Ella Valley Vineyards is an estate winery located in the heartland of Biblical Judea, literally only a stone’s throw away from where David fought Goliath. One of the advantages that EVV enjoys as an estate winery is total control over what happens in the vineyards. With all of the vineyards close to the winery, winemaker Lin Gold is able fine-tune the harvest time for different sections of the vineyards.
Ella Valley Vineyards strives to produce elegant, balanced wines that reflect the local terroir and their release events reflect the wine’s style. Today’s event took place in the shaded courtyard at the entrance to the winery and the tasting room. Live background music accompanied the event.
The three wines released are Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Cabernet Franc 2010 and Petite Sirah 2009. These wines are not the mainstay of EVV, their Chardonnay is their best-selling white and the two reds are released in only a few thousand bottles each. These wines do have a faithful following, the Cabernet Franc usually sells out long before the next vintage is released, and they add to Ella Valley Vineyard’s selection.
Ella Valley Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2012: Made of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. The Sauvignon Blanc saw no oak; the Semillon was aged in old barrels. The wine has a high acidity, which is well integrated and gives a long aftertaste. The wine has nice aromas of peach, citrus with a bit of green grass. Lin achieved the high acidity by early harvest of some of the SB grapes, and filled out the aromas with later harvests from other parts of the vineyards. This is a nice refreshing wine for the Israeli summer when served properly chilled.
Ella Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2010: If you don’t like the variety Cabernet Franc can be a bit rough for you. I like the variety. Cabernet Franc is used mostly for Bordeaux blends, but makes a nice varietal wine on its own. 2010 was a challenging vintage for Israeli winemakers; it was the hottest summer in years. The EVV Cabernet Franc has nice dark fruit aromas as well as characteristic greens of asparagus and green pepper and was blended with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ella Valley Vineyards Petite Sirah 2009: Petite Sirah is widely grown in California. DNA testing has shown Petite Sirah to be the French variety Durif, which is the result of natural cross between Syrah and Peloursin. The Ella Valley Vineyards Petite Sirah 2009 matured 16 months in barriques. True to variety, the EVV opens with aromas of dark fruit and almost overwhelming tannins. While strong, the tannins are integrated in the wine. This wine will be at its best in a few years; to drink now, I’d recommend letting it open up in the glass for a bit before drinking.
The Ella Valley Vineyard’s New Release Event was a resounding success. This was evident by the lack of parking space and the lines at the cash register. I look forwards to enjoying these wines with good company and good food-the best way to enjoy wine!