This is a modern style of Chardonnay from the center of Israel. It is 90% Chardonnay with 10% Sauvignon Blanc added. This is a very nice white with energy and some verve to it. Light golden in color. The nose has lemons and minerals. Slight oak but no butter. On the palate, this is clean with nice minerality and slight lemon/citrus. Good length. It is drinking well now and probably should be drunk up in the next year. It will go well with lighter foods, salads and sea foods.
This is the second wine of Domaine Castel. It is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Purple in color. The nose has cassis, plums, chocolate and slight black olives. Nice texture. On the palate, sour black cherries, some black raspberries over char and earth. Medium tannins. This needs a couple of years to sort itself out and then should be good for a decade. A nice choice for roasted meats, fowl and veggies.
Impressive showing for this wine. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis and slight olives. Great texture. On the palate, black raspberries, black cherries. Sweet tannins. Nice finish. This is young and could improve a bit with a few years in the cellar. It will drink well for at least a decade after that. It will go well with brisket, burgers or roasted meats and fowl.
The Yatir Forest is on the edge of the Negev desert in southern Israel. I have had this wine before and thought it was labelled Negev but this 2012 vintage is labelled Judean Hills. I am not sure where the boundaries of the wine regions are. According to the label, this is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Petite Verdot, and 9% Tannat. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis, plums, char and baking spices. On the palate, this is more boysenberry with black cherries over a gravelly char. Slight tannins. Nice finish. This took some time to open and then kept opening all evening. It seem
Castel is probably the consistently best top winery in Israel. Although modern Israel wine is a very young industry, so this is always changing. Castel has a proven track record. The Grand Vin is the best wine that they make. This is quite young and just not giving up much right now. After a couple of hours of air, it had improved but its best days are at least five years in the future. Inky purple in color. The nose has nice baking spices along with some cherries. On the palate, firm tannins. Black cherries. Monolithic at present. It is tasty but needs time develop a complexity