This is the flagship wine of Carmel Winery. Only 19,426 wines were made. The wine is a Bordeaux style blend using the five most well-known Bordeaux varieties. The wine is made from 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Each lot was vinified and aged separately for 15 months in small French oak barrels and the final blend was made on completion of the aging period. Then the wine was aged in bottle for over 12 months before release. It is unfined and only coarsely filtered.
TThe wine itself is deep purple in color with an aroma of blueberries, cassis, violets and tobacco leaves. It is made in an elegant, restrained style of the ‘ Old World ’, with a delicate balance between fruit, acidity and attractively soft tannins
By Adam Montefiore
Carmel Winery is the historic winery of Israel. In 1882, sixty-four families came from Romania and settled in what is now the town of Zichron Yaakov. During their first few months there were a lot of hardships in the new community so they reached out to the Jewish community Worldwide to help them and Baron Edmond de Rothschild, an avid Zionist and owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux, came to help these immigrants by establishing Carmel Mizrachi Winery. Rothschild bought plots of land and gave them to each family so they could cultivate the land and plant vineyards for the winery. The livelihood of the community was surrounded by wine and vine production. Rothschild’s vision for Carmel was that it was the hub for kosher wine for Jewish people around the world. He even opened sales offices in New York, Moscow and Paris.
Carmel Winery is not the oldest winery in Israel but it is the most influential and largest to date. Carmel actually had the monopoly on the Israeli wine industry for 100 years until in 1983 the Golan Heights Winery was established.
Carmel Winery is a very different winery from when it was established over 120 years ago but more importantly it continues to grow with the modern trends and leads the way for the modern day Israeli wine industry. At the winery, you can see the huge tanks that hold thousands of gallons of wine and they even have some of the cement tanks from the 1930s that are still making the wine.
The grapes for Carmel Winery are grown throughout the land of Israel. Carmel Winery buys the grapes they desire for each of their series from certain kibbutzes, private farms and some of the land they own themselves. On the label on the back of the bottle, the location of the grapes should be listed. Because they buy their wine from very different terriors in Israel, they can be creative with how they blend their wines.
Today, Carmel Winery produces 15 million bottles annually and only produces the wine in the Zichron Yaakov factory. The factory in Rishon Le’zion was closed in 2009. They are changing their model to producing more quality wines from boutique vineyards and in their premium line compared to their production even in the 1970s of mostly sweet wines. Carmel’s series in order from young to premium are: Selected, Private Collection, Carmel Ridge, Appellation, Mediterranean and Limited Edition. A part of Carmel changing their image, they bought Yatir Winery which is a boutique winery in Arad that produces some of Israel’s finest wines.
The story of Carmel represents the story of Israel, and the recent developments of Carmel’s wines, symbolizes the revolution of Israeli wine in recent years.