Founded by the Haruni family in 1993, the fully modern Dalton winery is located in the Dalton industrial park in the Upper Galilee. Its vineyards are in Kerem Ben Zimra and several high-altitude sites along the Lebanese border. Australian and Californian-trained winemaker Na'ama Sorkin is currently producing wines in seven series, the age-worthy Single Vineyard, Reserve, Safsufa Vineyards and Dalton Estate wines, as well as the Alma, Dalton and Canaan series, which have similar varieties but are intended for early drinking.
With the 2006 vintage, a wine under the Matatia label was released, destined to become the winery's flagship wine and to be released only in vintage years deemed appropriate by the winemaker.
Dalton, Viognier, Reserve, 2009: Bright gold with an orange tint, medium-bodied, opens with a floral and peach nose and goes on to show pears, white peaches, litchis and notes of white pepper. Oak aged for just four months, crisply dry with lively acidity and despite its dryness a tantalizing hint of sweetness (perhaps from the wood ). Give this one a bit of time and it will show a hint of sweet cream as well. Drink now-2012. NIS 72. Score 90. K
Dalton, Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve, 2010: Light, refined and polished, with a nose rich in hints of freshly cut hay and warm grass. Opens to show a tempting array of citrus, ripe pear and apple blossoms all lingering nicely on a generous and refreshing finish. Drink now-2012. NIS 56. Score 89. K
Dalton, Alma, White, 2010: A blend of 66 percent Viognier and 34 percent Chardonnay, half developed in barriques and half in stainless steel. Fresh and generous, smooth and round, with fine acidity set off by a light creamy note. On the nose and palate spicy pears, pineapple and a hint of cloves and, from mid-palate on to the generous finish, a hint of lychee. At its best with fish and seafood dishes in lightly spicy cream sauces. Drink now-2013. NIS 75. Score 89. K
Dalton, Shiraz, Reserve, 2008: My earlier tasting note still stands. Dark garnet, blended and fermented together with 6 percent Viognier, the blend developed for 14 months in 60 percent new French oak, with soft, near-sweet tannins, showing forward blackberry, currant and purple plums, matched by a generous note of black licorice. Long, concentrated and, given time, will show elegance. Drink now-2014, perhaps longer. NIS 80. Score 91. K
Dalton, Zinfandel, 2009: Blended with 13 percent Petite Sirah, medium- to full-bodied (leaning to the full ), a deeply aromatic wine showing a nose rich with mahogany and smoke and (dare one say it ) a note of bacon. Fine deep tannins here parting to reveal generous black fruits, sweet tobacco and notes of spicy oak all lingering nicely. Drink now-2015. NIS 55. Score 90. K
Adir on the way up
Founded by the Rosenberg and Ashkenazi families in 2003 with a first release of 1,000 bottles, winemaker Avi Rosenberg is now producing about 50,000 bottles annually.
The winery is also located in the Dalton Industrial area, and sources Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay grapes from its own vineyards at Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra and other choice locations in the Upper Galilee.
Adir, Shiraz, 2009: Reflecting its development in oak for 12 months with aromas of spicy cedar and a note of vanilla. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins, a ripe wine showing crushed berries, cassis and notes of dark chocolate. On the moderately long finish appealing hints of saddle leather and Mediterranean herbs. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2012-2015. NIS 136. Score 89. K
Adir, Plato, 2007: An oak-aged blend, Cabernet Sauvignon with about 8 percent Shiraz, showing medium- to full-bodied, with soft gently caressing tannins. On opening attack raspberry and cassis notes, yielding to blackberries and blueberries on a lightly spicy background. Rich and long. Drink from release-2012, perhaps longer. NIS 209. Score 87. K