Domaine du Castel is one of Israel’s best known boutique wineries. It was launched by Eli Ben Zaken, and is now run by Eli and his children, Eytan, Ariel, and Ilana. Situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Domaine du Castel is open to groups of 6 or fewer. All its wines are kosher.

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2012 Petit Castel

Petit Castel is Domaine du Castel’s regular red blend. The 2012 showed green pepper notes on the nose, with lots of brown sugar, from wood, on the palate. Big, round, sweet blackberry and blackberry, give a mouthful of fruit. There is a touch of umami on the finish. Drink with pot roast. Recommended. 87 points.

WHO: Domaine du Castel
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
WHERE: Israel, Judean Hills
WHEN: 201
HOW MUCH: $41

2009 Grand Vin

Grand Vin is Domaine du Castel’s premier Bordeaux blend. The nose shows brown sugar and cherries. The palate opens with big, sweet, black cherry, with black fruit lagging behind. Eucalyptus is in the background. The mid-palate brightens and shows more red fruit. Vanilla and other wood effects show on the finish. The finish is slightly savory. The wine is a bit fat, with sweet tannins strolling ahead of acids. Drink with skirt steak with garlic butter. Recommended. 88 points.

WHO: Domaine du Castel
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
WHERE: Israel, Judean Hills
WHEN: 2009
HOW MUCH: $70

2010 Grand Vin

2010 was a much hotter year than 2009 or 2011, and it shows in the wine. The nose shows black cherry over black currant. Black currant, black cherry, and a touch of mint make up the palate. There is a good tannin and acid balance. There is a touch of savory on the finish. Drink with New York Strip with peppercorn sauce. Highly Recommended. 90 points.

WHO: Domaine du Castel
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
WHERE: Israel, Judean Hills
WHEN: 2010
HOW MUCH: $70

2011 Grand Vin

2011 had a very mild summer and the harvest was a month later than usual. The nose showed black currant and vanilla. On the palate, black currant and black cherry were backed by eucalyptus. The mid-palate showed vanilla and lots of brown sugar from the wood. Tannins were grippy and sweet, with acids a bit behind. Drink with filet. Recommended. 88 points.

WHO: Domaine du Castel
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
WHERE: Israel, Judean Hills
WHEN: 2011
HOW MUCH: $70

 

A statement from Cramim Spa and Wine Hotel, our Kosher Wine Week Sponsor

Cramim Spa and Wine Hotel is situated in the heart of the Judean wine region, a 15 minute drive from Jerusalem. The hotel is surrounded by a beautifully scenic, pastoral setting and offers a quality experience of combined leisure, recreation, fine wines and impeccable tastes. Hotel guests will enjoy an exquisite chef restaurant, boutique wine bar, a contemporary spa complex with unique vino-therapy treatments, as well as pampering rooms and suites that boast a modern interior design.

About The Author

David Honig
Publisher

David Honig, the Publisher, looked at what was happening in the world of wine journalism and realized there were a lot of great writers out there at the same time paying publications, from newspapers to websites, were dropping like flies. So he created Palate Press to find the best writers and create a new forum for them to sell their best work. He is a self-educated oenophile, and defers to the tremendous experience and wisdom of the amazing staff at PALATE PRESS: The Online Wine Magazine.