Yossi Horwitz, Yossie's Corkboard, July 31, 2014
Bat Shlomo, Chardonnay, 2012: A definitively new World Chardonnay that spent ten months in (80% new French) oak (barrel fermented as well), emerging with a crisp structure that clearly benefited from the extra oak oomph but without becoming a slave to it. With plenty of buttery oak on the nose, accompanied by tart green apple, vanilla accented apple pie wrapped in flaky buttery pastry, decent acidity, a welcome mineral streak and a lovely structure, ensuring the oak is kept in check by the fruit, saline minerality and acidity, resulted in a New World style California Chardonnay with some Israel flair and oak kept sufficiently in-check to avoid becoming the dreaded “oak bomb” that has fallen from favor. Drink now or over the next 12-18 months.
Bat Shlomo, Betty’s Cuvee, 2012: As with Capcanes’ Peraj Petita and Rose, this wine is the exact blend as the Rose below with a portion of the wine bled off of the skins after only a few hours and fermented and the rest of the wine utilized for their first red wine, paying homage to Betty Rothschild (a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon was also produced as a private label for Elie and which, when I barrel sampled it, seemed like it was destined to be a worthy member of Bat Shlomo’s qualitative portfolio of wines). Each component was aged in oak separately for 16 months before being blended into the final resulting cuvee, resulting in an amicable and food-friendly wine whose complexity reveals itself after so time in the glass (or decanter). With rich dark fruit including cassis, plums and cherries on both the nose and palate where gripping tannins that are already round, mouth-filling and nicely integrated are accompanied by freshly cured tobacco leaf, cedar, dried figs, black licorice and an earthy mineral streak that adds character. While enjoyable now, I believe it will be better is 6-8 months from now which will allow the wine’s varied components to better integrate.
Bat Shlomo, Rose , 2013: A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remaining 15% more or less evenly split between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is a truly refreshing and quality Rose that I enjoyed multiple times during my most recent Israel trip, including at a number of high-end eating establishments where the winery’s marketing manager – Jodi Marder, seems to be having nice success in penetrating that market (a distribution channel that, as previously discussed, has become increasingly important, especially to the smaller wineries). With bright summer fruit including watermelon and strawberries, floral notes, nice citrus accents and bracing acidity it is a great wine to enjoy all summer long, either on its own (preferably on a deck or balcony overlooking the ocean) or with an unbelievably wide assortment of foods. I plan to save a few bottles for later on, when they will be helpful in banishing the inevitable winter doldrums.
Bat Shlomo, Sauvignon Blanc, 2013: After shifting away from the original bright and colorful label, the bottle is now sheathed in a simply elegant label with the silhouette of Betty Rothschild gracing it. After tasting the wine, it is easy to agree that the classy sophistication of the label matches the wine itself. Very well made with a fresh nose of white flowers, mouth-watering citrus including limes and clementines, white peaches, freshly cut grass and steel minerality that entices and a medium bodied palate laden with much of the same floral and citrusy notes accompanied with a good dollop of acidity that keeps the wine fresh and lively (and a good pairing with the flight of five hand-crafted cheeses I enjoyed at the cheese bar in Tel-Aviv’s Carlton Hotel) and remains my favorite wine of the winery (and one that has improved each year it has been produced).