Posted on March 12th, 2011
While Lebanon dominates the market in terms of wines on shelves here, just over the border in Israel, they’re making some great stuff of their own, and it’s a real shame we’re not getting to drink any of it.
Sheer chance brought a bottle of Yarden Merlot 2007 to chez nous, thanks to an Israeli client of SWMBO.
It’s made in Galilee, an area any good Christian will be familiar with.
But back to the wine, gorgeous ripe fruit, great “varietal typicity” (read plums, cherries and chocolate), nice soft texture, freshness and minerality. Nice soft integrated oak adding a little vanilla into the mi with a lovely long finish.
Merlot grapes are mostly from the Golan Heights, an area of the Galilee appellation and arguably the best area for wine in Israel. It’s also quite cold at times, due to the northerly aspect as well as the altitude.
The vineyards on the volcanic plateau go from 400 metres to about 1,200 metres. Altitude in normally hot areas can help keep them honest, giving the wines a freshness and good acidity thanks to the difference in day and night temperatures.
So, that’s just one wine from seems to be a very good wine producing country. If only we got to hear and taste more from Israeli wines.