2016 Domaine du Castel Grand Vin Haute-Judée

Year: 2016
Appellation: Jerusalem
Country: Isreal
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 90
Decanter: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.0%
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2019 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #100

"Ripe currant, blackberry and plum flavors are nicely displayed with mocha, baking spice and cedar details in this sinewy, focused red. Hints of olive and graphite mark the tannic finish. Drink now through 2025. 3,900 cases made, 1,280 cases imported. -GS" (WS)

"The 2016 Grand Vin is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot and 11% Merlot aged for 18 months in two-thirds new French oak. It comes in at 15% alcohol. This, said owner Eli-Gilbert Ben-Zaken, was from a year "where everything came nicely together… weather, phenolic maturation and bud size." Last year, a more difficult vintage in most places, was a year when it seemed like the Petit Castel and Grand Vin had reached parity. I actually liked the Petit Castel better. Usually, the Grand Vin is a little more grand, at least in structure. I'm wondering if we have a trend here. To be sure, the Petit Castel was never a minor wine or a poor man's Grand Vin, but here we go again.

This is a bit lusher than the Petit Castel with stronger red-fruit nuances rather than the Petit Castel's more nuanced finish. This doesn't, unusually, seem to have any more concentration. They both have fine structure. The Grand Vin has more sensual texture, a refined feel this year. If I had to pick, I'd pick the Petit Castel this issue. That's good news for consumers, given the price difference. It may well be that as they both age, they will flip positions. The Grand Vin does seem to hold a bit better. For the moment, the Petit Castel seems a bit better." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Castel Gran Vin is a classic, elegant wine, bearing deep coloring and a concentrated and complex bouquet of blackberries, spices and fine (yet tangible) tannin. This is a balanced wine, with a velvety smoothness and a long clean finish. It is recommended to decant the wine before serving.