|Hello Israeli red!|
My first Israeli red – Clos de Gat Har’el Syrah 2007 (Judean Hills, Isreal)
14%, Cork, Circa £20
Sadly we don’t see many Israeli wines here in Australian. We don’t see much in the way of Bulgarian, Turkish or Hungarian wines either, but I’ve never even seen something from Israel. Despite being apparently one of the birthplaces of the wine industry, it seems that the Israeli wine industry has only really flourished within the last 20-30 years, driven by the push into cooler climate regions like the Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and the Judean Hills.
From what I can gather – and like many quite ‘new’ wine producing nations – the varietal mix in Israel is largely French with a focus on Syrah, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. This Clos de Gat Syrah (with about 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) follows a similar pattern too, the wine made in a modern, fruit forward, sumptuously oaked style.
Dark plum coloured and dark plum flavoured, this is like a peppery Grampians red if anything, though perhaps just missing some of the spice and depth of the old vine Grampians reds. Coffeed oak fills out the middle, a sheen of vanilla sweetness over that bright, chunky fruit, everything finishing with quite light tannins and warm alcohol.
A good new world red from the old world, the depth here and genuine nature of the wine making it a pretty satisfying full bodied modern red.
Score: 17.7/20 92/100
Would I buy it? Maybe not, but what an options wine!