Founded in 1998 by Yo’av Levy and Assaf Kedem on Moshav Kidmat Tsvi in the Golan Heights, the first facility of this winery was located in a cow shed and initial production from that vintage year was 1,800 bottles. Today, entirely under the auspices of Levy, the winery is currently producing about 30,000 bottles annually, half of those from grapes grown in its own vineyards on the Golan Heights. Until 2005 the winery released only Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The winery's first Merlot was released from the 2006 vintage.
The wines are in two series: Reserve and Bazelet Hagolan, the first aged in oak for about 20 months, the second for 8–10 months. Production has been kosher since the 2004 vintage. (By the way, bazelet is volcanic soil, the kind that typifies much of the Golan Heights)
My tasting notes for the last two vintages now on the market follow.
Bazelet Hagolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, full-bodied and deeply aromatic, with firm tannins in fine balance with wood and fruits. On the nose and palate spicy blackberry, currant and citrus peel, and, on the long finish, a generous hint of espresso coffee. Drink now–2010. Score 86. K
Bazelet Hagolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Rich, ripe, smooth, generous and well balanced with currant, berry and plum flavors coming together with near-sweet tannins and tempting smoky oak lingering nicely. Drink now–2012. Score 88. K
Bazelet Hagolan, Reserve, Merlot, 2006: Oak-aged, with a generous 15.5% alcohol content. Full-bodied and intense, almost thick on the palate with soft tannins integrating to show appealing black, near-jammy fruits. Finishes sweet and hot. Drink now–2010. Score 85. K
Bazelet Hagolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Medium to full-bodied, with chunky country-style tannins and a hint of sweet cedarwood that runs throughout. Opens to show traditional Cabernet currant and blackberry fruits, those matched by hints of light earthiness and sweet herbs. Drink now. Score 87. K
Bazelet Hagolan, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005: Youthful garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and showing a pleasing array of currant, blackberry, vanilla and, on the long finish, minerals and a layer of toasty oak. Spoiled somewhat by a rising musky aroma that comes in from mid-palate. Drink now. Score 85. K
Bazelet Hagolan, Merlot, 2006: Youthful royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with near-sweet tannns and delicately spicy oak highlighting plum and currant fruits. In the background, light toasty bread and smoked meat. A 15% alcohol content gives a fairly hot finish. Drink now. Score 85. K