SO many colleagues are having online / livecast HAPPY HOURS;
and some friends need to drink to watch UNORTHODOX on NETFLIX;
it can’t hurt to stock up on wines that are Kosher for Passover that
can be used for happy hours as well as your online/zoom seders.
Passover begins as the sun sets on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.
TOP 5 ISRAELI WINES:
1. YATIR FOREST 2016. $80 USD
A dry blend, it is the primary crafted varietal wine of the Yatir Winery. It is aged up to 18 months in small French oak barrels and then has a further year’s bottle aging before release. Aroma of ripe forest fruits. Deep, firm tannins. Located in the southern tip of the Judean Hills at the edge of the Negev. Eran Goldwasser is the winemaker. Eran studied at the University of Adelaide, where he majored in viticulture and viniculture. In Israel, Eran worked for Carmel Winery and then Yatir Winery. Ya’acov Ben Dor is the CEO. After three decades in tech and electronics, he moved to the Yatir Forest to establish Yatir Winery.
2. JEZREEL VALLEY, SYRAH, 2014 $37 USD
This dry table wine is made from grapes that grew in the soil of the Kadesh Valley in the upper Galilee. The wine aged in oak barrels for 22 months. Notes of black pepper and intense fruit flavors.
3. RECANATI, RECANATI RESERVE WILD CARIGNAN, 2014 $40 USD
Dark red-violet in color, this wine has aromas of black plum, fig, chocolate and mint. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, black fig, eucalyptus and anise coalesce on the palate. Tannins are strong, but fruit and brightness hold their own. Touches of cranberry join the show just prior to the lingering finish. Grown in the Judean Hills – Dry Farm Vineyard (unwatered). The Carignan grape is trained as a “Bush Vine,” a trellising system used in ancient times. The roots wind and twist into the soil – to the more mineral areas – in a constant search for water, which causes the aroma and color so unique to this wine.
4. OR HAGANUZ, SINGLE VINEYARD, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAMURA, 2014 $59 USD
Grown in the Namura vineyard of northern Galilee/Mount Meron, about 6km NW of Safed, 800 meters above sea level with terra rossa soil. It is a robust wine with high acid levels. It scored over 90. Aged for 24 months in French oak barrels; Aromas of dark fruit, cherries, currant, plum. Notes of chocolate and clove and even menthol continue through the mid palate with a hint of charred wood and herb on the long finish.
5. TABOR, MOUNT TABOR, CHARDONNAY, 2018 $18 USD
Harvested in the Lower Galilee. Hints of oak, apples, parve butter, a tiny bit of ripe melon, and dare we say, citrus lime. It is an acidic light wine.
CORONA (CROWN) CHOICE KETER ZAHAV: (No longer in production)
OTHER RECOMMENDED WINES:
1. COVENANT NESHAMA, PROPRIETARY RED, 2016, $72 USD
Only 169 cases were produced
While tasting through barrel lots from the 2016 vintage, Covenant selected a small number of their favorite barrels to create a unique red blend that reflects the highlights of the vintage. This wine has a new label and a new name: Neshama. The Petit Verdot showed such exceptional color and depth, they have used it as the core element. The Malbec married beautifully with the Petit Verdot. They added a small amount of Syrah for intensity for their Moaveni vineyard in Bennett Valley. Aged for 9 months (nearly like a child).
2. HERZOG WINE CELLARS, LINEAGE CHARDONNAY, 2017, $19
3. HAGAFEN, DAN ERNESTO, OH! Red Blend, 2018, $39
4. LANZUR, MALBEC, CHILE, 2017, $14
5. GOLAN HEIGHTS, YARDEN, PETIT VERDOT, 2016, about $30 (the 2016 is the one, not the 2015 or 2014)
6. ROUTE VICTOR, CHARDONNAY, 2018, $18
7. UNORTHODOX, CHENIN BLANC, 2018, $17
8. ABARBANEL, CHARDONNAY, 2018, $15
9. CHATEAU D’ARVEYRES, BORDEAUX, 2017, $19
10. TABOR, MOUNT TABOR, SHIRAZ, 2017, $17
Gabriel Geller, Manager of Wine Education for Kedem/Royal Wine Corp in the United States recommends Or Haganuz Amuka Light, a fine, dry, and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel’s Upper Galilee with only 9% alcohol by volume. As well as Herzog Lineage Pinot Noir is a well-made, medium-bodied wine from California’s Clarksburg wine country; and Jezreel Valley Rosé, a refreshing wine made from Mediterranean varieties. In terms of innovations, his company is selling the new Bartenura Moscato in cans (it is one of their best selling wines) Barkan Classic Pinot Noir is one of their extremely popular wines, in addition to Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, and Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc.