Yossi’s Wine Page

Archive for the month “March, 2009”

March 13, 2009 – Bottling Sulam Ya’akov 2006

Dina, Adva (her daughter), and I headed down the road to the Yehuda winery in Moshav Shoresh to help Avi Yehuda with the bottling of his 2006 Cabernet, named Sulam Ya’akov in memory of his brother. Dina & Adva took turns filling the bottles, I topped them off to the correct level, and another friend of Avi’s did the corking operation. Adva and I got to do some of the corking too just for a little variety and for the photo op. Needless to say it was great fun. Of course we had to periodically sample the wine while we were bottling – all part of the quality control process.

After we finished the bottling (it was only one barrel – about 300 bottles) a bunch more of Avi’s friends came by and he laid out brunch on his patio. We had cut up fresh vegetables, homemade olives, some cheeses, labane, and fresh pitot from Abu Gosh. Of course there was plenty of wine including some of Avi’s 2001 Cabernet-Merlot blend that is a personal favorite of mine.

Dec 12th, 2008 – Special Visit to Katlav

Dina & I and a group of friends visited Yossi Yittach at the Katlav Winery. Yossi is one of our favorite winemakers and he makes some of the best wine in the country. Among Kosher wines I have yet to find anything better.

When we arrived, Yossi was waiting for us with bottles already open so the wines would be ready to taste right away. The wines we tasted were Katlav’s 2006 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals, the 2006 Wadi Katlav Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah blend, and Yossi’s 2007 Chardonnay. The Merlot is full bodied and mouth filling and the Wadi Katlav is bursting with flavors, but both of these give the impression that their best is yet to come and one should hold to them a while longer before drinking. For drinking now, the 2006 Cabernet is the hands down winner for me. What is more, Dina fell in love with this wine, and she isn’t partial to Cabernets in general. Yossi says to keep all of the wines another year or two before drinking, but that will be quite a challenge for us with the Cabernet.

After the reds, Yossi brought out as bottle of his 2007 Chardonnay, which he makes and serves like a red wine. Aged in oak, it doesn’t taste too oaky at all, and it has enough character to be served with a medium heavy meat meal. It is best at room temperature, just like a red.

As a special treat, Yossi then opened a bottle of his port style wine that he had only recently bottled. I am not a big fan of sweet wines, but this one was lovely.

All in all we had a really enjoyable visit and we already look forward to going again. Yossi makes us feel so welcome that it’s hard not to visit too often.

Visit to Anatot Winery

Lots of catching up to do.

In October we moved to another house in Har Adar. Just down the street from our previous house, and also with a garden, so we’ll be able to continue having tastings. I’ll update the map when I’ve got a chance and will post details of the next tasting as soon as they’re finalized. Should be sometime soon after Pesach.

On a quiet Shabbat in November we took out the Yoav Yehuda wine map looking for some place new to visit. We ended up at the Anatot winery located in Moshav Anatot just east of Jerusalem.

Anatot is a small operation run by two partners who are both gainfully employed in other professions, and who make wine because they love doing it.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Arnon Erez (one of the partners) and he gave us a complete tour and told us the history of the winery. Arnon’s partner, Aharon Helfgot, is a mechanical wizard, and he has manufactured and customized much of the winery’s equipment so the two partners can do all of the work themselves without having to buy lots of expensive equipment.

After the tour we sat down with Arnon in the garden and he opened a bottle for us from one of the winery’s first vintages. I’m afraid I don’t remember what we drank (I didn’t take notes) but it was full bodied, well integrated, and very pleasant. That wine wasn’t available for sale, but we did buy a bottle from a more recent vintage and had it with dinner soon after. The wines are very reasonably priced and are a very good value in my opinion.

Altogether a very enjoyable visit.

We told Arnon about our tastings in Har Adar and he’s interested, so if you can’t visit Anatot, you’ll hopefully be able to try his wines at our place sometime this spring or summer.

Somek Winery

On our way home from visiting family and delivering Mishloah Manot in the north, Dina & I stopped in Zikron Ya’akov to visit the Somek winery, a new one for us. Somek is owned and run by Barak Dahan and his wife Hila.

Barak is a fifth generation grape grower and Hila studied agriculture and winemaking (in Australia). Talk about husband and wife complementing each other. Read more…

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