|Yarden - Katzrin (Israel)
11/98. Bought locally, Mar-97 for $36.
This limited-edition top-of-the-line wine is only made in the best years. So far it has only been made in 1990 and 1993. The wine is a 'Bordeaux-style' melange of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (about 3:1) from the best sites in the Golan Heights.
One bottle per person was the official quota and even I couldn't get more than four bottles...
COLOR: Pretty dark violet-red with very thin clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Simply bursting out of the glass! Concentrated and complex aromas of various forest fruit, caramel, vanilla and oak. Impressive and enticing. I don't think I ever had an Israeli wine with such a profound nose.
TASTE: Mouthfilling with plenty of sweetish fruit and lots of winyness. The wine is soft and smooth in spite of the huge tannins that still abound. Too much wood and too little acidity distract from an otherwise superb wine.
LENGTH: Medium long aftertaste with carry over of the fruit flavors.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: A big wine. Very rich and concentrated. Fruit, winyness and good grip are there. The big tannins will subside eventually(?), but the overuse of wood and the lack of acidity will always prevent this monumental wine from achieving perfect balance.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus now! Will no doubt mellow into a superb wine when the tannins will soften. I wish I could 'tune-up' this wine a little bit. A bit less time in wood, a bit more refreshing acidity and fewer tannins. Then we would have the first really extraordinary Israeli wine...
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.