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Passover is just around the corner and if you haven’t selected your wines for the seder and other festive holiday meals, now is the time to do so. Referred to in Judaism as the holiday of freedom or the festival of liberation; celebrating the end of Jewish slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago. Today, Passover is also a holiday marked by the local wine industry as some 30% of annual wine sales take place in the weeks leading up to Passover. Wineries and wine shops are offering free tastings and very attractive prices, so this is also a great opportunity to pick up a couple of cases of your favorite wines.

Following are several suggestions of varying styles and prices: 

Mony, M, Colombard, 2014 – Light and refreshing, this is a very easy drinking and pleasant wine based on French Colombard grapes; suggesting notes of citrus blossom, guava and good balancing acidity leading to a medium – clean finish. At NIS 39, this is one of the best buys in its price category.

Dalton, Alma, White Blend, 2013 – a blend of Semillon, Viognier and Pinot Gris of varying proportions, medium bodied, refreshing-supporting acidity, good fruit and spice (yellow grapefruit, green apples and flowers come to mind) that come together nicely to a satisfying finish. NIS 65

Adir, Kerem Ben Zimra, Shiraz, 2013 – 100% Shiraz, 12 months in oak, this red vino opens with a generous dose of toasted oak, pleasant aromas and flavors of ripe berry fruits, mint and black pepper followed by purple flowers and leather on the medium-long finish. If you happen to be up north over Passover, the Adir visitor’s center will be offering a special Passover menu featuring Adir’s goat cheeses. NIS 90  

Carmel Winery, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 – Kayoumi Vineyard’s claim to fame was with Carmel’s Shiraz 2006 which received the prestigious Regional Trophy from the Decanter Magazine.  The Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 was aged for 15 months in oak, deep ruby in color, full bodied with layered aromas and flavors of dark berry fruits, plums, dry herbs and earthy notes coming together nicely to a long finish.  NIS 125

Ella Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2011 – 94% Cab Franc and the balance Cab Sauvignon, 14 months in oak barrels, the wine is full bodied showing cherries, plums, green pepper and herbs leading to a long and slightly bitter finish. NIS 115

Ramot Naftali, Duet, 2012 – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 12 months in French oak, this is a very approachable medium bodied vino suggesting pleasant aromas of red berry fruits, black cherries, herbs and warm spices leading to a clean finish.  NIS 90

Bravdo, Shiraz, 2012 – 100% Shiraz grapes from a single vineyard, 12 months in primarily French oak, result in a bright ruby vino; medium-full bodied with a slight alcoholic nose that fades to reveal ripe berry fruits and black pepper alongside gentle notes of herbs and smoked meat leading to a long finish. NIS 130

L’Chaim and Chag Sameach!

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