Hamdani and Jandali – Heard of them? No? Me neither before today. Hamdani and Jandali grapes are native to Palestine.
- I can’t lie, as much as I love drinking “off the beaten path” wines, reviewing them is a nightmare…primarily due to the lack of research available. I can’t exactly blame this winery though! I mean…they’re in Palestine. I was actually quite surprised they even had a website.
- The other reason I’m never a big fan of reviewing obscure wine is the quality is sometimes….errrrmmm….how do you say….questionable. Fortunately, that isn’t a problem with the Cremisan “Star of Bethlehem” white blend. It’s the kind of wine that puts a smile on your face after the first sip, because your expectations were so low to begin with.
- Cremisan’s wines are produced by Italian winemaking rockstar Riccardo Cotarella. Ok; so “rockstar” in the wine-world might not mean the same thing as in pretty much any other industry, but trust me, the guy is a big deal! Cotarella’s most famous project is Italian winery Falesco.
- Cremisan doesn’t use any oak in the production of their white wines, instead preferring to let the “grapes do the talking.”
- The other minor problem with this review is that the wines still have minimal availability in the U.S. They only just (as in, in the past few months) found a distributor in the U.S., who as luck would have it is based right here in Jacksonville, FL. Fear not though! I have it on firm authority that wider distribution is in the works…
- Cremisan wines are produced from vineyards in the Holy Land in their winery on the cool, wooded slopes outside Bethlehem, which happen to be in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. Probably not the most “touristy” wine region in the world. This temperate climate translates into a beautiful, elegant and well-balanced wine, with plenty of acidity to go round.
If you were going to compare the Cremisan to anything, I would say it’s somewhere between a white Bordeaux-blend and an unoaked Chardonnay. Green apple dominates the nose and the palate, with subtle apricot, peach and gooseberry. No oak. Crisp and certainly refreshing with minerals and wet stone towards the medium-long finish.
Obviously, your first choice should be to pair with traditional Palestinian cuisine! However; since I have no idea what that is, I would recommend pairing with salads, white fish, asparagus, green pesto and scallops.
Retail is expected to be in the low $20s.