Saturday, April 28, 2012

Barkan Assemblage

I apologize if I'm infringing on someone's copyright for this photo,
but it's the best example I could find to highlight how this lovely wine
also sports a label that break's the mold of Barkan's previous, stuffy image.

Assemblage, Barkan's new series, highlighting terroir, excited me both when I read about in the online wine media and when I tasted the wines.

I noticed a minute after pouring a glass to my wife that I described the Eitan to her simply as "you'll like it, it's very tasty", which is usually what I tell her when I serve a German Riesling.


Barkan, Assemblage, Eitan, 2008

Virtually half Syrah, half Merlot, with a little Cabernet Sauvignon tossed in. A pleasant nose of of ripe fruit, mostly red, with some leather for good measure. The palate is ripe and friendly, with balanced acidity and a dusty finish. A very honest wine and savory enough to tempt even me. (Apr. 1, 2012)

About 90 NIS. Certain people, of a mind not unlike my own, seemed to like the Eitan, so I knew I'd like it, but I really didn't expect to find another Israeli wine I'd earmark for a re-purchase, especially when on discount. Even if the basic Yarden Cabernet was still being sold for a similar price, I'd pass it by for this.



 I suspect Catholics feel this way
when the white smoke announces a new Pope
 

Since I'd already tasted Barkan's Reichan and wasn't excited enough to buy, I went on to try the final piece in the Assemblage trio, and potentially the most interesting one due to its weird varietal blend of grapes grown mostly nowhere else: predominantly Marselan (WTF?) and Caladoc (say what?), with touches of Carignan and Pinotage.

Barkan, Assemblage, Tzafit, 2009

Right of the bat, the sheer idiosyncracy of the blend is patently there on the nose. If someone had told me Tibetian monks made it from grapes from Mars grown on the slopes of the Himalayas, I wouldn't bat an eye.There's a a fairly complex, dusty concoction of spices that reminds me of Barolo, but without the diesel-powered hum of Nebbiolo, plus a few quirks of its own. The palate is not quite as complex as that, nor very intense, but its warmth and friendliness carry a similarly unique stamp of character. Sometimes personality goes a long way (I know, I've cribbed this line in the past) and the fact that the fruit is so firmly red toned doesn't hurt. Nor the fact that it the finish displays my numero uno litmus test: s-a-v-o-r-i-n-e-s-s!( Apr. 8, 2012)

About 90 NIS. I can go back to reading the Claremont/Byrne X-Men run now.

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