I must admit, this was one wine launching that I was really looking forward to.
The event took place at Chloelys, an excellent Ramat Gan (adjacent to the diamond stock exchange) restaurant under the management of Chef Victor Gloger. Choosing the right dish for the right wine isn’t always an easy task, however time and time again Victor wowed us with delicious and accurate food pairings.
The chef’s food and wine pairing talent was clearly evident in the first dish, served on a bed of sea bass carpaccio, the salad consisted of various types of lettuce, orange fillets and sautéed red striped mullet (barbunia) topped with a citrus vinaigrette. The dish was paired with Barkan’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2008. At first taste, the wine left a slight metallic feel on the palate, but when paired with the tasty salad, I almost felt that I was drinking a different wine, cutting through the metallic feel and bringing out the refreshing citrus and lemony aromas and flavors which characterize this grape variety.
After introducing the winemakers Ed Salzburg (head winemaker), Yotam Sharon and Irit Boxer-Shank, Mr. Shmuel Boxer, CEO and co-founder of the Barkan winery described progress made by Barkan over the recent years and mentioned that “from the Golan and Galilee through the Judean Hills and the Negev, Barkan is constantly investing resources and planting additional vineyards aiming at producing a variety of high quality wines, while offering our customers good value for money”.
The second wine definitely lived up to Boxer’s promise – Barkan Reserve Chardonnay, 2008 (retailing at NIS 44). This wooded Chardonnay (6 months in oak barrels) offers aromas of various white flowers, peaches, oak with hints of vanilla and honey. On the palate, a pleasant creamy feel and slight sweetness all leading to a well balanced finish.
Please note that in order to fully enjoy this wine, the winery recommends serving the Chardonnay at 10 degrees Celsius.
And now for the grand finale, the main event: a tasting of the Barkan Superior Shiraz, 2006 (retailing at NIS 190). Superior is the name of Barkan’s premium label, which until now only offered wines produced with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. “This year we felt that the quality of the Shiraz grapes was so high, that we decided to include the wine in the Superior label” said winemaker Yotam Sharon. It is evident that Yotam is very proud both of the wine and of the exclusive vineyard situated at Kiryat Anavim (a kibbutz in the Judean Hills) where the Shiraz grapes are grown.
Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Merlot (4%), this full-bodied red offers layered aromas of various black fruits, cherries, and black pepper along with roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, leather and hints of spices. Not as jammy or “sweet” as some of the other Shiraz wines found on the market, the Shiraz Superior will benefit from additional cellaring. If you were to drink the wine in the near future, the winery recommends decanting (allowing the wine to aerate using a decanter) for 1 hour before serving.