Grown at close to 900m above sea level this Cabernet Sauvignon showed me that Livni is looking to set themselves apart from other Israeli wineries. Concentrated, bold, and surprisingly elegant, this wine tells me that the Israeli wine industry is not even close to reaching its potential. Coming from vineyards buried deep in the Southern Judean Mountains, this wine offered hints of dried cherries, wild forest berries, and peppercorns. Silky on the palate with tones of bright fruit, a vibrant acidity, and focused tannins, this wine reminded me of the great Southern French wines that are underpriced and uniquely Mediterranean.
Aged for 14 months in oak barrels, this wine has rough edges, but in that good “old world style” that has become popular in the last couple of years.
This is a Mediterranean wine, grown in a Mediterranean vineyard, and meant for Mediterranean food. Highly recommended!
By David Benisrael
About Livni Winery
With vineyards a stone throw from the ancient city of Hevron, Livni Winery provides “Old World” style wines from their vineyards in arguably the best terroir in Israel.
Grown in a valley where the Southern Judean Mountians meet into the Judean Desert, Menachem Livni has been growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes since 1994. In 2003 he opened his own winery and released his first vintage of 3,000 bottles. Currently, the winery is located on Moshav Carmel, in the Hebron Hills and his wines are made by French born winemaker Bruno Darmon. Bruno has experience working at wineries in France and Israel, which included a 7 year stint at Yatir Winery. In the last couple of years Livni Winery has been growing at a steady rate and is producing around 10,000 bottles annually.
The wines are grown in Calev’s Field, which is one of the first farms in Judea. It is located east of Hebron on land purchased by Jews in 1936. At Calev’s Field, the Livni family grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot Noir, in their estate vineyard surrounded by an orchid of cherry trees.
Planted in terra rossa and limstone valley soil, at 875m above sea level, the terroir is reminiscent of the Southern Rhone Valley in France. With dry arid days, and cool windy nights, the valley offers an ideal environment for “old world” style wines that are meant for a Mediterranean cuisine.
Even though Livni Winery is still young, their current vintages have shown unique and desirable qualities that any wine connoisseur would appreciate.