?By: Daniel Rogov
It happens rarely but it does happen that during a series of tastings a few notes will get set aside (perhaps one page of my pad stuck to another by a few drops of dripping wines). That is precisely what happened with the wines brought to me for tasting by Ze’ev Cinnamon of Natuf winery some while ago. It took a note from Ze’ev to set me down to hunt for my notes. My apologies for the delay.
Founded by Meir Akel and Ze?ev Cinamon on Moshav Kfar Truman in the Central Plains, not far from Ben Gurion Airport, this winery draws on grapes from the Ayalon Valley, and its releases have been primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon. Current production is about 4,500 bottles annually. Current releases mark a major advance in quality from earlier wines tasted. The winery can be reached by telephone at (052)2608199 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Natuf, Shiraz, 2007: Shiraz blended with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot and oak aged for 14 months in French and American oak. Full bodied, with firmly gripping tannins and a generous wood influence but those starting to settle in now. Opens in the glass to reveal plum and black cherry fruits, those supported by hints of spices and saddle leather. Best starting in mid-2010. Score 86. (Tasted 24 Jul 2009)
Natuf, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007: Dark garnet, full-bdied, with still tight tannins needing time to settle down but showing good balance and structure. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Shiraz, developed in American oak for 15 months. Opens slowly, at first revealing primarily blackcurrants and blackberries and then blossoming to show notes of blueberries, chocolate and freshly ground coffee. Best from mid-2010-2013. Score 88. (Tasted 24 Jul 2009)
Natuf, Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007: A blend of 55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8 % Shiraz. Oak aged for 14 months, showing medium- to full-bodied, with generous gripping tannins and wood that part slowly in the glass to reveal an appealing array of red and black berries, red plums and spices. Tannins and wood rise on the finish. Best from mid-2010-2013. Score 87. (Tasted 24 Jul 2009)
Natuf, Merlot, 2006: Blended with 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Shiraz, with the soft Merlot dominating. Showing better than at an earlier tasting. Deep garnet towards royal purple, medium- to full-bodied with once chunky tannins now showing far softer. On the nose and palate wild berries, cherries and raspberries. A good dose of acidity makes this a refreshing quaffer. Drink now. Score 85.