This year 3 wineries decided to hold their release events on the same day – Recanati, Gvaot and Tzora. While I love all of these wineries, Friday in Israel inexplicably always feels rushed and I could only spare the time to hit one of thee events. Tzora besides being perhaps the top winery in Israel is also the closes to where I live – so it really was an easy choice.
This year Tzora decided to hold its event at the vineyards providing a really beautiful backdrop to their excellent wines. Standing in Shoresh looking out at the Judean Hills around you and knowing that the wines you are drinking come from this vineyard and is not a hodgepodge of purchased grapes from around the country really makes you feel connected. Now on to the wines!
Tzora releases 6 wines each year. 3 reds, (the “entry” level Judean Hills Red , mid-range Shoresh Red and top of the line Misty Hills), 2 whites (Judean Hills White – primarily consisting of Chardonnay with some Sauvignon Blanc, and the Shoresh White primarily or totally Sauvignon blanc) and a desert white (Or, Gewürztraminer in the ice wine style) only available for sale at the winery. At their release party they showcase only the Judean Hills and Shoresh reds and whites.
For the whites, this year the wines are a mirror image of each other – both of them are made up Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and the ratio for both is 75-25 – but where the Shoresh favors Sauvignon Blanc, the Judean Hills favors Chardonnay. As any reader of this blog knows, SB really is not my thing so I don’t usually stock Shoresh though it’s well made wine. I would say that the 2017 it might be a step behind the incredible 2016.On the Judean Hills front though this is a big win for me and a step above where we have been the last couple of years. Super enjoyable, with the SB adding a freshness to the Chardonnay without being overbearing. Big win!
On the red front, I have to say the 2016 Judean Hills might be the best it’s ever been. Great core of acid and tannin, dark fruit wrapped up in a bit of earth – the Petit Verdot giving it a little kick. I’m stocking up. The biggest surprise is with the 2016 Shoresh. Each vintage to me the Shoresh represents an excellent value – a wine that can age for 10 years developing a rich deep flavors. But this year,i t seems to be lacking a strong core. Either its really young and the tannin is hiding or this is a wine to drink now and not hold. Flavors are right, but somehow I walked away feeling that this year, the JH is what to buy – and its 33% cheaper! I wouldn’t count it out though and I’l likely retry in a couple of months.
Kudos to Tzora for throwing a very nice classy party!