Kitron Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006, Psagot Viognier 2014

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Last Shabbos (Parshas Devarim) fell on the Hebrew date of 9th Av, the most important fast in the Jewish calendar, bar Yom Kippur. So this year, because Tisha BeAv fell out on Shabbos, the fast was pushed off until Motzei Shabbos (After Shabbos) and Sunday which is technically the 10th Av! That meant that this year, instead of fasting, we got to actually eat meat and drink wine (two things forbidden during the Nine Days which lead up to Tisha BeAv) on Tisha BeAv itself!

Actually the Rabbonim tell us that when Mashiach comes, (Please G-d in our time), Tisha BeAv will be a great “Moed beSimcha” - a festival full of Joy and Chaza”l teach us that there is no Simcha - Joy - without Meat and Wine! (Pesachim 109a). Perhaps this year we got a taste of things to come, Be’ezras Hashem because not only was the Chopped Liver and Salt Beef we had for the Shabbos seudos (Shabbos meals) delicious but, unlike last Shabbos where both wines were disappointing, this Shabbos, both were simply delightful!

Actually, the Rabbonim who survived the destruction of Yerushalayim and made their way to Yavneh where they began the work to adapt Torah Judaism to a post-Temple era, were compared to rows of grapes in a vineyard. Their yeshiva was called Kerem Yavneh because they were planting the future of the Jewish people's survival and hope.  Yavneh means "We will build". The vineyard of Yavneh, planted and grown in sand has lasted until this day.

Chopped Liver
Salt Beef

Let’s start with the red for Friday Night Kiddush.

Kitron Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006

I have to tell you, Kitron is a difficult wine to find.  I went to every wine store in Machaneh Yehudah today and could not find any Kitron except a Merlot from 2008 (Hehter Mechira). However, they do stock them in Aleph Aleph Piup in Bar Ilan, Jerusalem and I believe in the Ramat Eskol branch as well for 150 shekels a bottle. This is where I bought my bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006. When I saw the bottle, I remembered how much we had enjoyed the Merlot of the same year back in 2011 so thought it a good idea to try the CS now. I'm glad I did.
The winery is situated in the village of Mitzpeh Hoshaya, north of Natzereth Elite. The Internet site takes you to their Zimmer Self Catering and Boutique Hotel site. Not much about the winery there.

Tasting notes

So, what we are dealing with here is a Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in French Oak for 14 months and has been sitting in the bottle for over 9 years.
I opened the bottle just before we went to shul at about 7:00pm. I couldn’t help noticing already a sublimely heavy rich juicy aroma wafting up from the bottle. Promising indeed! We returned home from shul very late at around 9:15pm. Shalom Aleichem, Aishes Chayil and the kid’s brachos said, we all gathered around the Shabbos table for Kiddush.

I poured the wine with great anticipation. The delightful aroma filling my nostrils. I poured a small amount of wine into my wife’s glass and gave it two swirls before putting it to my nose.
What hit me was a glorious aroma of lush black dark wild forest fruits, lightly cooked and matured in a wooden bowl. Black berries oozing juice. Slight caramelised burnt oak. (not smoke but burnt toffee treacle).

Knowing instinctively that this wine was a winner, despite the late hour, I took my time over the Kiddush, confident that the wait would be worth it. I then took my first swallow and swirled it around in my mouth. Ohhhhhh - Wow. Silky smooth and deep chewy tannins. Big mouthful taste with rich charming sweet spices. A hint of cloves, cinnamon and parave chocolate sprinkled over a wooden bowl of dark fruit compote and vanilla ice cream. I was blown away!

I had a mouth full of thick oaky black berries cocktail. The luscious finish refused to finish. It seem to go on and on forever. So lengthy was it that I had difficulty calling out everyone's names at the table before passing them their wine because I was still enjoying the aftertaste.
Now we recently tasted another excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, namely, the Ben Zimra CS 2011. I asked everyone around the table how they compared? I myself was in no doubt. This Kitron was in a class of its own. However my middle son exclaimed that he preferred the Ben Zimra. When asked why, he explained that it was more interesting with a lot more range of tastes like different spices and also had more of a defined fruit taste where as the Kitron was a mish mash of unspecified dark forest fruits. I could understand where he was coming from. The Kitron was indeed lacking the black pepper and dry spices of the Ben Zimra but I still insisted that the Kitron was a bigger event, a more complete experience and overall more enjoyable. He disagreed. My wife commented that she thought that it did have recognisable taste. To her it tasted of juicy sweet ripe black red plums.
Bottom Line:
Despite our disagreement as to whether the Ben Zimra was tastier, we all agreed that this was delicious, especially when it came to drinking the wine with the challa and hors d'oeuvres.  Everyone was in no doubt that teh Kitron was the perfect accompaniment to the chopped liver. Simply devine.
Psagot viognier 2014

Viognier is a white French grape not often used by Israeli wine makers who tend to stick to either Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Viognier is similar to Chardonnay in the sense that it is capable of producing full-bodied wines with lots of fruity tastes but unlike Chardonnay, the fruit tastes tend to be greener in nature.


We have been steadily going through the new range of Psagot wines. We really enjoyed the Chardonnay but gave the thumbs down to the Rose. My friend and wine expert, Matitiyahu told me that I just had to try this Psagot Viogner as it was something really special. OK.
I placed the Viogner in the fridge before we went to shul and it was nice and chilled by the time we got back, hot and thirsty.
As soon as we opened the bottle and despite the wine being cold, we were greeted by this wonderful aroma or Pine trees and evergreen. Then when warmed up slightly the smell turned to fresh pears. Drinking the wine brought us freshly squeezed pear pulp juice and green melon. When I say green melon, I don't mean that it was unripe, just that it wasn't yellowy honeydew melon like some chardonnays. No, this was a rich, sweet crispy ripe green melon. Delicious! The bottle was empty within seconds.
Bottom Line:
Simply excellent for a hot summer's day. It made a lovely change to Chardonnays. This was a very different experience but just as enjoyable. The only other Viognier I remember tasting was from the Golan Heights. I didn't really get on with that finding it a bit heavy, almost sickly, like some German wine. This Psagot was completely different. It could well become a regular guest at our Shabbos table and definitely a wine which I would pour to friends who I wished to impress.


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