|Domaine du Castel
2/01. Bought at the winery, June-00 for $31.
It is a very rare occasion for an Israeli wine to be featured in the Decanter Magazine. It is unprecedented for one to receive the accolade of "Decanter's Choice" (i.e a ***** wine). Yet, that is exactly what this 1997 Castel has achieved in a recent issue of the magazine.
A Bordeaux-type melange of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the Castel 'Grand Vin' is made by Eli Ben-Zaken, the most conscientious Israeli winemaker.
I have only tasted this wine when it was still in barrel, and did not mean to open a bottle so early. But in lieu of the late hoopla I decided to try a bottle and see what's in there.
COLOR: Medium-dark red, not altogether clear. Thin clearing around the rim.
NOSE: Profound and intriguing nose. Deep layers of black and red fruit bursting out of the glass. Vigorous and concentrated yet complex beyond just being fruity. Wood elements are well balanced against the fruit and flowery aromas. Excellent!
TASTE: A bit more vigor than the usually delicate style of Ben-Zaken. Mouth-filling and youthful, with plenty of winyness, fresh fruit, good acidity and ripe tannins. Wholesome, stylish and extremely tasty.
LENGTH: Long and reverberating aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Medium-full body, clean multi-flavored fruit, fine backbone and superbly balanced. Will yet improve for another 2-4 years.
OVERALL: Superb! May in time rival the '85 Yarden Cabernet when it was at its peak.
|MARK: 18.5/20.||BUY MORE? Yes.|
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.