New Releases from Pelter (With Tasting Notes)

By: Daniel Rogov

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New Releases from Pelter (With Tasting Notes)?

? 20.01.2009?

By: Daniel Rogov

? I attended a tasting of the wines of Pelter winery. Established in 2002 on Kibbutz Ein Zivan on the Golan Heights by Tal Pelter, who studied oenology and worked at several wineries in Australia, the winery plans to move soon to nearby Kibbutz Merom Golan. Drawing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay grapes from the Golan, the Upper Galilee and the Jerusalem Mountains, the winery, one of only four in the country to produce a sparkling wine, releases wines in two series: T-Selection and Pelter. Production from the 2002 vintage was about 4,000 bottles, growth has been well planned and current production is about 80,000 bottles annually.

Following are my tasting notes, those in the order of the tasting. As will be seen, Pelter comfortably maintains its place as one of the ten best wineries in the country.


Pelter, Sauvignon Blanc, 2008: Medium-bodied, light, bright straw in color, unoaked and with generous lively acidity to show off tropical fruits, red grapefruit and notes of grapefruit peel, all on a mineral rich background. Drink now or in the next year or two. NIS 65. Score 89. (Tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Chardonnay, 2008: As always, unoaked to show off the wine’s rich mineral, summer fruits and this year generous of kiwis and peach pits. Medium-bodied, with good balancing acidity. Perhaps not as lively as one expects of an unoaked Chardonnay but showing a generous share of elegance. Drink now-2010. NIS 55. Score 90. (Tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Trio, 2007: Dark cherry towards garnet in color, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Reflecting its 14 months in used barriques, shows a gentle influence of spicy wood and soft, gently mouth-coating tannins that highlight red currant, raspberry and red cherry notes. Soft, round and generous, a medium-bodied wine with a hint of eucalyptus on the moderately-long finish. As good with grilled fish or seafood as with small cuts of beef, pork or lamb. Drink now-2011. NIS 75. Score 90. (Tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2006: Showing every bit as well as at an advance tasting. Oak-aged for 18 months in 30% new oak, dark garnet in color, with generous spicy oak opening on the nose but that residing nicely to show an appealing array of cherry, raspberry, currant and peppery notes, the soft tannins caressing as the full-bodied wine fills the mouth. With fine balance and structure, showing elegance and length. Drink now-2013, perhaps longer. NIS 95. Score 92. (Re-tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon, T-Selection, 2006: Showing more complex and better than at an earlier tasting when it received a “mere” 91 points. With 20 months in new French barriques, a generously oaked wine, near-sweet because of its 15% alcohol content. Dark garnet in color, with velvety tannins that match the oak, opens in the glass to reveal black currants and black cherries, those along with tarry and spicy notes and rising on the very long finish notes of sweet chewing tobacco. A California blockbuster in its way but yielding in the glass to show its own kind of muscular elegance Approachable and enjoyable now but best from 2010-2015. NIS 140. Score 93. (Re-tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Gewurztraminer, 2008 (Advance Tasting): Oh what a lovely half-dry Gewurztraminer. Full-bodied, with fine balancing acidity and generous yeasty white bread notes, opens on the palate to reveal a charming array of pineapple, litchi and grapefruit, those supported nicely by Oriental spices that come in from mid-palate and then linger long and comfortably on the palate. Lovely as an aperitif, with goose or other liver-based dishes or as an accompaniment to fruit-based desserts. Drink now-2011. Score 90. (Tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Also re-tasted, two wines from earlier vintages, neither of which disappointed whatsoever.

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2003: Showing as at earlier tastings and much as predicted. Dark ruby toward garnet, full-bodied, with soft tannins and gently smoky wood integrating nicely to show an appealing array of berry, currant, plum fruits, those supported by notes of tobacco and dark chocolate. Drink now-2011. Score 90. (Re-tasted 19 Jan 2009)

Pelter, Shiraz, T-Selection, 2004: Perhaps reflecting winemaker Tal Pelter’s training and experience down-under, a wine that might easily be taken as an Australian Shiraz. Developed for 18 months in French oak, and showing fine balance and structure. Full-bodied, deeply tannic and concentrated enough to be thought of as chewy, but under that, red currants, plums and red berries along with black pepper, rosemary, thyme and a very appealing hint of peppermint. Fruits rise nicely on the long finish. Drink now?2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 19 Jan 2009)

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