Rogov's WTN from Strat's Place - Israel's best wineries

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Rogov's WTN from Strat's Place - Israel's best wineries

Postby Eli R » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:35 pm

Hello everyone,

As promised, this topic will be devoted to Daniel Rogov's WTN as were posted on out "old" forum at: "The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place"
I will post a message for each winery unless size limits will force me to split the messages.
Please keep this new TOPIC "clean" and post requests for WTN and comments on the topic with the title:

TNR from: The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place

http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17003#p143495

I will first pick Rogov's top ten - (or the best candidates to be on that list).
Eli
Eli R
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WTN: Golan Heights Winery, Israel by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:02 pm

The Golan Heights Winery is the cornerstone of modern Israel wine industry.
As such they deserve to be numero uno in Rogov's list and on my post.
(as I copied the original notes, those were written in first person)

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to The Golan Heights Winery + Tasting Notes
]Post Title: Visit to The Golan Heights Winery + Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 13:53 February 14,2008

Tuesday, 12 February found me quite early in the morning making my way north to visit and do extensive tastings at the Golan Heights Winery. A pleasant breakfast and some technical but thoroughly interesting talk with senior winemaker Victor Shoenfeld about state-of-the-art vineyard (and sub-vineyard, down to blocks and even individual rows) control was followed by visits to several of the winery's vineyards and then back to the winery for tastings.
Reflecting the thorough professionalism of the winery, all but the sparkling wines had been opened about an hour before our arrival and completion of the pouring was taking place as we arrived and the tasting was set up in three "stations", each of those with three or four flights of wines. In addition to myself, the tasting was attended by CEO Shalom Blayer, Shoenfeld, the winemaking staff and several others of the professional staff of the winery. All in all 57 wines were tasted , those containing vertical re-tastings, advance tastings and barrel tastings. That may sound like a good many wines but at a winery of this size that is barely scratching the surface of all that is offered and all that is already in barrels for offerings in the future.
Being somewhat of a self-confessed romantic, I have to admit that there is something enchanting about sitting in a room with seven other people, all in all with more than 385 glasses set out, each waiting to be tasted and evaluated. And yes, the pulse still jumps a bit at such events and that for a combination of reasons most of which I sum up as "the aesthetic of wine". I will also confess that following completion of each of the three stations, I took a break for a cigarette.

Before my tasting notes three quick comments:
(1) The 2007 barrel tastings of red wines were tasted from components and the tasting notes are, as always in such cases, projections. Informed projections, but projections nevertheless.
(2) Some may note that I report not on the 57 wines tasted but only on 52. That is simply because two of those tasting notes are destined to appear first in the 2009 edition of my book and three are of experimental wines, the fate of which are yet to be determined by the winery. My guess is that some positive surprises await.
(3) Definitely worthy of note is that several of the vertical tastings of both reds and whites revealed that many of the wines re-tasted are showing even more cellar-worthy than originally predicted.
Enough…. My tasting notes follow. My sincere thanks to Victor, Shalom, the winemakers and the others that arranged the tasting, for their good company and for the tasting itself. Special thanks to Arnon for good company, fine conversation and a welcomed driving break for good espresso coffees on the way to the winery.

Sparkling Wines
Golan Heights Winery, Blanc de Blancs, Yarden, 1999: Made by the traditional methode Champenoise, just yeasty enough to enchant, with rich citrus, peach and nectarine fruits and hints of spring flowers. Mineral-rich crispness, sharp, well-focused bubbles, a long mousse and a long and a tempting near-creamy finish. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Blanc de Blancs, Yarden, 2001: As I have written at earlier tastings, the best Blanc de Blancs to date from the winery. Made from Chardonnay grapes by the traditional methode Champenoise, this medium-bodied sparkling wine shows just the right balance between yeasty sour-dough bread, peaches, citrus and minerals. With a generous mousse and sharp, well-focused bubbles that go on and on, this crisp and sophisticated wine goes on to a long, mouth-filling finish. Drink now–2012. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Gewurztraminer
Golan Heights Winery, Gewurztraminer, Yarden, 2007: Golden straw in color, off-dry, medium-bodied, with appealing spicy and floral notes running through, those including white pepper, anise and cinnamon, a lovely wine with tempting summer and litchi fruits. On the long finish hints of rose petals and grapefruit peel. Drink now-2010. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Viognier
Golan Heights Winery, Viognier, Yarden, 2006 (Advance Tasting): As during earlier tastings, this release reminds me of the white wines of Condrieu and shows traditional a thoroughly traditional Viognier personality. Following an aromatic and floral nose, flavors and aromas of ripe Anjou pears, peaches, spring flowers and minerals along with hints of citrus. Lively, clean, fresh and long, the best local Viognier to date. Drink now-2010. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Viognier, Yarden, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Medium-bodied but gives the comfortable illusion of floating on the palate. Opens with citrus and light herbal and peach blossom notes, those going on to litchis, pears and papaya, all coming together in manners that are simultaneously lively and hedonistic but complex enough to give pause for thought. Long and generous. Drink from release-2011. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Chardonnay
Golan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2002: As do all of the Chardonnay releases from this vineyard, this one continues to show its buttery-oak pattern. Maturing gracefully and showing a bright golden-straw color. Ripe and complex flavors of pears, tropical fruits, hazelnuts and spices opening on the palate to reveal flinty and floral overtones along with generous but well-integrated oak and a long, vanilla-cream finish. Drink now. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2004: Showing every bit as nicely as at earlier tastings. Rich and complex full-bodied and creamy, with pears, ripe apricots, citrus and mango fruits backed up by light spicy and mineral overtones. With its generous oak now in fine proportion the wine is drinking beautifully now and should cellar comfortably until 2010. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Showing very nicely indeed. Full-bodied, opening with floral and citrus, those going on to tropical fruits and figs, all set off by hints of smoky oak, ginger and, on the long finish ripe pears. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2012. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Full-bodied, opening with subtle aromas of figs, pears and apples, going on to show a generous dash of smoky, toasty oak and then blossoming forth with pineapple, citrus peel and minerals leading to a long finish that is simultaneously creamy and bright. Enjoyable now but best 2009-2013. Score 92. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Deep golden in color with orange and green reflections, opening with notes of grilled nuts and then going on to show pear, fig and pie crust aromas and flavors. Finishes with apple and pineapple pie notes. Drink from release-2012. Tentative Score 90-92. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Pinot Noir
Golan Heights Winery, Pinot Noir, Yarden, 2002: Medium- to full-bodied, with its soft tannins and gentle wood influence now integrated nicely. The floral note that was once here has faded but the wine continues to show the red berries, cherries and light herbal, coffee and vanilla overtones of its youth. Drinking well but not for further cellaring. Drink up. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Pinot Noir, Yarden, 2004: Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins well integrated and showing a generous array of blackberry, plum and black cherry fruits, those supported very nicely by hints of pine nuts. On the generously fruity finish a tantalizing hint of anise. Drink now-2012. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Pinot Noir, Yarden, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): My second barrel tasting of this wine and my earlier note holds firmly: Intense ruby towards garnet, medium to full-bodied, with well-focused cherry fruits at the core, those opening to reveal plums, dark chocolate and espresso coffee, all leading to a long blackberry-rich finish. Generous, balanced, and long, with wood and tannins integrating nicely. Best from 2009. Tentative Score 90–92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Pinot Noir, Yarden, 2007 (Barrel tasting): Medium-bodied, supple, fragrant and graceful, with silky tannins and almost jammy blackberry and currant fruits on a background of white pepper. On the moderately-long finish, hints of sandalwood and black cherries. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Nebbiolo and Sangiovese
Golan Heights Winery, Nebbiolo, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Smooth and supple, with licorice, tar and plums on the nose, those needing a bit of time in the glass to part and reveal blackberry, strawberry and freshly picked porcini mushrooms. Complex for a young-vine wine and with a long chewy finish. Possibly a varietal release; possibly destined as a blending agent. Worthy of our attention. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2000: I had predicted the demise of this wine as long as three years ago and two years ago I advised "drink up". Truth is I thought never to taste this one again but taste it I did and to my surprise, although past its peak, still giving pleasure. A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, still showing medium-bodied, with its soft tannins now fully integrated and continuing to show berry, cherry, sage and tobacco notes. Still alive and kicking but truly best to drink up any you might have on hand. Score 86. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2001: Another wine well outliving its predicted drinking window, in fact, although not destined for further cellaring still drinking quite nicely indeed. Dark garnet, still showing ripe but firm tannins and appealing currant, plum, tobacco and sweet oak. Drink up. Score 86. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2002: Well, at least this one did not disappoint me. Following through on the "2002 curse" a very nice little wine in its youth but now definitely beyond its peak, the once generous black fruits fading, the chocolate turning just a bit overly bitter and a hint of not-really wanted caramel creeping in. Drink up. Original Score 87. Current Score 82. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla 2003: Dark garnet, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and gentle vanilla influences from the wood integrated nicel. Opens to show spicy berry, red plum, violet and red cherry aromas and flavors. Soft round and still youthful. Not complex but very appealing. Drink now-2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2004: Reflecting its 12 months in barriques with a gentle hand and with its now soft tannins settled in nicely, showing soft round and caressing. On the nose and palate black and red berries, black cherries, licorice and spring flowers and, on the comfortably long finish a hint of orange peel. Drink now-2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2005: Medium- to full-bodied, with chewy but gentle tannins coming together to show an appealing array of berry, minted chocolate and spiced tea. Drink now-2010.Long and caressing. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberries and cassis, those on a medium-bodied frame with soft tannins and showing appealing hints of spicy oak and sawdust, all leading to a fresh finish. Best from release-2010. Tentative Score 87-89. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Sangiovese, Gamla, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Dark ruby towards garnet, medium-bodied, with caressing tannins, a smooth, round wine with raspberry and blackberry aromas and flavors on a chocolate and mocha scented background, all lasting through the long and easy-going finish. Drink from release-2012. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Merlot
Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2003: Drinking beautifully now but with quite a future in front of it. Dark garnet, full-bodied, and with generous tannins but a well-polished wine showing a generous array of cherry, currant and berry fruits, those supported nicely by layers of Mediterranean herbs, vanilla and a gentle hand with smoky oak. On the long finish a tantalizing hint of green olives tip-toes in nicely. Drink now-2014. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2004: Dark garnet towards purple, medium to full-bodied, with tannins and wood integrating nicely and showing a generous array of berry, cassis and plum fruits, those supported by minerals, sweet cedarwood and, rising on the medium-long finish, an overlay of spices and tobacco. Drink now–2011, perhaps longer. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Inky dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and opening to show mineral, blackberry and raspberry aromas and flavors those supported by hints of licorice. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 87-89. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): The most full-bodied Yarden Merlot in several years, with gripping but velvety smooth tannins and toasty oak. On first attack ripe raspberries and currants, those parting to make way for light herbal and earthy notes and finally plums and Oriental spices, all culminating in a long mineral-rich finish. Best from 2010. Tentative Score 90-92. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Ortal Vineyard, Yarden, 2001: Deeply aromatic, reflecting its 14 months in mostly new French barrels with generous spicy oak, that in harmony with ample but seamless tannins, all coming together in a dense but plush and luxurious wine. Full-bodied, showing appealing aromas and flavors that open in layer after layer, those including blackberries, near-jammy plums, chocolate, fresh herbs and, on the long finish, a rising hint of Oriental spices all with a light herbal bitteness, that offset comfortably by a hint of orange peel. Drink now–2014. Score 94. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery Merlot, Ortal Vineyard, Yarden, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Dark ruby towards garnet, full-bodied, with once firm tannins and spicy wood integrating nicely now. Opens to reveal a tempting array of blackberry, raspberry, plum and cassis fruits, those supported nicely by hints of smoky cedar wood and licorice, all leading to a gently spicy and notably long finish. Simultaneously complex, concentrated and elegant. Approachable on release but best 2009-2015. Score 93. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Sha'al Vineyard, Yarden, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Rich and concentrated, a powerhouse at this time waiting for its elements to come together. Already showing fine balance between still gripping tannins and wood with bold aromas and flavors of plum, currant, blackberry, licorice and spices all rising to a long tannic and mineral-rich finish. Approachable from release but best from 2009-2015. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Tel Faraj Vineyard, Yarden, 2005: Full bodied, with caressingly soft tannins and an abundance of blackberry, violet and lightly toasted oak on first attack, those opening to raspberries, mocha and sweet cedar, all building to a long and succulent finish. Best 2009-2014. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Syrah
Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden, 2003: Developing beautifully. Dark garnet in color, with soft, mouth-coating tannins and an appealing overlay of spicy wood reflecting its 18 months in oak. Opens with blackberry, purple plums and chocolate notes, those yielding to near-jammy raspberries, hints of earthy minerals and a note of peach pit. Long and generous with hints of spring flowers on the long finish. Drink now-2013. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Medium-dark ruby towards garnet, with firm tannins and spicy oak integrating nicely. Shows a generous array of near-jammy raspberries, blackberries, black cherries and plums, those supported nicely by hints of spices and herbs and a hint of polished leather. Drink from release-2013. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Garnet, but so dark that one might describe it as inky. Full-bodied, with spicy oak and generous soft tannins, showing fine structure and balance. Opens with raspberry and red currant notes, those going on to show generous hints of black pepper, anise and wild berries all coming to a long and generous chocolate and smoky finish. Best 2009-2013. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Developing nicely since my last barrel tasting (about a year ago). Full-bodied with firm tannins, tangy acidity and spicy wood integrating nicely. Opens to reveal a complex array of plum, currant, and berry fruits, those supported nicely by notes of earthy minerals, and generously peppered game meat with tannins and fruits rising comfortably on the long finish. Best from 2010. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Still tightly wound and intense but showing good balance and structure that bode well for the future. On the nose and palate almost creamy oak and rich spicy, peppery and meaty overlays on supple blackberries blueberries and dried currants. Needs time to show its luxurious nature. Best from 2010-2015. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, 2004: Moderately dark ruby, full-bodied, with tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood. Opens with a burst of almost jammy aromas of raspberries and kirsch liqueur, those yielding beautifully to blackberry, cherry and plum fruits. In the background generous hints of anise and Oriental spices and a hint of freshly tanned leather. Best 2009–2013. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Cabernet Sauvignon
Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2000: Full-bodied, still youthful, with firm tannins and generous oak well balanced by currants, blackberries and spicy cedar wood those opening to plums and black cherries, all matched nicely with vanilla and an appealing herbal overlay followed by a long finish. Drink now–2011. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2001: Full-bodied with finely tuned balance between wood, tannins and fruits. Showing plum, wild berry and spicy currant fruits, and reflecting its 18 months in oak with appealing overlays of vanilla, cedar, tobacco and cocoa. Drink now–2013. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2002: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm tannins and spicy oak yielding nicely to reveal flavors and aromas of red currants, cherries and berries on first attack, those giving way to layers of sweet cedar, vanilla, leather and, on the long finish, a hint of anise. Rich, generous and elegant. Drink now–2012. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Aged in French oak for 18 months and showing generous but gentle wood influence. Soft mouth-coating tannins support generous blackberry, back cherry and plum fruits and, on the long finish, hints of Oriental spices and a light herbal-tobacco sensation. Best 2009–2015. Score 93. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2004: A wine that outshines its vintage year. Deep, dark, and brooding. Generous smoky oak and tannins now settling down to reveal rich currant, cherry, blackberry and plum fruits along with hints of asphalt, earthiness and Mediterranean herbs all leading to a generous and spicy finish. Drink now–2013. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Brooding dark ruby-red, full-bodied, with near-sweet tannins and spicy oak wrapped around black currants, berries, spices and a hint of dark chocolate. Look as well for enchanting hints of citrus peel and vanilla on the long finish. Fine balance and structure bode well for the future. Best 2010–2018. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)
Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied, with soft tannins and spicy oak integrating nicely. On the nose and palate ripe black and red berries and currants on a background of spicy oak, all touched with hints of spices, vanilla and a light mineral-earthy overtones. Best 2010-2015. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarden, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components but already showing a clean, fresh mineral note that runs through. Full- to medium-bodied, with soft, nicely integrating tannins and gentle hints of sweet-and-spicy wood, opens to reveal fine currant and berry fruits. Best from 2010. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elrom Vineyard, 2001: My earlier tasting note holds firmly. Dark, almost impenetrable garnet-purple, full-bodied, with finely-tuned balance between generous well-integrated tannins and judicious oak, this exquisite wine shows complex tiers of aromas and flavors of red currants, berries, and spices on the first attack, those opening to include light earthy and herbal overlays. Plush and opulent, with a long, complex finish. Among the best ever made in Israel. Drink now–2013. Score 95. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elrom Vineyard, 2003: Intensely dark ruby towards royal purple, full-bodied, with caressing tannins and a moderate oak influence. Opens with blackcurrants, blackberries and minerals, goes to meaty, earthy and herbal aromas and flavors, and then to spices and a long and elegant fruity finish. Firmly structured with excellent grip and complexity. Best 2010–2020. Score 95. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Elrom Vineyard, 2004 (Advance Tasting): God, the gods, the vintners and the winemakers must be doing something right at the Elrom Vineyard which seems to be giving usconsistently exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon. Full-bodied, with still firm tannins and spicy wood well on the way to integrating and already showing elegance and finesse. Look for layer after layer of currant, blackberry and wild berry fruits, those supported beautifully by notes of cedar, sage and tar, all leading to a near-sweet fruity finish that lingers on and on. Approachable now but best 2010-2016. Score 94. K (Tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Katzrin
Golan Heights Winery, Katzrin, 2000: A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Showing beautifully now, its blackberry, cherry and currant fruits supported by spicy oak, notes of cigar tobacco and hints of freshly turned earth. Dense, deep and intense, with finely tuned balance and structure, a simultaneously bold and elegant wine. Drinking very well now but not yet at its peak. Best 2009-2015, perhaps longer. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery Katzrin, 2003: Dark garnet, a full-bodied blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, with gently mouth-coating tannins and smoky oak integrating nicely. Shows layers of black currant, black cherry and berry fruits, those yielding and coming together with peppery and herbal aromas and flavors culminating in a long blueberry and white chocolate finish. Best 2010–2018. Score 93. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008)

Golan Heights Winery, Katzrin, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Showing every bit as well as during barrel tastings. Dark garnet towards royal purple, with orange and violet reflections. Shows generous oak and still firm tannins, those in fine proportion and well balanced by blackberry, blackcurrant and cherry fruits, those on a background of white pepper, Mediterranean herbs and, on the long and generous finish hints of vanilla and peppermint. Best 2009-2016. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 12 Feb 2008) *

*Scheduled for release approximately December, 2008
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Additions and Updates:
Yarden, Pinot Noir, 2003: Garnet-red, medium to full-bodied, with soft, mouth-coating tannins and a moderate hand with spicy oak. On the nose and palate forward but elegant black cherry, blackberry, and cassis fruits supported nicely by hints of lightly spicy floral and earthy notes. Drink now–2011. Score 91. K

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Yarden, 2005: Still in embryonic form but showing the potential for a medium to full-bodied spicy red, with currant and plum aromas and flavors, and overlays of smoke and herbaceousness. Long and elegant. Drink from release–2011. Tentative Score 89–91. K

Yarden, Pinot Noir, 2005: Promises to be the best Pinot Noir yet from the winery. Dark ruby, full-bodied enough to be thought of as fleshy and with spicy wood and gentle tannins in fine balance with acidity and fruits. Opens with near-sweet, liqueur-like berry aromas and fla-vors, those yielding in the glass to reveal a crisply dry wine on which you will feel hints of kirsch, dark chocolate and lightly smoked meat, all climaxing in a long and generous blackberry finishing. Best from 2009. Tentative Score 91–93. K

Gamla, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Medium- to full-bodied, dark garnet, a traditional Bordeaux blend showing soft, gently mouth-coating tannins and opening to reveal blackcurrant, wild berry and light Mediterranean herbal notes. Fine balance between oak, tannins, acidity and fruit and a generous, just spicy enough finish. Score 88. K

Yarden, Blanc de Blancs, 2000: Made entirely from Chardonnay grapes in the traditional method of Champagne, this tempting sparkling wine shows appealing summer fruits, citrus and kiwis, those on a background of minerals and just a hint of yeast. A somewhat short mousse but sharp

Yarden, Chardonnay, Odem Organic Vineyard, 2003: Lightly burnished gold in color, rich and elegant, with ripe pear, honeysuckle and melon flavors coming together beautifully with generous oak, minerals and nutmeg. On the long finish a hint of hazelnuts. Drink now–2009. Score 90. K

Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Yarden, 2002: Medium to full-bodied, showing generous, soft tannins and spicy oak highlighting layers of berries, cherries, plums and spices along with distinctive aromas and flavors of chocolate, vanilla and anise. On the long finish hints of spring flowers and espresso. Drink now. Score 90. K
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Monday, 24 March

Golan Heights Winery, Merlot, Ortal Vineyard, Yarden, 2004 : Dark garnet towards inky black, full-bodied, with once firm tannins and generous spicy wood (the wine was aged mostly in new French barriques for 17 months) integrating nicely now. Opens to reveal a tempting array of blackberry, raspberry, plum and cassis fruits, those supported nicely by hints of smoky cedar wood and chocolate, all leading to a gently spicy and notably long finish. Simultaneously complex, concentrated and elegant. Approachable now but I suggest giving the wood and bit more time to settle down. Best 2010-2018 .NIS 150. Score 93. K
Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Yarden: 2004: Perhaps the best Syrah ever in Israel. Extraordinarily deep ruby, full-bodied, with near-sweet tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood. Opens with a burst of almost jammy aromas of raspberries and kirsch liqueur, those yielding beautifully to blackberry, cherry and plum fruits. In the background generous hints of anise and Oriental spices and a hint of freshly tanned leather. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2010–2017, perhaps longer. NIS 150. Score 94. K

For general information, 12,000 bottles were made of the Merlot and 19,500 of the Syrah. And yes, at NIS 150 per bottle I consider these truly excellent value for money and well worth stocking up on as both will be quite long-lived.
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July 7,2008
Golan Heights Winery, Brut, Gamla, n.v.: Made by the method champenoise, a light- to medium-bodied, light golden straw blend of 50% each Pinot |Noir and Chardonnay. A generous mousse when poured, sharp long-lasting bubbles and clean aromas and flavors, opening with citrus and apples and going on to hints of cherries. Good acidity to keep in lively, a good but not overly complex quaffing bubbly. NIS 70 (About US$ 20). Score 88. K (Tasted 7 Jul 2008)
Eli R
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WTN: Castel Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:48 pm

Castel is second on my list, being the first recognised quality "boutique" winery in Israel.


The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine >
Visit to Castel: Tastings, Re-Tastings and Barrel Tastings
Post Title: Visit to Castel: Tastings, Re-Tastings and Barrel Tastings
Posted by: Rogov at 11:51 April 18,2008

On Thursday morning (17 April 2008) I made my way to Ramat Raziel, in the Jerusalem Hills, there to visit and do tastings at the Domaine du Castel, always one of the highlights of my tasting year. A good tasting in the good company of Eli Ben Zaken (and yes, there is an espresso machine in the office). My only regret is that the 2007 wines are still undergoing malolactic fermentation, so tastings of the current vintage were not possible at this time.
I had already tasted many of the latest releases (2006, "C" Blanc du Castel, 2005 Grand Vin and 2006 Petit Vin) in my own tasting room, but held off on publishing notes until this re-tasting. More than that, the opportunity to do a four year vertical of the Grand Vin, Castel, and "C" Blanc de Castel was much appreciated. My thanks to Eli for his courtesies and for a fine tasting.
Best
Rogov

"C", Chardonnay, Blanc du Castel, 2006: Good but not showing nearly as well as at earlier tastings. Deep golden in color, reticent on opening, with aromas and flavors hidden for at least ten minutes and then showing a rather heavy hand with oak and on that more of buttery hazelnut, nutmeg, golden raisin and floral notes than of the fresh and lively fruits and the complexity that usually typify this wine. Full-bodied, concentrated and intense but lacking vibrancy. Drink now-2010. Score 86. K (Tasted three times with consistent notes, 12, 15 and 17 Apr 2008)

"C", Chardonnay, Blanc du Castel, 2005: My most recent tasting note holds firmly: Bright gold, full-bodied and concentrated, with light but not imposing buttery and spicy sensations. Rich, complex and opulent, with multiple layers of citrus, figs, pears, summer fruits and toasty oak. Shows finesse and elegance. Drink now–2010. Score 93. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

"C" Chardonnay, Blanc du Castel, 2004: Damp golden straw in color, medium- to full-bodied, with gentle oak influences highlighting lively citrus, melon and pear fruits. Long and generous with an appealing hint of spices that rises on the fiinsh. Drink now. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

"C" Chardonnay, Blanc du Castel, 2003: Mature now but showing beautifully, with a distinct Burgundian personality. Full-bodied and generous, with ripe pear, citrus, green apple and roasted hazelnuts coming together on the nose and palate and leading to a long, near-buttery finish. Lovely but not for further cellaring. Drink now Score 91. K

Petit Castel, 2006: On the green and herbal side, with cedary oak and tobacco flavors holding back dried currant, blackberry and sage notes. Ends with a dry-tannic finish. Perhaps better with time so try again in another year or so. Score 86. K (Tasted three times with consistent notes 12 and 17 Apr 2008)

Petit Castel, 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Petit Castel, 2005: A blend primarily of Merlot, supplemented by Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in oak for 16 months, this appealing dark red-ruby aromatic wine opens with red berries and spices going on to black cherries, licorice and chocolate. Generous and with a tantalizing hint of sweetness on the long finish. Drink now–2011. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

Petit Castel, 2004: Medium to full-bodied and with soft tannins, this caressing red opens with a chocolate and berry-rich nose, joined by cassis, black cherries, dark plums, bitter-sweet chocolate and pepper, all lingering on a long, polished and round finish. Elegant and supple. Drink now–2010. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

Petite Castel, 2003: Garnet, with a bit of clearing at the rim, opens with a slightly medicinal-iodine note but that blows off with a bit of time in the glass, and then showing medium- to full-bodied, with generous blackcurrant, blackberry and purple plum fruits, those on a softly tannic background. As the wine sits in the glass look as well for wild berry and a light earthy-herbaceous note. Drink now. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

Grand Vin, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): My second barrel tasting of this wine, the most recent just a year ago. A tentative blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the balance of Petit Verdot and Malbec. Firm, solid and concentrated, this dark ruby, full-bodied wine opens to show intense, caressing and generous aromas and flavors of berries, black cherries, currants and bitter chocolate, and, on the long finish, a hint of crystallized fruits. Dense, near-sweet and remarkably rich, with a gripping and mouth-filling long finish. Muscular but gentle, intense but elegant. Best from 2010. Tentative Score 92–94. K

Grand Vin, 2005: Showing far darker than at barrel tastings, but with still firm tannins, those integrating nicely now with spicy and smoky oak. Opens slowly in the glass to show a nose and palate of blackcurrant, blackberry and purple plum fruits on a background of generous Mediterranean herbs and near-sweet tobacco. On the long finish hints of citrus peel, anise and dark chocolate. Approachable on release but best 2010-2014. Score 92. K (Re-tasted three times with consistent notes, 12, 13 and 17 Apr 2008)

Grand Vin, 2004: Remains one of the very best from Castel. Super dark garnet towards inky black, full-bodied, with deep and still-firm tannins integrating nicely with smoky and spicy wood and fruits. Opens with blackberries and chocolate, those yielding to currants and raspberries and finally to an array of licorice and tobacco that play on the palate. Long, generous and elegant. Drink now–2012. Score 94. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

Grand Vin, 2003: Opens now with a somewhat medicinal-iodine aroma, that yielding to licorice, meaty notes and spices. Dark garnet, full-bodied, with its tannins now integrated nicely and opening to reveal blackcurrants and brries, those with overlays of Mediterannean herbs, green olives, spices and on the long finish an appealing earthy-herbal note. Now losing its fresh fruit nature but showing first fine notes of maturity. Drink now-2011. Score 92. K (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2008)

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May 9,2008

Grand Vin Castel, 2002: Remaining rich and round, continuing to show black fruits, anise and hints of olives and cedarwood, but sliding past at its peak now and not for further cellaring. Drink up. Score 90.

Grand Vin Castel, 2002 (Kosher Edition): Maturing very nicely, its once exuberant currant, cherry and plum fruits now more subdued though still pronounced, and yielding to the minerals and cedar that were once in the background. Full-bodied, with wood, tannins and fruits nicely balanced and taking on a more earthy-herbal note. Drink now. Score 90. K
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WTN: Yatir Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Yoni M » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:45 pm

Keeping the thread alive and moving on to Yatir....

Posted on Strat's Place on April 16, 2008 (link)

Yatir Forest, 2005: A Bordeaux blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 10% Merlot. A third aged in new and two-thirds aged in old wood barriques for 15 months, this deep royal-purple wine casts intense orange and green reflections. Soft tannins integrat-ing beautifully and the intentionally gentle hand with the wood come together nicely to let the wine open with spicy berry and cassis aromas and flavors, those going on to show blackberries and an underlying and fascinating mélange of bitter herbs. Long, generous and destined for elegance. Best 2009–2014. Score 93. K

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Posted on Strat's Place on March 15, 2008 (link)

Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Blended with 15% of Shiraz, this full-bodied, dark garnet with purple and orange reflections is showing fine balance between gentle spicy wood and mouth-coating tannins that are integrating nicely. On first attack blackberries and currants, those yielding to raspberries, spices and light overlays of earthiness and leather, all with a hint of what at one moment feels like lead pencil and the next like cigar box. Long, generous and destined for elegance. Best 2009–2014. NIS 119. Score 92. K

Yatir, Blended Red, 2005: A medium- to full-bodied, blend of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot (37%, 36%, 15% and 12% respectively). Aged in oak for 12 months, showing firm tannins nicely balanced with lightly spicy wood. Starts with a rich blackberry nose and then goes on to aromas and flavors of wild berries, currants, and anise, all on a gently herbal background. Best 2009–2012. NIS 105. Score 92. K

Yatir, Shiraz, 2005: Full-bodied, dark, almost impenetrable garnet in color, intentionally aged in old oak barriques in order to highlight the typical characteristics of the variety, but still showing generous wood, the wine opens with meaty and herbal aromas, those yielding nicely to cherry, red currant and berry fruits and finally, creeping in comfortably, an agreeable hint of saddle leather. Long, generous and destined for intense elegance. Approachable now but best 2010–2014. NIS 128. Score 92. K

Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007: Crisp and lively but with elegance and subtlety. Light golden straw in color with orange and green reflections, showing citrus, passion fruit, green apple and grapefruit aromas and flavors on a grassy and stony-mineral background. Well crafted. Drink now-2010. NIS 65. Score 90. K

Yatir, Viognier, 2007: Made entirely from Viognier grapes, some intentionally harvested early, some quite late and wisely unoaked to maintain the fruity and aromatic characteristics of the variety. Rich, ripe and crispy dry, a generous mouthful of pear, green apple, melon and summer fruits, those backed up by crisp acidity and a hint of cream. Thoroughly enjoyable now but best 2009-2012. NIS 76. Score 92. K

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Posted on Strat's Place on November 23, 2007 (link)

Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006: Fermented in stainless steel and then transferred to used oak for only three months in order to keep the crisp fruitiness of the wine intact, this light golden-straw, medium-bodied wine sits gently on the palate, its fresh acidity highlighting pineapple, grapefruit and light grassy overtones and an enchanting hint of bitterness on the finish. Easy to drink yet with a distinct touch of elegance. Drink now. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 18 Nov 2007)

Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Still in embryonic form but even now showing elegance and subtly with citrus, passion fruit green apple and grapefruit aromas and flavors on a grassy and stony-mineral background. Well crafted. Drink from release-2010, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Tasted 18 Nov 2007)

Yatir, Viognier, 2006: Made in small quantities and thus only a "cellar-door item" (sold only at the winery) but well worth hunting for. Medium-bodied, with fine balancing acidity to make this a graceful, concentrated wine with citrus, peach, ripe pear and spices on a near silky-texture with a long and delicate finish. Drink now. Score 90. K (Tasted 18 Nov 2007)

Yatir, Viognier, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components, part from early and part from late harvest but already showing potential elegance. Rich, ripe and crispy dry, a generous mouthful of creamy pear, melon and summer fruits, those aromatic and backed up by crisp acidity and a hint of cream. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 91-93. K (Tasted 18 Nov 2007)

Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Shiraz, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A blend of 40% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and 20% Shiraz, this full-bodied red shows depth and concentration but never loses sight of elegance. Deep royal-purple in color, with near-sweet tannins and appealing smoky and light vegetable overlays highlighting aromas and flavors of ripe plums, blackberries, cherry, and licorice. On the long finish a tantalizing hint of spicy oak. Drink now–2012. Score 91. K

Yatir Forest, 2004: Developing beautifully and showing even better than at two earlier tastings. Almost inky in its deep garnet color,. this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (80%, 14% and 6% respectively is showing elegant, full-bodied and solid, with soft tannins, smoky wood and vanilla, all in fine balance with ripe blueberry, black currant, and plum flavors. Look as well for an appealing, earthy undercurrent leading to a long, deep, broad and generous finish. Drink now–2014. Score 93. K

Yatir Forest, Petit Verdot, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Destined for blending which is quite a shame because this rich, well structured and plush wine already shows rich flavors of plums, cassis, espresso and minerals,all backed up by near-sweet tannins and a tantalizing hint of bitter-sweet chocolate that comes in on the long finish. Bottled as a varietal this will be a treat. Used as a blending agent it will perform wonders. Considering its potential use – tentative probable score 91-93. K

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Yatir, Ya'ar Yatir, 2003: Only six months have passed since my last tasting of this wine and what lovely development one sees. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot reflecting its 12 month development in barriques with gently spicy and lightly dusty wood and showing fine balance between tannins, wood and acidity. Well focused and on the palate light herbal and white pepper traits underlying rich blueberry, plum and blackcurrant fruits. Long, and destined for elegance. Thoroughly enjoyable now but best 2008–2012. Score 93. K (Re-tasted blind 24 Sep and not blind 1 Oct 2006)

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Posted on Strat's Place on August 15, 2007 (link)

Yatir Forest, 2004: A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 6% Shiraz, coming together in ways that are elegant, full-bodied and solid, with soft tannins, smoky wood and vanilla, all in fine balance with ripe blueberry, blackcurrant, and plum flavors. Look as well for an appealing earthy undercurrent leading to a long and generous finish. Best 2008–2014. NIS 180. Score 92. K

Yatir, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Shiraz, 2004: A blend of 40% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and 20% Shiraz, this full-bodied red shows depth and concentration but never loses sight of elegance. Deep royal-purple in color, with near-sweet tannins and appealing smoky and light vegetable overlays highlighting aromas and flavors of ripe plums, blackberries, cherry, and licorice. On the long finish a tantalizing hint of spicy oak. Drink now–2012. NIS 105. Score 91. K

Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006: Fermented in stainless steel and then transferred to used oak for only three months in order to keep the crisp fruitiness of the wine intact, this light golden-straw, medium-bodied wine sits gently on the palate, its fresh acidity highlighting pineapple, citrus and light grassy overtones. Easy to drink yet with a touch of elegance. Drink now NIS 59.. Score 88. K
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WTN: Flam Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:09 pm

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Flam Winery + Tasting Notes (Printable Version)

Post Title: Visit to Flam Winery + Tasting NotesPosted by: Rogov at 11:22 January 3,2008

Yesterday morning (Wednesday, 2 January 2008) I made my way to the Flam Winery in the Jerusalem Hills, there to do barrel tastings, advance-tastings and several re-tastings.
For those who may recall one of the "hot rumors" of some years ago, I must mention that the winery did not send a chauffer-driven stretch-limousine to pick me up and did not fly in a French chef to prepare lunch for me. After the tasting though we did munch in the winery on good foccaccia and some fine cheeses. And, although the winery is still missing a vital piece of equipment (that is to say, an espresso machine) the eatery next to the winery did supply espresso to follow the cheeses.
On the completely positive side, the company of Golan, Gilad and Israel Flam was, as always, most pleasant and, on the even better side, these people know how and continue to make excellent wines.
By the way – prices are noted for those wines currently on the market.
My tasting notes follow.
Best
Rogov

Flam, Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay, 2007 (Advance Tasting): An unoaked blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc from the Upper Galilee and 30% Chardonnay from the Jerusalem Hills. Light golden straw in color, medium-bodied, with a deeply aromatic citrus and tropical fruit nose. Opens on the palate to show melon, pineapple and green apples. Crisp, lively, just complex enough and with a surprisingly long fruity finish. Drink from release-2009. Score 89. (Tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Syrah, 2007 (Barrel Sample): Still in its infancy and looking forward to a total of about 10 months in oak but already showing dark garnet with purple reflections, medium- to full-bodied with round, gently caressing tannins an a generously fruity personality. Look for raspberries and red currants on a lightly meaty and spicy background, all lingering nicely on the palate. Drink from release-2010. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Merlot, Reserve, 2007 (Tank Sample): Not yet in barriques but already showing dark garnet towards royal purple in color. Full-bodied, with near-sweet tannins and fine balancing acidity to highlight currant, wild red and black berries, those supported nicely by hints of spices, bitter-sweet chocolate and, on the long finish a hint of cherry liqueur. Best starting in 2010. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Dark, almost inky-garnet in color, full-bodied, with soft tannins that caress nicely. Still in its extreme youth but already showing round and caressing, with clean currant, blackberry and citrus peel notes on first attack, those yielding to a light undercurrent of Mediterranean herbs. Long and generous. Best from 2009. Tentative Score 91-93. (Tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Superieure, 2006 (Advance Tasting): A blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (86% and 14% respectively),oak-aged for 12 months in French and American oak. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and with a nice "bite" of spicy wood. Concentrated on the palate, showing purple plum, blackberry and raspberry fruits, those supported by tantalizing hints of leather and smoked meat Drink from release-2011, perhaps longer. Score 91. (Tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Merlot, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Now in oak for 10 months and destined to remain there for several more months, this blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Petit Verdot is showing simultaneously intense and elegant. Opens with spicy wood and black fruits on the nose, those yielding comfortably in the glass to show blueberry and raspberry fruits with overlays of mocha, orange-peel and near-sweet cedar. Soft, mouth-coating tannins, a gentle hand with the wood, good balancing acidity and fine structure bode well for an elegant future. Approachable young but best from 2010-2014, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 92-94. (Re-tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): 86% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 12% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, now in oak for 12 months and destined for aging several more months. Dark royal purple, full-bodied, with soft near-sweet tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood. Intense and multi-layered, opening with cherries and raspberries, those going on to show currants and blackberries and all on a gentle background of brown spices. Long and generous, with the tannins rising nicely on the finish. Best 2010-2014. Tentative Score 92-94. (Re-tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Classico, 2006: My most recent tasting note holds firmly Aged in French and American oak for 6 months, this full-bodied, softly tannic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in equal parts shows a generous array of currant, berry and black cherry fruits on a background of lightly bitter Mediterranean herbs. Generous and mouth-filling. Drink now–2010. NIS 75. Score 90. (Re-tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Superiore, 2005: A blend of 81% Syrah and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon. After 12 months in oak, this dark ruby-red, medium to full-bodied wine shows soft, fine-grained tannins and lively almost jammy cherry, raspberry and cassis fruits, those supported nicely by hints of sweet cedar and spring flowers. Drink now–2010. NIS 100. Score 90. (Re-tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Merlot, Reserve, 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, reflecting its 18 months in oak with soft, mouth-coating tannins and spicy wood. Look for a tempting light earthiness that supports blackberries, currants, and a touch of spiciness that weaves its way through the wine and then lingers nicely on a long, elegant finish. Drink now–2012. NIS 145. Score 92. (Re-tasted 2 Jan 2008)

Flam, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Blended with 6% each of Merlot and Petite Verdot and oak-aged for 18 months, this deep garnet, full-bodied red’s chewy tannins are now integrating nicely but still showing generous wood. On the nose and palate a complex and elegant array of blackcurrant, black cherry, anise and Mediterranean herbs and on the long finish hints of vanilla and sage. Firm but yielding and lingering long on the palate. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009–2013. Score 93.

A bit later on, together with bread and cheese:
Flam, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2000: Drinking very nicely indeed at this stage. I rather like my most recent tasting note so that follows: Well focused, this deep purple, medium to full-bodied blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot spent 15 months in oak casks. A wine so deep you feel you can get lost in it, with flavors and aromas of red currants, ripe red fruit and delicious spices. Drink now
Eli R
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WTN: Margalit Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:11 pm

The 2006 vintage may not be the most sparkling for some Israeli wineries but Margalit Pere et Fils (that is to say, Ya'ir and Assaf) seem to have done very, very well indeed with the four wines that are just making their way to market. I have tasted these wines on three occasions - barrel tastings, pre-bottling tastings and today, release tastings I am impressed!

Following are my re-tasting notes from this morning. For fully updated information about the sale at the winery see the post at http://stratsplace.zeroforum.c...16534
Best
Rogov

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2006: Cabernet Sauvignon blended with about 13% of Margalit’s Petite Sirah. Full-bodied, dense and intense, but at the same time round and yielding, offering up chocolate-covered cherries, cassis, wild berry and kirsch, those balanced nicely by spicy-cedary oak. Long, complex and destined for elegance. Best 2009–2017. NIS 270. Score 93. (Re-tasted 15 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Enigma, 2006: Full-bodied, subtle and round, a softly tannic blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Cabernet Franc and 17% Merlot. Opens with red currants and red plums, goes to black cherries and a pleasing light spiciness and closing with a long fruity and persistent finish. Best 2009-2013. NIS 230. Score 93. (Re-tasted 15 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Almost inky black in color, offering a generous mouthful of currant, cherry, blackberry and blueberry fruits, those matched by layers of sweet spices. Big, broad and intense but yielding on the palate to show grace and elegance, and closing with a long, fruity finish. Best 2009–2015. NIS 200. Score 92. (Re-tasted 15 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Franc, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal purple, medium to full-bodied. Blended with 5% of 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and showing rich black currant, cherry and blackberry fruits matched nicely by floral and light earthy aromas and flavors, all coming to a long, round and caressing finish. Best 2009-2013. NIS 200. Score 92. (Re-tasted 15 Mar 2008)

Post Title: Margalit: A Vertical Tasting: 1989-2006
Posted by: Rogov at 11:06 March 21,2008

On Wednesday evening, 19 March 2008, Yair and Assaf Margalit (to whom from now on I shall refer as Margalit, Pere et Fils) hosted a tasting for the press. During the course of the evening we tasted tasting of each of the just being released 2006 wines and a vertical of wines going back to the winery's very first release in 1989. The tasting was a fascinating one in many ways, notably because it demonstrated that many of the Margalit wines are cellaring for longer than had originally been predicted.
My thanks to Yair and Assaf and to Irit Shenkar who indeed has replaced Pearl Mesta as "the hostest with the mostest".
Before the notes, two comment. (a) This is the fourth time I have tasted the 2006 wines, the last time just a few days ago (on 15 Mar 2008) Those notes hold firmly. (b) Readers may note that some of the older wines are not given scores. That in no way should be seen as a negative descriptor but rather as a compliment to the history of those wines.
Best
Rogov

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2006: Cabernet Sauvignon blended with about 13% of Margalit’s Petite Sirah. Full-bodied, dense and intense, but at the same time round and yielding, offering up chocolate-covered cherries, cassis, wild berry and kirsch, those balanced nicely by spicy-cedary oak. Long, complex and destined for elegance. Best 2009–2017. Score 93. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Enigma, 2006: Full-bodied, subtle and round, a softly tannic blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Cabernet Franc and 17% Merlot. Opens with red currants and red plums, goes to black cherries and a pleasing light spiciness and closing with a long fruity and persistent finish. Best 2009-2013.. Score 93. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Almost inky black in color, offering a generous mouthful of currant, cherry, blackberry and blueberry fruits, those matched by layers of sweet spices. Big, broad and intense but yielding on the palate to show grace and elegance, and closing with a long, fruity finish. Best 2009–2015.. Score 92. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Franc, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal purple, medium to full-bodied. Blended with 5% of 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and showing rich black currant, cherry and blackberry fruits matched nicely by floral and light earthy aromas and flavors, all coming to a long, round and caressing finish. Best 2009-2013. Score 92. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Enigma, 2003: Fully living up to its earlier promise, this Bordeaux blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc is showing remarkably rich, ripe and polished. Dark garnet, round and approachable, with a complex array of currant, plum and wild berry aromas and flavors, those well focused and long and matched by a gentle spiciness and a hint of freshly roasted coffee that run through to the long finish. Drink now–2011. Score 92. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2002: Coming into its own now, the once almost unbearable intensity now residing and letting the wine show its elegance. This almost impenetrable garnet towards inky-black blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petite Sirah and 8% Cabernet Franc remains remarkably concentrated and heavy enough to chew, but through its muscles shows great finesse. Ripe currants, purple plums, wild berries spices and cedar flavors on a complex licorice and tobacco core and a long, intense finish. Drink now–2014. Score 93. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2000: Showing every bit as elegant and luxuruious as during its youth. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauignon, 15% Petite Sirah and 5% Merlot, opens with an earthy-mineral nose, that going to spring flowers and then on to aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, wild berries, black cherries and cigar box notes. On the long finish hints of dark chocolate and cigar tobacco. Drink now-2011. Score 92. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Carignan, 1999: A surprise when it was released, the one and only varietal Carignan released by Margalit. Blended with 5% Cabernet Sauvinon grapes, the wine was remarkably tight and closed during its youth but even then showing fine balance and structure. Full-bodied, with a still young garnet towards royal purple color but with tannins that have subsided and now seen to fully compliment red berry, chocolate and notes of licorice all leading to a round and mouth-filling finish. At my only earlier tasting of this rare wine, I suggested that best drinking would be from 2003-2008. I was wrong. Drinking very nicely now or for the next two-three years. Score 90. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 1994: My most recent tasting note (11 Nov 2006 holds firmly: A good wine but from a problematic vintage and thus lacking the concentration, intensity and elegance felt in the 1993 wine, but continuing to show currant, plum and berry aromas and flavors, those on a background of smoky oak and fresh forest greenery. Somewhat past its peak, throwing generous sediment now and showing signs of age. . Drink up. Score 89. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1993: From its release until 2004 this showed as one of the very best Cabernet Sauvignon wines ever from Israel earning a noble 93 points. Now garnet towards brick red, opens with a still young nose and continues to show elegance and, at least for 15 minutes, black and red fruits but those then beginning to collapse on themselves and showing distinctly Port-like traits, those including generous hints of chocolate and spicy cedar. Showing all the signs of aging so if you have any left on hand, drink up. Current score 86. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1992: This is the wine Margalit and I have discussed for many years, my palate telling me that this was Margalit's one and only disappointing effort, being far too one-dimensional, lacking balance and with aromas and flavors that were far too smoky. The wine was opened at this tasting "in my honor" and to my surprise (and, I believe Margalit's) the wine is showing better now than ever before. Still not one of Margalit's "greats" and now fully mature and throwing abundant sediment but for the first time, perhaps singing it's swan's song, showing soft and round with surprisingly fresh berry and black cherry fruits that hold nicely for 15 or so minutes before the wine caves in on itself. Rather than give this a score and in honor of the truly superb wines that Margalit has made, let's just call this one "fascinating". (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)

Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1990: Throwing abundant sediment and showing a nose of deep cloes, cinnamon and anise, but beyond those still hints of the berry and currant fruits that once made this a great wine of its day. Drinkable but well beyond its peak and no longer scoreable. (Re-tasted 19 Mar 2008)
Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1989: The first Margalit wine released to the market (if memory serves, with a production of 900 bottles) and, if I can boast just a wee bit, I was the only person to write about it and write about I did in superlatives. At its best this was a seductive, complex and elegant wine with remarkable color and intense aromas and flavors of black fruits, chocolate and cigar box all on a velvety, almost chewy texture. Still showing dark garnet but with hints of browning and of caramelization creeping in, and thus well past its peak but still showing hints of good days gone by. If you do have one on hand, don't open it but certainly don't throw it away. This is a wine that deserves its place of honor in your cellar if for no other reason than out of sheer respect.

Margalit, Chardonay, 1995: One of the few white wines made by Margalit, this one in fact came about accidentally but that's a long story to ask Yair Margalit himself as he so much enjoys telling that story. At its release pale golden in color, full-bodied and, despite its short period in oak (three months if memory serves), buttery and honeyed while remaining supple and lively. Today showing almost bronzed in color, even fuller in body, taking on a near-sweet sheen and showing much as might a well-aged white Burgundy, with hints of cardamom pods, cinnamon, star anise and remarkably, ripe melon and pear fruits. As much a curiosity as a fine wine now but oh, what a lovely curiosity
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WTN: Pelter Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:14 pm

On Friday, 4 July, Tal and Nir Pelter of the Pelter Winery will host the unveiling of two new wines – the 2006 Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon in their T-Selection Series. The event will take place on Moshav Tsofit (if I am not mistaken, not far from Kfar Saba) from 10:00-19:00. In addition to tastings of the two newly released wines it will be possible to purchase any of the wines of the winery.
Precise driving instructions and further information can be gained by email to Info@pelterwinery.co.il or by telephone to 052 8112385.
Founded only in 2002 and even though still quite young, the boutique Pelter winery has already earned a place in the top ten list of Israeli wineries in my 2009 book and rates #1 on the list of up-and-coming producers. My advance and barrel tasting notes for the two wines follow. In my opinion, an event not to miss.
Best
Rogov

T-Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Medium-dark garnet in color, full-bodied, with velvety tannins. On the nose and palate black currant, black cherry, tar and spices, those coming together beautifully and opening on the long finish to show a hint of sweet chewing tobacco. Drink from release–2012. Score 91.
T-Selection, Shiraz, 2006: Dark ruby, full-bodied but with such fine balance between tannins, oak, acidity and fruits that it seems to almost float on the palate. On first attack generous blackberry and currant fruits, those yielding comfortably to plum, licorice and spices, all of which carry on to a long and generous finish. Drink from release–2013. Tentative Score 90–92.

T-Selection, Cabernet Franc, 2006: Ruby towards royal-purple in color, full-bodied, with silky tannins and a gentle hand with the oak. Showing gorgeous plum, blackberry and floral aromas and flavors on a background of sweet spices and, coming in on the finish, a tempting hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Long and generous. Drink now–2012. Score 92.
T-Selection, Shiraz-Grenache, 2006: Deep garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins and reflecting its 14 months in oak with a gentle spicy touch. Supple and graceful, showing cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits all on a background of white pepper and a hint of star anise. Drink now–2012. Score 93.

Pelter, Trio, 2006: A blend this year of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, showing gentle spicy oak and soft tannins that yield to show currant, red and black berries and cherries on a lightly earthy-mineral and vanilla background. Long and mouth-filling. Drink now-2010. Score 91.
Pelter, Gewurztraminer, 2007: Medium-bodied, showing traditional Gewurztraminer aromas and flavors of rose petals, ginger, litchi and peppermint on first attack, those opening to show generous pineapple fruits, and those going to dried apricots. Spicy, just barely off-dry and long, a generous and delightful mouthful. Drink now. Score 90.

Pelter, Pinot Noir, T-Selection, 2006: Dark cherry-red towards garnet, medium to full-bodied, with a generous 14.5% alcohol content, but don't let that throw you off because all is here in fine balance and with enviable structure. Ripe and distinctive in flavor, with blackberry, currant, raspberry and floral aromas and flavors supported by minerals and a hint of raw beef all coming together beautifully with delicate spices. A multi-layered and complex wine. Drink now–2013. Score 92.

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Pelter Winery: Re-Tastings of the Red Wines 2002-2006 (Printable Version)

Post Title: Pelter Winery: Re-Tastings of the Red Wines 2002-2006
Posted by: Rogov at 12:56 February 22,2008

Starting at about 11 p.m. last night and then going on until the wee hours (about 3 a.m.) of the morning. I devoted myself to the "fun things" of life – finishing off a tasting of some thirty Barolo wines from the 2003 vintage and re-tasting 20+ wines from Israel's Pelter winery. The Barolo notes will be posted within the next day or two. Following are my comments about and tasting notes for the Pelter wines.
What was especially interesting about the Pelter tasting was that it gave me the opportunity to taste or re-taste all but three or four of the red wines released by the winery since their first releases from the 2002 vintage. The tasting was not done fully blind as I knew these were the wines being tasted. It was half-blind however in that I did not know precisely which of the wines I was tasting. That is to say, although I did ask for the flights to be set up from young to mature for each category, I was not told whether I was tasting the T-Selection or the regular Pelter releases, whether the flight was of Shiraz or Cabernet Franc or one of the several blends. A few "ringers" were placed in the tasting from other local wineries.
Only after did I compare my notes and scores to those I had already written from previous tastings (my most recent was on 17 Dec 2007 but that primarily of new releases and barrel tastings). Several things pleased enormously – first that I spotted every one of the six "ringers" – that indicating that the style (or as I like to call it the "winemaker's signature") is clearly written on these wines; and second that my notes changed minimally across time, that showing that the wines are developing much as predicted and showing no surprises as they make their way into their third, fourth or fifth years. Where changes were noticed they were logical developments, a few new nuances here, a few minor developmental shifts in tannin level and flavor profiles. All very good signs for a young boutique winery.
Simply stated, Pelter is no longer one of the "rising stars" on the Israeli wine scene. The winery is now most assuredly one of the stars! I thank Nir and Tal Pelter for thinking of me and sending me this collection of wines to taste. Two genuinely nice guys and they do know how to make good wine.
Best
Rogov

T-Selection

T-Selection, Merlot, 2004: Oddly enough a wine that had escaped my attention earlier, so this was my first tasting. Big and bold, full-bodied, with firm tannins that take time to recede in the glass and then open to reveal blackberry, cassis and smoky oak on a generously spicy background that takes on deth and richness towards the long finish on which a burst of fruit makes itself felt. Drink now-2009. Score 90. (Tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz, 2005: Dark crimson in color, opening with lightly sweet vanilla notes on the nose, this full-bodied, round and elegant wine shows a generous array of plum and currant fruits, freshly tanned leather and an appealing light earthy-herbaceousness. The soft but gripping tannins linger well into the long finish. Look as well for an appealing hint of bittersweet chocolate developing. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz, 2004: Developed for 18 months in French oak, and showing fine balance and structure. Full-bodied, deeply tannic and concentrated enough to be thought of as chewy, but under that, red currants, plums and red berries along with black pepper, rosemary, thyme and a very appealing hint of peppermint. Fruits rise nicely on the long finish. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection,, Pinot Noir, 2006: Dark cherry red towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with a generous 14.5% alcohol content but don't let that you off because all is here in fine balance and with enviable structure. Ripe and distinctive in flavor, with blackberry, currant, raspberry and floral aromas and flavors supported by minerals and a hint of raw beef all coming together beautifully with delicate spices. A multi-layered and complex wine. Best 2009-2013. Score 92. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Cabernet Franc, 2006: Ruby towards royal purple in color, full-bodied, with silky tannins and a gentle hand with the oak. Showing gorgeous plum, blackberry and floral aromas and flavors on a background of sweet spices and, coming in on the finish, a tempting hint of semi-sweet chocolate. Long and generous. Best 2009-2012. Score 92. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Cabernet Franc, 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: This full-bodied wine reflects its 14 months in new French oak with spicy wood and mouth-coating tannins, both integrating nicely. A generous array of black fruits on first attack, those opening to reveal overlays of fresh Mediterranean herbs, and finally, on the long finish, espresso coffee, dark chocolate and the barest but tantalizing hint of crushed raspberries. Best 2009–2013. Score 92. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Cabernet Franc, 2004: Deep, almost impenetrable in color, lush and elegant with a rich array of ripe raspberry, cassis and berry fruits, those matched nicely by herbal and bitter-sweet chocolate aromas and flavors. Firm tannins, especially on the finish but with just the right levels of French oak influence and both balance and structure that bode well for the future. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)
T-Selection, Cabernet Franc, 2003: Oak-aged for 14 months in new French barriques. Smooth, rich and supple, with ripe plum, currant and berry fruits together with an array of mocha, tobacco and espresso coffee, all complemented nicely by a hint of vanilla-scented oak. Tannins and fruits rise on the finish. Showing its elegance nicely. Drink now–2012. Score 90. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz-Grenache, 2006: Deep garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and reflecting its 14 months in oak with a gentle spicy touch. Supple and graceful, showing cherry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits all on a background of white pepper and a hint of star anise. Drink from release-2012. Score 93. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz-Grenache, 2005: Deep, almost inky garnet in color, full-bodied, with firm tannins integrating nicely. Reflecting its 14 months in French barriques with spicy cedar, this blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Grenache shows concentrated purple plum, blackberry and citrus peel notes on a background of what of sweet herbs red licorice. Drink now–2014. Score 92. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz-Grenache, 2004: Medium-dark garnet towards purple, full-bodied, with generous tannins well balanced by the influence of aging in French oak casks for 14 months. Distinctive, ripe and luxurious, with near-sweet plum, blueberry and citrus peel intertwined beautifully with spicy, herbal and pomegranate aromas and flavors. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

T-Selection, Shiraz-Grenache, 2003: Dense purple in color, this rich, big and juicy wine is absolutely loaded with blackberry and plum fruits, those set off nicely by hints of cloves, coffee, citrus peel and black pepper, all on super-soft tannins. Harmonious, generous, long and mouth-coating Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2006: My most recent tasting note holds firmly:A big and polished wine, one that sits comfortably on the palate and opens to show a generous mouthful of cherry, raspberry, blueberry and sweet and peppery spices all of which come together beautifully and then linger long and comfortably on the palate. Destined for elegance. Drink from release-2011. Score 92. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2005: Deep ruby towards garnet, full-bodied, with a generous backbone of wood and tannins, those integrating nicely and in fine balance with fruits.. On the nose and palate black currants, blackberries, raspberries and black cherries, all supported by appealing earthy and herbal undercurrents. Deep, long and smooth. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2004: Aged in American oak for 18 months, this blend of 50% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz shows a medium-dark garnet color, a strong acidic backbone and appealing spices and vanilla from the wood, none of which hold back layers of blackberry, cherry, herbal and earthy aromas and flavors. Good concentration, ripeness and smoothness lead to a long and generous finish on which one will find appealing hints of minted bitter-sweet chocolate. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2003: Showing better than at earlier tastings. Dark ruby towards garnet, full-bodied, with soft tannins and gently smoky wood integrating nicely. On the nose and palate berry, currant, plum and tobacco aromas, those opening in the glass to reveal hints of espresso and chocolate. Drink now–2010. Score 90. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, 2002: Medium-bodied, dark garnet in color, this oak-aged blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Shiraz shows appealing herbal and leathery overlays, those nicely highlighting black currant, plum and spicy oak aromas and flavors. Not for further cellaring. Drink now. Score 87. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Trio, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, showing gentle spicy oak and soft tannins that yield to show currant, red and black berries and cherries on a lightly earthy-mineral background. Long and mouth-filling. Drink now-2010. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Trio, 2005: A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this medium to full-bodied wine reflects its 14 months in oak with moderate smoky, almost musky, aromas and soft tannins integrating nicely. Opens to show a tempting array of cassis, berry and black cherry fruits, those leading to a long, spicy finish with a welcome light hint of bitterness coming in at the end.. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Trio, 2004: A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby towards garnet, medium to full-bodied, showing a rich core of berry and currant flavors, those with herbal and cedar overlays, all on a background of supple tannins. Long and generous. Drink now–2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc, 2003: My most recent tasting note holds firmly: Medium to full-bodied, round and generous with silky soft tannins allowing us to focus on blueberry, plum, cola and light herbal-spicy notes, all leading to a long and satisfying finish. Drink now–2010. Score 90. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Cabernet-Merlot-Cabernet Franc, 2002: Dark garnet, medium to full-bodied, and with an appealing berry-black cherry personality. Fully mature but still drinking well and showing soft tannins, overall good balance, and a mouth-filling finish. Drink now. Score 86. (Re-tasted 21 Feb 2008)

Pelter, Chardonnay, 2007: Golden-straw in color, light to medium-bodied and unoaked, opens with grapefruit and pineapple notes, those going on to citrus, green apples and pears. Stylish, juicy and long, finishing on a light flinty-mineral note. Drink now. Score 90.
Pelter, Chardonnay, 2006: Unoaked, this light to medium-bodied white is showing fine acidity to keep it lively. Light golden-straw in color and aromatic with crisp peach, citrus and flinty minerals. Drink now. Score 89.

Pelter, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007: Light, bright and lively, with pears and passion fruit at its core, those opening to show grapefruit, floral and light mineral notes in the background. Unoaked, a fresh and thoroughly appealing wine finishing with an elegant note. Drink now. Score 89.
Pelter, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006: Light damp-straw in color and unoaked, with fine balancing acidity to set off refreshing aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, white peaches, green apples, and, as in the previous release, a hint of celery. Drink now. Score 90.
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WTN: Clos de Gat Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:16 pm

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Clos de Gat: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings, Re-Tastings (Printable Version)

Post Title: Visit to Clos de Gat: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings, Re-Tastings
Posted by: Rogov at 13:40 January 8,2008

It was back to the Jerusalem Hills for me relatively early this morning (Tuesday, 8 January 2008), this time to visit the Clos de Gat winery and there to do tastings with winemaker Eyal Rotem. Rotem may not yet have an espresso machine on hand but by heaven, using minimum intervention and bottling without either fining or filtration, he does make good wines and well continues to deserve his place as one of the ten best wineries in the country.
Because the 2007 wines are still undergoing malolactic fermentation, I did not do barrel tastings from that vintage year. That will be a "must-do" activity for me in mid-March.
My thanks to Rotem and to William White (the winery's representative abroad) for a rewarding tasting and their courtesies during my visit.
Best
Rogov

Clos de Gat, Chanson, 2007: A well-crafted unoaked blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, Viognier and Chenin Blanc (about 75%, 15%, 7% and 3% respectively). Pale but sparkling golden in color with orange reflections, medium-bodied, opening with minerals and citrus fruits, those opening in the glass to reveal passion fruits and ripe melon. Long, lively and thought-provoking. Drink from release-2010. Score 91. (Tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Chanson, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A blend of 70% Chardonnay, 15% Semillon, and 6-8% each of Viognier and Chenin Blanc that comes together in ways that delight. Light gold, medium-bodied, with fine balancing acidity and showing an array of lemon, quince, green apple, stony minerals and floral aromas and flavors that go on to a long and lively finish. Easy to drink but surprisingly complex. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 92. (Re-tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Chardonnay, 2006: Developed sur lie for 12 months in French oak, wisely using only 25% of new oak before the final blend was made, and thus showing a light, almost tantalizing hint of the wood. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine balance between wood, acidity and fruits. Opens with citrus, citrus flowers and citrus rind, those yielding to hints of melon and spiced apples all lingering long and comfortably on the finish. Simultaneously hedonistic, elegant and complex Drink now-2010, perhaps longer. Score 92. (Tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Har'El, 2006: Dark, almost inky garnet in color, full-bodied, with tannins that are firm on first attack but yield nicely in the glass to reveal fine balance with a genteel hand with spicy oak, good balancing acidity and fruits. Blended, Bordeaux style, with 9% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot On the nose and palate opens with raspberries, those then going to purple plums, blackberries and currants, all intertwined with a pleasing overlay of Mediterranean herbaceousness. Well crafted. Approachable now but best 2009-2012. Score 91. (Tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Syrah, Har'El, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal purple, blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauignon and oak aged for 15 months (about 1/3 new oak). Full-bodied, with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins and fine balance and structure. Opens slowly in the glass at this stage but when it does, it does so with gusto, showing plum, red berry and cassis fruits, those on a generously but well proportioned spicy background. Long, round and elegant. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2013 Score 93. (Tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, 2005: Showing every bit as well as during barrel tastings. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon flushed out with, Merlot and Petit Verdot, oak-aged for 20 months. Dark garnet, with purple and green reflections, full-bodied, with soft, mouth-coating tannins integrating gently with spicy oak. Opens slowly showing currant, blackberries, slate and cedary oak, those yielding to raspberries and mocha and culminating in a long mouth-filling finish. Best 2009–2013. Score 93. (Re-tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, 2004: Dark, full-bodied, firmly tannic, with generous spicy wood, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot shows fine harmony but still needs time to integrate. The wine opens to reveal currant, blackberry, spicy oak and hints of licorice and light earthiness. Drinking nicely now but best 2009–2012. Score 93. (Re-tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Merlot, Har'El, 2005: Deep and dark, full-bodied, with still gripping tannins integrating well and with generous spicy wood all coming together to show round and generous. Deeply aromatic, pens to reveal aromas and flavors of red currants, raspberries and chocolate, those yielding later to generous hints of chocolate and toasted rye bread. On the long, intense finish look for hints of minerals and licorice. Drink now-2012. Score 92. (Re-tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Syrah, Sycra, 2004: Oak-aged for 20 months. Full-bodied, with oak that at one moment seems spicy and at the next smoky but never dominating; with firm tannins integrating nicely now. A dense, almost muscular wine but one that sits gently and opens to show a tempting array of cherry, berry and currant fruits, those on a just spicy enough background to highlight hints of freshly roasted coffee. Well focused, intense and long. Drinking nicely now but best 2009-2012. Score 94. (Re-tasted 8 Jan 2008)

Clos de Gat, Merlot, Sycra, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): I had to twist the winemaker's arm to let me sample this one from the barrel but the arm-twisting was well worth the effort. Still in its infancy but already showing full-bodied, rich and concentrated with bold aromas and flavors of currants, purple plums and mocha opening slowly to yield to blackberry and light herbal overtones. Remarkably long. Best from 2009-2013, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 92-94. (Tasted 8 Jan 2008)
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WTN: Galil Mountain Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:19 pm

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Galil Mountain Winery: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings, Re-Tastings (Printable Version)

Post Title: Visit to Galil Mountain Winery: With Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 06:04 December 29,2007

On Monday, 24 December I woke at about 07:00 in the morning at the ever-charming Mitzpe HaYamim Spa where I had spent the night. First thing I did was to reflect on that the day earlier I had lunched on Lebanese food in the village of Jiish (Gush Halav), dined early at chef Tibi's superb Muscat at the hotel and dined again later at the fun-to-visit Rosh Pina Wine Bar. Putting such thoughts aside and remembering my role as restaurant as well as wine critic, I then made my way to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes (with maple syrup of course), sweet rolls, two croissants and four cups of coffee. Who was it who first observed that life becomes "sucher and sucher"?
Back to wine. By 09:30 I was on the way to the Galil Mountain Winery, there to meet with wineamaker Micha Vaadia in order to undertake my annual extended tastings and re-tastings. Should I bother to mention that after our tastings we made our way to Kiryat Shmona's "Foccaccia" for lunch?
Whatever, my thanks to Micha, CEO Ronit Badler, Carmit Ehernriech and others of the staff that made my tasting and day both pleasant and rewarding.

Galil Mountain, Chardonnay, 2006: Light straw in color, medium-bodied, crisply fresh and aromatic, aged partly in oak and partly in stainless steel, showing apple, melon, citrus and tropical fruits with light creamy and soicy notes. Drink now. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Viognier, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Lightly golden with greenish tinges, this medium-bodied, lightly oaked white opens with a lively and spicy nose, then reveals enticing aromas and flavors of peaches, nectarines, pears and apples backed up by spring flowers and minerals, all complemented by hints of white pepper that play nicely on the palate. Delicious. Drink now–2009. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 (Advance Tasting): Still in stainless steel vats at this tastint but already showing fresh and aromatic. Light straw colored, with melon, apricot and lime fruits, a crisply refreshing wine that lingers nicely on the palate. Drink from release-2009. Score 89. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Chardonnay, 2007 (Barrel tasting): Developing partly in oak, partly in stainless steel vats. Golden straw in color, medium-bodied, with a gentle hint of smoky oak and showing citrus, apple and pear fruits, those with an enchanting light note of bitterness that creeps in on the finish. Drink from release-2009. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Taste 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Viognier, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Dark golden straw with tinges of orange, showing good balance between wood, acidity and fruit. On the nose and palate floral, light mineral, summer fruits and melon come together nicely. Drink from release-2009. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)
Galil Mountain, Rose, 2007 (Advance Tasting): A blend this year of 85% Sangiovese, the remainder of Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon. Forgive me if I describe the color as baby-blanket pink but so help me that's what it calls to mind. Generous raspberry and cherry fruits here along with hints of blueberries. Crisp and refreshing. Drink now. Score 87. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Shiraz, 2006: Dark garnet, medium to full-bodied and araomatic with soft tannins integrating nicely and showing a generous array of red and black berries, cherries and plums, those on a lightly spicy background. Easy to drink but with enough complexity to command our attention. Drink now–2009. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Merlot, 2006: Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins settling in nicely now. On the nose and palate an array of red and black berries, purple plums and orange peel notes, those on a light background of Mediterranean herbs. Drink now-2010. Score 90. K. (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Super-dark garnet, showing moderate spicy and vanilla input and soft, near-sweet tannins . On the nose and palate blackberries and blueberries, currants and, coming in from mid-palate, hints of earthiness and freshly turned mushrooms. Best from 2009. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Shiraz, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components but already showing the potential for being dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied with soft but mouth-coating tannins and gentle wood influences. On the nose and palate look for generous plum and cherry fruits on a mineral-rich background. Drink from release-2011. Tentative Score 88-90.. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Merlot, 2007 (Tank Sample): Unoaked, with soft, near-sweet tannins and showing inky garnet in color. On the nose and palate red and black berries, cassis and hints of Oriental spices and dark chocolate. Drink from release-2010. Tentative Score 87-89. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 (Barrel Sample): Super-dark garnet in color, showing firm tannins, those in fine balance with sweet and spicy oak and traditional Cabernet blackcurrant and blackberry fruits. Round and concentrated with the potential for elegance. Tentative Score 88-90. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Petit Verdot, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): An unusual but enchanting wine. Moderately dark, with fine tannins, spicy wood and generous purple and black fruits. what makes this one unusual are the fascinating notes of pine cones, peach pits and asphalt that play on the palate. Fascinating but probably destined as a blender so no score assigned. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

From here, after tasting a few more still-in-barrel components, it was on to several min-vertical tastings:

Galil Mountain, Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Smooth, round and aromatic even at this early stage of its development. Offers up a generous mouthful of currant, blackberry, cherry and licorice notes. On the long finish look for hints of pomegranates. Possibly to develop a note of roasted meat as it develops. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Dark and concentrated, full-bodied, showing a light herbal and spicy oak nose and opening to reveal currant, blackberry and black cherry fruits, all coming together in a long, chocolate-rich and elegant finish. Drink now–2011. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Shiraz-Cabernet, 2004: Deep royal-purple, this medium to full-bodied blend of 64% Shiraz and 36% Cabernet Sauvignon shows remarkably smooth tannins and a generous array of blackberry and blueberry fruits, those set off nicely by hints of green peppers and light notes of leather and chocolate. Generous and mouth-filling. Drink now–2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Shiraz-Cabernet, 2003: Dark garnet, medium-bodied, with tannins showing more firmly now than in its youth but opening in the glass to show supple aromas and flavors of currants, black cherries and coffee. Drink now. Score 87. K (Re-tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Syrah, Yiron, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Dark, almost inky garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, with fine balance between soft tannins, spicy wood and fruits. On first attack raspberries and chocolate, those yielding to blackberries, currants and a rich floral note. On the long finish the tannins rise along with fruits and an appealing hint of red licorice. Best 2009-2013. Score 91, perhaps higher as the wine continues to develop. (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Syrah, Yiron, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Dark royal-purple with orange and green reflections, opening with a rich fruity and floral nose. Full-bodied, with bold but soft tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood and showing black fruits, dusty wood and light meaty and earthy overlays. Long and deep. Drink now–2012. Score 91. K (Re-tasted twice with consistent notes 24 and 25 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Syrah, Yiron, 2003: My earlier tasting notes hold firmly: Full-bodied, showing soft tannins with just enough grip to catch the attention, those yielding nicely to light spicy wood. Dark garnet in color, aromatic, with blackberries, purple plums and hints of white pepper and chocolate as well as a light meaty-earthy sensation that comes in on the round and comfortably medium-long finish. Drink now–2012. Score 91. K (Re-tasted twice with consistent notes 24 and 25 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Think of this as a Bordeaux plus wine – that is to say 50% Cabernet Sauignon, 40% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot plus 4% Syrah. Full-bodied and concentrated but simultaneously soft and elegant, with generous cassis and black fruits, big but velvety tannins and gently spicy and dusty wood all of which culiminate in a super-long finish. Perhaps the best to date from the winery. Approachable from release but best 2009-2015. Score 93. K (Tasted 24 Dec 2007)

Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2004: A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 3% Syrah. Intense garnet towards royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm, near-sweet tannins integrating nicely with smoky and vanilla-tinged wood. Opens with wild berries on the nose and palate, those yielding to black cherry, cassis and spices and finally on the long finish a tantalizing hint of bitterness. Drinking nicely now but best 2009–2013. Score 91. K

Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2003: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Full-bodied, with mouth-coating tannins and spicy wood in fine proportion. Deep ruby towards royal-purple in color, showing appealing blackberry, black cherry and currant fruits, those with light earthy-herbal overtones. Long, mouth-filling and elegant. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K

Galil Mountain, Yiron, 2001: Dark garnet, showing somewhat more full-bodied than in its youth, this blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot offers still-generous tannins and oak, but those in fine tune with blackberry, currant and black cherry fruits. Also on the nose and palate gentle spiciness, and now showing hint of tobacco and dark chocolate. Throwing a bit of sediment now but maturing with grace. Drink up. Score 90. K

Yiron, 2005: Think of this as a Bordeaux plus wine – that is to say 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot plus 4% Syrah. Full-bodied and concentrated but simultaneously soft and elegant, with generous cassis and black fruits, big but velvety tannins and gently spicy and dusty wood all of which culiminate in a super-long finish. Perhaps the best to date from the winery. Approachable from release but best 2009-2015. Score 93. K

Galil Mountain, Avivim, 2006: A blend of 74% Viognier and 26% Chardonnay, aged in French oak for 9 months. Full-bodied, almost buttery in texture, showing ripe pears, summer and tropical fruits on a generous but not imposing vanilla and oaky background. On the moderately long finish vanilla and , creeping in quietly but distinctly a hint of bitterness that will be appreciated by some and not by others. Drink now or in the next year or so. NIS 77. Score 88. K (Tasted 28 Mar 2008)

Galil Mountain, Pinot Noir, 2006: Dark cherry-red towards garnet, this medium-bodied wine, still relatively firm shows tannins but re-veals fine balance and a complex array of red berry, cherry, blueberry and spices, supported nicely by light toasty vanilla and, on the finish, a hint of minerality. Drink now–2010. Score 89.
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Galil Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Deep garnet with orange reflections, medium to full-bodied, with appealing near-sweet tannins and spicy wood integrating nicely to reveal aromas and flavors of black currants, wild berries and minerals all lingering nicely on the palate. Drink now–2009. Score 89. K
Galil Mountain, Pinot Noir, 2005: Deep ruby towards garnet, medium-bodied, reflecting ten months in oak with light spicy wood and now comfortably softening tannins. Concentrated aromas and flavors of black cherries, berries, currants, spring flowers and minerals. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K

Tasting Notes from Israwinexpo 2008

The Yiron Tasting

Among my tastings, a vertical of Galil Mountain's Yiron from 2000-2004. The tasting note for the 2005 wine is from an advance tasting at the winery and not at the exhibition. With one exception (the 2000 release) my tasting notes hold firm from my most recent tastings (all within the last 3 months).

Yiron, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Think of this as a Bordeaux plus wine – that is to say 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot plus 4% Syrah. Full-bodied and concentrated but simultaneously soft and elegant, with generous cassis and black fruits, big but velvety tannins and gently spicy and dusty wood all of which lead to a super-long finish. Perhaps the best to date from the winery. Approachable from release but best 2009-2015. Score 93. K (Tasted 29 Dec 2007)

Yiron, 2004: A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 3% Syrah. Intense garnet towards royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm, near-sweet tannins integrating nicely with smoky and vanilla-tinged wood. Opens with wild berries on the nose and palate, those yielding to black cherry, cassis and spices and finally on the long finish a tantalizing hint of bitterness. Best 2009–2013. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 26 Feb 2008)

Yiron, 2003: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Full-bodied, with mouth-coating tannins and spicy wood in fine proportion. Deep ruby towards royal-purple in color, showing appealing blackberry, black cherry and currant fruits, those with light earthy-herbal overtones. Long, mouth-filling and elegant. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 26 Feb 2008)

Yiron, 2002: A medium to full-bodied oak-aged blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Merlot. Deeply aromatic, dark purple toward black in color, with still-firm tannins well integrated. Shows abundant black currant, plum, black cherry and berry fruits as well as sweet cedarwood. A generous and mouth-filling finish with an appealing light herbal-earthy overtone. Drink now–2009. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 26 Feb 2008)

Yiron, 2001: Dark garnet, showing somewhat more full-bodied than in its youth, this blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot offers still-generous tannins and oak but those in fine tune with blackberry, currant and black cherry fruits. Also on the nose and palate gentle spiciness and now showing hint of tobacco and dark chocolate. Throwing a bit of sediment now but maturing with grace. Drink up. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 26 Feb 2008)

Yiron, 2000: Two years ago I had predicted the ultimate demise of this wine. Either I was wrong or the wine is now singing its swan's song and is doing beautifully. At any rate, not for further cellaring. Deep red toward purple, this medium to full-bodied blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot shows smooth, well-intgrated tannins, and generous but not overpowering oak, reflecting 16 months in small oak barrels. Plum, cherry-berry and eucalyptus aromas and flavors are felt on the first attack, yielding to an appealing and gentle herbal-earthy overlay and a moderately long finish. Matured nicely. Drink up. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 26 Feb 2008)
Eli R
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WTN: Recanati Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:36 pm

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Tasting of Recanati Wines (Re-tastings, Advance Tastings, Barrel Tastings) (Printable Version)
See: http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=16702

Post Title: Tasting of Recanati Wines (Re-tastings, Advance Tastings, Barrel Tastings)
Posted by: Rogov at 07:32 April 4,2008

On Thursday morning (3 Apr 2008) I met with winemaker Gil Shatzberg and CEO Noam Jacoby of the Recanati Winery at Tel Aviv's "Alkelai Café". First activity of the morning was to sip a macchiato or two out-of-doors on a lovely morning and then to move indoors to a tasting, re-tasting and barrel tastings of several wines. Best deal I've had in years, Alkelai being a most pleasant café and being literally a two minute stroll from where I live. And of course, a good tasting in good company.
One important note. Some may note some significant changes between my tasting notes of six months ago and those of this tasting, those especially in the barrel tastings in the Reserve series. That is not a question of my personal palate but a reflection that even though these wines were "put on their way" by winemaker Lewis Pasco, many of the decisions concerning final blends, fining and filtration were made by Gil Shatzberg, the now in-place winemaker. In a phrase, a perfectly natural evoluation.
Best
Rogov

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): A final blend at this tasting, that of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. Full-bodied, with firm tannins integrating now and showing currant, blackberry and cherry liqueur aromas and flavors. Generous toasty oak here at this stage but that, with the tannins will settle in nicely to produce a simultaneously intense but round and elegant wine. Best from 2009-2013, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Re-tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Aged in oak for 18 months but reflecting the wood gently and with grace. Dark, almost inky garnet, intense but with subtlety and finesse. Soft tannins, a gentle hand with the toasty oak and generous red currant, black cherry and berry fruits, those with appealing hints of mocha. A long and firmly tannic finish. Drink now–2011.NIS 90. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2005: A single vineyard wine, made entirely with grapes from the Manara Vineyard, showing much as at an earlier tasting. Smooth, round and generous, rich and spicy, with a core of raspberry, cherry and creamy oak backed up by hints of minted chocolate that linger nicely. Good balance between fresh acidity, wood and fruits, and a long finish. Drink now–2011. NIS 85. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Syrah, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Dark garnet in color, with still firm tannins needing time to settle in but shoing fine balance and structure. On the nose and palate black cherry and black currant fruits, those matched by hints of grilled beef, herbal and green olive notes. Drink from release-2011. Tentative Score 88-90. (Re-tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Cabernet Franc, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): With its once firm tannins now integrating nicely (as predicted), showing medium-dark garnet, full-bodied, and reflecting its 14 months in oak with generous but not imposing sweet cedar. Dark berry, black cherry and plum fruits highlighted by notes of tobacco, bell peppers and bittersweet chocolate, all lingering nicely on the finish. Best 2009-2013. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Re-tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007: Garnet, with purple and orange reflections, opens with a richly fruity nose. Medium- perhaps medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a gentle spicy overlay from the wood, and an overall currant and black cherry personality. Smooth, rich and nicely concentrated for the vintage, with tannins rising on the finish. Shows good length and depth. Drink now-2010. NIS 60. Score 89. K (Tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Merlot, 2007: Ripe and rich, garnet colored, reflecting its 4-5 months in oak with gentle spices and a tantalizing hint of cedar, those matched by soft tannins and showing black cherry, plum and currant fruits along with light hints of minerals and mocha. Drink now-2010. NIS 60. Score 88. K (Tasted 3 Apr 2008)

Recanati, Rosé, 2007: A blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot in equal parts. Rose-petal pink with an orange tint, light- to medium-bodied, with appealing strawberry, raspberry and red currant fruits that sit comfortably on the palate. Well crafted, with good balancing acidity making this an especially refreshing wine. A delight. Drink now. .NIS 70. Score 88. K (Tasted 3 Apr 2008)

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The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Recanati: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings, Re-Tastings (Printable Version)


Post Title: Visit to Recanati: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings, Re-Tastings
Posted by: Rogov at 02:04 December 28,2007

On Thursday, 20 December, I found myself at Recanati Winery in the good company of winemaker Lewis Pasco and CEO Noam Jacoby for an extensive tasting and re-tasting. My warm thanks to Lewis, Noam and others at the winery for their courtesies during my visit. My tasting notes follow.
Recanati, Yasmine, 2007(Advance Tasting): An unoaked blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and the balance of Emerald Riesling and French Colombard. Recanati's entry level white but a quite pleasant effort. Light straw in color, with a rich pineapple and apple nose. Light, lively and easy to drink. Meant for early consumption. Drink from release. Score 85. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, 2007 (Advance Tasting): Light golden straw in color, light- to medium-bodied, richly aromatic and fruity with pineapple, citrus and tropical fruits matched by a hint of freshly mown grass and a tantalizing light bitter note on the finish. Drink from release-2009. Score 88. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Chardonnay, 2006: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Lightly oaked, showing simultaneously crisp and creamy, with good balance between wood, acidity and fruits. On the nose and palate citrus, apricots and cinnamon-spiced apples, all lingering nicely. Drink now. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Chardonnay, Reserve, 2006: Developed sur lie, partly in new, partly in used oak barriques, this medium- to full-bodied white shows an appealing buttery nature to highlight green apple, pineapple and nutty flavors and aromas. Complex but lively and with good length. Best from mid-2008-2010. Score 90. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Barbera, 2005: Deep royal purple in color, blended with 10% Zinfandel, showing medium-bodied, with soft tannins, light spicy oak and pleasing acidity. On the nose and palate cherry, blueberry, blackberry and cassis notes. Aromatic and lightly spicy and on the finish a hint of chocolate. A delight to drink. Drink now-2009. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Barbera, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Light garnet towards purple in color, medium-bodied, with soft tannins and generous acidity. Reflects its 8.5 months in barriques with light spicy notes and appealing crushed blackberry and cherry and chocolate notes, all leading to a light peppery finish. Score 88. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Shiraz, 2005: Ruby towards garnet, medium-bodied, reflecting 8 months of oak aging with soft but nicely spicy tannins. Supple and soft, with blackberry and cherry flavors showing hints of lemon rind and hints of chocolate and pepper coming in on the finish. Drink now-2009. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Shiraz, Reserve, 2004: Dark cherry-red towards garnet, full-bodied, supple and round, with blackberry, black cherry, herbal and beefy aromas and flavors, those coming together with firm tannins and sweet cedar wood. On the long tannic finish, toasted bread and mocha. Drink now–2009. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Syrah, Reserve, 2005 Medium-dark garnet in color, with well-focused tannins and moderate spicy wood in fine balance with black cherry, wild berry and cassis fruits, those with just a hint of smoked meat in the background. At this stage the still-firm tannins hold the wine back a bit. Drink now–2010. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Syrah, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Garnet towards royal-purple in color, with still chewy tannins but those surrounding spicy wood and a generous array of blackberry, black cherry, roasted meat and green olive aromas and flavors. Drink from release–2009. Tentative Score 87–89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati , Merlot, Reserve, 2002: Dark garnet, showing more full-bodied than its youth, with well-integrated tannins. Also showing somewhat heavier wood and herbs than in the past but continuing to show appealing berry, black cherry and bittersweet chocolate. Drink up. Score 88. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)
Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2003: Dark garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins giving a solid backbone. Sweet oak makes itself felt from first attack to the long finish, with layers of currant, black cherry, mocha and chocolate. A concentrated and graceful wine. Drink now–2009, perhaps longer. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Dark garnet, medium to full-bodied, with firm tannins and near-sweet oak integrating well. On the nose and black cherries, berries and currants on a tantalizing earthy-herbal background. On the long finish hints of chocolate. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2005 (Advance Tasting): My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Smooth, round and generous, rich and spicy, with a core of raspberry, cherry and creamy oak backed up by hints of minted chocolate that linger nicely. Good balance between fresh acidity, wood and fruits, and a long finish. Drink now–2010. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Merlot, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied, firm in texture, with the tannins just starting to integrate but already showing forward blackberry and purple plum fruits and developing an appealing hint of mocha. Chewy, round and long. Best 2009–2012. Tentative Score 89–91. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Cabernet Franc, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Medium-dark garnet, full-bodied and at this stage still firmly tannic but showing fine structure and balance that bode well for the future. On the nose and palate bell peppers and chocolate highlighting wild berry and plum fruits. Spicy wood and tobacco notes rise on the long finish. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 89-91. K (Tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Cabernet Franc, Reserve, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Aromatic, medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely. Showing an appealing array of currant, plums and wild berries, those complemented by light smoky wood, tobacco and refreshing acidity. Drink now–2009. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied, rich and round showing dark garnet towards youthful purple in color, with generous near-sweet tannins and forward currant, spice and mocha notes. Juicy and long. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 87–89. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)
Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Dark, almost inky garnet, intense but with subtlety and finesse. Soft tannins, a gentle hand with the toasty oak and generous red currant, black cherry and berry fruits, those with appealing hints of mocha. A long and firmly tannic finish. Drink from release–2011. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2004: Dark garnet with orange and purple reflections, this medium- to full-bodied wine’s shows soft, gently yielding tannins. Shows generous but well-balanced and a measured hand with spicy wood. Opens to reveal currant, plum and blackberry fruits, those well supported by light hints of herbs and cedarwood. Drink now–2010. Score 91. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Super-dark garnet in color, ripe and rich, now showing full-bodied with soft tannins integrating nicely. On the nose and palate an appealing array of currant and berry fruits, those complemented by hints of Oriental spices and toasty oak. Generous. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Containing 95% Cabernet Sauvingon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Cotinuing to show the potential for being the darkest and most strikingly full-bodied release in this series. Generous tannins still making themselves felt but yielding to show currant, blackberry and kirsch aromas and flavors on a tasty oak background. Best from 2009. Tentative Score 89–91. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Deep royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm, still rough-edged tannins but those merely needing time to integrate and show the wine’s fine balance and structure. A blend of 925 Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, this big, rich and bold wine, with concentrated layers of currant, blackberry, anise and cedary oak flavors. Drink from release–2012. Score 91.. K (Re-tasted 20 Dec 2007)

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, with generous but not exaggerated toasty oak and soft tannins, those integrating nicely and opening to reveal a rich array of currant, blackberry and black cherry fruits, with gentle overlays of mint and chocolate. As the wine develops look for a hint of cigar tobacco on the long finish. Drink now–2012. Score 93. K

Recanati, Special Reserve, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: This deep, broad, gently tannic blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot combines Cabernet currants, cassis and spicy-herbal overtones with typical Merlot softness. Good balance between wood, tannins and fruits, and a long finish. Drink now–2012. Score 92. K

Recanati, Petite Sirah-Zinfandel, Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): A blend of 88% Petite Sirah and 12% Zinfanderl. Youthful royal purple, with soft-mouth-coating tannins integrating nicely and showing smoky and dusy wood. Opens to reveal blackberry, pomegranate, mocha and sage notes.Tannic an firm but elegant. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 89-91. K

Recanati, Petite Sirah-Zinfandel, Reserve, 2005: Dark and concentrated, its firm, crisp tannins integrating nicely with vanilla-rich spicy oak. Opens with a burst of chocolate, that yielding to aromas and flavors of blackberry, raspberry and black cherry fruits, those coming together nicely with hints of minerals and an appealing light earthy note. Long and generous. Drink now–2011. Score 90. K

Recanati, Petite Sirah-Zinfandel, Reserve, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Aged in American oak, this dark garnet blend of 70% Petite Syrah and 30% Zinfandel is packed with ripe blueberry, blackberry, plum, pepper, licorice and mineral aromas and flavors. Generous but not exaggerated oak and tannins, those in fine balance with the fruits. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K

Recanati, Petite Sirah-Zinfandel, Reserve, 2003: A dark garnet blend of 80% Petite Syrah and 20% Zinfandel, aged in American oak. Tannic, concentrated, full-bodied and with expressive spicy plum and black cherry fruits, those matched nicely by spicy, earthy overlays and a light hint of asphalt on the finish. Drink now. Score 89. K

February 2,2008
Recanati, Chardonnay, Reserve, 2006: Developed sur lie, partly in new, partly in used oak barriques, this medium- to full-bodied white shows an appealing buttery nature to highlight green apple, pineapple and nutty flavors and aromas. Complex but lively and with good length. Drink now-2010. NIS 90. Score 90. K
Recanati Reserve, Syrah, 2005 Aged for 14 months in French and American oak, medium-dark garnet in color, with well-focused tannins and moderate spicy wood in fine balance with black cherry, wild berry and cassis fruits, those with just a hint of smoked meat in the background. At this stage the still-firm tannins hold the wine back a bit. Drink now–2010. NIS 95. Score 89. K
Recanati Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2007: Light straw in color, light- to medium-bodied, showing appealing red grapefruit, passion fruit and kiwi fruit, those with hints of spices and grassiness. Good acidity keeps the wine lively and refreshing. Drink now. NIS 70. Score 88. K

April 4,2008

Special Reserve, 2005 (Advance Tasting) Deep royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm, still rough-edged tannins but those merely needing time to integrate and show the wine’s fine balance and structure. A blend of 925 Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, this big, rich and bold wine, with concentrated layers of currant, blackberry, anise and cedary oak flavors. Drink from release–2012. Score 91. K

May 5,2008
Recanati, Special Reserve, 2005: Deep royal-purple, full-bodied, with firm, still rough-edged tannins those integrating nicely with light spicy wood and fruits to show fine balance and structure. A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, this is a big, rich and bold wine, with concentrated layers of currant, blackberry, anise and cedary oak flavors. Approachable now but best 2009-2013. Score 92.. K
April 10,2008
Reserve, Syrah, 2005 Aged for 14 months in French and Americn oak. Medium-dark garnet in color, with well-focused tannins and moderate spicy wood in fine balance with black cherry, wild berry and cassis fruits, those with just a hint of smoked meat in the background. At this stage the still-firm tannins hold the wine back a bit. Drink now–2010. Score 89. K

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latest: WTN: Recanati Special Reserve, 2005 (K) - August 14th, 2008

See: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17730


Recanati, Special Reserve, 2005: Full-bodied, dark garnet towards royal-purple, with once firm tannins now integrating nicely with spicy and vanilla-rich wood. Aged in barriques for 19 months, this blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, all from the Upper Galilee, shows fine balance and structure. On first attack blackcurrant, blackberry and a hint of anise, those followed by lightly toasted, near-sweet cedar and oak along with an appealing hint of black licorice. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2009-2014. NIS 180 (about US$ 50) Score 93. K (Re-tasted 14 Aug 2008)

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See also recent updates in:

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=17251 and
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Eli R
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Posts: 760
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:22 pm
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WTN: Carmel Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:50 pm

Carmel

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Carmel + Tasting Notes (Printable Version)

Post Title: Visit to Carmel + Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 23:47 January 10,2008

Yesterday morning (Thursday, 10 January 2008) it was at the Carmel winery in Rishon LeTzion that I found myself, there in the company of winemakers Lior Laxer and Sam Soroka (the first Carmel's senior winemaker and the second in charge of the upper-level wines at Zichron Ya'akov) and with Adam Montefiore, there to do a series of advance tastings, those from the upper-level Appelation (Ayzorit) and Single Vineyard series as well as of the 2005 Special Edition. Single bottles of the wines in both the Private Collection and Selected wines will be making their way to my home for in-house blind tastings in the near future.
My thanks to Lior, Sam, and Adam and all at the winery for a warm greeting, a good tasting and a pleasant light lunch afterwards. On the off chance anyone is wondering what critics and winemakers generally drink after extensive tastings – wonder no further – draught beer rates right at the top.
Best
Rogov

Appelation

Carmel, Sauvignon Blanc, Appelation, Upper Galilee, 2007 (Advance Tasting): The first Sauvignon Blanc released in this series. With a mere 7% of the wine aged in new 300 liter French barrels and the rest very cold fermented and developed in stainless steel, the wine guards the varietal nature of the grape. Bright and lively, with passion fruit, pink grapefruit, green apple, and just tart enough citrus fruits backed up by gooseberries, grassy and mineral notes. Lingers nicely and finishes with high-style. Drink now or in the next year or so. Score 90. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Johannisberg Riesling, Appelation, Upper Galilee, 2007 (Advance Tasting): Intentionally late harvested, having undergone cold fermentation and developed entirely in stainless steel tanks. Despite its youth, already opens with a petrol-rich nose (it often takes Riesling five or more years to show that), that going on to reveal good green apple, lemon custard and mineral flavors and aromas, all leading to a rich pink-grapefruit finish. Off-dry but with good balancing acidity. Approachable at release but I'd hold this one until 2009 to start drinking. Score 89. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Viognier, Appelation, Upper Galilee, 2007 (Advance Tasting): The first Viognier release in this series and a resounding success. With 75% cold fermented in stainless steel and the remainder in barriques, that aged sur lie for 4 months. With a bare, tantalizing hint of spicy oak on the nose as it opens, that yielding to an array of spicy pear, grapefruit and tangerine fruits all on a supple and just spicy enough frame. Simultaneously refreshing and rich. Drink now-2010. Score 90. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Gewurztraminer, Appelation, Upper Galilee, 2007 (Advance Tasting): Off-dry, lively and well balanced with peach, apricot and citrus peel notes highlighted by a light hint of spiciness. Appealing floral and citrus peel on the finish. Drink now-2009. Score 88. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz, Appelation, Upper Galilee 2006 (Advance Tasting): A medium- to full-bodied blend of 50% of each of the varieties, those oak-aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of which about 30% were new. Dark garnet in color, with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins parting to reveal a tempting array of blackberry and plum fruits, those on a background of spices and, coming in near the finish and lingering nicely hints of leather and vanilla. Drink now-2010. Score 89. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Merlot, Appelation, Upper Galilee, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Dark garnet towards royal purple, with soft tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood. Medium- to full-bodied, opens with a plum-rich nose that shifting on the palate to berry, black cherry and cassis fruits all supported nicely by hints of white pepper and eucalyptus. Best 2009-2011, possibly longer. Score 90. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Carignan, Old Vines, Appelation, Zichron Ya'akov, 2006 (AdvanceTasting): A super-dark garnet blend of 85% Carignan and 15% Petit Verdot, the Carignan from 35-40 year old, very low yield wines with no irrigation. A blockbuster on first attack but the firm tannins and generous wood settling down nicely to reveal a rich array of plum, red cherry, raspberry and currant fruits all supported nicely by hints of cocoa and spices. Look as well for a generous mocha-rich finish. Approachable now but best 2009-2011. Score 90. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Petite Sirah, Old Vines, Appelation, Judean Hills, 2006 (Advance Tasting): A big wine, full-bodied, deep garnet towards royal purple, with gripping tannins just now starting to settle down but showing fine structure between tannins, wood and fruits. Dark and delicious, with ripe plum, blackberry, and boysenberry notes, those on a background of minerals, minted chocolate and spicy cedar wood. Approachable now but somewhat chewy. Give this one time to show its harmony and elegance. Best from 2009-2012, perhaps longer. Score 91. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)
Carmel, Carmel Vintage, Fortified Petite Sirah, Regional, Judean Hills, 2004: Drinking a bit smoother now but my earlier tasting note holds firmly: With Tawny-Port-style chocolate, raisins and spice box aromas, this rich dessert wine opens to reveal coffee and a hint of bitter almonds to balance the sweetness. Drink now–2010. Score 89. K (Re-tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Single Vineyard

Carmel, Shiraz, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Dark towards inky garnet in color, full-bodied enough to be thought of as dense with firm tannins integrating now to show fine structure and balance. Opens with a strong gamy aroma but that fades quickly in the glass to reveal black currants, purple plums and black olives, those highlighted by reined acidity and notes of tar and smoky oak. Long, with meaty flavors and fruits rising on the juicy finish. Best 2009-2013. Score 92. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)
Carmel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, Upper Galilee, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Dark garnet with green and orange reflections, full-bodied, open textured and generous showing a spicy, peppery mouthful of blackberry, currant, coffee and black olive notes all leading to a long, round and mouth-filing finish. As this one develops look for an appealing hint of smoked meat rising. Approachable now but best 2009-2013. Score 91. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Carmel, Gewurztraminer, Late Harvest, Single Vineyard, Sha'al, 2007 (Tank Sample): Gold, with orange and green tints, medium- to full-bodied, with generous sweetness balanced by lively acidity. Shows litchi, ripe peaches, rose petals, honey and, pineapple aromas and flavors, all coming together in a harmonious whole and, on the long finish notes of freshly baked pecan pie. Drink from release-2011. Score 91. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

Limited Edition

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2005 (Advance Tasting): A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (60%, 18%, 18% and 4% respectively). Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with generous soft tannins and reflecting its 15 months in barriques, showing light toasty and spicy oak. With super-soft tannins, not quite as deep as earlier releases of this wine but showing both complexity and elegance. Blackberry and black cherry fruits on first attack, those yielding to blackcurrants and appealing hints of lead pencil and vanilla and, on the moderately-long finish a near-sweet tobacco note. Drink from release-2012. Score 91. K (Tasted 10 Jan 2008)

May, 2008

Limited Edition, 2005: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (60%, 18%, 18% and 4% respectively). Dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with generous soft tannins and reflecting its 15 months in barriques, show-ing light toasty and spicy oak. With super-soft tannins, and showing complexity and elegance. Blackberry and black cherry fruits on first attack, yield to blackcurrants and appealing hints of lead pencil and vanilla and, on the moderately-long finish a near-sweet tobacco note. Drink from release-2012. Score 91. K

June 11,2008
Following are my tasting notes for those of Carmel's 2006 Private Collection wines that I have tasted to date. Also included in the white several of the 2007 releases that are already on the market.

Private Collection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins and bare hints of spicy and vanilla-rich oak. Shows berry, black cherry and currant fruits. Not complex but good with food. Drink now. Score 86. K
Private Collection, Merlot, 2006: Dark ruby towards garnet, medium to full-bodied, with soft mouth-coating tannins and spicy wood. Shows blackberry, cassis and herbal aromas and flavors, but lacks depth or complexity. Drink now. Score 84.K

Private Collection, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, 2006: Medium-bodied, with hints of spicy oak and basic currant and berry fruits. Pleasant but lacks complexity or depth. Drink now. Score 84. K

Private Collection, Chardonnay, 2007: Golden-straw in color, lightly oaked, with peaches, summer fruits and green apples on a lightly spicy and mineral-rich background. Drink now. Score 88. K

Private Collection, Chardonnay, 2006: Lightly oaked, this pale golden-straw, medium-bodied white shows nectarine and citrus fruits backed up nicely by a hint of spiciness that runs throughout. Easy to drink. Drink now. Score 87. K

Private Collection, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007: Light golden with green tints, medium-bodied, with good balancing acidity. Aromatic, with appealing summer fruits and citrus on a lightly grassy brackground. Refreshing and with just the right notes of complexity. Drink now. Score 87. K
Private Collection, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006: This golden-straw-colored, medium-bodied white shows appealing tropical, citrus and melon fruits, those backed up nicely by just the right hint of freshly cut herbs. Crisp, clean and with another burst of fruits on the moderately long finish. Drink up. Score 85. K
Private Collection, Emerald Riesling, 2007: Light to medium-bodied, with moderate sweetness set off by lively acidity. Flowery on the nose and showing tropical and citrus fruits. Drink up. Score 84. K

Private Collection, Emerald Riesling, 2006: Unoaked, light to medium-bodied, this semi-sweet white has good acidity to keep it going and is showing traditional Emerald Riesling floweriness with pineapple and green apple aromas and flavors. Drink up. Score 82. K

Private Collection, Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc, 2006: A blend of about 55% Chardonnay and 45% Sauvignon Blanc. Light golden-straw in color, medium-bodied, reticent when first poured but opening to show aromas and flavors of white peaches, melon, apricots and, towards the finish, hints of citrus peel and spices. Drink up. Score 85. K


June 7,2008

Following are my tasting notes for four newly released Carmel wines. Th whites were tasted yesterday, the reds as part of ths morning's tastings.
Best
Rogov

Carmel, Shiraz, Single Vineyard Kayoumi, 2005: Dark, almost impenetrable garnet, full-bodied, with silky tannins, wood and fruits showing fine balance and structure. Opens with a burst of dark plum and currant fruits, those yielding to notes of asphalt, bitter herbs and sweet-and-spicy cedar wood. Comes together as elegant, complex and long. Drink now- 2012. NIS 120. Score 91. K

Carmel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Single Vineyard, Kayoumi, 2005: Dark garnet with green and orange reflections, full-bodied, open textured and generous showing a spicy, peppery mouthful of blackberry, currant, coffee and black olive notes all leading to a long, round and mouth-filling finish on which one finds an appealing note of vanilla. Oak aged for 15 months.. As this one develops in the bottle look for an appealing hint of smoked meat. Drink now–2013. NIS 120. Score 91. K

Carmel, Chardonnay, Regional, Upper Galilee 2007: Light golden with green tints, medium-bodied, showing an appealing array of citrus, green apple and tropical fruits on a mineral-rich background. Drink now. Score 88. K

Carmel, Brut, Private Collection, n.v.: A far, far better sparkling wine than Carmel has ever done before. Made by the Charmat method (with the second fermentation accomplished in pressurized stainless steel tanks), a blend of French Colombard, Chardonnay and Viognier (50%, 40% and 10% respectively), with a portion of the Chardonnay oak-aged, shows simple but appealing aromas and flavors of apples, pears and citrus. A short mousse and sharp but not well focused bubbles here make one think more of Spanish Cava than of French Champagne. Drink now. NIS 59. Score 86. K


Carmel, Limited Edition, 2004: This blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot and 15% Merlot shows soft tannins and generous but gentle wood, those in fine balance with currant, blackberry and black cherry fruits, all melding together with light hints of pepper, anise and cigar box aromas and flavors. Round and caressing, elegant and long. Drink now–2013. Score 93. K

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2003: A full-bodied blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Petit Verdot, 17% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deeply aromatic, with soft tannins and generous wood in fine balance with fruits and well-tuned acidity. On the nose and palate black currants, blackberries, spices and sweet cedar, all leading to a remarkably long and elegant finish. Drink now–2015. Score 93. K

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2002: Deep royal-purple in color, with orange reflections, a Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, each variety vinified separately and developed for 14 months in French oak. Medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins and good balance between sweet and smoky wood, aromas and flavors of black currants, berries and dark chocolate, all leading to a long cigar-box finish. Throwing sediment now. Decant or pour carefully. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K

----
July, 2008

Limited Edition 2005 release:

viewtopic.php?p=142978

Carmel, Limited Edition, 2005: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (65%, 17%, 15% and 3% respectively). Deep garnet in color, medium to full-bodied, with generous soft tannins and reflecting its 15 months in barriques with light toasty and spicy oak. Blackberry, black cherry and purple plums fruits on first attack yield to black currants and appealing hints of lead pencil and vanilla and, on the long, mouth-filling finish, a near-sweet and elegant tobacco note. Round and elegant. Drink now–2013. NIS 230 (US$ 67) Score 92. K (Re-tasted 15 Jul 2008)
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August 2, 2008, New Private Collection Blend:

viewtopic.php?p=147545
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Re: WTN: Carmel Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Jan Schultink » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:16 am

Carmel, Brut, Private Collection, n.v.: A far, far better sparkling wine than Carmel has ever done before. Made by the Charmat method (with the second fermentation accomplished in pressurized stainless steel tanks), a blend of French Colombard, Chardonnay and Viognier (50%, 40% and 10% respectively), with a portion of the Chardonnay oak-aged, shows simple but appealing aromas and flavors of apples, pears and citrus. A short mousse and sharp but not well focused bubbles here make one think more of Spanish Cava than of French Champagne. Drink now. NIS 59. Score 86. K


A bit less enthusiastic, but still OK:

N.V. Carmel Mizrachi Private Collection Brut Kosher - Israel (9/30/2008)
A good party/pool wine but not more. Happy fresh green fruit, nice acidity, a honey/"soapy" note from the 10% Viognier. The mousse feels a bit soft on the palate (like lukewarm Perrier). (84 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: WTN: Chateau Golan Winery, Israel, by D. Rogov

Postby Eli R » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:29 pm

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Barrel Tastings at Chateau Golan (29 Dec 2003) (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Barrel Tastings at Chateau Golan (29 Dec 2003)
Posted by: Rogov at 10:34 December 29,2003
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Hello to All...

This morning was spent profitably and pleasantly in barrel tastings with winemaker Uri Hetz at Chateau Golan. As will be seen in the tasting notes that follow, tastings from the 2003 vintage were especially impressive. For the most part 2002 reinforces once again my earlier prediction that this will largely be a year for good, even some very good but not many excellent wines. Happily, nearly every generalization has its exceptions and as will be seen the 2002 Eliad of the winery is most assuredly going to be one of those exceptions.
To those who may be curious – rejoice with me, for I have not a single tasting scheduled between now and 1 January. I plan to drink some nice wines in the next few days but have no intention whatever of sitting down in my own tasting room or anywhere else to do a formal tasting.
Best,
Rogov

2003
Chateau Golan, Sauvignon Blanc, Royal Reserve, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Medium bodied but mouthfilling and gentle but assertive, with citrus and pear fruits rising immediately to the surface, those coming together nicely with generous grassy and herbal flavors and aromas. Plenty of alcohol here but that well balanced by natural and not at all excessive acidity, a wine that will make many think of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Tentative Score 90 – 92. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Grenache, Royal Reserve, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Fully loyal to its varietal traits this temptingly attractive pale ruby wine has the potential (with apologies to Charles Dickens) to be a far, far better thing than has ever been done before in this country with Grenache. Medium bodied, with soft tannins and tempting blackberry, black cherry and red currant fruits, and just the right hint of spices, a promising young wine, possibly to be blended with a small percentage of Syrah during the final blend. Tentative Score 87 – 89. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Classic Syrah with distinct Mediterranean overtones, managing to combine assertiveness with complexity, this spicy, gamy wine offers up appealing smoke and black pepper along with deep raspbery and floral aromas and flavors. Tentative Score 89 – 91. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2003: Fuller in body and somewhat more tannic than earlier Merlot releases, with the promise tobe bold, ripe and delicious with layers of currants, plums, and black cherries and a rich, long aftertaste. Tentative Score 90 – 92. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Young and tight at this early stage but already showing god focus and ripe flavors of rich currant, cherry, anise and earthiness. Full bodied, still packed with tannins waiting to integrate but with the inherent balance to develop beautifully, the tannins integrating with time to reveal a smooth and supple wine, certainly destined to pick up attractive herbal overtones and perhaps hints of green olives as well. Tentative Score 91 – 93. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)

2002
Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, 2002 (Barrel Tasting): Showing the varietal loyalty for which the winery is earning a good name, this wine is more concentrated and intense than the 2001 release. With sweet spices that call to mind peppery-cinnamon cookies and delicious plum and berry fruits, this promises to be a well balanced and satisfying wine. Due for release in Autumn of 2004, a good chance that the wine will be drinkable from its youth and until 2006. Tentative Score 87 – 89. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve 2002 (Barrel Tasting): Blended with about 9% of Cabernet Franc, this medium to full bodied wine has an appealing array of ripe cherry, currant, plum and spic flavors, those overlayed by light toasty oak all culminating a moderately long near-sweet finish. A wine that will be accessible during its youth. Score 87 – 89. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)
Chateau Golan, Eliad, 2002 (Barrel Tasting): A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot. Now young and tight with crisp tannins and generous currant, black cherry, cedar and, from mid-palate leathery-earthy aromas and flavors. A long finish in which the tannins, wood and fruits come together beautifully. Approachable during its youth but this is one that will cellar nicely for a decade or longer.
Tentative Score 92 – 94. (Tasted 29 Dec 2003)

Those who care to see my reviews of earlier tastings of wines from Chateau Golan can find them at http://www.stratsplace.com/cgi...rID=4

The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Chateau Golan - Three New Releases - Tasting Notes (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Chateau Golan - Three New Releases - Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 04:59 September 28,2004
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Not too long ago several people asked if I had tasted the newly released wines of Chateau Golan. Those wines were part of my blind tastings this morning (Tuesday, 28 Sep 2004). Following are my tasting notes.
Best,
Rogov
Chateau Golan , Syrah, Cuvee Naturel, Royal Reserve, 2001: Surprisingly intense, tannic and concentrated for a medium- to full-bodied wine but now opening beautifully. Deep purple in color, reflecting its 14 months in French oak with spices and a generous dash of vanilla, those complemented nicely by jammy black fruits. Enjoyable now but best from 2005-2008. Score 90.
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2002: Still young but already showing medium to full-body, good balance, concentration and length, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and about 9% Cabernet Franc offers an appealing array of ripe cherry, currant, red plum, jammy strawberry and spicy flavors overlaid by light toasty oak, and a moderately long, near-sweet finish. Look as well for a hint of tobacco on the finish. Drink now–2007. NIS 128. Score 89.
Chateau Golan, Sauvignon Blanc, Royal Reserve, 2003: Made entirely from Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the northern Golan, fermented in stainless steel and then partly oak aged, a multi-layered wine, showing at first citrus and pineapple, those yielding nicely to pear, floral and herbal aromas and flavors. Generous alcohol (14%) but that balanced by natural acidity. Long, mouthfilling and elegant. Drink now-2007. NIS 115. Score 91.

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The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Chateau Golan - With Tasting Notes (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Visit to Chateau Golan - With Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 10:29 February 11,2005
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Tuesday, 25 January 2005, found me at Chateau Golan for extended tastings with winemaker Uri Hetz. In addition to early 2004 barrel tastings, I also did advance and re-tastings, among the most fascinating of which were those wines that Hetz allowed to undergo spontaneous fermentation relying on wild yeasts. Because I posted not that long ago about several recently released wines from Chateau Golan (see http://stratsplace.zeroforum.c...=7030 ), and those re-tastings were fully consistent with earlier, notes I will not post here again. Following, however are my tasting notes for wines tasted or re-tasted and not posted upon recently.
Considering that the subject of coffee served at wineries has come up before and quite a few continue to IM me about that, let me comment that this was an excellent tasting, the company and the discussion was most rewarding and many of the wines I tasted were excellent but the coffee, for lack of a better term "lacked charm". It's okay. Considering all of the rest, I forgive them!
Best, Rogov
.
Royal Reserve, Merlot 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Dark garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, with generous but yielding tannins and tempting layers of plum, currant and black cherry fruits matched nicely by a light hint of herbaceousness. Rich and long. Best 2006-2010.Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 25 January 2005)
Eliad, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): A barrel-aged,deep garnet blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc. Rich, intense and complex, with concentrated fruits and spices on the noise and palate. Look for layers of plums, blackberries, currants and spicy oak. Needs time to show its elegance. Best 2007-2012. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 25 January 2005)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Franc, 2003 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied, earthy and aromatic, with an appealing array of currant, vanilla and herbal flavors that fold together well. A long, deep finish showing richness and concentration. Best 2006-2011. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 25 January 2005)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 (Advance Tasting): Deep and tannic, still young and tight but showing excellent focus and concentration. Full bodied, packed with tannins waiting to integrate but with the inherent balance to develop beautifully, the tannins integrating with time to reveal a smooth and supple wine with aromas and flavors of currant, black cherries, anise, attractive earthy- herbal overtones and hints of green olives. Tentative Score 91 – 93. Best 2006-2012. (Re-tasted 25 January 2005)

Royal Reserve, Syrah, 2003 (Advance Tasting): Blended with 15% of Grenache to flush out the elegance of the wine, this remains as it did during barrel tastings a year earlier a classic Syrah with distinct Mediterranean overtones. Combining assertiveness with complexity, this spicy, gamy wine offers up appealing smoke and black pepper along with deep raspberry and floral aromas and flavors. Tentative Score 89 – 91. (Re-tasted 25 January 2005)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Franc, Rose, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Somewhere in color between bright cherry red and that of red rose petals, far deeper than one might think at first glance, this medium-bodied, soft and round rose shows very appealing aromas and flavors of raspberries, cassis and cranberries, turning almost sweet on the surprisingly long finish. Meant for youthful drinking, that is to say from release and then for another year. Score 87. (Tasted 25 January 2005)
2004 Barrel Tastings
It is very early days for these wines, but not so early that one cannot form some firm impressions, the most important of those being that winemaker Uri Hetz continues to develop a series of often fascinating signature wines.

Sauvignon Blanc, 2004: Several samples, one developing in three year old barrels, showing citrus, melon, pear and grapefruit flavors; another in newer barrels reflecting figs, bees' wax and light herbaceousness; and yet another, having been allowed to ferment spontaneously, now in larger barrels showing greater roundness and (in the most positive sense) a truly savage nature. All with promise but the last demonstrating that J.J. Rousseau might have been right after all – there truly can be a "noble savage"

Syrah, 2004: Allowed to undergo spontaneous fermentation and relying entirely on wild yeasts, this dark, tannic and remarkably bright wine opens at first with an almost passionate raspberry sensation, that yields to reveal a medium-bodied somewhat rugged, lightly peppery and chewy wine that will call to mind the wines of St. Joseph in the Rhone Valley.
Grenache, 2004: Medium- to full-bodied, with moderate levels of soft tannins on a background of syrupy plum, cassis and wild berry flavors. Probably to be blended with the Syrah.
Petite Verdot, 2004: Dark purple, with orange and violet reflections, deeply tannic, with earthy, tobacco overtones opening to reveal tempting black fruits.
Merlot, 2004: Deep garnet, dark, full bodied and firmly tannic. Anything but a wine that would be thought of as "feminine" and with enormous potential.
Cabernet Franc, 2004: Deep royal purple in color, with generous black fruits and already showing hints of lead pencil, herbal and black fruits.
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004: Dark purple towards black, with cassis, wild berry fruits and already showing good balance between tannins, wood and ripe fruits. Potentially excellent.
The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Chateau Golan: Tasting Notes for Five New Releases (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Chateau Golan: Tasting Notes for Five New Releases
Posted by: Rogov at 11:40 January 22,2006
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From the moment that Chateau Golan released its first wines, those from the 2000 vintage, a great many people have chuckled not-so-quietly at the winery's choice to label their wines somewhat pompously as Royal Reserve, at the perhaps questionable taste of the poem on the rear labels of their wines and at the shape of the bottles which are difficult to stack in wine refrigerators. Even more people have commented that at prices of up to NIS 165 per bottle on release, these wines are simply beyond the means of many wine lovers.
The fact, however is that despite the chuckling and the complaints, the winery is managing very nicely to sell all of their wines. Perhaps even more important, winemaker Uri Hetz has managed within just a few short years to turn this into one of most up-and-coming wineries in the country, the wines often attaining high levels of excellence. Following are reviews of five recently released wines. No one will call the wines "good value for money" but calling them excellent is most definitely in order.
I shall, by the way, be visiting the winery for barrel, advance and re-tastings on 9 February and will post detailed notes after that visit.
Best
Rogov
Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2003: Aged in oak for 12 months, this deep garnet towards royal purple medium- to full-bodied blend of Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (86%, 13% and 1% respectively) shows fine balance between generous tannins, spicy wood and currant, berry fruits, those backed up nicely by hints of herbaceousness and, on the long finish hints of licorice and green olives. Concentrated well focused. Approachable now but best from 2007-2010. NIS 140. Score 90. (Re-tasted 14 Jan 2006)

Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2003: A oak-aged blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% of Cabernet Franc, still young and tight but with excellent focus and concentration. Full-bodied with still firm tannins waiting to settle down and already showing tempting aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, black cherries and anise, those matched nicely by hints of herbaceousness on the generous finish. Best 2007-2012. NIS 130. Score 90. (Re-tasted 14 Jan 2006)

Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, Limited Edition, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Blended with 15% of Grenache to flush out the elegance of the wine, this is a classic Syrah with distinct Mediterranean overtones. Combining assertiveness with complexity, this spicy, gamy wine offers up appealing smoke and black pepper along with deep raspberry and floral aromas and flavors. Drink now–2009. NIS 165. Score 90. (Re-tasted 17 Jan 2006)

Chateau Golan, Cabernet Franc, Royal Reserve, Limited Edition, 2003: Showing even better than at an earlier tasting. Full-bodied, earthy and aromatic with an appealing array of currant, plum and wild berry fruits, those backed up nicely by vanilla and spices from the oak as well as an appealing hint of earthiness that appears on the moderately long finish. Rich and concentrated. Drink now-2010. NIS165. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 20 Jan 2006)

Chateau Golan, Eliad, Royal Reserve, 2003: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A barrel-aged,deep garnet blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc. Rich, intense and complex, with concentrated fruits and spices on the noise and palate. Look for layers of plums, blackberries, currants and spicy oak. Needs time to show its elegance. Best 2007–2012. NIS 152. Score 91. (Re-tasted 20 Jan 2006)

Note: Prices are in Israeli Shekels and the exchange rate today is approximately US$1.00 = NIS 4.6
The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Chateau Golan: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings and a Few Re-Tastings (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Visit to Chateau Golan: Barrel Tastings, Advance Tastings and a Few Re-Tastings
Posted by: Rogov at 09:31 February 11,2006
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On Thursday, 9 February 2006, I devoted much of a very rewarding and pleasant day to barrel tastings, advance tastings and several re-tastings at Chateau Golan.
Located on Moshav Eliad in the Golan Heights, Chateau Golan released their first wines from the 2000 vintage under the hand of Oregon and California trained winemaker Uri Hetz. Vineyards owned by the winery currently yield Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Mouvredre and Viognier. Other grapes are being planted, these including Rousanne and Grenache Blanc. Production is currently between 70-75,000 bottles and future production is estimated at somewhat over 100,000 bottles annually. To date the winery has released wines in one series, Royal Reserve, that including the proprietary blend, Eliad. What continue to fascinate at Chateau Golan is the increased devotion and success that the winemaker has in maintaining varietal loyalty.
Three weeks ago I reviewed the recently released wines of the 2003 vintage (see http://stratsplace.zeroforum.c...10359 ) so will not bother to repeat those notes here. I will, however, say that Hetz, possibly because he reads our forum occasionally and knows that I tend to comment about the quality of the coffee served at the various wineries I visit, went out of his way to bring his personal macchinetta* to the winery and the coffee I received (I drank three cups after the wine tasting) was delicious. That adds not a single point to any of the wines I tasted but it did add to the pleasure of my day.

Barrel Tastings

Royal Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from two unblended components, one in stainless steel, the other in oak casks and already showing the potential to be an aromatic, medium-bodied wine, somewhat of a variation on a theme because although clearly reflecting terroir without the usual herbaceous and sometimes pungency of Sauvignon, delightfully aromatic, with a tempting array of spices and peppery character and showing tempting pear, apple, melon and mineral flavors that linger very nicely. Impeccably balanced and long. Best from release and with definite cellaring potential. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Grenache, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Ripe, rich and with generous oak-accented blackberry, black cherry, spicy and black pepper flavors. True to its variety, with an attractive hint of greenness and, despite full-body and still moderately firm tannins, almost floating on the palate. Best from release-2010, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Syrah, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components, those already showing the potential for a bold, dark-hued and thoroughly rich wine, thick and plush on first attack, opening to reveal a tempting array of spicy blackberry, boysenberry, pomegranate and citrus peel, those with light green and meaty notes as the wine lingers comfortably on the palate. Best 2007-2012. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Merlot, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): A thoroughly modern wine with soft tannins, forward fruits and generous wood but plush and delicious, packed with fruits, herbaceousness, mocha and vanilla, those coming together nicely and opening on the long, gently sicy finish to show hints of currants and blueberries. Drink from release-2010. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Franc, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Subtle and seductive, with generous tannins integrating nicely and fruits and spices lingering comfortably and long. On the nose and palate fresh currant, dark berry and black cherry fruit matched nicely by bell peppers, cigar box and lead pencil notes. Promising length, depth and elegance. Best 2008-2011, possibly longer. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components, those showing a firm, full-bodied but vibrant style, with spicy, mocha-tinged blackcurrant, blackberry and herbal aromas and flavors, all finishing with hints of leather. Best 2008-2011, possibly longer. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Petit Verdot, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Not yet known if this wine is to be bottled as a varietal or used as a blending agent but my advice would be to bottle it on its own. As intense in its cassis, red berry and red plum fruits as in generous overlays of game meat, dark chocolate and smoky oak, all of which seem to be integrating nicely, this is a wine with the potential for being "something special". On the long finish reminding one somewhat of a chocolate ice-cream sundae with raspberrysauce. Best 2008-2012, possibly longer. Tentative Score 91-93. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Eliad, 2005 (Barrel Tasting): Not yet a final blend but showing deeper, more earthy and a generous hint of tobacco than found in earlier releases. With generous cherry, currant and plum aromas and flavors set off nicely by lightly smoky wood, fine-grained tannins, those in fine balance and blossoming on a long finish to reveal red cherries and a hint of licorice. Best 2008-2012. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Advance Tastings
Royal Reserve, Rose, 2005 (Advance Tasting): As it was last year, made entirely from Cabernet Franc grapes. With the color of peaches in their first bloom, medium-bodied and far more complex than one usually anticipates in a rose. On the nose and palate peaches, strawberries, rosewater and wild berries. As dry as one could want but with an irresistible near-honeyed finish Drink from release. Score 88. (Tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Grenache-Syrah, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Deep purple in color, a blend of 39% Grenache and 61% Syrah, with gripping tannins well balanced by spicy wood, chocolate and an array of black cherry, plum, tar, and spices, all of which linger nicely on the finish. Best starting in 2007. Score 89. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Syrah, 2004 (Advance Tasting): On first attack dense and muscular but opening nicely in the glass to show a high level of faithfulness to the variety. Ripe and balanced, with firm tannins in fine balance with acidity, wood and minerals. On the nose and palate blackberries, red currants, licorice, Oriental spices and mineral aromas and flavors that go on to a long and supple finish. Drink from release-2009. Score 90. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Merlot, 2004 (Advance Tasting): Blended with 5% Cabernet Franc and 6% Syrah, complex, concentrated and elegant, showing a rich array of currant, blackberry and wild berry fruits, those supported nicely by hints of earthy minerals, sage and anise. Well focused, generous and long. Approachable young but best 2008-2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Advance Tasting): Blended with 15% of Cabernet Franc, dark garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with layers of black currants and plums matched nicely by minerals, toasty oak and hints of spices. On the long finish generous hints of cocoa powder and nutmeg. Best 2008-2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Eliad, 2004 (Advance Tasting): A blend this year of Caernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (70%, 21%, 3% and 6% respectively), this may be the most intense wine released to date by the winery. Dark garnet in color, ripe and complex, showing ripe plum, berry, floral, coffee and earthy aromas and flavors all of which come together beautifully and lead to a long and graceful finish. Approachable early but best from 2008-2012. Score 92. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Re-Tasting Two Wines
After barrel and advance tastings I went on to re-taste one red and one white, both of which I have written about on more than one occasional earlier. Re-tastings such as these are always fascinating because in addition to giving one the opportunity to see how a wine has developed over time, it also gives the critic (or the wine lover) a chance to see how accurate his original predictions were.

Royal Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, 2002: As lively and fresh as it was during earlier tastings. My original tasting note holds firmly: Fermented partly in stainless steel vats and partly in oak and then allowed to rest sur lie for six months, this medium-bodied, deep golden straw white offers up aromas and flavors of melons and pears on the first attack, those then yielding to tropical fruits, all with generous herbal-tobacco overlays. Crisp, long and elegant. Drink now–2007. Score 91. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

Royal Reserve, Merlot, 2001: Since my last tasting (14 Jan 2005), this wine has picked up a bit of depth and length. Other than that, my original tasting note holds firmly. Medium to full-bodied, this elegant and intense Merlot, blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon, was aged in French oak casks for one year. Dark in color, the wine has deep, still firm tannins, well balanced by raspberry, plum and currant fruits, those on a complex background of dark chocolate and vanilla, and a long, sweet finish. Drink now–2008. Score 91. (Re-tasted 9 Feb 2006)

* For those not familiar with the macchinetta, this is the Italian name for various, often aluminum, stovetop espresso makers. These simple but brilliant gadgets, available almost everywhere and at generally quite reasonable prices work by heating water to create pressure, that pressure forcing the water quickly through the coffee grinds. Use fine quality coffee and the result can be splendid. See the attached illustration.
The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Chateau Golan: Tasting Notes for New Releases (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Chateau Golan: Tasting Notes for New Releases
Posted by: Rogov at 11:56 December 14,2006
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Yesterday (Wednesday, 13 November), part of my afternoon was passed at a tasting of seven newly released wines of Chateau Golan. The tasting, led by winemaker Uri Hetz, was held at Tel Aviv's Messa restaurant and the new wines were served formally, that is to say, before food was served.
Chateau Golan, Rose, Royal Reserve, 2006 (Advance Tasting): One of the few rose wines you will find that actually has a rose petal reddish-pink color. Medium-bodied, made from Cabernet Franc grapes, with strawberry, raspberry, nectarine and wild berry fruits. Crisply dry and refreshing with just enough complexity to enchant. Drink now-2008. Score 87. (Tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Sauvignon Blanc, Royal Reserve, 2005: Light straw in color and deeply aromatic, this medium-bodied white, developed partly in oak and partly in stainless steel, shows tempting pear, citrus, apple and melon fruits, those supported nicely by minerals and a nice hint of white pepper. Drink now-2008. NIS 132. Score 90. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, 2004: Aged in large oak barrels for 14 months, this medium- to full-bodied and firmly tannic wine opens beautifully in the glass to reveal ripe blackberry, currant and raspberry fruits, all with a delicate hint of near-sweetness and spring flowers. On the long and generous finish hints of spices, licorice and smoked meat. Best 2008-2011. NIS 153. Score 90. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Geshem, Royal Reserve, 2004: A new blend from the winery, this of 62% Syrah and 38% Grenache. Dark ruby towards garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, with soft, ripe tannins integrating nicely and showing currant and berry fruits, those matched nicely by spices, freshly crushed herbs and, as the wine sits on the palate hints of orange peel and black tea. A long super-fruity finish here. Approachable and enjoyable now but best 2008-2010.NIS 185. Score 91. (Tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2004: A blend of Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc (89%, 6% and 5% respectivey), aged in oak for 13 months, this medium-dark garnet wine shows near-sweet tannins and a light earthy minerality, those supporting generous red currant, berry and cherry aromas and flavors. On the long finish hints of sage and anise to tantalize. Best 2008-2012. NIS 142. Score 92. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2004: Blended with 15% of Cabernet Franc, aged in French and American oak for 12 months, medium- to full-bodied, with tannins and lightly smoky wood integrating nicely to highlight blackberry, currant and purple plum fruits, those opening to hints of strawberries and spices. Best 2008-2012. NIS 136. Score 91. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Eliad, 2004: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: A blend this year of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (70%, 21%, 3% and 6% respectively), this may be the most intense wine released to date by the winery. Dark garnet in color, ripe and complex, showing deep plum, berry, floral, coffee, peppery and earthy aromas and flavors all coming together beautifully in a long and graceful finish. Best 2008–2012. NIS 154. Score 92. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Also tasted, two somewhat more mature wines from the winery:
Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2001: My most recent tasting note (13 May 2006) holds firmly: Medium to full-bodied, this elegant and intense Merlot, blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon, was aged in French oak casks for one year. Dark in color, the wine has deep, still firm tannins, well balanced by raspberry, plum and currant fruits, those on a complex background of dark chocolate and vanilla, and a long, sweet finish. Drink now–2008. Score 91. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)

Chateau Golan, Sauvignon Blanc, Royal Reserve, 2002: When last I tasted this wine (14 Apr 2006), I advised "drink up". That was good advice, for wine is now declining rapidly, turning to sweet but not entirely fresh caramel and picking up medicinal and far too herbal overlays. Perhaps still drinkable but most definitely well past its peak. No longer scoreable. (Re-tasted 13 Dec 2006)
The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Chateau Golan: Barrel and Re-Tastings (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Visit to Chateau Golan: Barrel and Re-Tastings
Posted by: Rogov at 15:01 April 17,2007
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My day today (Tuesday, 17 Apr 2007) was devoted largely to traveling to, visiting and doing tastings at Chateau Golan. My thanks to winemaker Uri Hetz and to the staff of the winery for a fascinating tasting and their many courtesies (including at least one very good French cheese after the tasting)
Best
Rogov
A fully modern winery located on Moshav Eliad on the southern Golan Heights, overlooking the intersection of theYarmuch and Rokad rivers, Chateau Golan released their first wines from the 1999 vintage and the winery continues under the hand of Oregon and California trained winemaker Uri Hetz.
Vineyards owned by the winery currently yield Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Carignan, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Mouvredre and Viognier grapes. In the planning stages are vineyards planted in Roussane, Touriga Nacional and Grenache Blanc. Production is currently about 65,000 bottles and potential future production is estimated at somewhat over 100,000 bottles annually. To date the winery has released wines in one series, Royal Reserve, that including the proprietary blend, Eliad.
As reflected in the tasting notes that follow, the 2005 vintage is going to prove splendid for the winery and the wines of 2006, although good, even excellent, will lack both the boldness and the aging potential of their 2005 brothers and sisters. More important, winemaker Hetz continues to put his personal signature on his wines, perhaps more than any other winemaker in the country showing us the charm of Old World wines from the distinctly New World.
As reading my tasting notes, keep in mind that the 2006 barrel tasting notes were made from as yet unblended components. The projected tasting notes are thus my own and time will tell how accurate they are.

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Medium-dark garnet, with a hint of sweetness on the nose, turning firm on the palate with mouthcoating tannins and hints of wood. High alcohol here but no sense of hotness as the wine opens to light oak and mocha, those supporting currants, blackberries and a hint of vanilla bean that adds a nice touch and tannins and fruits rising on the finish. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 (Advance Tasting): One of those "oh wow" wines that you come across from time to time. Almost impenetrably dark garnet in color, showing an intriguing combination of intensity, concentration and elegance A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc, opening with spicy, mocha-tinged blackcurrants, those yielding to blackberries, herbs and light oak. Hints of light sea salt and leather on the super-long finish make the wine intriguing. Perhaps the best yet from the winery. Best 2009-2015. Score 94. (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Syrah, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components but already promising to be ripe, fruity and floral. Medium-dark garnet in color, medium- to full-bodied, with a generous but softly tannic structure and spicy wood in fine balance and showing blackberry, spices, a light veggie overtone and a hint of at what this stage feels like lime peel. Promising refinement. Best 2009-2012, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 89-91. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Syrah, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Showing even better than at barrel tastings Blended with 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in large French barrels for 11 months. Dark, rich and plush from first attack, opening to show a tempting array of spicy blackberry, raspberry, red currants and pomegranate fruits those matched nicely by hints of citrus peel. Bold, with distinctly Old-World charm showing a light greenness, minerality and tantalizing meaty notes. Long and generous. Drink from release-2012. Score 92. (Re-tsted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Geshem, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from yet unblended components, those including Grenache and Syrah now developing separately. Medium dark garnet towards royal purple, showing moderately soft but mouth-coating tannins and tantalizing dusty oak, those yielding to blueberry, plum, vanilla and bitter-sweet chocolate. Not concentrated but plush, with flavors that linger long and gently on the palate. Best 2008-2012. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Geshem, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Medium dark garnet, a blend this year of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, reflecting its aging in French oak for 11 months with a light, pleasingly musky overtone Opens with a near raspberry liquor nose, that settling down to reveal oak-accented aromas and flavors of blackberries, cherries and black pepper. Deep and with impressive length, without ever feeling heavy on the palate. Best 2008-2014. Score 93. (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Merlot, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Medium-dark purple in color, medium-bodied with soft tannins and opening with a green, veggie nature but that moving quickly in the glass to currants and damson plums, all with an exotic spicy note that creeps in from mid-palate and lingers through the finish. Vibrant and just complex enough to grab the attention. Best from release-2010. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Merlot, 2005 (Advance Tasting): A thoroughly modern but still "old-worldish" wine, with good acidity, gentle wood and fruits in good balance. Showing a bit green now but that opening to currant and blueberry fruits, those complemented nicely by mocha, chocolate and vanilla. Look for a long, lightly spicy finish. Balance, harmony and finesse here. (Note to myself: Why does this wine remind me of the Merlot of Sicily's Cusomono winery?) Drink from release-2010. Score 90. (Re-asted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Eliad, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Deep garnet towards royal purple with orange reflections. Full-bodied, intense and concentrated, opening with a core of raspberry and red currant fruits, going on to black cherries. With ripe tannins, a hint of saltiness that tantalizes, a ripe and complex wine in which the oak plays only a minor role. Best 2009-2012, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 91-93. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Eliad, 2005 (Advance Tasting): Another absolute winner from the vintage. Aged in oak French oak for 13 months, a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Syrah, opens with rich almost syrup-like fruits on the nose, goes on to show depth and grace. Soft tannins, light smoky wood, find-grained tannins in fine balance with berry, black cherry, currants and licorice. Drink from release-2012. Score 93. (Re-tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Royal Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Light golden in color, aromatic, bright and lithe but showing fine concentration and balance. On the nose and palate good balance between ripe fruit, smart acidity and a silky texture echoing lime, passion fruit and the barest hint of spicy oak that go on to a long finish. Drink from release. Score 90. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)

Also tasted from barrels, but destined for blending and not for varietal releases
Cabernet Franc, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Dark garnet, with a distinct veggie nature and hints of boiled peanuts on the black fruits here. Intriguing. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)
Petit Verdot, 2006 (Barrel Tasting); Super-dark garnet in color, a dense, almost chewable wine, opening slowly to reveal plum, blackberry, coffee and earthy-herbal aromas and flavors. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)
Petite Sirah, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): The only debate with this wine is whether to call it "huge" or "immense. Inky purple towards black in color, rich, loaded with eucalyptus, plums, black cherries, sage and meaty overtones. Big enough to tame the tannins here. (Tasted 17 Apr 2007)
The Wine & Food Forum at Strat's Place > Wine > Visit to Chateau Golan + Tasting Notes (Printable Version)
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Post Title: Visit to Chateau Golan + Tasting Notes
Posted by: Rogov at 10:54 January 24,2008
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Yesterday (Wednesday, 23 January 2008), I made my way to the Golan Heights to visit and do tastings with winemaker Uri Hetz at Chateau Golan. To my surprise and pleasure, the sky was blue and although crisply cool, far from cold, in fact the coldest place we visited being the extensive cellars of the winery. Tastings took two forms – barrel and tank tastings from the 2007 vintage, those almost entirely from components and advance tastings from the 2006 vintage.
My tasting notes follow. Also posted, recent tasting notes for the 2005 wines now released. For those trying to decode my methodology – those wines tasted from components almost surely meant for blending, the blends yet unknown even to the winemaker are now awarded scores. The great advantage to tasting such wines is to gain a glimpse into how both vineyards are developing and how the winemaker perceives the future development of his wines.
My thanks to Uri and others at the winery for a fine tasting, for good discussion and good company, and for some nice cheeses, salami and pate after the tasting. And, of course, for several cups of espresso.

2007 Barrel Tastings

Chateau Golan, Sauvignon Blanc, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): With 60% of the wine fermented and developing sur lie in 350 liter barrels and 40% of the wine developing in stainless steel but already showing the promise of being an medium-bodied, aromatic wine with generous notes of citrus and orange peel together with a charming hint of what Jancis Robinson so appropriately called "cat's peel on a mulberry bush". Drink from release. Tentative Score 87-89. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Grenache, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Medium-dark ruby towards garnet, smooth and velvety with generous plum, cherry and currant fruits all hinting at sweet spices and leading to a long finish on which mineral and a light salty note creep comfortably in. Drink from release-2012. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied and concentrated enough to be thought of as dense, and well structured enough that the 15.5% alcohol content slides by comfortably. Whether the light sensation of sweetness comes from the tannins or the alcohol is difficult to say at this moment but a stylish wine with plum, licorice, violet and graphite notes that run to a long and generous finish. Enticing. Best 2009-2013. Tentative Score 89-91 (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Franc, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): This could be a textbook Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, especially when one looks at the area of Chinon. Smooth and velvety, with plenty of tannins but those soft and gently mouth-coating and opening to show black cherry currant, blueberry and tobacco notes, those complemented by hints of tobacco. As this one develops look for hints of green olives and briar. Best 2009-2013. Tentative Score 90-92. (Tasted 22 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Full-bodied, well extracted, deep and concentrated, showing generous soft tannins. Generous blackberry, licorice and chocolate here, those parting to revel hints of raspberries and cassis all leading to a long, lightly toasty finish. Delicious even at this super-early stage but deserves time. Best from 2010. Tentative Score 90-92 (Tasted 22 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Tasted from components, one medium-bodied with gentle tannins and distinct hints of elegance, the second darker in color, more intense and concentrated. As predictions go, destined to be medium- to full-bodied, smooth and with gentle but mouth-coating tannins opening to show blackberry and currant fruits that become supple and hold one's attention to the end. Best from release-2012. Tentative Score 88-90. (Tasted 22 Jan 2008)
2007 – From the Barrel But Strictly Component Tastings
Chateau Golan, French Colombard, 2007 (Tank Tasting): Fresh and lively, loaded with pear, citrus and floral aromas and flavors a refreshing and thoroughly pleasant but not overly complex white, almost certainly destined for blending. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Grenache Blanc, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): A distinctive white, with floral aromas and flavors matched nicely by spicy nuts, ginger, figs and green apples all with a hint of lime on the finish. Reminds me of the delightful Grenache Blanc wines of Languedoc's Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes. Alas, destined for blending. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Viognier, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Relatively light but rich, ripe and fragrant, with pear, spicy and floral aromas and flavors that hold through to a long finish on which generous metallic and flinty elements rise along with a hint of almonds.. For blending. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Mourvedre, 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Its medium-body and cherry red color reflecting that this was made from very young vines, but with soft tannins a gentle and round wine with raspberry, black cherry, blackberry and chocolate notes with just the barest hint of grilled meat creeping in. Might make a lovely quaffer but destined for blending. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Petit Verdot 2007 (Barrel Tasting): Delicious even now but another "alas" for destined only for blending. Supple and velvety, with gently mouth-coating tannins and appealing currant, berry and floral notes that carry on nicely to a long fruity and lightly minted finish. (Tasted 23 Jan 2008)

2006 and 2007 Barrel and Advance Tastings

Chateau Golan, Eliad, Royal Reserve, 2006 (Barrel Tasting): Dark garnet, full-bodied and with fine balance and structure, a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3.5% each of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Opens with red and black berries, those joined by blackcurrant and black cherries, those supported by a light note of spicy oak and sweet cedar wood. Ripe, round and generous, will most assuredly call to mind Bordeaux with a Mediterranean hint added by notes of fresh herbs and black olives. Best 2009-2012. Tentative Score 91-93. (Re-tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Gsehem, 2006 (Advance Tasting): A blend of 81% Grenache, 14% Syrah and 5% of Mourvedre, each developed separately and having spent a total of 13 months in barriques. Medium-dark garnet, medium-bodied, opening quietly on the nose but showing very nicely indeed on the palate, opening to reveal raspberry, blueberry, cherries and red currant fruits, those supported nicely by vanilla and hints of spices and bittersweet chocolate. Long and generous. Best 2009-2012. Score 91. (Re-tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Syrah, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Medium-dark garnet towards royal purple in color, full-bodied, this blend of 89% Syrah, 8% Grenache and 3% Syrah was aged in oak for 12 months. Soft tannins and spicy wood are in fine proportion with fruits and acidity. On the nose and palate ripe blackberries and plums, those matched nicely by spices and hints of citrus peel and saddle leather. Best 2009-2012. Score 90. (Re-tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Merlot, Royal Reserve, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Showing much as at barrel tastings. Medium-bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins, opens with a green, veggie nature but changes quickly in the glass to currants and damson plums, all with an exotic spicy note that creeps in from mid-palate and lingers through the finish. Vibrant and just complex enough to grab attention. Drink from release–2011. Score 89. 9Re-tasted 23 Jan 2008)
Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2006 (Advance Tasting): Cabernet Sauvignon bended with 9% Cabernet Franc, 3.5% Syrah and 1.5% Petit Verdot. Oak aged for 12 months medium-dark garnet, with a hint of sweetness on the nose, turning firm on the palate with mouth-coating tannins and hints of wood. Opens to light oak and mocha, which support currants, blackberries and a hint of vanilla bean that adds a nice touch; tannins and fruits rising on the finish. Best 2009–2012. Score 89. (Re-tasted 23 Jan 2008).

2005- Currently on the Market

Chateau Golan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Royal Reserve, 2005: Almost impenetrably dark garnet in color, this wine is both concentrated and elegant. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc, opening with spicy, mocha-tinged black currants, those yielding to blackberries, herbs and light oak. Hints of light sea salt and leather on the super-long finish make the wine intriguing. Perhaps the best yet from the winery. Best 2009–2015. Score 94.
Chateau Golan, Eliad, 2005: Aged in French oak for 13 months, this blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Syrah opens with rich, almost syrup-like fruits on the nose, and goes on to show depth and grace. Soft tannins, light smoky wood, fine-grained tannins in good balance with berry, black cherry, currants and licorice. Drink now–2012. Score 93.
Chateau Golan, Syrah, Royal Reserve, 2005: Blended with 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in large French barrels for 11 months. Dark, rich and plush from first attack, opening to show a tempting array of spicy blackberry, raspberry, red currants and pomegranate fruits, those matched nicely by hints of citrus peel. Bold, with distinctly Old-World charm, showing a light greenness, minerality and tantalizing meaty notes. Long and generous. Drink now-2012. Score 92.
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