The 2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard shows off an array of characters including blackberry jam, fresh herbs, ripe black and red fruits, all rounded out with nuances of spice, earth and oak. The wine’s intense flavor complements its full body. Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard is tasty when released but really needs a few more years of bottle aging to come in to its own. If well-cellared, we think the wine should remain in good drinking condition for more than a decade from the vintage. Syrah tends to have a bit of a “wild” side to its character which causes us to pair it with foods that have a bit of exotic spice to them. Try making a dry rub of mustard powder, crushed coriander seed, cumin and crushed red chili pepper, along with some coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub this into a lamb shoulder, let sit refrigerated for 24 hours, then bring to room temperature and roast. Serve with pan juices and Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard.
Colder-than-average temperatures and heavy rainfall typified the winter preceding the 2004 vintage. March and April brought unusually warm and dry weather causing early budbreak in our warmer vineyards. Relatively cool temperatures returned in May putting the season back on track for a hectic, relatively short harvest. Average yields and very promising across-the-board quality characterized the vintage. The 2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard is made entirely from Syrah coming from the Ortal Vineyard located on the south facing slope of the Avital Volcano. The fruit comes from two blocks located next to each other, one planted in 1999 and the second in 2000. The vineyard is located in the northern Golan at an elevation of 920 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level. Seeing several snows a year, this is the coolest site that Syrah is grown in the Golan Heights. The soils are quite rich in volcanic tuff with a correspondingly low water holding capacity. Paired with Syrah’s natural sensitivity to stress, water management in the vineyard is a challenge. The rows run almost directly north-south, making for even sun exposure of the sides of the vine rows. The 2001 Yarden Syrah aged in small French oak barrels for eighteen months, approximately two-thirds new.
The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation in Israel. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level to 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) and receive snowfall in the winter. The Golan Heights Winery is located in the town of Katzrin, in the central Golan.
The 2004 Yarden Syrah Ortal Vineyard was produced in a limited edition of 19,500 bottles.