The 2016 Yarden Merlot Allone Habashan Vineyard presents a fragrant blend of aromas featuring ripe red and black fruits, flowers, spice, tobacco, orange zest and chocolate. This attractive single-vineyard wine is full-bodied, flavorful and complex.
While ready to enjoy upon release, the 2016 Yarden Merlot Allone Habashan Vineyard will improve in the bottle over the coming years, and should stay in excellent drinking condition for up to a decade or more from harvest. We love serving this festive and food-friendly wine with a roasted rack of free-range veal with wild mushroom sauce, chicken braised in Merlot and rosemary, or a plate of aged hard cheeses such as Pecorino, Cheddar and Manchego.
2016 was a remarkable vintage. After a routine winter, February saw average daily highs about 4oC (7oF) above normal, setting the stage for a warm spring. Lighter winter rains coupled with normal spring rainfall resulted in 75% of average annual precipitation. A mild summer was not enough to cancel out the impact of the warm spring, resulting in a fast and furious harvest – the shortest in 22 years. The beautiful summer led to wines of exciting quality, proving once again that the vagaries of a particular vintage do not prevent the Golan Heights from producing consistently exceptional wines.
This single-vineyard wine is made exclusively from fruit harvested from Allone Habashan Vineyard located at an elevation of 600 meters (2,000 feet) in the central Golan Heights. The vineyard’s basalt soils have high clay content (~40%), resulting in high water holding capacity, while the increasing percentage of stones in the soil as roots grow deeper aids both in water drainage and vine root penetration. Known historically for producing outstanding Merlot, the vineyard became infected over time with virus, which led to deteriorating quality. Following redevelopment that began in 2011, Allone Habashan Vineyard is once again one of the great vineyards in the Golan Heights. Symbolizing this return to outstanding quality, the 2016 Yarden Merlot Allone Habashan Vineyard is the first single-vineyard wine ever released from this vineyard. The wine aged for 18 months in small French oak barrels, of which some 70% were new.