first distillery in the German colony known as Sharona, or Kirya, in Tel Aviv. Their experience and reputation led them, in the 1930s, to be asked by the French rulers to set up distilleries in Beirut and Damascus. In 1954 the family decided to concentrate on wine production. The winery moved to Ramle, and was called the Zvi Vineyard. The name was later changed to Segal Wines. All the winery's bottles bear the Segal wine logo, reproduced in Zvi Hirsh's own handwriting.
In 2001,Segal's was bought out by the Barkan Group. The new management recognized the quality and tradition of Segal's wines, and allowed it to be managed as an independent winery, with separate cinders and installations and it's own unique production process.
Winemaker Avi Feldstein is a former poet, journalist and barman. He first started out as a tour guide, later becoming a professional manager in charge of development. Avi had the best training possible for becoming a winemaker, learning everything in the vineyards from experienced winemaking veterans.
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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.