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Flat front label of wine

Yarden Merlot 2006

Merlot from Israel
  • RP88
15% ABV
  • WE92
  • WS89
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2006 Yarden Merlot displays ripe red and black fruit characters with hints of orange zest, fresh herbs and warm spices. This aromatic and complex wine boasts good flavor concentration and length.

While enjoyable now, the 2006 Yarden Merlot will continue to improve in the bottle for a number of years, and will remain in good drinking condition for up to a decade from harvest. Give it a try with a variety of beef dishes such as a rib-eye steak in a red wine or mushroom sauce, Beef Stroganoff or Beef Bourguignon.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 MERLOT (YARDEN) clocks in at 15%, but it seems to handle it quite well. Those looking at the price tags on the single vineyard Merlots reviewed this issue, might find some solace here, and in fact this might be the most complete wine of the group, free of flaws and nicely balanced. This is a beautifully constructed wine, focused, pointed and with a serious backbone. It does seem very new world, the oak a little too prominent (it spent 14 months in French oak, only 40% new), which constrained my enthusiasm a little. Yet it is hard to dislike this beautifully constructed wine. If the style is to your liking, you've got yourself a serious bargain here and you should stock up. I’m betting that it will age fairly well if well stored and handled. This 2006 is the current release on the shelves; the importer advises that the '07 will not be available until sometime next year in the USA. Drink now-2016.
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Yarden

Yarden

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Yarden, Israel
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The premier label and flagship brand of Golan Heights Winery. Each year the finest grapes from the best vineyards are reserved for Yarden wines. Yarden is the Hebrew for Jordan River, which bisects the Golan Heights from the Galilee. The label features a symbol of ancient Israel: an oil lamp decorated with mosaic tile.

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.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

WWH118325_2006 Item# 107757