?By: Daniel Rogov
A little over a year ago, I tasted the wines of the Gizo winery for the first time. Considering the number of artisanal wineries producing wines of pretty poor quality, these surprised me quite positively for their quality and personality. Established about five years ago by Yoav Alon in the village of Gizo which is on the Yoav-Yehuda wine route not far from Beit Shemesh, the winery does only red wines, those based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The winery has also made a late harvest dessert wine from Hamburg Muscat grapes.
Truly an artisanal winery, the winery released about 1,000 bottles from the 2008 vintage and 1,500 from the 209 vintage. Following are my tasting notes for the 2009 wines I sampled this morning. in my tasting room. I also took the occasion to re-taste the 2008 wines in order to gain some insight into how the wines are developing in the bottle. I was most pleased to see that my earlier tasting notes held firmly.
For further information or to purchase wines contact Yoav Alon at email@example.com or by telephone at (052) 5342228. My thanks to Yoav for bringing the wines to Tel Aviv for my tasting.
Gizo, Merlot, Bordeaux, 2009: Dark cherry red, medium- to full-bodied, blended with 3% of Petit Verdot, reflecting its development in barriques for 13 months with soft, gently gripping tannins and notes of vanilla. Opens in the glass to reveal an appealing array of blackberry, cassis and black chery fruits, those on a background that hints of earthy minerals and freshly cut herbs. Approachable and enjoyable now but best from mid-2011-2014, perhaps longer. NIS 55. Score 87. (Tasted 27 Jan 2011)
Gizo, Merlot, Tu BeyAv, 2009: A medium- to full-bodied blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot. Oak-aged for 13 months, showing garnet towards royal purple. A whopping 14.9% alcohol here but that in fine balance with spicy wood, soft tannins and fruits. On the nose and palate opens with blueberries, those going to blackberries and blackcurrants, all on a background of bitter citrus peel and a hint of eucalyptus. Approachable now but needs some time. Best from 2012-2015. NIS 66. Score 88. (Tasted 27 Jan 2011)
Gizo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nachal Harel, 2009: Garnet toward royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, and blended with 5% of Petit Verdot, reflecting its 13 months in oak with gently gripping tannins and notes of spicy wood. On the nose and palate aromas and flavours of currants, wild berries, green olives and citrus peel, all on a background of earthy minerals. Best from mid- 2011-2014, perhaps longer. Score 87. (Tasted 27 Jan 2011)
Gizo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2008: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, reflecting its 13 months in barriques with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins and light notes of spicy wood. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvigon, 12% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, opens in the glass to reveal generous back fruits, those supported comfortably by notes of roasted herbs and earthy minerals. Drink now-2013, perhaps longer. NIS 55. Score 86. (Re-tasted 27 Jan 2011)
Gizo, Merlot, Tu BeyAv, 2008: My original tasting note holds firmly. Blended with 3% Petit Verdot and with a generous 15% alcohol content, the alcohol noticeable but in good balance with wood and still firm tannins. On the nose and palate blackberry, blueberry and cassis fruits, those on a background of earthy minerals and, on the finish a note of baking chocolate. Not the “usual” Merlot and worth trying to see if it is to your taste. Drink now-2013. NIS 70. Score 88. (Re-tasted 27 Jan 2011)
Gizo, Merlot, Soreq, 2008: Garnet towards royal purple, oak-aged for 13 months, blended with 3% Petit Verdot. On first attack black fruits and mocha, those yielding to notes of cassis and black olives. With tannins rising, the 14.7% alcohol content makes itself felt with a light touch of heat on the finish. Needs time for its elements to come together. Drink now-2013, perhaps longer. NIS 55. Score 86. (Re-tasted 27 Jan 2011)