For the first time ever, the influential wine magazine Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Issue 174, December 2007) published a comprehensive report on Israeli wines, kosher and non-kosher alike. It was also the first time that Robert Parker himself evaluated wines from Israel and reported the results.
The extensive tasting included more than 100 wines from large, medium and small wineries, red and white, dry and sweet, kosher and non-kosher, from the south, north, desert and mountains. From all the wines tasted, 14 obtained a score of 90 or more, of which the best received 93. Among these 14 wines 10 were red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah while 4 were white wines of which 3 dessert wines and a dry Chardonnay. These results constitute a major success for the Israeli wine industry and thanks to this appraisal Israel has entered the close circle of the most distinguished wine countries in the world.
The author of the article in the Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate magazine, Mark Squires, comments: “The corner has been clearly turned qualitatively. Israel has a real wine industry that deserves consumer attention. These are attractive wines with typicity and some distinction. Many are classic and charming, and the best will impress anyone.” And he further adds: “The degree of progress (of the Israeli wine industry) is impressive, but it is overrated on the home front. When you come from nowhere, getting to somewhere understandably leads to enthusiasm, but the number of superb wines is still very small ……… It is important to remember that the industry is arriving, but nowhere near fully realized. It is important not to fall into the trap of judging the wines only relative to themselves.”
And Squires concludes: “Quietly, and without attracting much consumer attention, Israel has developed a wine industry that will confound preconceptions. A country whose wine industry was once largely considered insipid and mostly aimed at satisfying religious needs, today has dozens of wineries and a serious enough industry to have a few trophies.”
At the Israel stand (hall 6/K47) at ProWein 2008 you can appreciate the following wines appraised by Robert Parker: