Gush Etzion Winery Expands its Reach in America | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Gush Etzion Winery Expands its Reach in America

Courtesy Gush Etzion Winery

More options available stateside from the Efrat-based winery

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I recently had an opportunity to once again meet-up and taste wines with Shraga Rozenberg, winemaker and owner of the Gush Etzion Winery in Efrat.

I had last tasted through his US-available wines nearly a year ago—there’s plenty that isn’t yet exported, but the barrel sample of single vineyard Syrah he brought to our meeting is a most promising addition to the lineup that should be hitting stateside before too long.

For a while, they wines were imported by a passionate but small kosher wine importer, so distribution outside of the New York area was spotty. They are now being imported by the Herzog family’s Royal Wine Corp., so distribution is no longer an issue. Without further ado:

Gush Etzion Winery, Lone Oak Tree, Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 ($22): Light and pleasantly aromatic, offering notes on the nose and palate of melon, stone fruit, citrus and fresh herbs, with enough acidity to more or less hold together, but not quite enough to shine; this is entertaining, but better with food.

Gush Etzion Winery, Lone Oak Tree, Gewurztraminer, Judean Hills, 2016 ($20): Fairly full in the mouth, offering enjoyable slate-like minerality, this is nicely floral if slightly green, medium-bodied, with some typical Gewurtz characteristics, but the balance is just slightly off, keeping it perfectly congenial, but not as fully refreshing as past vintages.

Gush Etzion Winery, Spring River, Red Blend, Judean Hills, 2014 ($28): A charming blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot, positively bursting with vibrant and fresh aromas of dark fruits (blackcurrants, wild berries, blackberries), tobacco, dark chocolate, a touch of spicy oak and a hint of toasted herbs; though fairly full-bodied, the overall style is remarkably light and refreshing on the palate, suggesting a greater appreciation for the cuisine and climate of its Eastern Mediterranean origins. This is nicely balanced, bordering on elegant, yet fun and tasty—makes me hunger for some meaty Israeli food.

Gush Etzion Winery, Spring River, GSM, 2014 ($28): This engaging and thoroughly enjoyable blend of 54% Syrah, 36% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache is less Rhône and more Eastern Mediterranean—light, bright, fresh, and refreshing. Medium-bodied with forward and generous dark fruit notes, decent spice, a touch of oak, and a hint of earth, balanced by soft tannins and nice acidity; offers a deeply pleasing finish. This is very yummy, with a very subtle but enjoyable brooding edge.

Gush Etzion Winery, Cabernet Franc Reserve, Judean Hills, 2014 ($43): A medium-bodied, ripe fruit (dark plum and spicy black cherry) flavored charmer, showing accents of chocolate, cassis, a touch of anise, and pepper, and then with vanilla oak and leather in the finish. Nice overall balance.

Gush Etzion Winery, Lone Oak Tree, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Judean Hills, 2014 ($43): This medium-to-full bodied Cab offers fresh and attractive aromas of cherries, menthol, earthy minerals, and vanilla, gliding onto the palate with red and black berries, vanilla, and a smidge of green bell pepper. With good balance and nice complexity, yet still supple and easy to drink.

Gush Etzion Winery, Blessed Valley, Red Wine, Special Reserve, Judean Hills, 2012 ($57): This alluring yet still tight full-bodied blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, is earthy and fruity and with some spice, but the tannins are still quite firm and the wine is overall still fairly closed. Give this just a little bit longer to mature, or decant vigorously to aerate before serving—then do so with hearty meat comestibles.

L’Chaim!

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