Yarden Blanc de Blancs Brut, Golan Heights Winery 2011, Galilee, Israel

The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation in Israel. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. Yarden Blanc de Blancs is produced solely from Chardonnay. This sparkling wine is made strictly according to the traditional method, including pressing of whole clusters and secondary fermentation in the bottle. Disgorging began after more than five years of bottle aging on the tirage yeast. Aromatic lemon zest characters rounded out with notes of fresh flowers and green apples, plus hints of flint and fresh baguette. With a bit of graceful creaminess, this complex sparkling wine is crisp, elegant and drinkable.