We have previously tasted and written about two previous vintages of one of our favorite wines, the Bordeaux style blend flagship wine of one of our favorite wineries, Galil Mountain which is located at Kibbutz Yiron. Those previously tasted were from the 2006 vintage and the 2007 vintage. Last night we opened the subject of this article, the 2009 vintage. I am going to write about it and only then read what we wrote about the previous vintages so as not to be influenced by our previous opinions.
I needn’t describe this winery as you can easily read about it in previous articles as well as see it for yourself in these three panoramic vistas from their website. We’ve been there many times, including enjoying their events and barbecues. But I digress. The Yiron blend has varied in its mix from year to year, including as little as 48% Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2006 vintage. The 2009 vintage is more in keeping with the classic Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and a pinch of something else, in this case, 5% Petit Verdot. For more technical data we refer you to the winery’s web site’s page detailing aspects of the harvest and production methods.
The alcohol content has seemed to be rising in recent years from the 13.9% of the first vintage of Yiron in 2000. This goes along with the trend throughout Israel and this year’s Yiron vintage qualifies as a “high alcohol wine,” with its 15.5% alcohol. This subject has been nicely discussed in a Wall Street Journal Article by Lettie Teague, in which she quotes some sommeliers as saying, “the heightened alcohol exaggerates everything, turning the wine into some sort of terrible caricature of itself. Apparently they have even used words like “monstrous,” “fruit bombs,” as well as “Frankenwine” to describe these wines they consider unbalanced in the sense that alcohol, they say, exaggerates everything. But in the end of her balanced article, Teague quotes Aldo Sohm, wine director of Le Bernardin in New York as saying, “It’s like the fat in the meat.” In this sense it is the alcohol that delivers the flavors. And this wine we drank sure does deliver. It has rich earthy aromas of our compost pile at our house in the hills. This, combined with a complex variety of flavors of peanuts and prunes with the smells of burnt wood and the ashes of the barbecue. It is rich in tannins that are not in any way harsh and which blend in with the flavors of dried prunes mixed with fresh plums. It has a super-long finish with bursting buds of flavors long after the wine has gone from the mouth.
We rate it an A despite its slightly high cost, although I found it on an internet search on Wine-Searcher.com selling from between $19 to $29 at a number of wine merchants in the NY/NJ area. There was one from Ohio selling it at $33. The east coast prices are roughly equivalent to what it sells for at the winery, approximately 90 shekels. This wine will definitely age well in ideal storage such as one of the many available and reasonably priced wine refrigerators. Enjoy this wine on special occasions and when you really want to treat yourself. L’Haim