Golan Heights 2000 "Gamla" Galilee Merlot ($14.99)
This wine from Israel is kosher for Passover, but you'll find no hint of the traditional Manischewitz style in it. Very dark garnet in color, black at the center, it offers pleasant aromas of ripe cherries with distinct herbal notes, showing a bit of the "green" aspect of Merlot. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors are fresh and tart, with light astringent tannins adding texture. (The wine contains a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.) Fresh, not overly complex but well balanced, it's an approachable Merlot, particularly good at the table. US Importer: Royal Wine Co., NYC. (Apr 12, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: A natural partner with medium-rare lamb chops.

WEB LINK: http://www.kedemwines.com/new_royalwines/gamla.html

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