Yatir Forest 2003 (Israeli Cab Merlot)
by Patrick Ballin
We tasted, bought and drank a number of exceptional wines during 2007 (as well as quite a few sadly unexceptional ones!). The star purchase, which just came off the rack to celebrate New Year, was a Yatir Forest 2003, which was an impulse purchase on a business trip through Tel Aviv airport. It was recommended by the guy in the really very impressive wine store there; however I misread the price and thought I was buying in shekels, it was actually priced in US dollars (about 4x more expensive than I had intended). I went ahead anyway and it was worth every cent. Round, complex, full of Cab Sauv fruit softened with some velvety vanilla Merlot.
Not the most exotic varietals, and we had certainly tried a few of those out during the year (spring holiday in Malta being a prime opportunity): but beautifully blended and crafted.
I don't know where they sell these wines outside of Israel but I will be looking out for them when I am next back.
The other wine I am looking out for is a fabulous South African Gamay, I wish I could remember the name. Any pointers anyone?
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