Just recently, GKC friend, Gary Landsman, from Royal Wines took a great trip to Israel and while there, made some time to visit friend and winemaker Yoram Shalom, at Alexander Winery (he also visited Barkan and Segal – are you as jealous as I am? )
The Alexander winery is located just South of Haifa in Beit Yitzhak and is renowned for some very special wines. Gary arrived just in time for a grape delivery, a new variety of grape, which is part of Yoram Shalom’s winning strategy to making great wine, always creating new wines by experimenting with new grapes and blends. Gary got right to work (hours of it), sorting the grapes on the ramps before they go into crushing, carefully removing stems and unwanted leaves, and checking for imperfections. Alexander winery was working these grapes for some of their new blends and particularily a new Rose. How amazing will it be when the wine comes out to know that Gary had a real “hand” in creating the wine?! I think that’s one of my bucket list items!
We asked Gary what else is new at Alexander. Great news for all of us, Alexander is planning and currently developing a gorgeous tasting and visitors center. Stay tuned for grand opening dates. And Yoram has brought in an experienced winemaker to assist him at Alexander. Avi Feldstein, formerly of Segal Winery, and noted by critics as “forward thinking, bold, and creative” has joined Alexander Winery and will surely be another great asset.
What to drink by Alexander? Gary responded with “really? I have to pick, I enjoy so many of their wines!” But then he added try the Gaston, named from some Russian ancestry, a blend of Cabernet, shiraz, and merlot and is bold, satiating, and smooth. Then for a special wine, add Alexander the Great, Cabernet to your list. This wine needs some decanting time or breathing time after opened but Wow! Well worth waiting for (btw, it scored a 90 at the International Wine Review). The wine breathes and becomes a wonderful experience to savor and enjoy the flavors. And for a more affordable but delicious option try the Sandro. It’s a Cabernet and Merlot blend with hints of citrus and apples. I just know it as one of Yoram’s terrific creations where he demonstrates his ability to blend varietals, grapes and techniques to creative wonderful flavors in his wines.
I can’t wait to visit the new visitor’s center on my next trip to Israel. For now, I’m going to enjoy another glass of the Alexander the Great Cabernet.