2006 Yarden Merlot, Odem Organic Single Vineyard
Recently, there was a tasting of kosher wines at our synagogue and one of the prize wines poured at the tasting was the 2006 Yarden Odem Merlot. The funny thing about this Merlot was that it was available in the general market last year for some 20 or so dollars from stores on the east coast. However, within a week or less, the wine sold out, only to reappear as few months later for 50 dollars a bottle. OUCH! Well, good news – procrastinators rejoice, good things really do come to those who wait! The price has returned to 28 or so dollars a bottle and it is one that is well worth hunting down.
The bottle is one of the more recent single vineyard Merlot to come to the states. This bottle is already old news in Israel. However, here in the states the wine is still not selling out and hence, the obvious conundrum that Yarden faces. If the wine cannot sell because there is not enough demand at 50 dollars maybe they can repeat their earlier success and hope that lightning strikes twice. The funny thing is that the retailers that bought the bottles at the old higher price are now stuck with them and are being undercut savagely by the retailers that just recently picked them up.
This was the first Merlot release from Yarden’s Organically tended Odem Vineyard. However, there are already 6 or more single vineyard wines ready and available for sale in Israel – and they have yet to sell through the 2006 vintage! OUCH! Talk about inventory! Clearly there is a need for Yarden to sell their wines and they are fine wines as well, but the kosher market is growing and may well be leaving Yarden behind, when it comes to these high-priced wines.
I would suppose that online retailers that had old stock will need to cut their prices to match the new lower prices, and eat the difference. Further, this wine is just one of many more single vineyard wines, that are of course sold at a premium from the normal Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah, that are quite lovely by themselves and do not cost 50 or more dollars a bottle.
Anyway, this wine is fairly priced at 26 or so dollars a bottle so pick up a few bottles and store them away. The wine is clearly still too young and is a pure attack vehicle with heavy spice, herb, and candied fruit. After a few many hours the wine settles down beautifully, the crazy and cloying eucalyptus/menthol nose dissipates and makes way for some wonderful butterscotch and vanilla. While this is not a Merlot that is true to its varietal, it is a wine that can be cellared till 2017 and then drink up. For now decant it and enjoy!
The wine note follows below:
2006 Yarden Merlot, Odem Vineyard, Organic Vineyard – Score: A- (and a bit more)
This is the first single vineyard Merlot from the Odem Vineyard. This vineyard is tended to organically, but the word Organic is nowhere on the label as there are sulfites added. The first thing that hits you is the massive amount of heady spice and herb, what follows is crazy candied plum, nice chocolate, blackberry, eucalyptus/menthol aromas, and black cherry. The eucalyptus dies down over time and makes way for more rich spice and black fruit. The mouth is massive and inky with mouth coating tannin, layer upon layer of spice and herb, black fruit that is focused and concentrated, and sweet cedar that is integrating and rich in the mouth. The finish is super long and spicy with lovely tobacco, chocolate, blackcurrant, orange rind and loamy dirt. Over time the wine opens further and shows layers of butterscotch and creamy vanilla.