Skip to main content

Three Delicious Red Wines from Benhaim Family Winery - Israel

photo


...nature’s quintessential beverage is the fruit of the vine” 
Rabbi Tzvi Rossen, The Art of Kosher Winemaking


I never planned on becoming enamored of wines of Israel. It just happened. 

Many thanks to Benhaim Family Winery for opening my eyes to their tradition of excellence.

Benhaim is a boutique winery dedicated to the family’s tradition of making high-quality hand-crafted wines going back six generations to 1932. All estate vineyards are situated in the Upper Galilee. Production is at 35,000 bottles.
Founders: Ruth and Elie Benhaim

In 1970 Ruth and Elie Benhaim founded their eponymous family winery, making and selling wine at their house in Ramat Gan, and after 27 harvests opened a boutique winery in Kfar Azar. A decade later the winery moved to a large, new building in Ramat Hasharon – where it continues to operate today.
Chief Winemaker: Itay Benhaim

Itay Ben-Haim is Benhaim’s chief winemaker and a sixth generation vintner who draws inspiration from his family history, where wine culture and the traditional art of coopering has been carefully handed down from generation to generation for over 135 years. He was an active participant in wine production from his early childhood, all the while acquiring practical knowledge and experience, following the family tradition. I've also read that he plays piano quite well. And he built his own motorcycle.


BenHaim Family Winery
6 Hasaraf st., Ramat Hasharon
TEL: 972-3-5346748
E-MAIL: benhaim@benhaim.co.il

Benhaim Faimly Winery website.
Instagram - I'm following and enjoying all the fun photos.

Winery Hours
Sunday – Thursday: From 10am Till 5pm
Friday & Holiday Eevenings: From 10am until one hour before Shabat/Holiday
The winery is closed on Saturday/Holiday!

Tasting Notes
photo

1. Benhaim Family Winery Grande Reserve 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Looking for a delicious, food friendly Cabernet Sauvignon? Look no further.
Strongly Recommended.

Color: Medium ruby.
Nose: Medium minus intensity. Minerality, light soil, sour cherry.
Palate: Fine tannin, medium body, dry, juicy, fluid cherry, earthy, coffee grounds, graphite, medium finish. Like.

At 30 minutes: Soft and savory nose, medium minus intensity, minerality, white pepper, earthy cherry, orange pith. Tasty dried cherry, dark cola, soil, light tar, smooth, polished, dried herbs, pleasantly dry, juicy, focused to middle, tingle in back, medium-minus body, medium finish. Enjoyable sipper, not heavy, ready for food.

At one hour: Chocolaty, spicy, cherry, aromatic, focused nose. Dry, medium body, soft, juicy, cherry, blueberry, fine tannin roof of mouth, juicy berries on medium finish. Quite nice.

Decanted One hour: Dried herbs on nose, lovers body, pleasantly perfumed, bramble, very cool. Brambly fruit on the palate, intensity up a notch, focused, deep blackberry more than cherry, cola, tar, fine tannin on gums and tongue, nice dark, dried fruit leather, leaning into savory tar on medium plus finish. Big like!

At two hours: Even better.

At four hours: Rich and savory, plum, spice, black cherry, blackberry, bitter herbs, baked bell pepper and chocolate, juicy finish. Brambly character, with bitter notes made for an interesting and tasty wine. Perfect for savory meats and cheese. Or just drink.

Day two: Rich and savory. Meaty, bright mid-palate, cherry cordial, sarsaparilla, dried blueberry, bitter chocolate with touch of orange into the medium finish. Perfect for savory dishes and heavier foods.

Day three: No rough edges. Smooth, focused and shiny, wine had earthy, dried cherries with dry herbs and tarragon, made a good match with cheese, olives, pickles and sun dried tomatoes. My speed. 


photo
Exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon out of the decanter.


Thoughts: Oh my, you have to add this wine to your must drink list. An approachable food wine at open, it only got better the longer it was open. If you drink today, please decant an hour. If you are looking for a wine to enjoy one glass a night, over several evenings, this is the wine you want. Also suitable for cellar for the next ten years. Though I'd drink within five. Thoroughly enjoyed this bottle. Enjoy with food, family, and friends. I'm in!
Strongly Recommended.

Country: Israel
Region: Upper Galilee, Mount Meron
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Sirah
Aged 23 months in oak
Bottled July 2014
Closure: Agglomerated Cork
ABV: 14.4%
Sample provided by winery

photo

2. Benhaim Family Winery Reserve 2012 Merlot

At the seven hour window, from the bottle, it was balanced and had such a lovely floral nose. Recommended.

Color: Medium ruby.
Nose: Delicate, smoky cherry, cardamom.
Palate: Medium minus body, dry, grippy tannin roof of mouth, bright cherry, with cola on the crisp, dry, medium finish. Acid and tannin stoodout.

At 30 minutes: Bright, tart cherry, cranberry, cola, light spice, hint of earthiness, hint of chocolate, tingle tip of tongue, medium finish. Enjoyable, acid driven wine at this point, suitable for food or toasting.

At one hour: Soft and round, floral quality on the nose. Bitter, earthy, savory, cherry, cola, oak, textured mouth-feel, medium finish. Did not show well at this point. Better when decanted.

Decanted one hour: Round, modest sour cherry, cola, pleasant felty tannin across the full tongue, glimpse of orange peel, dry, fresh quality, some minerality pulled the wine together. Showed well.

At 7 hours: Pretty nose, floral with rose petals and orange blossoms. Balanced, dried cherries with rose and orange, dirty earth on bright finish. Well done. Lovely. 

Day two: Chalky, cherry, orange peel, cola, fresh and dry, medium intensity with a tasty finish. Appealing for drinking or food. Like.

Day 4: Very smooth and fluid. Wish I'd had more left to savor.

photo
Lovely Merlot, especially after seven hours.


Thoughts: Decant before drinking and enjoy over the next few days. At open this wine is suitable for acid driven foods, something I'm grooving on these days. Showed well decanted one hour, showed best at the seven hour window from the bottle - it was balanced and had such a lovely floral nose. I would drink this wine now and over next five years.
Recommended.

Country: Israel
Region: Upper Galilee, Mount Meron
Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Aged 20 months in oak
Closure: Aglomerated Cork
ABV: 13.5%
Sample provided by winery

photo

3. Benhaim Family Winery Reserve 2012 Cabernet Franc

Enjoyed this bottle over 7 days! Now I want to go visit this winery.
Strongly Recommended.

Color: Medium ruby.
Nose: Cherry, tobacco, rose petal, pencil shavings.
Palate: Medium body, medium plus acid, dry, tart cherry, chocolate, tobacco, orange rind, medium minus finish. Enjoyable at open, touch of heat.

At 30 minutes: Pretty nose, medium plus intensity, soft, smoky cherry, perfume, nutty note. Dry, fine tannin on gums, heat on tongue, medium body, cherry, orange rind, tobacco, nutty and herbaceous notes into the medium finish.

At one hour: Similar to notes at 30 minutes. A little sour, soft cherry, dry, chalky, orange rind, pine needles, bright mid-palate, savory finish. Wants food.

Decanted one hour: Fluid, savory fruit, focused to middle, integrated, balanced, chocolate, sour cherry, hint of orange, medium finish. More my speed at this point, wants food.

Day three: Lovely, lovely wine, my speed. Balanced across the palate, mouth filling, deep blackberry cordial, dry earthy quality, touch of tartness, textured, dried tart cherry on a medium finish.

Day 7: Showed well, smooth, fluid, with depth. Lovely with rib-eye steak and salad with sun dried tomatoes. More please.

photo
Benhaim Cabernet Franc with steak, caramelized onions and tomato. Yum!


Thoughts: By anyone's definition, this is a stellar Cabernet Franc. Strong cellar candidate. Showed better over time. If you drink now, decant or open and drink over the week. Drink now through 2027. Would enjoy sampling some older vintages. Now I want to go visit this winery.
Strongly Recommended.

Country: Israel
Region: Upper Galilee, Mount Meron
Blend: 85% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah
Aged 20 months in oak
Closure: Aglomerated Cork
ABV: 13.5%
Sample provided by winery

photo
Can you find the 13.5% listed on the back label?

Note: Looking at the back label of the Cabernet Franc, there appears to be a great deal of information. Which I cannot read. It was my son who pointed out the ABV was clearly listed at 13.5%. I could not find it.

Kosher Certification

Since 2001, Benhaim wines have been certified kosher by the Upper Galilee Regional Chief Rabbinate, the Ramat Hasharon Rabbinate, the international kashruth supervising organization “OK”, Rabbi Dov Landau and Badatz Beit Yosef. The wines are not mevushal (pasteurized).

Learn about Kosher winemaking, "The Art of Kosher Winemaking" by Rabbi Tzvi Rosen.

Cheers!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Recipe | Flourless Chocolate Torte

Satisfying those chocolate cravings. My Instagram followers have seen me post photos ( @wild4wawine ) of my favorite dessert for over a year. Possibly, I've posted the original recipe to Instagram. If you ask, I usually do. After success and failures, I've learned that this dessert does not always deliver desired results. With some effort, I've figured out why, and the remedy. Yes, I've been gently tweaking the recipe. Adjusting ingredients. Modifying and streamlining the process. With mixed results. Confiding with my wife, she gave me a tip that finally nailed this recipe down. I'm happy to share this recipe with modifications. It's truly a lovely dessert. My favorite. Enjoy responsibly. Just out of the oven flourless chocolate torte. Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte An easy recipe to follow. You will need an oven, mixer, spring form pan and a double boiler. While you can eat this torte warm, I prefer to let it cool down and refrigerate it

Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Wine, Happy Camper Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable. Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest

The Best Sci-Fi Series You’re Not Watching. But I Am

The Ministry of Time/El Ministerio Del Tiempo History is under threat. Someone is attempting to alter the past. In response, a secret government organization is working to protect the sanctity of time. This group is the Ministry of Time. Agents of the ministry, are able to travel to different times and places via a deep well of stairs located in Madrid, Spain. From these stairs, innumerable doorways branch off to different periods of the past. Agents are recruited from other time periods, they work diligently to protect the history of Spain. And we get to go along for the thrilling ride. I’m changing up things today by recommending my favorite Spanish TV series. I found it accidentally, now I'm hooked. Improving my Spanish language comprehension Among my self-improvement efforts, there are many, one is to enhance my comprehension and speaking abilities of the Spanish language. With a neglected minor in Spanish, I’m embarrassed to have forgotten so much vocabulary and