Galilean winery in Rhone triumph

  • Thursday 2 September 2010

A winery in Upper Galilee beat some of the world’s most renowned producers of Syrah and Shiraz at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Carmel Winery Kayoumi Single Vineyard Shiraz 2008

Carmel winery last night won the Red Rhone Varietals Over £10 trophy for its Kayoumi Single Vineyard Shiraz 2008.

The winery, which this year celebrates its 120th harvest, was competing against some of the world’s most significant producers for the Red Rhone Varietal trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

In the Rhone, names like Cellier des Dauphins, Guigal, Gabriel Meffre, Chene Bleu, Chapoutier were all up for the top prize

As were the Australians: Cape Mentelle, E&E, Charles Melton, d’Arenberg, Shaw & Smith among others.

The Kayoumi would have been tasted alongside these wines. Judges found it ‘Big, chunky, with earthy fruit, good spice and grip. Intense and voluptuous on the palate with plenty of oak. Great persistence and texture.’

Chief winemaker Lior Lacser, who flew into London in the middle of harvest for last night's dinner in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, said 'it's a great honour for us to be recognised by Decanter.'

Israeli wines are not insignificant, and neighbouring Lebanon has some of the most renowned wineries in the world, but this is the first time they have taken a trophy from under the noses of the traditional producers.

Howard G Goldberg, decanter.com’s New York correspondent and an expert on wines from the Middle East, said, ‘Kayoumi has been delivering first-class single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon as well asa Shiraz and Chardonnay.’

He added that the victory comes at ‘a special moment for the Galilean winery, whose first harvest was in 1890.

Carmel was established as a vintners' cooperative in 1882 with financing from Baron Edmond de Rothschild. It is Israel's largest producer, with more than 13m bottles a year.

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