The main problem that most wines made in Israel encounter is their relegation to the kosher section of the wine shop. Sure, the majority of these wines happen to be kosher — being made in the Jewish state sort of guarantees most producers are going to follow kosher practices — but by sectioning these wines off to an area of the store only frequently visited by observant Jews, or secular Jews buying Kosher wine for one of the major holidays, regular wine drinkers are missing out on the great bottles currently being produced in this tiny country.
Galil Mountain Winery is a producer that’s been around since 2000 and they’re producing some of the most widely available and high-quality Israeli wine to be found in the American market. Founded as a joint venture between Kibbutz Yiron and Golan Heights Winery, they produce polished wines of incredible drinkability.
Ela is a blend of Syrah, Barbera and Petit Verdot, three grapes you wouldn’t normally find in the same wine, as two originate from France and the other from Italy. But thanks to Israel’s state-of-the-art irrigation techniques, all three thrive at the winery, coming together to create a supple and smooth red blend.
In the glass the wine gives off aromas of ripe red fruit with a bit of green pepper thanks to the Petit Verdot. It’s initial flavors are tart, with a nice acidity that then transforms into a rich and fruit- forward flavor as you swallow. The Syrah is what gives this wine its quaffable character. With just a touch of oak, this is a rich and elegant wine perfect for any occasion, not just the Jewish holidays.