Abarbanel Kosher Wines
Kadesh Barnea Winery


WINES IN PORTFOLIO MEDALS & RATINGS

About Katlav Wines

Katlav Winery's wines are full-bodied, and characterized by strong, dark colors, excellent bouquets, balanced acidity and high alcohol content. The is no filtration of the wine, but rather the natural process of racking, in which the wine is carefully syphoned from one barrel to another. The winery produces several different wines, some varietals (one predominant grape variety), others blends. They all have one thing in common: to create a harmony of taste from quality wines. And to do it with no compromises.

Abarbanel is proud to release Katlavís 2006 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Wadi Katlav, a triple blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz all aged in 100 percent French Oak Barrels for a minimum of 18 months. New for Passover 2009 is Katlavís first-ever Chardonnay blended with 10 percent Viognier and aged for 13 months in French Oak.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Katlav's Cabernet Sauvignon wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 19 months before being bottled.

The wine is ready for drinking now and will age elegantly and remain in good drinking condition for years to come.

Merlot 2006
Katlav's Merlot wine underwent a slow and mild fermentation process for a long period of time under a low temperature condition, unusual for red wine. This process imparted softness to the wine, characteristic of Merlot wines. The wine possesses a satisfying richness of flavor with very soft tannins and a lingering finish.
It is recommended that the wine be opened and allowed to breathe for a half hour before serving. The recommended serving temperature is 14°-16° C (57°-60° F).
Wadi Katlav 2006
Wadi Katlav is a Blend of three wines - 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Syrah. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for a period of 18 months. The blend of three types of grapes imparts to the wine a deep purple color, a full body, soft tannins, with lingering finish.
The wine is unfiltered and will continue to improve in the bottle over the years.
The recommended serving temperature is 16° C (60° F).
CHARDONNAY 2007
Blended with 10 percent Viognier and oak aged in used French Oak Barrels for 13 months, this is a magnificent unfiltered white with spicy oak in good balance with crisp acidity and tropical fruits. Excellent nose. This new white is every bit as excellent as the three reds that proceeded it. Grown from mountain vineyards in the Jerusalem Forest. A rare and exceptional white.

The Place & the Vineyards

Yossi Yittach, proprietor of the Katlav Winery

The Katlav Winery and its vineyards are located in the Judean Hills village of Nes Harim, south-west of Jerusalem, at an elevation of 2,275 feet (700 meters). The "moshav" or cooperative-type village was founded in 1950 by Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan and Morocco. The Moroccans left the moshav at an early stage, all but two young singles, who married and raised a family. They were my parents, and our family remains the only one of Moroccan extraction in the village to this day.

The members of the moshav were farmers from the beginning, making their living from orchards and vineyards. Already back then, they saw the advantages of cultivating vineyards around the village. The fertile soil and unique climate produced unusual results, even without irrigation. The Israeli wine industry was still undeveloped, however, and it was a long distance for Nes Harim to transport its grapes to the large wineries. After a few years, the farmers moved on to other crops.

I was raised on stories of the early days, and I understood that if I wanted to plant vines, it would be on that same land. And so it came about. In 1998, I began a vineyard on the same small mountain terraces on which they had tended vines all those years earlier. But I was living in a different era, one in which there was an awareness of quality wines, with good grapes earmarked for private wineries. I realized the excellence of the grapes, and how special, complex and fine were the wines that they produced.

The Katlav Stream trickles its way down the eastern slope of the ridge on which Nes Harim is built. It is named for the tree (Arbutus) that grows there in profusion, with its beautiful reddish trunk and clusters of red fruit. Good friends agreed that it would make a fine name for a local winery - Katlav.

A Bit of History

Over the generations, Jews made wine for their own use on the Sabbath and religious holidays, and in celebrations. In his book "Yeinam" (Am Oved), Prof. Haym Soloveitchik presents evidence of wine consumption among certain Jewish communities abroad in the years 1435 and 1455. It seems that the average was a bottle per person per day, and a Jewish family might consume about 1,400 bottles a year!
I will restore the fortunes
of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild
the ruined cities
and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards
and drink their wineÖ
(Amos 9:14)

Jewish religious rules about the making of "kosher" wine (i.e. wine that was ritually "fit" for consumption) were always extremely strict. This was often a burden for communities that had to fend for themselves, for the law forbade non-Jews to be involved in the wine-making process. Some communities, especially in Europe, were fortunate enough to live in wine-growing areas, and made their own high-quality wine. Many others lived in the Muslim world, in which alcohol was forbidden by Islamic law. They were compelled to make wine from table grapes under impossible conditions, and to do it in secret, at risk to themselves and their families; some paid with their lives. In either case, Jews suffered because of their need for kosher wine. Those who refused to trade in wine with non-Jews suffered alienation and sanctions, and, in extreme cases, blood libel and the annihilation of entire communities. The wine Jews drank in Islamic lands was so poor that they would mix in sugar to overcome its bad taste.

For me, there was never any question that the wine I made would be kosher. If Jews abroad had risked their lives to make sure they would have kosher wine for sacramental purposes like "Kiddush", surely I - privileged to live as a Jew in Israel because of them - would follow in their footsteps. Beyond the religious rules that only observant Jews should be involved in certain stages of kosher wine-making, there are other aspects that are unique to the Land of Israel, like orlah (not using the fruit for the first three years after planting) and shmittah (leaving the land fallow every seventh year, and not using that season's crops).

We find archaeological evidence of a flourishing wine industry throughout Israel, and especially in the Judean Hills. The large quantity of well-preserved, rock-hewn wine presses tell a great deal about ancient wine-making techniques, wine-growing areas, and the choices made by vintners at the time. About the winery and the wine

The Winery and the Wine

The Katlav Winery makes its wines using a combination of traditional techniques and advanced technology. I learned our special process from a Persian Jewish family who naturally had to make their own wine in Iran. There was relative freedom of religion under the Shah, and Jews could grow or buy good-quality wine grapes, and make fine dry wines. (Some say the Shiraz variety takes its name from the Iranian city.) With the know-how I acquired from that family, I began to make wine. At the same time, I went out to study wine-growing, and the chemistry and technology of wine-making.

I planted vines of different varieties. The strict attention to low yields, proper irrigation and constant care produced results. The vineyard's small areas allowed me full control of the characteristics of the grape, and maximum precision in timing the harvest - a good recipe for achieving perfect balance.

The grapes are harvested by hand and at night, when their temperature is lower, in order to avoid fermentation before they reach the winery. In the winery itself, they are carefully checked, separated from the bunches, and gently broken before being put into small, stainless steel fermentation vats. There they remain at low temperature for 18 to 24 days, for the most part without the addition of any artificial yeast, until the wine has taken on the best characteristics of the fruit. After fermentation, the wine is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 14 months. The only filtration of the wine is by the natural process of "racking" - syphoning it from one barrel to another - which is done from time to time.

—Yossi Yittach


Medals & Ratings
93
RATING
GOLD MEDAL 
2006 Wadi Katlav Blend, Judean Hills
"Dark garnet color. Aromas of craisins, clay, spice, rosemary, and roasted pepper follow through on a rich, supple entry to a dryish medium-full body with seamless balance and a touch of fig, cocoa and delicate herbs on the long sumptuous, mossy earth accented finish. Brilliantly ripe, balanced and complex."

World Wine Championships
Beverage Testing Institute
August 2009

93
RATING
GOLD MEDAL 
Katlav 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
"Deep garnet violet color. Baked berry, chocolate covered fig, herbal honey, and marinated pepper aromas follow through on a silky supple entry leads to a fruity medium-to-full body of with freshly crushed raspberry, cassis and chocolate flavors coming to the fore. Finishes with a round, toasty oak and roasted pepper fade with pillowy tannins and a hint of wet earth. Very Bordeaux-like with nice depth of fruit and terroir complexity that will make this a star at the table."

World Wine Championships
Beverage Testing Institute
May 2008

92
RATING
GOLD MEDAL  Exceptional
Katlav 2005 Wadi Katlav, Judean Hills
"Deep ruby black color. Black cherry jam, black pepper, sweet butter, sandalwood, and spice aromas. A round, supple entry leads to a ripe, fruity and smooth medium-to-full body of black cherries, black raspberries, melted chocolate, banana custard, and spice. Finishes with a long vibrant plum fade with satiny tannins. A fruity and elegant balanced wine for the table; enjoy with prime rib."

World Wine Championships\' Kosher Competition,
November 2007

91
RATING
GOLD MEDAL 
2006 Merlot, Judean Hills
"Deep garnet color. Olive, clay, forest floor cherry and plum aromas and flavors. Dry and medium-to-full bodied with cocoa and pepper on the finish. Supple, elegant and balanced."

World Wine Championships
Beverage Testing Institute
August 2009

91
RATING
GOLD MEDAL 
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Judean Hills
"Dark garnet color. Aromas of dried currant, cherry, pepper, clay and spice follow through on a supple,juicy entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body with ripe cherry, berry, and orange fruit. Finishes with a touch of tobacco, toffee, pink peppercorn, and mulling spices. A very appealing, fruity, and racy red that is sure to please to crowd. Try with mole."

World Wine Championships
Beverage Testing Institute
August 2009

89
RATING
Silver Medal  Highly Recommended
Katlav 2005 Merlot, Judean Hills
"Garnet black color. Plum and cherry liqueur, raw wildflower honey, and charred pepper aromas. follow through to a tangy sweet dry-yet-fruity perfumed stone fruit palate with a nice spice and sweet herb notes. Finishes with a crisp, lively honey creme, cinnamon, and berry jam fade with orange pekoe tea and dusty tannins. Very tasty and well balanced; pair with aged gouda."

World Wine Championships\' Kosher Competition,
November 2007

88
RATING
Katlav 2005 Wadi Katlav
"A smooth, velvety textured wine, full of slightly overripe dark cherry, raspberry and plum with accents of cassis, tea and spice that thrill the palate. Closing with a clean and silky finish, this wine is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Itís 60% Cab, 30% Merlot and 10% Shiraz."

Wine Enthusiast
April 2008

87
RATING
Katlav, Wadi Katlav, 2006
"Medium- to full-bodied, dark garnet towards royal purple, and oak-aged for 24 months, this blend of Cabernet Sauvigjnon, Merlot and Shiraz (60%, 30% and 10% respectively) shows still firm tannins integrating nicely with spicy wood and opening to reveal blackberry, black cherry and red currant fruits, those on a background of spices and earthy minerals. Drink now-2011."

Daniel Rogov
Re-tasted 15 Dec 2008

87
RATING
Katlav, Chardonnay, 2007
"Blended with 10% Viognier and oak aged in used barrels for 13 months, an unfiltered wine, medium- to full-bodied, with spicy oak and generous alcohol but those in good balance with acidity and fruits. On the nose and palate grapefruit, tropical fruits and citrus peel, those matched by floral notes. Finishes with a light creamy texture. Drink now or in the next year or so."

Daniel Rogov
Re-tasted 15 Dec 2008

86
RATING
Katlav, Merlot, 2006
"My earlier tasting note holds firmly. Katlav, Merlot, 2006: Garnet toward royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins promising integrating nicely with light oak. Showing dried currants and berries, those overlaid with spices and mint and a tantalizing hint of earthy bitterness. Drink now."

Daniel Rogov
Re-tasted 15 Dec 2008

86
RATING
Katlav 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
"A delicious Cabernet loaded with black currant and plum complemented by hints of pepper and mocha. The medium body and appropriately gripping tannins give way to a solid, lingering finish, making this a suitable companion to most meat and game dishes."

Wine Enthusiast
April 2008

85
RATING
Katlav, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
"Oak-aged for 24 months, dark ruby towards garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and light spicy oak coming together nicely with notes of red plums, cherries and raspberries. Faulted only by a light medicinal note that rises on the medium-long finish. Drink now-2010."

Daniel Rogov
Re-tasted 15 Dec 2008

84
RATING
Bronze Medal 
2007 Chardonnay, Judean Hills
"Golden amber color. Aromas of caramel, roasted nuts, and baked apples follow through on a soft, silky entry to a dryish medium body with a touch of tangy lemon curd and a delicate spicy poached apple note on the finish. A pleasant sipper."

World Wine Championships
Beverage Testing Institute
August 2009

4
out of 5

Katlav, Chardonnay, Judean Hills, Israel, 2007
"Delicious, medium to full bodied, balanced and with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, offering an appealing interplay of aromas and flavors of oak, citrus fruits, tropical fruits and flowers. Drink now."

Joshua London
The New York Jewish Week, March 28th, 2009

4
out of 5

Katlav, Wadi Katlav, Judean Hills, Israel, 2006
"Another success from Katlav; a well-balanced, full-bodied blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot and 10 percent Shiraz, exhibiting notes of blackberry, cherry, and woody aromas and flavors with an intriguing inlay of spice, and something nearly eucalyptus-like, all overlaid with a pleasant earthiness. Drink now or over the next year or so."

Joshua London
The New York Jewish Week, March 28th, 2009


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