Lahat 2018

Itay Lahat belongs to a secret corps in the history of the Israeli wine world.
Michel Rolland and Mondevino gave consultants a bad rep. But, especially in Israel, where the wine industry is relatively young and small, they play an important role. 
In the front-line of Israeli wineries are the big names. Not the big wineries, but rather the ones you read about the most, the ones making every wine geek's star list, ones who had been in the running for a couple of decades and have learned their craft in the fields and in the cellars, either their own, or apprenticing abroad or in other local wineries. Then you have the wineries' that never made it to the front pages. They might be just as good, but they don't make everyone's top 20 list. 

In Israel, when you get that deep in list, you find small-to-medium wineries hiring consultants. And these guys, the consultants, make up the secret corps, the ones without which we'd always be drinking wines from the same ten wineries.
Itay Lahat, who's been around for over 20 years, ever since his days at Barkan, has been making a solid living consulting for these wineries. The benefits of such a gig are are such that you shouldn't underestimate. For one thing, you're exposed to just about every vineyard and grower. And you learn to handle every contingency. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.
I've been following Itay's consulting jobs and his solo ventures for about 5 years. Kishor is always worth mentioning. The best winery you haven't tasted yet in Israel.
The best words I can find about Lahat are the tasting notes for the 2018 vintage of his own label.

GSM, 2018
Dude, you did a great job here! If you taste through the world's greatest Grenanche and Grenache-based wines, you'll find few as silky and Pinot-like as this - and the world of wine is full of Grenache-based wines being extolled as the next Bourgogne. The silky texture - hiding its 14% ABV with smoke and mirrors - is the first thing that wins you over, then comes the spicy/tannic bite on the finish, which scratches you right after the fruit seduces you. And the ultimate equalizer, the last thing you remember, is the white pepper on the nose. White pepper atop of red fruit, that's Grenache's gift to the world, when the winemaker gets its just right.

Lahat Red, 2018
This Syrah-Cabernet blend is as light and floral as a Beaujolais. You'll find few blends of similar makeup in Israel that are as silky as this. I have no idea how that's done and it's quite unlike his past reds. Hmmm... I don't have the price list, so I don't know where Itay ranks it, but if this is the Beaujolais, then the GSM is the Beaujolais Cru.

Lahat, Syrah, 2018
As supple and floral as the Red, this is a Syrah that doesn't try to parrot the Rhone too much. I get black pepper and roasted tomatoes on the nose, sweet/sour fruit bolstered more by acidity than tannins.

Lahat White, 2018
A blend of Rousanne, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc - in Israel, just about any white blend is game of Odd Man Out - this seems to combine the bitter sweet stone fruit and oily texture of the Rhone grapes, and even their heat, with the mineral notes more typical of Sauvignon. Quite nice, made with a steady hand and a searching eye.