I recently had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world. Excellent food and patisserie, beautiful architecture, fabulous museums and of course an endless array of “wine bars” and wines of all styles and price points. The only thing that I found extremely challenging during the visit to Paris was the lack of air conditioning. From buses to cafes and restaurants, finding an air conditioned space in the City of Lights is a rarity and when temperatures start rising, you really need a glass of rose or white wine to help you cool down.
In Israel, most restaurants and probably most houses are air-conditioned and even in mid-August, one can easily turn up the AC, put on a jacket and enjoy a full bodied Cab with a dish of beef bourguignon. However, personally, I feel that in summer, we should be drinking lighter, refreshing, crisp white wines to fit the season and from May through September, I find that my white wine consumption is definitely higher.
Following are several white wine suggestions to help get you through the summer, and beyond.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Gewürztraminer, 2017 – a semi dry – medium bodied aromatic white with generous spice, tropical and flowery notes that bring to mind pineapple and ripe peaches coming together nicely to a clean finish. Very enjoyable and this is consistently a good vino from the Golan Heights.
Recanati, Special Reserve, White, 2016 – Recanati’s flagship label, this white blend comprises 60% Rousanne with the balance Marsanne grapes, both popular Rhone Valley wine varieties. 8 months in French oak, the result is an interesting and complex white wine suggesting pears, honeysuckle and minerals. Medium-full bodied and a long finish this is a very enjoyable wine.
Tulip, White Espero, 2017 – a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and French Colombard from the winery at Kfar Tikvah. An interesting blend showing characteristics of each of the varieties. Floral, fruity with a pleasant green-cool undertone and a refreshing dose of acidity, leading to a medium-long finish.
Dalton, ‘D’, Fume Blanc, 2017 – an interesting and enjoyable Sauvignon Blanc from the Dalton Winery. A pleasant fruit profile with notes of grapefruit and fresh herbs supported by balancing acidity. Good structure on the palate and a refreshing finish, Dalton’s Fume Blanc is partly aged in oak which gives it an extra kick.
Teperberg, Essence, Pinot Gris, 2016 – originally from the Burgundy region of France though this varietal has also gained popularity in Northern Italy where the refreshing Pinot Grigio wines are produced. There are a few Pinot Gris based wines produced in Israel and will be interesting to see how the market responds to them. Teperberg’s version is made from 100% Pinot Gris grapes from vineyards in the Judean Hills. Notes of green apples and lemon zest, medium bodied and a refreshing finish.
Carmel Winery, Kayoumi Vineyard, Riesling, 2016 – I am very fond of this aromatic and versatile grape variety. From dry through dessert wines, Riesling vinos can be complex and very enjoyable. This time, a dry version – good balance with notes of green apple, lime, warm spices and just a hint of mineralrality leading to a medium – well focused finish.
Sphera, White Concepts, Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 – consistently producing some of the finest white wines in Israel, this is a classic example of Doron Ran Hon’s wines and talent. Refreshing citrusy notes and green undertones, a generous dose of balancing acidity and a long slightly-tart finish.