Showing posts with label kosher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kosher. Show all posts

Monday, September 20, 2021

Kosher Bubbles From The Russian River Valley

The Jewish High Holy Days are happening this month, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  You can always turn to Royal Wine Corporation for reliably high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and they make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

Herzog Special Reserve Russian River Valley Sparkling Wine

This sparkling Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the cool-climate Russian River Valley.  The bubbles were produced through the Methode Champenoise, and the wine is kosher.  Alcohol sits at 13.5% abv and I saw it selling online for more than $50.

This pale yellow wine produces a nice, white froth when poured.  The nose has yeasty notes of citrus and stone fruit, with an earthy element that is fabulous.  The toast and earth aspects are also present on the palate.  It's a dry wine, but there is a sweetness about it that has everything to do with the fruit.  This is one California sparkling wine I could easily recommend.


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Monday, September 13, 2021

A Kosher California Chenin Blanc

The Jewish High Holy Days happen this month, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  You can always turn to Royal Wine Corporation for reliably high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and they make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

Baron Herzog California Chenin Blanc 2020

Philip Herzog was the winemaker nine generations ago, when he crafted his wine for the Austro-Hungarian court.  Emperor Franz-Josef liked the juice so much that he made Phillip a baron, hence the name on the label today.

The previous vintage was sourced from the Clarksburg appellation, but this 2020 has only a California credit, so the grapes may have come from a variety of areas.  Herzog has vineyards in a number of good regions up and down California.  The 2020 Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc has an alcohol level of 11.5% abv and sells in most places for around $10.

This golden, kosher wine has a beautiful nose of flowers, apricots and citrus, with some pineapple thrown in for good measure.  There is a hint of sweet oak spice in there as well.  The palate brings the lemon and lime out front, with a stone fruit aspect as well.  The finish is medium long and maybe a bit too oaky for some, but I think it hits the right spot.  


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Rhône Wine Via Israel

The Jewish High Holy Days happen this month, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  You can always turn to Royal Wine Corporation for reliably high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and they make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

The 2018 Razi’el red wine blend comes from Israel's Jerusalem-Haute Judée region.  The winery is located west of the holy city in Ramat Raziel.  The name means "secret of God," but in this case, the secret is out.  It's a wonderful wine.

Razi’el was made from Rhône varieties, 60% Syrah grapes and 40% Carignan, aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.  Alcohol stands at 14% abv and I found it online selling at quite a discount, from $70 down to $50.

The Rhôn-ish nose of this dark wine delivers blackberry aromas draped in savory notes of earth and spice - forest floor, cardamom, allspice, even a bit of roasted meat.  The savory aspect really takes hold on the palate, with a beefy flavor coming through.  The tannins are firm enough, but not too firm.  The finish is long and satisfying.


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Extremely Tasty Syrah From Israel, Kosher

The Jewish High Holy Days happen in September, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  You can always turn to Royal Wine Corporation for reliably high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and they make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

Nana Estate Cassiopeia 2019

Nana Winery is located in the small Israeli town of Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev Desert.  Eran Raz - his nickname is Nana - started it in 2004. He was later joined by Niv Ben Yehuda of 3 Corners Winery, who had come to the vineyard looking for grapes which represented the terroir of the desert.  Here, he found them.

The 2019 Cassiopeia was made from 85% Syrah grapes, 12% Petite Sirah and 3% Petit Verdot.  They also make a Chardonnay, a Chenin Blanc and a Cab-heavy red blend.  The Cassiopeia fruit was partially whole-cluster pressed.  The wine aged for 14 months in French oak, most of it new barrels.  Alcohol is 14.5% abv

This wine is inky dark indigo in the glass - no light gets through.  The nose is full of blackberry and cassis aromas and savory notes of leather, tobacco, cedar and a whiff of smoke.  The palate is juicy and fruity with an amazing acidity to go along with some rather firm tannins.  The savory notes stay on the finish the longest.  This will be a great wine to have with a brisket.


Monday, August 30, 2021

Kosher Wine - Italy

The Jewish High Holy Days happen in September, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  Fortunately, Royal Wine Corporation provides what I have found to be high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and the make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

When we think of kosher wine, we may often think of those from Israel, but here is one is from Italy.  Terra di Seta is in Tuscany, near Siena in the Chianti Classico region.  Their winery is on a family-run organic farm, overseen by Daniele Della Seta and his wife, Maria Pellegrini.

The 2016 Pelegríni della Seta Chianti Classico Riserva is made entirely of Sangiovese grapes, harvested from the stony soil of a sunny, windy, low-yield vineyard at an elevation of more than 1,500 feet.  The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.  Alcohol sits at a lofty 15% abv 

This Sangiovese is a fairly dark wine which smells of cherries, plums and blackberries with a mineral-driven overlay and some sweet oak spice.  The palate has plenty of fruit, too, as well as a savory aspect that lingers on the finish.  The tannins are firm - pair it with meat dishes or sauces and aged cheeses.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Paso Cab Makes Be-Leafers

Herzog Wine Cellars is a nine-generation display of passion in the wine industry, starting in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and stretching across an ocean and a continent to California's vineyards.  The family's belief in their Jewish identity and their passion for making quality kosher wines came together in a new land, where everything was possible.

Herzog Variations Be-Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2019 is kosher for Passover, made with organically grown grapes grown in the "sunny, warm, rolling hills of Paso Robles," late-harvested for optimal ripeness.  There are no added sulfites in the wine, which has a restrained alcohol content at only 12.5% abv and a retail price of $26.

This kosher Cabernet Sauvignon shows aromas of blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry leading the way, with a light touch of oak and a dollop of that Paso earthiness.  The palate is chalky and fruity, the tannins are toothy and the acidity is racy.  Allow plenty of time for this wine to open up before pouring it - you’ll be glad you did.


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Friday, December 20, 2019

Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon From Galilee

Carmel is Israel's largest wine producer, makers of about half of the wine from the country.  It was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild.  You may know him as the owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux.  Chief Carmel winemaker Yiftach Perets is listed on the label along with his signature.  Carmel has released a trio of premium reds under the banner Private Collection, which recognize Israel's 137 years of modern winemaking. 

Carmel Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Billed as a "dry red wine" from Galilee, The 2018 Carmel Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for eight months in French and American oak barrels.  The wine is mevushal - flash-pasteurized - and is kosher for Passover.  Alcohol tips 14% abv and the wine retails for $15.

This Israeli Cab has a nose which shows the grapes, not so much the wood.  Only eight months in oak means this Cab displays plenty of ripe cherry and plum flavors.  The oaky notes are kept to a minimum.  The palate follows suit, with a bushel basket of fruit, easy on the staves.  I always enjoy a Cabernet Sauvignon that is made in this way, because that grape generally tends to get beaten by oak.  The freshness of the wine comes across in the juicy palate and refreshing acidity.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kosher Wine: Aussie Sauvignon Blanc

This Australian Sauvignon Blanc is billed as an inexpensive and refreshing white wine, which it is, but it’s also kosher. Under the Royal Wine global umbrella of fine kosher wines, Teal Lake is crafted by family winemaker Andrew Peace. He works from vines planted a quarter century ago in the dirt of the Murray River valley.

The wine hits 13% abv for alcohol and is Mevushal kosher. You can read up on Mevushal here - it's a fascinating explanation - but to boil it down for you, Mevushal wines are flash pasteurized (they used to be boiled) so they can be served to Jews by those outside the faith. This does some damage to the aromas and flavors, although reportedly not as much as boiling did. The wine retails for $12.

This kosher Australian Sauvignon Blanc smells lightly of grass, but not to the extent that a New Zealand SauvBlanc does. There are citrus and minerals, too, but it's altogether a fairly tame, and pleasant, aroma. Acidity is fresh, the palate shows Meyer lemon and minerals in a tasty, if not compelling, scenario.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Israeli Wine: Carmel Winery

Israeli winery Carmel was established in 1882, so it's been around longer than the state of Israel. Shomron, where the wine is made, is in the West Bank region of Galilee. Grapes include 45% Shiraz, 30% Carignan, 20% Petite Sirah and 5% Viognier. Carmel is kosher, with alcohol that hits in the usual range at 14.5% abv. The label promises a light, fruity and refreshing wine. They say you should serve the wine chilled.

The Carmel Mediterranean Red Blend 2016 is Syrah-heavy, inky, and earthy on the nose. Savory tones overshadow the plum, cherry and currant aromas, with a high, herbal note apparent - sage, perhaps. There’s a light cinnamon-and-vanilla feel as well. The palate is dark and fruity, with a firm set of tannins. Pair this easily with a standing rib roast over the holidays, whichever holidays you observe.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Kosher Wines For Rosh Hashanah

If you need kosher wines for Rosh Hashanah - which begins at sunset on September 20th, 2017 and runs through sunset on September 22nd - there are some good ones and some not-so-good ones out there. Of course, if you're happy with Mad Dog and your family prefers the taste of grape juice over wine, then you're probably all set. You can get a half barrel of it for seven bucks. If you want something more like a fine wine, however, read on.

Galil Mountain Winery and Golan Heights Winery are both Israeli producers. You may not have even considered that wine is made in Israel, but it is and it's often really good and it's kosher.

Golan Heights Winery describes their part of Israel this way: "The Galilee (or Galil) is the most northern, and generally considered the best, appellation in Israel. The highest quality area within the appellation is the Golan Heights (or simply the Golan), the coldest region in Israel. The vineyards on this volcanic plateau rise from 1,300 feet above sea level to 3,900 feet and receive snowfall in the winter." The region is known as Israel’s "wine country."

The winery’s first vintage was the 1983 Sauvignon Blanc. Since then, it has been operated as "strictly Kosher" from the vineyard to the winery. Head winemaker Victor Schoenfeld leads a team that has trained around the world.  Schoenfeld says wine "has the power to embody the culture, language, scents and people of its region."

Yarden Blanc de Blancs

Blanc de Blancs is a fancy term for a sparkling wine made only from Chardonnay grapes. The Yarden Blanc de Blancs is made completely from those that were grown in Israel’s Golan Heights region. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the wine was aged for a minimum of four years. Alcohol is quite manageable at 12% abv. It retails for $31.

The wine fizzes up quite bit, but the bubbles dissipate quickly. Its nose shows tons of toast and an earthy, yeasty quality that is undeniable. The savory aromas lead to a palate that displays more of that holy soil, embedded in a vibrant, but not quite racy acidity. It has great weight and offers the kind of taste treats one expects from Champagne.

Yarden Malbec

The 100% Malbec wine is sourced in Yonatan Springs in central Golan Heights.  It's aged for 18 months in French oak, carries an alcohol number of 14.5% abv and retails for $33.

It's a wine that is dark to its core, in tint, aroma and taste. Blackberry and currant bring the fruit smells, while a savory aspect rivals it in the form of tar and spice. The palate is rich and dense, with dark fruit flavor and the mark of a year and a half in oak. The tannins are firm, but not overpowering. It rivals other popular-brand Malbecs, but comes at a higher price.


Galil Mountain Winery Yiron

Yiron is a Bordeaux-style blend from upper Galilee. The wine is Kosher, but not Mevushal.
Galil Mountain's head of winemaking Boaz Mizrachi Adam says he follows advice to "do the best you can without hurting future generations."

This wine features 56% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 32% Merlot, 7% Syrah and 5% Petit Verdot. Winemaker Micha Vaadia aged it for 16 months in French oak barrels. At 15% abv, it’s wise to keep an eye on uncle Julius if he’s driving. Retail is $32.

This dark wine has aromas of cassis with a savory backbeat. Anise and leather join the fruit on the nose. The sip offers a tasty expression of the grapes involved, with an earthy element that's not quite pencil shavings and not quite olives, but close on both counts. The tannins are a bit toothy, but that brisket probably needs a good taming.

The wines of both wineries start at under $20.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kosher Pinot Noir Misses Mark

Oxnard may not spring to mind immediately when you start riffling through your mental Rolodex of California wine regions. The Ventura County town is home to Herzog Wine Cellars, under the umbrella of the Royal Wine Corporation. The winery's story is one of immigrant grit and determination.

The Herzog website says the company goes back to "Philip Herzog, who made wine in Slovakia for the Austro-Hungarian court more than a century ago. Philip’s wines were so appreciated by Emperor Franz-Josef, that the emperor made Philip a baron."

Philip's grandson Eugene had to move his family around quite a bit during World War II to hide from the Nazis, only to be run out of Czechoslovakia by the communists. He brought his family to New York in 1948 and started working for a kosher winery that paid him in company stock. Within ten years all the other stockholders had given up on it, leaving Eugene as the last man standing. He and his sons then formed Royal Wines as a tribute to Philip.

Expansion to Southern California happened in 1985, but it was a couple of decades before they would build their present state of the art facility. Head winemaker Joe Hurliman leads the kosher facility and produces wines in the tradition of the Jewish people.

The 2015 Baron Herzog California Pinot Noir is a dark ruby in color, with light just barely getting through the glass. Its nose is straightforward - black fruit and a smoky layer on top. It's not terribly complex, but it is rather savory and pleasant. The wine is quite light in the mouth, which is surprising given the dark aromas. The tannins and acidity are both on the scarce side, leaving a Pinot Noir that is mainly just a sipper. Its light feel and rather thin flavor don't translate to elegance, so there’s not a lot to recommend it.