Monday, July 2, 2012

Golan Heights 2011 Moscato, Galilee

I must say upfront that I’m not a huge Moscato fan. Yes, I know it is a major trend. Vineyards are planting Muscat grapes in hopes of cashing in and even rappers are writing songs about the stuff. Still, so much of it is too sweet and simple for my palate.

When I was browsing at the Briarfield location of Walt Churchill’s Market I asked wine manager Austin Beeman if he had any interesting wines (of course, there are a lot of them there). He recommended the Golan Heights Winery 2011 Moscato from Israel. I’ve been interested in trying some Israeli wine ever since a friend returned from a trip there and said the wines were quite good.

I asked Austin if he thought I would like it since I’m not a Moscato fan. In turn he asked me, if I was capable of experiencing pleasure. Hmmm… that’s a recommendation interesting enough to get me to pop $13 for this bottle of wine.

During the recent unrelenting heat wave, I chilled it down and tried it out. Austin was right. This is one pleasurable glass of vino.

The wine is produced from Muscat Canelli grapes grown entirely in the cool climate and rocky volcanic soil of the Golan Heights. It can be enjoyed on its own as a pre-dinner wine or as an accompaniment to dessert. It is a Kosher wine and a great introduction to Israeli wines.

A luscious bouquet of citrus blossoms and a richness reminiscent of fine German Riesling provides the opening act for this wine. The body is full and its texture is percolated by a slight effervescence. If you are thinking this is a sweet syrupy concoction, don’t. The sparkling quality along with a low alcohol level of only 6% give this wine a lightness missing from most dessert wines.

On the palate the soft fizz mixes with a tumble of peaches and honeysuckle. It’s a rich, rewarding wine certain to please even those who usually draw the line at Moscato. The sweet finish lingers long.

Golan Heights Moscato is a splendid wine -- delicious in its taste, exotic in its origin and pleasurable to sippers everywhere.

Rating: 3.5 of 5  Value: 4 of 5

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