The second largest winery in the country and one of the major players on the local wine scene, Barkan is now producing close to ten million bottles annually, all of those in their state-of-the-art winery at Kibbutz Hulda. Of that production, which includes the wines released under the label of daughter company Segal, about 20% is destined for export. In addition to drawing on grapes in extensive vineyards adjoining the winery (about 1,500 dumans), the winery also sources grapes from their own vineyards in the Negev and in the Upper Galilee.
My tasting notes for the newly released wines follow.
Barkan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Reflecting its 20 months in some new, some old American, French and Hungarian barriques with an overlay of spicy wood, showing mouth-coating tannins and with a relatively high alcohol content (15.5%), one might expect this full-bodied red to be somewhat overpowering. Happily however the elements come together nicely, opening to show a solid base of blackcurrants and black and red berries, those with appealing bittersweet notes that linger nicely on the finish. Drink now-2011. NIS 69. Score 88. K
Barkan, Merlot, Reserve, 2006: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins and hints of spicy wood from the 14 months it spent new French barriques. Opens to show blackberries and purple plums, those parting in the glass to make way for red fruits, cassis and notes of citrus peel. On the finish hints of what at one moment seem like mint, at the next of licorice. Generous and appealing. Drink now-2011. NIS 69. Score 88. K
Barkan, Shiraz, Reserve, 2006: Deep and youthful garnet towards royal purple in color, reflecting its year in French and American barriques with appealing spicy notes, a full-bodied wine, with still gripping tannins and a tempting note of bitter herbs that runs through. Blended with 4% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, opens to show appealing red berry and cherry fruits, those complemented by hints of white pepper and licorice. Best 2009-2011. NIS 69. Score 88. K
Barkan, Pinotage, Reserve, 2006: Dark but somehow not glistening garnet towards purple in color, showing near-sweet tannins and berry, plum and currant fruits and, always in the background notes of earthy minerals and tobacco. On the finish fruits rise along with both the flavor and aroma of cloves. Drink now-2010. NIS 69. Score 87. K