"The wine offers various aromas including: plums and dark berry fruits while in the background hints of cloves and vanilla; serve alongside quality hard cheeses, rich meat dishes or a juicy tenderloin steak…" Yonatan Sternberg gives the lowdown on some 'noble' Israeli Cabernet Sauvignons.
Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely one my favorite grape varieties. This noble grape variety, often referred to as the “King of Red Grapes” is capable of producing great wines and is usually used in the classic Bordeaux style blends along with Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. For many years Cabernet Sauvignon was thought to be an ancient variety, however recent studies at the U.C Davis enology department in California have determined that the Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the crossbreed offspring of Sauvignon Blanc (white) and Cabernet Franc (red). The grape’s high tannin content insures that quality Cabernet wines will keep and often benefit from relatively longer cellaring.
Following are some tasting notes of several Israeli Cabs sampled over the last few months.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, El Rom Vineyard, 2004Having spent 18 months in barriqes, this full bodied red is showing deep concentrated aromas of black fruits particularly currants, cherries and other berry fruits followed by hints of herbs and pepper. The wine offers rich and complex flavors all leading to a long finish.
In my opinion the El Rom 2004 would probably benefit from further cellaring and has not yet reached its peak.
Golan Heights, Yarden, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004 This Cab is showing plenty of “fruity” aromas including: ripe cherries, currants and young plums as well as notes of oak and dark chocolate. Full bodied, the wine offers a long and pleasant finish.
The "Wine Spectator" declared this Cab as one of the top 100 wines recently released (taking into consideration value for money, availability and other factors), making it the first Israeli wine included in this prestigious list.
Dalton, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005On the nose and palate, the wine offers various aromas including: plums and dark berry fruits while in the background hints of cloves and vanilla all leading to a long and satisfying finish.
The winery suggests serving this wine alongside quality hard cheeses, rich meat dishes or a juicy tenderloin steak.
Margalit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005Full bodied and dark purple in color, this red is showing generous aromas of plums, raspberries as well as dark berry fruits. On the long finish hints of wood fresh herbs.
If you get a chance (and have the budget) try sampling some of Margalit’s other reds, I also enjoyed the “Enigma” and the Cabernet Franc 05.
Tip of the week: "Wine & beer Workshops in Jerusalem" Recently opened in downtown Jerusalem, the owners of the Mia Bar took it upon themselves to promote a wine and alcohol culture in the city. Aside from the impressive beverage selection, Mia also hosts workshops on various topics. On January 26th Mia is inviting Jessie Bodec, one of the top sommeliers in Israel to shed some light on the world of wine tasting and production methods. For additional information and registration please contact:Mia Bar 18 Hillel St., Jerusalem Tel: 02-625-9491