As those who have been following my recent posts have come to realize, Wednesday (13 January) was a busy day for me. My third and final “stop” for tastings during the day was at the Bar Giora winery. Located on Moshav Bar Giora in the Judean Hills, the winery was founded in 2003, originally as a hobby. Partners Shlomo Aviton and Aviel Schneider are now producing about 4,000 bottles annually. The winery produces red wines only, those based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Shiraz grapes, with Pinot Noir soon to come on line.
The Bar Giora wines cost the equivalent of about US$25. Further information can be obtained by phoning (02) 5781574 or (052) 3822221
My thanks to Messrs. Aviton and Schneider for their courtesies during my visit and tasting.
Bar Giora, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Dark garnet, medium- to full-bodied, reflecting its 18 months in barriques with firm tannins only now starting to settle in and notes of vanilla and spicy oak. On the nose and palate red and back berries and, from mid-palate on notes of blackberries. Moderately long with the wood and tannins rising on the finish. . Drink now-2011, possibly longer. Score 88. (Tasted 13 Jan 2010)
Bar Giora, Petit Verdot, 2007: Gently gripping tannins on a medium- to full-bodied background showing generous near-sweet cedar wood and opening to reveal red berries and cassis. Developed for 18 months in 2nd year barrels together with oak chips. Medium-dark garnet, medium-bodied, with soft tannins parting to reveal ripe currant and blueberry fruits, those overlaid with notes of sage and white pepper. Not a green note to be found here but do look for atypical but appealing notes of green olives. Long and generous with tannins rising on the finish. Drink now-2012. Score 86. (Re-tasted 13 Jan 2010)
Bar Giora, Blended Red, Lisa, 2007: Oak-aged for 18 months, a blend of 65% Petit Verdot, 20% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon (that combination probably best known from Australia’s Rosemount winery). Medium- to full-bodied, with chunky country style tannins and reflecting its time in used oak barriques with vanilla and smoke, those parting to reveal plum, wild berry, currant and tobacco flavors, the tannins rising on the finish. Drink now-2011. Score 87.
Bar Giora, Merlot-Shiraz, 2007: A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Shiraz, aged in barriques for 18 months, and showing a moderate (12.8%) alcohol content along with notes of spicy wood. Soft tannins and generous wild berry and cassis notes, those hinting of earthy minerals come together as a not overly complex but quite pleasant wine. Drink now. Score 86. (Tasted 13 Jan 2010)
Bar Giora, Cabernet Franc, 2005: Dark garnet, with firm tannins and generous wood that seem not want to settle down. With a firm, almost chewy texture and distinctly green and earthy notes throughout, opens somewhat to reveal blackberry and currant fruits. Somehow never seems to come fully together. Drink now. Score 84. (Re-tasted 13 Jan 2010)
Bar Giora, Shiraz, 2005: Firm tannins and generous dusty wood dominate at first but those part in the glass to allow the entry of black fruits and spices. Deep garnet, with notes of saddle leather and herbaceousness on the moderately-long finish. Drink now. Score 86. (Re-tasted 13 Jan 2010)