One of our flagship brands - and in fact the first boutique winery in Israel - is Margalit winery, headed by father-and-son team Yair and Assaf Margalit. The grapes in Margalit wine come from the Judean Hills (the mountains surrounding Jerusalem) and the Upper Galillee - the best grape-growing areas in Israel today.
Margalit is widely viewed by wine critics and consumers as among the top wineries not only in Israel but in the entire region.
There are very few bottles remaining in the US from our first shipment. We imported less than 15 cases of each of 2 wines from them....there remain less than 10 cases of the Cabernet Franc 2005 (Margalit is the first great Cab Franc producer in Israel) and 6 cases of the Enigma 2005 red blend.
Given the high demand and small supply of the wine, prices of Margalit wines will rise significantly in our portfolio before the end of the year.
I will not disagree that the Margalit wines have consistently been among the very best of Israel since the winery first opened and that the two wines in question are no exception to that rule. Nor will I disagree that the wines compete comfortably in quality, complexity and aging potential with many truly excellent wines of France and North America. What I will question, however, is the wisdom of raising prices at this point in time.
As discussed earlier on the forum, many were shocked at the 35% increase of prices of the Margalit wines from the 2005 to the 2006 vintages. I was not among the shocked and that because (a) the winery had not raised prices in quite some years and (b) I felt that the wines were good enough to demand the prices being asked.
Considering the feedback received, however, and taking that together with the comments of many critics abroad that despite their excellence, Israeli wines tend to be overpriced, I do question the wisdom of any significant rise in prices of these wines in the USA. Considering that the two wines being offered …..the 2005 Enigma and the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon are already priced in the USA at US$ 55 and US$60 respectively, I dread seeing to what level those significant increases will take them.
Opposing views (including those from Richard) will be appreciated.