These two excellent Israeli wines are made by winemaker and consultant Itay Lahat. The white is a northern-Rhône-style blend made from high altitude vineyards in the Judean Hills with limestone soils. The red comes from the volcanic soil of the Northern Golan Heights, and fermentation is ended in small oak, where it is left for 16 months without racking.
Lahat Lavan 2017 Jerusalem Hills, Israel
13.5% alcohol. A blend of 63% Roussanne, 27% Viognier and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, fermented in 400 litre barrels (1 out of 5 new). Winemaker Itay Lahat. This is an impressive, focused white wine with some sweet citrus, peach and pear fruit. There’s a fine, toasty, brioche oak influence, which meshes well with the fruit. Concentrated, focused and fine, combining richness with freshness to create a very sophisticated oak-aged white. Has potential for development. 93/100
Lahat Adom 2017 Golan Heights, Upper West Galilee, Israel
15% alcohol. Syrah with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 16 months in 300 litre barrels. Sweet, floral berry fruits on the nose with nice freshness and hints of pepper. The palate is fresh and supple, with sweet cherry, berry and blackcurrant fruit notes. It’s compact and bright, but there’s also a bit of alcoholic warmth. No real sense of over-ripeness here, though, with sweet fruit and nicely integrated structure. A ripe, balanced, expressive red wine. 92/100
UK importer is Israel wine specialist 32-34 wines
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