Fruit of the cooperation of the Golan heights winery and kibbutz Yiron in the northern Galilee, Galil Mountain released in 2001 it's second vintage, while the 2000 was actually released before the winery existed, using the facilities of the Golan heights winery. The reason why I didn't build an independant page before...
Contrarely to most of the educated people around me, I was highly disappointed from the first vintage. Cabernet-Sauvignon + Merlot + Chardonnay as usual...
2001 was the first real vintage in the newly established winery and the occasion for a nice improvement and a big surprise.
The Cabernet and the Merlot are alive with scents and flavors and not only a killing tannic finish (still on the hard side but much better balanced). For 40 NIS (about $ 8.5), one of the best local (kosher) option.
The surprise was the release of a Pinot-Noir. So far, I saw very few wines based on Pinot-Noir in Israel and none being of interest. (May be the Yarden, but with the so few bottles produced, I didn't have the opportunity to taste). The one of Galil-Mountain is not intended as a copy of a "1er cru" of Bourgogne, but as a simple table wine that would enlight a good meal. And it makes it great ! Fresh red fruit flavors and a light fleshy texture make it a great companion for food. Not impressive but delightful.
Together with the Pinot was released the Yiron, a spicy full body blend of Cabernet and Merlot, and one of the best options in Israel in it's price range. In it's original bottle, this is a wine that reminds more the Rhône than Bordeaux, what shouldn't minimize the pleasure of enjoying this definitely funky juice.