I just returned from my all-too-brief stay in Israel and since I have been up since 4:15 AM, my body clock has some adjusting to do. My wife and I made the trip to attend the wedding Wed. night of the oldest daughter of dear friends here in NY. It was our first Israeli wedding and it was magnificent. The wedding was held in Shoresh, just outside Jerusalem. The chuppah was outdoors, of course, and, well, what more can I say?
As a quick aside, we almost did not make the trip since it was unclear how the rocket attacks from Gaza would evolve. When we left NY, it appeared that status quo was the best we could hope for but escalation seemed a good possibility. The Friday before we left rockets were fired toward Jerusalem. Turns out that only hours before we landed the sirens warning of incoming rockets had sounded again in Jerusalem. Fortunately, in both instances the rockets did not reach and caused no injury or serious damage where they landed.
Back to my TN. One of the guests has a connection to Katlav and was kind enough to supply the wine. Two Katlav wines were poured at dinner, the 2009 Nes Harim and Wadi Katlav. The former was pleasant enough in a fruity, uncomplicated kind of way. It is a good food wine and certainly an adequate wine to pour for large parties. It is a fine alternative to, say, Dalton's Canaan Red. The Wadi Katlav is an entirely different story. This is a Bordeaux blend of 50% CS, 35% merlot and 15% PV. Deep dark ruby in color, inviting nose. Good structure, pleasant tannins, lovely finish. A truly enjoyable wine. I found myself returning to my glass over and over again to see how it was developing. I was satisfied and suggest you give it a try. I'm unsure of pricing and availability in Israel. It is not a large winery, so my sense is it may be a bit challenging to find. At the moment, I don't believe the wines are exported to the US. At shevah brachot on Friday night, we had the pleasure of drinking Katlav's 2006 Pinot Noir. This wine may be available only direct from the winery, if at all. The wine certainly added to the simcha and held up well to the roast beef and hearty chicken dishes served. It wasn't heavily characteristic of the variety, but to my nose and palate PN is the varietal that varies the most in style and character depending on where it is produced. Thus, a true Burgundy will differ significantly from a PN produced in California, the Pacific NW region of the US or Israel. All that said, I found Katlav's version eminently pleasant and dutifully drained my glass. More than once.
We were lucky enough to visit the winery on motzei Shabbat for an evening of grilled meats, delicious dips and savory side dishes. We again enjoyed the Nes Harim as well as the company of Yossi, the winery's owner and winemaker. In short, I recommend you explore the winery and its wines.