Wines of the Week: What a White!
Today I would like to talk about a slightly unusual wine that I actually just tasted yesterday with Jay Buchsbaum. Let's jump right into it.
Tabor, Adama II, Zohar, 2016
The 2016 is the second release of this delightful white wine from Israel. It is a blend and such a unique wine that I am 99.999% sure that there is no other wine like it anywhere, kosher or not. The blend includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, French Colombard and Roussanne. Now we all know the first two well. While French Colombard has been used for years in some cheap grape juices and bland, entry-level wines in Israel, it is not anymore a popular grape in France for winemaking purposes. It is however the base variety of many Cognacs and Armagnacs. Some new world wineries, especially in California and South America have been experimenting with it lately, with varying degrees of success. Roussanne, which originates from the Rhône Valley in France, is used in the white wines of the Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph appellations. The variety is slowly growing a fan base in Israel and California with several wineries (Tabor, Binyamina, Hagafen) having released some interesting wines over the past five or six years (sadly not imported for the most part).
The combo here is excellent, showcasing notes of citrus fruits, apples, honeysuckle, almonds, freshly cut grass lemon zest and peaches. The Chardonnay contributes some body as well as apple and pear flavors. The Sauvignon Blanc brings citrus and floral aromas with some freshness. Some of the key features of French Colombard are herbaceous flavors, as well as naturally high acidity which makes this wine vibrant and lively. The typical floral and nutty aromas of the Roussanne are also well felt. And all these grape varieties work well together here, with none of them overpowering the other. The balance and complexity of this wine make it a great choice to go along with veal tongue in grape sauce, (cod-based) fish and chips or chicken Marsala (Jay's suggestion).
This wine is one of a kind. Unusual, interesting and most importantly delicious, it is also a great wine to use to coax your stubborn "only red drinking" friends into the amazingly rich world of white wines! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Photography by Tzvi Cohen.