Dalton Petite Sirah and Gilgal Chardonnay

This past weekend I was staying with friends I tried a new wine and an older wine, though a wine I have no had before. The first wine is the 2010 Dalton Petite Sirah. we have spoken many times about the difference between the Petite Sirah and Syrah and Shiraz, for more of that check out this post.

In the end, the Dalton was quite a lovely wine indeed. It was not a massive winner, though it did score well. Instead, it is another example of the direction that Israel is pointing towards, ripe beautiful wines that do not taste hot (too alcoholic) or overly ripe (new world) in you face. It has a lovely floral, blue and black fruit nose and body, though over time the blueberry fades to a richer black plum and blackberry mouth with floral resonance. There is one quandary I had while tasting this wine and that was the finish. There is a clear flavor that lingers like mad, almost bitter and I call it bitter olive but it may well be something else. Would love to hear what others think of this one.

For comparison sakes I have included the 2009 Dalton PS, which was the first release of a singe varietal PS from the winery. The 2009 is VERY different in style. While the 2009 is elegantly muscular, the 2010 is lean and soft, with a bit of muscle but more unique in its flavors than in its body. The 2009 is rich with black fruit, tannin, oak, and leather. The 2010 is more elegant with blue and black fruit, vanilla, leather, and nice spice.

The Yarden Gilgal Chardonnay is the new name for the old wines – Gamla, which is in trademark wars with Royal, so in the US the wine is sold as Gilgal in Israel the same bottle is sold as Gamla. In the US, Gamla wines are actually made by Carmel and distributed by Royal – ah the logic and business of kosher wine!

Anyway, either way the wine starts off very closed, a bit hot, and overly oaked. As it opens, it shows lovely tropical nd summer fruit, but never quite enough complexity to grab you by the scruff of your neck and shake to awake. So, while it is a perfectly fine wine, it is not one that quite meets the A- score requirements.

The wine notes follow below:

2009 Yarden Gilgal Chardonnay – Score: B++
The wine starts off closed and stunted with little tropical fruit or summer fruit, but clear oak influence. Over time the wine opens to clean peach, brioche, melon, guava, crushed herb, and ripe and intense Meyer lemon. The mouth is round and oaky with nice toast on the edges along with good acid and bright fruit. The finish is long and spicy with lemon zest and good mineral.

2010 Dalton Petite Sirah – Score: A-
The wine starts beautifully once you open the bottle with ripe blueberry, nice blackberry, over the top ripe plum that is not overripe, lovely cinnamon, and chocolate. The mouth is full and layered with attacks of blue and black fruit, floral notes, roasted meat, and soft and integrating mouth coating tannin, all coming together quite nicely. The finish is long with nice leather, cinnamon, vanilla, boysenberry, and good bitter olives. To me this is a lovely example of Durif (Petite Sirah) expression. The wine shows nice blue and black fruit, leather and heavy tannin, but one that is restrained and not meant for very long cellaring. I would give this wine till 2013 or 2014 and then drink up. The spices and vanilla are simple extensions of the 12 months in American oak. Other than the spice, the oak is not nearly as evident as in the 2009 vintage and only helps to round the mouth and add heft to what was clearly a lighter vintage, due to the cold season.

2009 Dalton Petite Sirah – Score: A-
The wine hits you hard with its heavy oak and blackcurrant, followed by lovely cedar, chocolate, mounds of black pepper and tobacco. The mouth is rich and unctuous, much like a coiled snake ready to pounce, all wrapped in a sheath of inky structure, along with tannin that is not quite integrated, all of which helps to lift the blackberry and cassis fruit up and balances it nicely with good acidity. The finish is long and smoky with more tobacco, ripe plum, mounds of vanilla, leather and black fruit that lingers. The hardcore style of this wine will allow it to last a bit more than the 2010 vintage, probably till 2014 oor 2015 than drink up.

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Posted on March 4, 2012, in Israel, Israeli Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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