2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs, Late-Disgorged Zero Dosage Sparkling wine, along with some impressive California wines

This past week a few new friends dropped by and we enjoyed some new and old wines together. Many thanks to Eli for getting the food together and to Beryl, Greg, and Ari for hanging out with us, and of course many thanks Benyo (AKA Benyamin Cantz) from Four Gates Winery for sharing from his wisdom, time, and wines with us all.

I used the tasting to do an interesting side by side comparison of the 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs and the newly released 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs late disgorged. What was interesting was that I did not know that the late disgorged Yarden wines were also Brut nature wines, AKA Zero Dosage wines!

If you are following the posts, I recently posted about Zero Dosage wines. My take away from them was that they are a DRINK NOW style wine. Overall, many of the French Champagnes that we have in kosher have been drink-now wines. The Drappier which is mevushal has been a Drink-now style wine, and again Drappier prints the dosage date, so use that to decide if the bottle in front of you is too old.

The Laurent Perrier was also having serious age issues here, as the Champagne was not moving fast enough here in the USA. The not-mevushal Rothschild was outstanding in France.

With all that said, the kosher Champagnes here in the USA are not built to age. However, the Yarden sparkling wines age far better, IMHO. The 2007 Yarden Sparkling Blanc de Blancs has been wonderful for many years now. So, when I had the chance to taste the newly released 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged alongside the normal 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs I was really excited! I had bought the wines but I had no one to try them with, so when Eli and his friends said we are coming into the area, I told Benyo and we used it as a great opportunity to share some wines.

The notes speak for themselves, but to me overall, the Late disgorged is not worth the money. The wine is GREAT, but for 70+ dollars, not worth it. Still, to taste them side by side, you could see the same style of the wine, but while the normal bottling was still showing very well, the newly disgorged wine was screaming in tart and very bright fruit.

The color was also, lighter in color, and I loved how the 2007 cork was already very crushed, while the new late-disgorged wine showed a perfect sparkling wine cork. See, the image below, along with Eli, big head!!!!

2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs and 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs late disgorged side by side

One final note about the Late-disgorged Yarden Blanc de Blancs, while I think the Zero Dosage wines we have had so far, the Bonnet Ponson and the Drappier, have let us down, I wonder greatly about the Yarden Late Disgorged. Look, as stated above, IMHO, Yarden is the best sparkling wine producer for the kosher wine market. They do not make Champagne, I get that! But for Sparkling wine, they are the best. Their wines are the most balanced, and they last longest. So, I wonder if this well-balanced wine, the 2007 vintage, will last longer than the 1-year window we have had so far for zero-dosage sparkling wines? Only time will tell, but I will start going through mine, one a year. I have 6, so I have had my 2019 tasting, I will taste it again in a year, and so on. By 2024, we will know if zero-dosage is a fad and it is a fun drink NOW style sparkling wine, or maybe, just maybe, it has legs!

According to GG (AKA Gabriel Geller), Victor Schoenfeld and Yarden Yarden produce a vintage bubbly like the BdB to indicate that it is a sparkling wine meant to be aged or at least that can be kept for years.

To me, the rest of the sparkling wine producers, like the non-vintage Champagnes and other wineries that produce Sparkling wines, are not built to last, at least from what I have seen in my tastings.

The rest of the wines were equally fun, along with maybe the best red Hagafen wine in a long time:

  1. 20013 Hagafen Cabernet Franc
  2. 2013 Four Gates Cabernet Franc, Monte Bello Ridge
  3. 2008 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle
  4. 2011 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon
  5. 2010 Domaine Netofa LBV

My thanks to the guys for being so fun and yeah for putting up with me calling them Gary and God knows what else! Of course to Benyo for sharing many of his wonderful wines, and to my wife for putting up with the gang and me!

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs, 2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs late disgorged, 2013 Hagafen Cabernet Franc, 2010 Domaine Netofa LBV, 2008 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle, 2011 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon,2013 Four Gates Franc

2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs, Brut – Score: 92
The Yarden Blanc de Blancs is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in the northern Golan Heights, Israel’s coolest viticultural area. The wine is made strictly according to the traditional method (méthode champenoise) including hand harvesting, pressing of whole clusters to increase acidity and fruit flavors, and secondary fermentation in the bottle. Disgorging took place after five years of bottle aging on the tirage yeast.
The wine has aged beautifully, showing an intense nose of nuts, fruit, lemon curd, peach and apple cobbler, brioche, and nice toast that gives way to ripe green and yellow apple. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has calmed down with age, it shows less ripe, with baked anjou pear, with a still very acidic core, and small mousse bubbles, with lovely yeast, and orange flavors!! The finish is long and tart with insane grapefruit, bitter and rich grapefruit pith, and lemon zest. Bravo!!! Drink by 2020.

2007 Yarden Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Late-Disgorged – Score: 93
Tasting this side by side the late disgorged is a home-run, it is not only a late disgorged wine, but it is also brut nature, see my blog post about zero dosage wines.
The nose on this wine is lovely, really rich, layered, with intense brightness and acidity, with screaming lemon curd, peach and apple cobbler, brioche, and nice toast that gives way to ripe green and yellow apple, and crazy insane ripe lemon curd. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is crazy, it is so vibrant, so freaking fresh, and so alive, in comparison, to a lovely 2007 Sparkling wine, with baked anjou pear, crazy acidity, and small mousse bubbles, with lovely yeast and apple compote that goes on forever!! The finish is long and tart with insane grapefruit, bitter and rich grapefruit pith, and lemon zest. Bravo!!! Drink within the next year or so, as most zero dosage, Brut Nature wines that we have enjoyed so far die after a year, in comparison to the 6g/L sparkling wines, like the 2007 BdB that is not late disgorged. Drink by 2020 or 20204? What? Exactly! No one knows. If you want to play it safe, drink it now and be happy. I will be tasting mine year over year and will post accordingly.

NV Bonnet-Ponson Non-Dose – Score: 90
I have now tasted this wine 4 times, three times in the USA and once in France and sadly, it is not great. It is there, but it tastes old and tired, and this is a non-dosage wine that was meant to give it that really acidic focus. Sadly, it is far too reminiscent of the older Bonnet Ponson that is also on its way down. Drink up!! Also, there was one run of this, so whatever you have the non-dose is the only run, so far anyway. I hope future runs will have the dosage date etched on them like Drappier does.
The nose is nice, but this does not smell or taste like a non-dosage wine. So sad, I really wanted a bone-dry bubbly, instead, it was a nice bubbly with yeast galore, and oxidation that was not what I was expecting from its label. The nose is filled with yeast, rich quince, with oxidation, and lots of earth, and dried fruit. The mouth is nice, with a lovely small-bubble mousse, with great acid and focus, that gives way to green apple, pear, and lovely spice, that is filled with mineral and great focus. The finish is long with tart fruit, green fruit, and lovely oxidized notes, that give way to almonds, and fruit pith. Drink UP!!!

2008 Four Gates Merlot, La Rochelle – Score: 94
This wine is 100% Merlot, aged for 24 months in French Oak. Still dark purple in color, the nose shows lovely fruit, floral notes, perfumed with luscious blackberry, with lovely crushed herb, licorice, mineral, graphite, eucalyptus, and green notes. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine, comes at you in layers, with concentrated strawberry, raspberry, dark and red fruit, with supple mouth coating/draping tannin, showing elegance and plush fruit structure, with lovely mineral, and perfect balancing acidity, along with spicy oak, along with incredible dirt, loam, and mushroom, followed by forest floor, and more foliage. The finish is long and ripe with jammy fruit, lingering tannin, green notes, jammy red structure, mushroom, and fruit/green/mineral notes keep going on and on and on. This a fantastic wine that is not yet at its peak. Drink by 2026, maybe longer.

2013 Four Gates Cabernet Franc, Monte Bello Ridge – Score: 94
This wine has evolved, but not really much at all! It is still my favorite non-Four Gates fruit wine. Meaning, the fruit for this wine was NOT sourced on Four gates vineyards. Also, sadly the vines that produced this wine are now dead. There was a bit of the wine in 2014, but that was blended elsewhere. After that, the vines died. A true loss!!
The nose on this lovely wine is ripping with rich tart and black fruit, along with mounds of dry dirt, loam, and earth, followed by incredible mineral, graphite, and #2 pencil. The mouth on this full bodied wine is rich, layered, and complex, and comes at you first with rich roasted herb along with lovely blackberry, tart raspberry, dark plum, with green notes, bell pepper, and lovely foliage, all wrapped in mouth drying tannin, mad acid, garrigue, and black currant. The finish is long and refreshing, with a huge backbone, along with tart fruit, full, and rich fruit, followed with leather, leafy tobacco, sweet dill, more green notes, licorice, along with saline and salt lick, and lovely pith. A very unique and special wine worth finding! Drink from 2020 until 2028.

2011 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Bello Ridge, Betchart Vineyard – Score: 93
This wine truly starts off red and very green, but with time it opens to show an impressive black fruit note underpinning that becomes more of a tapestry than just background singer. The nose on this wine is lovely with mineral, spice, graphite, anise, licorice, blackberry, plum, lovely barnyard, and rich green notes. The mouth on this full bodied wine is dark, brooding, black, and extracted, with layer upon layer of rich fruit, rich saline, black olives, blackberry, crushed herb, great foliage, cloves, and intense graphite and mineral. The finish is long and herbal with intense layers of spice, black pepper, and black fruit with dill and intense forest floor. Very nice! Drink from 2018 to 2026.

2013 Hagafen Cabernet Franc – Score: 91
Very interesting nose with green notes, raspberry, ripe juicy blackberry, spice, and good herb. Nice full body wine with great mouth coating and elegant tannin that is rich and very green with dill, nice acid, saline, roasted herb, great cherry, and raspberry, followed by nice mineral and great garrigue. The finish is long and green, with a nice balance showing awesome charcoal, tobacco, mineral and tart fruit. Nice, drink by 2022.

2018 Hajdu Rose – Score: 90
The wine is sweet, well balanced, and while the wine starts off with a short finish, after 30 minutes it opens nicely to show a well-balanced wine, with loads of sweet fruit. The nose on this wine shows lovely strawberry, ripe and juicy fruit, with crazy cotton candy, watermelon, and sweet fruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows nice weight from the clear residual sugar, but it is well balanced with nice acidity, mineral, grapefruit, and mango, with guava, and tropical fruits galore. The finish is long, tangy, and juicy, and really refreshing and it makes you reach for me, with saline, mineral, and sweet fruit, that is backed by pomegranate, sweet and tangy quince jelly, and sweet pineapple. Nice! Drink before 2020.

2010 Domaine Netofa LBV, Late Bottled Vintage, Port (QPR at almost any price) – Score: 93 to 94
I need to state that it is not often that I score a wine an A- to A, not even wines that are many times more expensive, and no my point system is not a reason to buy a wine, but this wine is a no brainer, no matter the cost if you like sweet port-like wines. This wine is very much in line with what we had last time, repeated here for clarity. This classical sweet wine Portuguese style wine uses the classic grapes, but instead of them being sourced in Portugal, they came from the foot of the Tabor Mountains; 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tempranillo. The wine was aged for 48 months in oak and it shows in the wine.

The nose on this black and purple colored wine has one of the most intensely perfumed wines I have ever smelled, with insanely ripe fruit, ripe fig, date, caramelized fruit, and crazy chocolate. The mouth on this intensely full-bodied wine is WOW, with crazy oxidized notes of chocolate, richly structured and extracted with intense nuttiness, rich and lovely mint chocolate, with lovely ripe and candied plum, candied blackberry, with more dark black fruit, all coming at you in one of the most intense and extracted experiences I remember. The finish is long and richly extracted with chocolate, fig compote, almonds, walnut, and marzipan – WOW and BRAVO!!!


Posted on February 28, 2019, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. No note on the Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon 2011?


  2. Thanks for the reviews. I’m curious about your opinion on the drinking window for the 2009 Blanc de Blanc, and how it compares to the 2007.

  3. Do you know if previous releases of yarden late disgorged were also zero dose? Those aged well.

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