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Golan Heights Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel
  • RP89
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Oak-aged red wine with good fruit and smooth finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarden) was aged for 18 months in French oak (40% new). It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. The first Cabernet I saw from Golan Heights when I started covering Israel, this is a wine with which I have had an up-and-down history. This was a good bottle. This is "up." Showing more concentration, a more serious demeanor and better texture than the Merlot, also reviewed, it has lost whatever sweet and fruity nuances it had (happily). It has replaced them with something more complex and interesting, yet it still has at least a little freshness. Tight and focused, it also still has a backbone and it may hold nicely for a few more years. However, the nuances of maturing fruit around the edges suggest that it should probably be drunk in the near future for best results. For a modestly priced wine, this is quite impressive.
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Golan Heights

Golan Heights

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Golan Heights, Israel
Image of winery
Soil. Topography. Climate. These are the three distinct grape-growing conditions for producing quality wines on an international level. In Israel, such optimal conditions exist in the Golan Heights. Everything in this magical strip of land begins with the right conditions - in the Golan, a combination of volcanic basaltic soil, suitable topography and high altitude resulting in cool climate. This is what gives the Golan Heights its second name: "Wine Country." Over the years, the distinctive wines of the Golan Heights Winery have placed Israel on the world wine map. Since its founding in 1983, the Golan Heights Winery has marketed three leading brands: Yarden, Gamla and Golan. The winery has plaed a significant role in nurturing the country's current wine culture, and has altered the way Israeli wines are perceived worldwide.

With a rich history of wine production dating back to biblical times, Israel is a part of the cradle of wine civilization. Here, wine was commonly used for religious ceremonies as well as for general consumption. During Roman times, it was a popular export, but during Islamic rule around 1300, production was virtually extinguished. The modern era of Israeli winemaking began in the late 19th century with help from Bordeaux’s Rothschild family. Accordingly, most grapes grown in Israel today are made from native French varieties. Indigenous varieties are all but extinct, though oenologists have made recent attempts to rediscover ancient varieties such as Marawi for commercial wine production.

In Israel’s Mediterranean climate, humidity and drought can be problematic, concentrating much of the country’s grape growing in the north near Galilee, Samaria near the coast and at higher elevations in the east. The most successful red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, while the best whites are made from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Many, though by no means all, Israeli wines are certified Kosher.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WBW30033108_2003 Item# 82609