Re-tasted four Yatir wines in all this evening at the unveiling event and then two of those blind on return home. Winemaker Eran Goldwasser of Yatir is certainly doing things right and continues to demonstrate that this is indeed one of the very best wineries in Israel. My tasting notes follow.
Yatir, Viognier, 2007: My earlier tasting note holds firmly: Light golden straw in color, made entirely from Viognier grapes, some intentionally harvested early, some quite late and wisely unoaked to maintain the fruity and aromatic nature of the variety. Rich, ripe and crispy dry, a generous mouthful of pear, green apple, melon and summer fruits, those backed up by crisp acidity and a hint of unsweetened cream on the long finish. Drink now–2011. Score 92. K (Re-tasted twice with consistent notes 27 Jul 2008)
Yatir, Sauvignon Blanc, 2007: Showing elegance and subtlety with citrus, passion fruit, green apple and grapefruit aromas flavors on a stony-mineral background. Well crafted, simultaneously lively and sophisticated. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K (Re-tasted twice with consistent notes 27 Jul 2008)
Yatir, Merlot-Shiraz-Cabernet , 2005: My earlier tasting note holds firmly. A blend of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot (37%, 36%, 15% and 12% respectively). Aged in oak for 12 months, this still young wine shows firm tannins nicely balanced with lightly spicy wood. Starts with a rich blackberry nose and then goes on to aromas and flavors of wild berries, currants, and anise, all on a gently herbal background. Drink now–2012. Score 90. K (Re-tasted 27 Jul 2008)
Yatir Forest, 2005: Showing very nicely indeed and even better than at an advance tasting (about 18 months ago). A full-bodied Bordeaux blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 10% Merlot. A third aged in new and two-thirds aged in old wood barriques for 15 months, this dark royal-purple towards garnet, deeply aromatic wine casts intense orange and green reflections. Soft tannins integrating beautifully and the intentionally gentle hand with the wood come together nicely to let the wine open with spicy berry and cassis aromas and flavors, those going on to show blackberries and an underlying and fascinating mélange of bitter herbs. Long, generous and destined for elegance. Drink now–2014. Score 94. K (Re-tasted 27 Jul 2008)