The Margalit winery was among the first boutique wineries in the country, and most certainly the first to capture the imagination of sophisticated wine lovers.
Founded in 1989, the winery is now set in the center of a citrus orchard at the foothills of Mount Carmel.
Father and son Yair and Assaf Margalit are most renowned for their Bordeaux-style reds that are released in both a regular and a reserve series. Yair has passed the baton to Assaf, who is now firmly placing his own mark on the wines.
I would be hard pressed to say that the wines of either the father or the son are "better," but under Assaf the wines are somewhat less massive, more approachable during their youth and take a clear turn towards elegance.
The winery offers three series, the top-of-the-line Special Reserve, Margalit, and starting with the 2003 harvest, Enigma, a Bordeaux-style blend. All of Margalit's wines are meant for cellaring. Production varies at between 17,000-21,000 bottles annually.
The winery will be holding its annual tastings and advance sales on next three Fridays and Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
At these advance tastings the Special Reserve wine will sell for NIS 230; the Enigma for NIS 190 and the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc for NIS 165. My guess is that prices will rise by at least 10-15% when they hit the wine shops.
For further information call 04-6262059 or fax 04-6262058.
Margalit, Cabernet Franc, 2009: Dark red toward garnet, a supple, round and thoroughly graceful wine, full-bodied but seeming to float on the palate with soft tannins that caress and gentle wood influences giving the wine a plush mouthfeel. On the nose distinct notes of red fruits, yielding comfortably in the glass to aromas and flavors of ripe cherries, currants, spices and a tantalizing hint of mint. Approachable and thoroughly enjoyable even now but best from 2013-2021. Score 93.
Margalit, Enigma, 2009: A Bordeaux blend, this year of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. Dark red, full-bodied and concentrated but showing its muscle with discretion and grace. On the nose, chocolate and (dare I say it ) bacon and on first attack red cherries and raspberries, yielding comfortably in the glass to notes of currants, blueberries and hints of cedarwood and herbs, all on a softly tannic background. On the long finish notes of tobacco and minerals along with an appealing hint of loam. Approachable now but best 2013-2021. Score 93.
Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2009: Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 17% of Margalit's remarkably intense Petite Sirah. Super dark garnet, full-bodied and concentrated, a broad and rich multi-layered wine opening with black currants and blackberries, parting to make way for notes of spices, cedarwood and green olives and finally, on the remarkably long finish notes of dusty oak and sage. At an estimate, in a few years this one will start to show notes of black licorice and dill. If you must, try this one now and you'll find it surprisingly approachable. If you have the patience, give this one the time it demands to show its depth, elegance and finesse. Best 2013-2023. Score 95.