The 2014 Yarden Merlot displays an aromatic mix of cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit notes, with nuances of orange blossom, spice and cocoa. Full-bodied yet elegantly drinkable, this Merlot presents a lingering and tasty finish. Though enjoyable upon release, the 2013 Yarden Merlot will develop in the bottle in the coming years, and remain in excellent drinking condition for up to a decade from harvest.
Great with a wide variety of foods, we love serving this wine with grilled rosemary lamb chops, slow-cooked roast beef, seared salmon, or wild mushroom lasagna.
The early, wet winter preceding the 2013 harvest was followed by a warmish spring. While it looked like we were heading for an early vintage, the cool months of June and July led to the harvest starting about one week later than normal. The remainder of the season continued on the cool side. A wonderful feature of this growing period was a distinct lack of extreme weather, either hot or cold. The result was beautiful ripening, with harvest finishing exactly on time at the end of October. All in all, this was a great season with great wines. The 2013 Yarden Merlot was produced from fruit harvested from vineyards in the central and northern Golan Heights, and one vineyard in the Upper Galilee.
These areas are known for producing outstanding Merlot over the past two decades. The wine aged in small French oak barrels, 40% of which were new, for 18 months.
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After planting vineyards in the Golan in 1976, the Golan Heights Winery was established in 1983 by four kibbutzim (collective communities) and four moshavim (cooperative communities). In 1984, the Winery released its first wine creating great excitement in Israel and abroad. Golan Heights Winery cultivates over 600 hectares (1500 acres) of vines across 28 vineyards which are divided into 430 vineyard blocks. Each block is harvested individually and fermented separately, to show the extreme care that goes into each wine made by Victor Schoenfeld, Head Winemaker since 1992. Golan Heights Winery is made up of four brands; Mount Hermon, Gilgal, Golan, and most famously, Yarden. Each brand is a unique study of Israeli terroir and distinctive winemaking philosophy. Combining state-of-the-art winegrowing technologies and traditional winemaking techniques, Golan Heights Winery has succeeded in producing award-winning wines that have firmly placed Israel on the international wine map.
Yarden is 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.