Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

2005 Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon

By Jessica Yadegaran
Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 4:53 pm in Corkheads.

Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon

Passsover is near. As such, I’m in kosher winetasting mode. And blessed be to Yahweh, I tasted a heckuva gem last night.

The 2005 Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Golan Heights Winery and represents all that is elegant and drinkable about this grape. It helps, of course, that dashes of Merlot and Cabernet Franc massage its sharp corners, adding softness and finesse.

Golan Heights, one of the oldest wineries among Israel’s 150-plus properties, has three labels: Golan Heights, Yarden, and Gamla. The latter two are considered premium and produce ageable wines.

The grapes hail from the northeastern part of Israel, the eponymous Golan Heights, where high altitude, a cool climate (compared to the Judean Hills and Negev) and volcanic, basalt soils make it prime for grape growing.

But if you buy the Gamla Cab – 30 percent of the winery’s production is exported, so you should find it with ease – I’d drink it in the next year or two.

In the glass, it’s bright ruby. On the nose, its got beautiful floral aromas and dark berry fruits. And on the palate – my my – more dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and a long delicate finish that begs for a tomato-based stew.

This wine is well worth the $25 tag. L’chaim, Corkheads.

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