Beautiful golden-yellow color; apple, white fruit, slate on the nose; white pear, passion fruit, citrus on the palate; dry, but not flinty or steely; medium body, velvety smooth, nice acidity (3.40 pH), long tasty finish with spice hints.
Yarden is produced solely from grapes grown in the northern Golan Heights, Israel’s coldest wine-growing region. At elevations up to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet), this area consistently produces exceptional chardonnay fruit. The wine ages for seven month in French oak barrels, about half new, but oak is very integrated and not intrusive. The wine also spends seven months on the lees to develop complexity. Kosher, organic.
Golan Heights Winery planted its first vines in the Golan in 1976. The winery was established in 1983 by four kibbutzin (collective communities) and four moshavim (cooperative communities). The winery released it first wine in 1984—the Yarden Sauvignon Blanc 1983—and consistently has been recognized as a leader in making Israel a respected player on the international wine scene.
Golan Heights places great emphasis on its distinctive 28 vineyards. This wine comes from the Odem Vineyard in the northern Golan, at the foot of Mt. Hermonit. The terrain is sloping, the soil volcanic with basalt origins, the altitude is more than 3,600 feet, making for some of the coolest vineyards in the Golan. A cold, wet winter is followed by a dry summer with cold nights, ideal for crafting this tasty chard with its excellent acidity.
This is delicious, strikingly smooth, easy drinking kosher wine. It will work with fish and salads, lighter meats, and as a drink-alone “cocktail hour” wine, with the added surprise value of being an Israeli wine from Galilee that should liven the conversation for those unfamiliar with the Israeli wine world. $19-22
Golan Heights Winery
Photo: Golan Heights Winery