Today’s Kosher Wines Stand Up to Any Other Top-Rated Wine, Says Noted Wine Expert
Rosh Hashana, the holiday that marks the New Year on the Jewish calendar, is around the corner, bringing with it a new wave of world-class kosher wines.
Blogger and wine expert Gabriel Geller, Director of PR and Wine Education Manager for Royal Wine, recently shared insights and observations from inside the wine industry. He reports that the new releases, produced by innovative newcomers and venerated estates alike, are really something to get excited about.
“Whether we’re talking about Herzog wines from California, Terra di Seta wines from Tuscany, Elvi wines from Spain, or Netofa from Israel, it’s clear that today’s kosher wines can compete with any other top-rated label. Quality is everything. Drinking kosher wine is no longer a compromise in quality.”
For example, the Herzog winery, a state-of-the-art facility in Oxnard, California, has produced award-winning wines from some of the most prestigious American vineyards for decades. And since the 1980s, the company has been cultivating and acquiring vineyards of its own. “These producers have introduced some of California’s finest and most well-regarded wines,” says Herzog’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Jay Buchsbaum. “Kosher is just something we ‘happen to be.’”
Herzog Wine Cellars has responded to the sparkling wine boom with the latest addition to its award-winning Lineage value line: Herzog Lineage Momentus, an elegant, refined, off-dry white sparkling wine ($19.99). Also new is the festive and semi-sweet Jeunesse Belle Rouge($14.99).
Herzog has also demonstrated that 2016 was also a notable year for California Cabernet Sauvignons. The Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016 and the Herzog Special Edition Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford District 2016 feature outstanding balance, quality, power, and panache.
On the Bordeaux front, Château Guiraud is expected to release a 2017 kosher cuvée by the end of the year. This premier Classé Sauternes had not made kosher wine since 2001. Château Gazin Rocquencourt will also release the second kosher vintage of its award-winning red wine. Equally exciting is the release of Gazin Rocquencourt Blanc 2018, made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. “Royal had foreseen the growing interest in premium, complex kosher white wines,” says Geller, “and took action. It’s now coming to fruition with a stellar Graves white produced at this great estate which is owned and operated by the celebrated Château Malartic-Lagravière.”
Also notable are wines from Netofa Winery, which recently made a major comeback to the United States. This estate boutique winery in the Lower Galilee prides itself on growing grape varieties well-suited to the local limestone-rich soil and Mediterranean climate. Its wines are praised by consumers and critics alike. “Netofa demonstrates that wines from a hot climate like Israel’s can be complex, full of character, well-structured, and easy to drink at the same time,” says Geller. He describes the Netofa Tel Qasser White 2017 as “a remarkable expression of Roussanne” and the Netofa Dor 2016 as “an astonishing take on Tempranillo.”.
Geller also notes that Israeli wines are making quite the buzz this year. That’s largely due to the rollout of Wines of Israel, a campaign targeting members of the trade and wine enthusiasts across the U.S. Initiatives include a Grand Tasting event in New York City on September 10, 2019, and presentations at all key industry events throughout the year. Wines of Israel is joint effort of Israel’s Export Institute, 27 Israeli wineries (11 of which are represented by Royal Wine Corp.), and their American distributors.
In short: whether you’re kosher or not, whatever your budget, no matter what style of wine you enjoy, there’s much to look forward to at this year’s holiday table. Royal Wine wishes all a sweet New Year.