A Second Temple period wine press inspires a winemaker.
Given the importance of wine in ancient times, it is not surprising that the writing on a clay jug fragment found in Jerusalem dating from the time of King Solomon is actually part of a wine label. University of Haifa Professor Gershon Galil believes the inscription indicated the vintage and appellation as well as quality of the wine contained within.
Modern labels, by contrast, are long on descriptors and feature nebulous terms such as “old vine” and “reserve” which more often confuse than clarify. The only time they feature a rating is when a favorable score is conferred by a wine publication or critic.
It seems appropriate to contemplate these archeological findings with a bottle of wine from the Psagot Winery, especially since Psagot founder Yaakov Berg found a Second Temple Period wine press when building his dream house and planting his first vineyard. Established by Yaakov and his wife Na’ama in 2002, Psagot produces nearly 200,000 bottles annually of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, and Chardonnay. The Psagot Edom 2011 is a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that begins with dark fruit aromas which extend into flavors of dark currants, red berries, plums, vanilla oak and spicy chocolate along with some earthy and smoked meat notes and a satisfyingly long finish. It is a big wine that would pair well with substantial fare from the grill or roaster.
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