|Domain du Castel (Israel)
3/99. Bought at the winery, Apr-98 for $30.
Eli Ben-Zaken, the leading (IMNSHO) Israeli boutique winery, produced 8000 bottles of this Bordeaux-style (70% Cab, 30% Merlot) wine.
My first bottle I tasted with Ben-Zaken about a year ago at his house. A bottle I opened a couple of months ago was corked, so I decided to wait till I taste another one before I write about it.
COLOR: Pretty dark ruby, though not as dark as typical Israeli Cabs.
NOSE: Very nice nose of red berries, cassis, chocolate and some wood elements. Rich but elegant and restraint, with many more subtleties than just a pure fruit bomb.
TASTE: Young and pretty tannic at first, though with plenty of substance. Excellent fruit, lots of winyness, measured acidity and a velvety quality that reveals itself as soon as the tannins soften up a bit. Fantastic grip though more delicate than robust. Not unlike a really good (though not great) St. Emilion.
LENGTH: Not particularly long but mouthfilling from attack to finish.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium bodied, very expressive, fantastically balanced and a pleasure to drink. Plenty of soft tannins that do not over-shadow the wine's qualities. Still a few years from maturity.
OVERALL: Excellent-plus!. In two-three years I believe this wine will become superb.
MARK: 17.5/20.aaaaaaaaBUY MORE? Yes.
Reach Me? firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.