Mark Squires has published his Best of 2018 list in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. He must be the number one international critic on Israeli wine. No-one else tastes Israeli wines so regularly and has a library of notes over an 11 year period. Since 2007 he has held regular tastings of Israeli wines. His scores and poetic tasting notes are published in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. His scores and comments are open to subscribers only on www.robertparker.com
The main highlights are the new attention to Israeli white wines, a latecomer in the quality stakes.
An established star and rising star make the list: Flam Blanc 2017 and Vortman Fume Blanc 2016.
Also, winemaker Ari Erle is honored with two different wines: Jezreel Valley Icon 2014 (an expensive wine it appears is mainly made for the American market) and Bat Shlomo Rose 2017, a great Eastern Mediterranean style rose. Recanati Wild Vine Carignan 2016, arguably Israel’s best wine from this variety, rounds out the list.
It is nice to see two Lebanese wines listed. Lebanon and Israel are the Siamese twins of Eastern Mediterranean wine. Both with similar terroirs, history as long as wine itself, shared political problems and increasingly good wines. Chateau Kefraya Comte de M 2013, a regular good performer in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and the newish boutique winery Atibaia Clos du Chene 2012 both feature.
Wine lovers are encouraged to subscribe to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which is still considered one of the most important yardsticks by wineries. Bravo to the Israeli wineries featured and thanks are due to Mark Squires for continuing to focus Israeli wine.