Next up for #CabernetDay is a bottling from an unexpected region; my first wine from Israel. Wine has been produced here since biblical times but you might be surprised to learn (as I was) that the birth of the modern Israeli wine industry has ties to the famous French chateau; Château Lafite-Rothschild, whose family helped establish some of the early vineyards and opened two wineries around 1882.
Today, wine in Israel is predominately grown in five regions with Galil, where our wine from today hails, being the most well known. It comes courtesy of Golan Heights Winery is located in the small town of Katzrin, high up on the Golan Heights where it was founded in 1983. They make about 380,000 cases, spanning premium varietals, proprietary blends and sparkling wines, annually. So how did this one bottle turn out?
What They Said:
Per wine.com “The Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon expresses characters of ripe dark red and black fruits, layered with notes of earth, spice, chocolate, pipe tobacco and a hint of fresh herb. This rich, complex wine is full-bodied, with concentrated flavor and a satisfying, long finish.
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon is enjoyable on the young side, but should really be aged for a few years to get the most out of it. The wine will continue to develop and should remain in good drinking condition for a decade or more. This wine is best paired with very flavorful foods. One good combination would be with lamb short ribs braised in red wine, beef stock and aromatic vegetables.”
What I Think:
(14.5%) This one hails from the Golan Heights in the northern part of Israel which shares a border with Syria and marks one of my first offerings from Israel. Nice ruby in color with fresh fruit on the nose. Juicy, briary raspberry and blackberry flavors on a warm, creamy, comforting palate. This one is medium bodied and very well balanced. The structure really takes shape on the mid-palate where mineral notes and soft tannins emerge and lead to barrel notes and black pepper spice that lasts through a shortish finish. The notes above reflect my thoughts on day 3. This one started off bigger in profile and grew on me as it mellowed and hit its stride. Given that you may want to decant and or hold off opening for a year or two. If looking to try a wine from Israel (or need a Kosher offering) this is a fine place to start.
Rating: Buy It (It’s good and I’m guessing you haven’t had Israeli wine before…)
*This wine was received as a press sample