Some Israeli Tasting Notes
The Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon is the flag-wine of the Golan Wineries. It is
made entirely from Cabernet grapes picked from choice vineyards in the Golan
Heights (Although the label says "Upper Galilee" for political reasons < g >)
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
Current price $45. Excellent deep color, very good fruity nose, fully mature
and very smooth on the palate, medium length. Superb balance between wood and
extract in spite of some lack in acidity. A full bodied, elegant and very
satisfying wine, although not in a huge way. Mark 16+/20.
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1989
Current price $39. Same deep color, immense fruit on the nose with more than
hints of vanilla and licorice. Voluptuous, mouth filling taste, almost
overdoing it. Full bodied with everything from wood to fruit to alcohol
accentuated, reasonable acidity too. Maybe not the most elegant wine, but
certainly the most tasty currently available Israeli wine. Mark 17/20.
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
Current price $27. Superb dark-red color. Fantastic nose, taste, length and
balance. Combines the elegance of the '88 with the substance of the '89. Full
body and full of extracts. Soft tannins still in abundance. This, and the good
acidity ensure many more years of enjoyment. A truly great wine just coming
out of its shell. Mark 18/20.
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
Current price $24. Very good color. Reasonably fruity nose though too much
wood is felt. Quite thin on the palate, not much fruit there. Neither good nor
interesting. Harsh tannins, too much wood and alcohol, too little fruit.
(relatively) mediocre and unbalanced wine. I don't think it will significantly
improve in time. Mark 14/20.
Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Current price $18. Fresh almost black color. Good fruit on the nose,
surrounded by decent wood elements. Presently unpleasant on the palate. Not
only the tannins are not resolved yet, but the wine itself seems to lack in
substance. Short dry aftertaste. Better than the '91, but not sure by how
much. Mark 15/20.
Segal Bros. Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
Current price $22. Only 320 cases were made from this wine. The Segal Brothers
used to be the best Israeli winery in the late 70s and the early 80s. That
didn't mean much, as Israeli wine at this time was generally horrible. However
since the Golan winery was established in 1983, Segal wine became synonymous
to cheap (price AND taste) restaurants wine.
This small 'hand made' production was issued some months ago in order to face-lift
their low image. The wine is
said to be unfiltered, to have lied in barrels for many years, and the label
is boasted to be made of pressed grape-skins! (The gimmicks some will use
these days. The label does look cheap and tatty < g >).
Color is a bit murky
violet-red. Now comes something I cannot explain: The wine smells like an
Alsace Riesling or Gewurz! I swear, if I was given a glass literally
blind-folded, by the nose only I would have said Alsace!!! I had this wine
three times already, so it cannot be some bottle fluke. Not that the aroma is
unpleasant (I love the fresh grapes smell of Alsace wines), but this is a RED
wine, and supposably Cabernet Sauvignon... I don't pretend to understand any
of this. Neither the nose not the taste resemble any Cabernet I ever had.
Nevertheless, the wine is fruity, light (only 11.5%), has good acidity and is
overall very pleasant. Though short on complexity, it is certainly an
'interesting' wine. Mark 16/20.
Reach Me? firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.