Situated in the foothills of Israel's Judean mountains, Clos de Gat is a walled vineyard with a 3,000 year old wine press (gat) in the middle of it. It's a modern winery started in 1998 and is a joint project between winemaker Eyal Rotem and Bordeaux negociant Maison Sichel (thus the French sounding name). The wines have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years and they are now of very high quality and rather delicious.
The Chardonnay is barrel fermented using wild yeasts and is deep golden in colour. It's a big wine with a heady nose of citrus, orange blossom, tropical fruits and toasty oak. These notes continue on to the palate and a delicious complex flavour develops with hints of mango, pineapple, citrus, mandarin and butterscotch. However, as well as the unctuous rich fruit, this latest vintage has got lovely balanced acidity and a mineral core running through the wine. The length of flavour on the finish is huge and very moreish.
This is seriously good Chardonnay - try some.
SC Rating - OUTSTANDING ++ (Mike)