? By: Daniel Rogov
At my request this early afternoon and thanks to Eli Ben Zaken, I received a bottle of the 2008 Petit Castel of Domaine du Castel. I normally set such bottles aside for a minimum of a week or so to give them a chance for “rest and recuperation”. Later today, however, partly because of tasting note requests and partly out of personal curiosity, I set up a blind tasting of nine wines, all young Bordeaux blends, four from Israel, four from France and one from Tuscany and there, by heaven went the Petit Castel, my tasting note for which follows. (And, if anyone is curious, that is indeed the wine that I am sipping as I type).
Domaine du Castel, Petit Castel, 2008: With apologies for vulgarity, second wine my backside! This one would shine as a first wine anyplace at any time and from any vintage. As always, a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the wine aged in French oak for 16 months and in truth a Bordeaux-styled wine that could come only from the Mediterranean sunshine. Deep garnet in color, full-bodied, with soft tannins and bare but tantalizing notes of spicy wood already integrating nicely. A rich blackberry nose followed on the palate by aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries. Pure, round rich, well focused and with touches of anise and cedar wood on the finish, a complex, deep and long wine. Despite its youth drinking nicely now but best starting only in 2011. Score 93. K (Tasted 26 Feb 2010)