Highlights: a wine made from a forgotten old variety in Israel, Dalton Grounded Zuriman 2021 Galilee

The interesting story behind this wine is that it is made from the Zuriman grape variety. Israel has a lack of indigenous grape varieties: for a long time wine wasn’t made here for religious reasons and the historical continuity with ancient varieties was lost. Yet this is a country that may be able to boast a longer history of winemaking than any other. In 2017 Dalton winery planted Zuriman, an ancient local variety from the Golan Heights, which had been identified by Dr Shivi Drori in his research on Israel’s old varieties. They are the only winery to make wine from it, and they make it in clay vessels.

Dalton Grounded Zuriman 2021 Galilee, Israel
12.5% alcohol. Winemaker Guy Eshel has been set free to do something really interesting here. This is bright, fresh, focused and has a lovely stony, clay-like edge to the sweet cherry, plum and red berry fruits. There’s a slight floral edge to the nose, but also some stony savouriness. The palate is focused, balanced, fresh and delicious with some raspberry crunch and a wonderful mineral component. This has ripe fruit, but also great freshness and precision. Very stylish and focused with nice crunchy structure backing up the fruit. Lovely stuff with real drinkability. 93/100

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