9 Mar 2006

Yatir Forest

Yatir Forest '02
Judean Hills, Jerusalem, Kosher
[£24.95, Amazing Grapes]

EVERYTHING ABOUT this wine intrigues me: the elegant, economical label, backstory and of course its taste. It is chiefly made by an ambitious young Israeli (hence the weighty bottle) tending vines planted in a patchwork of four rather small vineyards. These are located in clearings in the newly planted (42 years ago) 3000ha Yatir Forest (www).

It is virtually black, with a bitter-dry tang evoking sharp, spicy green peppers, maybe even a touch of hemp? A touch closed at present, I have been monitoring it and think it will really develop over time.
Unfiltered and demonstrating restrained French oak character.

Facts:
-There are over 125 wineries in Israel;
-Carmel is perhaps the most significant, dating back to its foundation in 1882 by Edmond de Rothschild;
-Winemaking in the Yatir dates back over 2500 year ago;
-Yatir is a joint venture between Carmel (also the name of the mountain range east of Haifa) and winemakers of the Negev.