Last week the Barkan Winery officially launched the 2006 Altitude series. The event took place at the Dixie restaurant, an upscale Tel Aviv diner under the management of chefs Dan Cartadela and Haim Cohen.
Barkan currently produces a large array of both varietal as well as blended wines divided into five categories/labels: Domaine, Classic, Reserve, Altitude and the high end label titled Superieur. Considered by many as part of the Reserve category, Barkan’s Altitude label (usually) consists of three Cabernet- Sauvignon wines. The grapes are harvested from vineyards at altitudes ranging from +412 to +720 meters above sea level and are processed in similar methods.
This provides us with a chance to compare the traits of the different terroirs. To those who aren’t familiar with this French term, the word terroir refers to the combination of the micro-climate, soil type, topography and other factors that influence the vine, grapes and consequently impact the wine as well.
Unfortunately, 2006 was a difficult year for vintners in the Northern part of the country. In addition to unstable weather conditions, Irit Boxer-Shank, a member of the Barkan winemaking team, explained that “the vineyards were damaged during the Second Lebanon War and the vintners weren’t able to harvest and tend to the grapes”. Due to these events; Barkan wasn’t able to produce the third wine in the series, the Altitude +720.
Back to the event: After introducing the wines and the winemakers, Mr. Shmuel Boxer, CEO and founder of the Barkan winery described progress made by Barkan and mentioned that “Barkan is constantly investing resources and planting additional vineyards aiming to produce a variety of high quality wines”.
We started off with a tasting of the +412, 2006, which, in my opinion, is more elegant when compared +412 of previous vintages. Dark ruby in color, this full bodied red offers concentrated aromas of various black fruits, cherries, dark chocolate, followed by a slight smoky note.
After enjoying the +412, it was time to move on and the Cabernet Sauvignon +624, 2006, was poured to our glasses. Produced using grapes harvested at the Alma vineyard, the wine offers layered aromas of both black & red fruits, purple flowers and spices all leading to a long and well balanced finish. In my opinion this wine is not yet at its peak and would benefit from additional cellaring.