2008 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Israeli Wine RegionsNext 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?

2008 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet SauvignonPrice: $14.99*

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

2008 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita Vineyard

In honor of today being #CabernetDay (if you are interested in participating you can find details here) I thought I might share a few of my favorites starting with this stunner that “Jon Bonne turned me onto late last year. Broadside is a partnership of Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Brian Terrizzi of Giornata that focuses on making artisanal wines with a natural approach that are priced for people to drink, not collect. And based on my experience I must say they are doing a fine job of it (perhaps except that I want to drink and collect this one…)

Price: $18.99 @ Cheese Plus

What They Said:

2008 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita VineyardPer Jon Bonne “The new release of Chris Brockway’s naturally fermented Cabernet from this high-elevation Paso site continues a stellar run. Pretty cassis and cured tobacco, with juicy bramble fruit. Try finding similar quality California Cab for the price.”

What I Think:

(14.1%) 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Verdot – Made with a super non-intervention philosophy you know you are on to something different as soon as this hits your tongue. Lively and pure this one starts with an aggressive flavor profile from the get go showing bright cherries and juicy brambly berries on a firm mineral backbone. These dry out to show tea leave flavors on a mid-palate that features a cola (along with a bit of caramel) tinged acidity leading to grippy, chewy tannins on a smooth, lingering finish. What can I say? I’m smitten. I will certainly be buying again.

Rating: Wow! (that said not your typical California Cabernet, though I wish it were, with only 2% new oak so approach with an open mind)

How about you? What are you drinking for #CabernetDay?