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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Jan 02, 2008
Unusual origin at least.
by: Darby

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the Cab Merlot Patrick. There is an interesting article on Israeli wines at The Wine News. Apparently the Israelis are looking to market their wines mainstream.

I haven't seen any Israeli wines or marketing in Australia, but I am sure there are at least Kosher Israeli wines available here.

Nor have I seen any South African Gamay here. We have plenty of good Aussie Gamay, and I am a great fan of the variety

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