The Barkan winery traces its history back to 1899. It is now Israel’s second largest winery and owns the country’s largest vineyard. They produce four lines of wine; today’s offering is next to the bottom. They are developing a sizable vineyard in the Negev Desert. And the wine business being like so many others, the main ownership is now in the hands of a soft drink company. The companion wine is an Italian Chardonnay coming in at half the price
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Barkan Classic Chardonnay 2006 (not a typo) 12.5 % alcohol about $15.
In the absence of marketing materials let’s start by quoting the back label “Barkan Classic Chardonnay is produced from grape’s grown at the winery’s vineyards in the center of Israel. The vines yield small crops and ripen early. Hand picked in small containers, the grapes are rushed to the winery to ensure maximum quality. The wine ferments slowly at cool temperatures and yields a wine with a rich nose of blueberries, guava and pears. It is well structured, balanced and lingers in the mouth. Ideal with poultry and hard cheese.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was smoky and almost chewy offering light acidity. The initial meal focused on a barbecued chicken breast with a paprika dusted skin on which I squeezed a generous amount of fresh lime. The Chardonnay responded with intensified smokiness and good acidity. It was round. Steamed quinoa gave me a tinge of citrus in the smoke. A barbecued chicken wing augmented Chardy’s acidity and sweetness while its smokiness remained. The side dish of steamed broccoli made the libation’s acidity dominant, and in fact threw it slightly out of whack.
The second meal centered on poached eggs accompanied by tomatoes, garlic, ginger, basil, parsley, and onions. In response our Israeli friend intensified the ginger. The mixed salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and red onions pepped up with fresh lime gave Whitey the taste of caramel. The liquid was smoky and had good length. Fresh cantaloupe rendered the contents of my glass sour acidity and that was all.
The final meal began with Wasabi-less, in other words virtually tasteless, Japanese rice crackers. Now the Chardonnay was strong for a while with caramel. It was somewhat sweet. When paired with store bought boxed potato and onion (if the box hadn’t told me I might have never known) perogis the juice was long with a burnt taste. The side dish of green beans and onions in a tomato sauce thinned my drink but smoke and a burnt taste were present. Fresh strawberries for dessert rendered this Cesari very long with the taste of caramel.
Final verdict. Because I had to pay $15 I have no intention of buying this wine again. However, at the Internet price of $10 it is definitely a repeat candidate, especially for those like me who prefer their Chardonnay not oaked to death.Access the companion wine A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A Veneto, Italy Chardonnay
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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