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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wine Review: Karmei Yosef Winery Bravdo Merlot 2012

The Shoseyov's have been in the viticulture business for 130 years. Even with Israel's insanely long history with wine, that's quite a family legacy. In 1999, Oded Shoseyov teamed up with his former professor Ben Ami Barbado to create a winery right smack dab in the middle of one of the Shoseyov's family vineyards. It's located right next to the community settlement of Karmei Yosef. The settlement wasn't established until 1984 but translates to "Yosef's Vineyards". And thus, naturally, Kermei Yosef Winery is the winery's name.

Samson is a region in the central coastal plain of Israel, to the west of the Judean Hills. There's a Mediterranean climate with various soil types within its small borders. Kermei Yosef is on limestone soil with lots of stones mixed in. This kosher Merlot is not filtered, it saw twelve months in French and American oak, and has an ABV of 13.9%.

The color of the wine is an inky dark red. There's aromas of black licorice, strawberry jam, Play-Doh, orange peel, terragon (along with loads of other various herbs and spices), burnt plastic, and salt water. Yeah, man! There's some stank on this wine! It's not going to be for everyone, but fans of Old World style Merlot will totally understand it.

There's something very specific to the Israeli and Palestinian wines that I've had, on both the nose and palate, that I can't quite explain through descriptors. I want to say "sticky" but I don't know if that's the right word. Maybe "spiced liqueur" might be a better phrase. Like something similar to Jagermeister or even that Captain Morgan Tattoo that was out years ago. I'll most likely continue to search for the right words until I wither away and die. Anyways, this guy has it.

On the palate it's full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and perky acidity. There's flavors of blackberries, black raspberries, iced latte, cinnamon and other baking spices, a little chunk of dirt, and salt water. It finishes with blackberries and hot cinnamon.

Like I said, this is absolutely an Old World style Merlot with that "spiced liqueur" Israeli twist. It's not a blueberry pie California Merlot, that's for sure. What's that mean? It means that you should get some lamb on the grill when you get a yourself a bottle of this stuff, damnit! I would NOT recommend this at all to your average American wine consumer, but I'd definitely present it as a cool and different alternative for somebody looking to spend $30 or more on a Bordeaux.

Price: $34
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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