2005 Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Katzrin Yarden

Year: 2005
Appellation: Golan Heights
Country: Israel
Wine Advocate: 87
White Wine
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"The 2005 CHARDONNAY KATZRIN YARDEN carries the name Katzrin on the label, which many in Israel associate with one of Israel’s priciest and best wines—the Yarden Katzrin Bordeaux blend. This, obviously, is not quite on the same level—and it is about $100 a bottle less. Fermented and aged in new French oak for nine months, it is well marked by the oak, but also has some brightness to cut through it. It thins out after forty minutes or so, no longer seeming quite as full bodied, but at the same time acquiring a little elegance and balance. Like most of the Chards from Golan Heights, it does many things well, but seems too marked by oak that distorts the flavor profile of the wine. I liked the oak treatment here better than on the 2005 Odem reviewed in this issue. Drink now-2011.

Golan Heights is Israel’s semi-mythical winery, the one that pretty much kicked off the quality revolution that people are now talking about. Its best wines are among Israel’s best, although the wide range of products and lack of focus can make it somewhat unpredictable. These are all Kosher (not Mevushal)." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The Wine
The 2005 Yarden Katzrin Chardonnay shows off bright lemon, ripe pear and green apple characters along with hints of tropical fruit, mineral and caramelized nuts. This aromatic wine is rich and full-bodied. Yarden Katzrin Chardonnay is appealing when young, but continues to improve over a few years and stay in great drinking condition for up to about eight years from the harvest. We like drinking Yarden Katzrin Chardonnay with fairly rich foods, such as roasted quail or guinea fowl braised with root vegetables and capers.

The Harvest
The winter preceding the vintage combined colder than average temperatures with normal precipitation. The cold weather ended with an uncommonly warm March and April, causing early budbreak in warmer vineyards. Unusually cool weather returned in May and stayed for the remainder of the season, resulting in a normal 14 week harvest starting and finishing on typical dates. The 2005 Yarden Katzrin Chardonnay is produced exclusively from Chardonnay coming from our most outstanding blocks of Chardonnay vineyards, all located in the northern Golan Heights at elevations above 900 meters (3,000 feet) in elevation. The wine ferments and ages for ten months in new French oak barrels.