Dry Red Wine
The 2017 Yarden Merlot expresses notes of ripe red and black fruits, along with characters of orange peel, earth and fresh herbs. A wonderful example of the exceptional quality of Merlot grown in the Golan Heights, this classic Merlot is full-bodied, rich and flavorful.
Although enjoyable to drink upon release, the 2017 Yarden Merlot will develop in the bottle over the next few years, and stay in good drinking condition for up to a decade from harvest. We love pairing this food-friendly wine with a rack of lamb with a Merlot glaze, braised beef short ribs, or roasted root vegetables.
While the winter leading up to the 2017 season started promisingly, with an unusually cold and wet December, total seasonal precipitation finished at only 82% of normal. The lack of late winter rain resulted in restrained vine growth and canopies nicely open to light and air penetration. After an average spring, July saw daily highs 2oC (3.6oF) warmer than usual. Happily, typical weather returned in August, and the absence of weather extremes led to beautiful, and faster than normal, ripening. Ending up as a relatively short eleven-week harvest, 2017 was yet another vintage of excellent quality.
The 2017 Yarden Merlot is made from grapes harvested from certified sustainable vineyards in the central and northern Golan Heights. These areas have produced high-quality Merlot fruit over the course of three decades. The wine aged in small French oak barrels, some 40% of which were new, for 18 months.
The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation in Israel. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin in the central Golan.
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