As I stated on the other thread, I opened one of my last two remaining bottles of Katzrin 1990 in honor of Rogov's honorary dinner which I was unfortunately unable to attend but from reading the [Hebrew] article on israelwines.co.il it was clearly a fitting tribute to the man who tirelessly promoted Israeli wines and clearly played a huge role in putting them on the map. On a more personal level, Rogov's enormous generosity of knowledge, time and effort to provide me, and anyone who asked, with invaluable information was and continues to be unprecedented and hugely appreciated. I enjoyed alone with a two inch rib eye from Park East butcher (easily the best kosher steak you will ever find) in what I hope was a fitting tribute.
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden, Katzrin, 1990: Notwithstanding the proliferation in recent years of Single Vineyard wines from GHW and the newly introduced and delicious Rom, in my opinion the Katzrin remains Israel’s reigning champ and stands alone as the undisputed flagship wine of Israel’s top winery. At 21 years of age, easily the oldest living Israeli wine I have enjoyed, drinking this wine was an incredible experience (the wine was stored in my Israeli cellar since release in about 1993 and transferred to my US cellar in 2004 when I moved to NYC from Israel). While the single vineyard and Rom wines are good, if I had to make a choice I would plunk down my hard earned shekels for the Katzrin over the others for its elegance and proven ageability. I stood the wine upright in my cellar overnight and removed it about four hours before I intended to enjoy it and opened it up an hour before serving. While there was a bit of sediment, the color of this majestic wine is still near-royal purple, with zero age-related browning. Deliciously muted notes of blackberries, currants, cherry and other, mostly black, forest fruits on the nose with hints of warm spices and vanilla in the background. One the palate supple tannins now completely integrated with the fruit, chocolate and wood, maintaining the near impeccable balance this wine has kept up over its years. A long finish with hints of oak and plenty of slightly minty dark chocolate. While this wine is probably not going to get any better, I’d go out on a limb and say that, if properly stored, it probably has a few years of enjoyment left (as it starts a stately decline). Mama Mia – this is a wine and a fitting tribute to the man who has done so much for Israeli wine and my personal knowledge of the wine world. Salut Rogov.