The best kosher wines for Passover 2015 at all price ranges

wall of wineAs many have read on these pages, a few wine events have come and gone – with one last one happening in NY, at the City Winery event held in agreement with the Jewish Week and their kosher wine list for Passover (the link is discounted by Yossie’s corkboard). Not to throw the baby out with the bath water, but the list of wines that were chosen for winners this year, are fine and many that I really like, but I hope you all love the wines I have listed here too. As I walked around both KFWE this year, and sommelier – I was asked again for a,list of my top wines, so here it goes! This is a of great and reasonably priced kosher wines.

So, with some weeks before Passover – here is my list. A few caveats first, this is MY list! This is not a list that will make many happy. These wines are the wines that make me happy. No wines here would be considered over ripe, over sweet, or all over the place. The wines here are listed in the order of cost. That said, the top line wines – what I call Top Flight wines, are not defined by cost at all. In that list you can find a 2014 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc, another smash dirt cheap Sauvignon Blanc wine, that happens to be one of the best kosher white wines I tasted at sommelier. At the same time the list includes some of the best high-end kosher wines I have ever tasted that go for $100 or so a bottle. The list of Top Flight wines, are ALL wines that I would buy without hesitation, no matter the cost (if I can afford it of course).

Passover is time of year when Jews buy the most wine, along with Rosh Hashanah, and the American New Year. That is why all the kosher wine events happened a month or two before the Passover festival. It gives the wineries and distributors a chance to showcase all their wines that each appeal to different market segments. So, no there are no sweet or semi-sweet baseline wines here. There are many very good 15 or so dollar bottles of wine, that can be bought at Skyview, Gotham, and all the other wine stores I have listed on the right hand side (as always I NEVER make money from them and I never know or care what people buy, the list is whom I buy wines from and so I can recommend them to others).

Also, the amount of money you spend does not define the value or quality of the wine. Take for example the 24 dollar Lewis Pasco Project #2 wine – a very nice wine, and though not as insane as the #1 it is a great wine that is easily enjoyable now and sells for a great price. The same goes for the Vignobles David Reserve or the Capcanes Peraj petita, and many others.

Seeing the list and checking it twice (could not help myself), I am sure there will be a question – what defines a wine as a Top Flight wine and why are there wines that are not on it? The Top Flight wines, is a list of wines that personally was wowed when tasting them. That does not mean that the Peraj Petita, as wonderful as it is may or may not compare to another wine on the 50 dollar and above list – that would not be fair. What it does mean was that when I tasted it, I was wowed, and I said this is a wine that everyone should get – no matter the price. In the end, this is not about which is better than the rest it is a way to whittle down the list of wines that I enjoyed from a massive set of thousands of kosher wines available here in America. That is why I made the list. In hindsight, I am sure I will have missed some wines, but you can be always look at the blog and if a wine you want is not on the list, by my omission, but scored an A- or higher, it was probably a good bet to have been on this list.

Finally, it is our custom to drink four cups of wine on Passover, but to power down these wines is far to hard for me. I rather decide to drink simple wines like the Tabor Via bubbly red, non mevushal wine. It is simple to chug, tasty, and perfectly fulfills the custom. For the main course, I am happy to open a Top Flight wine and enjoy that at a calm and enjoyable pace.

A few more comments here. I hope I have gotten all the wines that I have tasted here, but I almost posted this a few times, and then only at the end did I remember I forgot a few. Also, this year’s list is far longer, for a few reasons. One, I was far more careful and I tried to include all wines I tasted that were A- or maybe a drop below, AKA 90 point wines. Also, I have gotten to taste more wines as every year passes. Still, I am sure I missed a few. When I taste them – I will post them! Finally, there are more better wines this year. Many from Israel but France has finally stepped up with new vintages, along with Spain killing it as always, whites from Israel, and Cali really showing strong this year as well.

In the end, these are my picks, they are easy to find and in my opinion, really good. There is also the Jewish Week’s list and Yossie Horwitz (of Yossie’s Corkboard) also comes out with a list.

So there you have it – enjoy good kosher wine for a reasonable price and enjoy the Passover holiday for what it should be, which is enjoying time and our heritage with our families! Happy Passover to you all. Post what wine you will be enjoying, I would love to hear from you guys on what you will be drinking throughout the holiday!

Wines below 20 dollars:

2012/2013/2014 Domaine Netofa White
2014 Domaine Netofa Rose (QPR) (the 2013 is dying)
2012/2013 Domaine Netofa Red
2012 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Vineyard
2011/2012 Weinstock Petite Sirah, cellar select (mad QPR) (mevushal)
2012 Weinstock Cabernet Franc, Cellar Select (mad QPR) (mevushal)
2012/2013 Capcanes peraj petita (mevushal & non mevushal) (QPR)
2013/2014 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama
2014 Tabor Rose (QPR) EPIC!
2013 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal)
2013 Goose Bay Fume Blanc (QPR) (mevushal)
2012 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso (QPR)  (mevushal)
2011/12 Dalton Alma, Cabernet and Merlot
2011/12 Dalton Petite Sirah (QPR)
2011/2012 Le Mourre De Lisle Cotes du Rhone(mevushal) (QPR)
2010 Chateau d’Arveyres (QPR) (mevushal)
2013 Beit El Cabernet Sauvignon
2013/14 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal)
2014 Hagafen beret rose (mevushal)
2011 Elvi Rioja Mati (AKA Herenza Rioja)
NV Elvi Adar Brut (mevushal) (QPR)
2014 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc
2013 Gush Etzion Spring River (five white grapes)
2013 Twin Suns Cabernet Sauvignon (mevushal)
2009 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico
2012 Alfasi Malbec/Syrah, reserve (mevushal) – do NOT laugh solid!
2013 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal)
2011/12 Teperberg Malbec, Terra

Wines below 25 dollars:

2011/2012/2013 Domaine Netofa Tinto
2011 Reacanti Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2012/2013 Carmel Riesling, Kayoumi (QPR)
2012 Lewis Pasco Project #1 (mad QPR)
2012 Tzora Judean Hills, Red (QPR)
2012 Tzora Judean Hills, White
2013 Lueria Rose (very nice)
2010 Tzuba Syrah Metsudah
2009 Tzuba Metzudah (Bordeaux blend)
2011 Tzuba Pinot Noir
2012 Binyamina Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer
2012/2013 Dalton Semillon (QPR)
2011 Vignobles David Reserve (mad QPR)
2007 Yarden Blanc de Blanc (mad QPR)
2012/2013 Recanati Petite Sirah (mad QPR)
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.
2013/14 Hagafen Dry Riesling (mevushal)
2012 Giersberger Pinot Gris
2008/2009 Elvi Herenza Crianza
2012 Gush Etzion Emek Bracha (Blessed White) (Viognier/Roussanne)
2010 Gush Etzion Spring River Red
2013 Yatir Viognier
2009 Yarden Rose Brut (mad QPR)
2013 Dalton Sauvignon Blanc, Reserve
2013 Dalton Viognier (QPR) (12 is OK)
2014 Tura Gewurtztraminer – Lovely!
2013 Dalton Zinfandel, D (not 12 or earlier)
2012 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Variations (LOVE the 3 and 5, 4 is nice)
2013 Rothschild Flechas Malbec
2007/08 Elvi Adar Red (07 is a bit better)
2012 Shiloh Chardonnay
2012 Pacifica Pinot Noir (2012 ONLY)
2012/13 Lueria Gewurztraminer
2013 Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc
2013 Pasco Project #2
2012 Ayala Zinfandel (Four Gates 2nd label)
2012 Ayala Syrah (Four Gates 2nd label)

Wines from 25 to 35:

2010/2011 Tulip Mostly Cabernet Franc
2009/2011 Teperberg Merlot, Reserve
2009/2011 Teperberg Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2011/12 Tzora Shoresh Red
2012/13 Domaine Netofa Latour, White
2010 Recanati Cabernet Franc
2011 Bazelet HaGolan Cabernet Sauvignon
2011/12 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon
2011/12 Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2008 Hagafen Sonoma Coast Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (375mL)
2010/2011 Four gates Chardonnay
2012 Lafond Tavel Rose
2012 Bokobsa M&R Sancerre
2010 Chateau Fourcas Dupre, Medoc
2013 Gvaot Chardonay/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
2014 Gvaot Rose (NOT 2013)
2013 Jezreel White Blend
2012 Jezreel Carignan
2012 Ramot Naftaly Duet
2012 Ramot Naftaly Barbera
2013 Kishor Syrah
2013 Kishor Red Blend (CF/Merlot/PV/Syrah)
2010/2011 Ella Valley Merlot
2009 and 2010 Ella Valley Cabernet Franc (QPR)
2009 Ella Valley Syrah (QPR)
2009 Ella Valley Petite Sirah
2011 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon, Kayoumi
2011/2012/2013 Yarden Chardonnay, Katzrin
2014 Recanati Gris de Marselan
2010/2011 Tura Merlot
2013 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Bordeaux white)
2013/2014 Matar Chenin Blanc (BOTH GREAT but very different)
2013 Matar Chardonnay
2012 Matar Cumulas
2012 Matar Petite Verdot
2013 Castel C, Chardonnay
2014 Castel Rose
2012 Herzog Cabernet, Reserve, Alexander Valley (mevushal)
2012 Herzog Syrah, Reserve (mevushal)
2012 Herzog Petite Sirah, Prince Vineyard, Limited Edition (mevushal)
2013/2014 Flam Blanc
2014 Flam Rose (BRAVO)!
2013 Flam Classico (only 13)
2014 Goose Bay Blanc de Pinot Noir (2014 ONLY) (mevushal)
2012 Herzog Cabernet/Zinfandel/Syrah, Reserve (mevushal)
2011 Hagafen Cabernet Franc (mevushal)
2013/2014 Makom Grenache Blanc
2013/2014 Hajdu Grenache rose
2012 Agur Layam, Syrah/Mourvedre
2011 Or Haganuz Elima (Organic and no added Sulfite)
2010 Hevron Heights Isaacs Ram

Wines below 50:

2009 Yatir Syrah – lovely!
2011/12 Gvaot Cabernet Sauvignon, Gofna
2010/11/12/13 Gvaot Pinot Noir, Gofna
2011 Gvaot Vineyards Dance
2011 Bazelet HaGolan Merlot, Reserve
2010/2012 Adir A (not 2011)
Drappier Carte Blanche
Darppier Carte d’or
2011 Lueria Grand Vital
2005 Borgo Reale Signi Brunello Di Montalcino
2009/2010 Four Gates Merlot
2010/2011 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Domaine l’or de line, CDP
2011 Chateau Royaumont – lalande De Pomerol
2012 Les Roches de Yon Figeac, Saint Emillon
2012/2013 Petite castel
2012 Tura Mountain Peak – very nice!
2013 Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc
2012 Matar Shiraz
2012 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek, Single Vineyard
2009 Hagafen Cabernet Franc, Prix (mevushal)
2008 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon, MJT, Prix (mevushal)
2012 Shirah Bro.Deux
2012 Pasco Liquidity, Reserve
2011 Teperberg Cabernet Franc, Limited
2011 Teperberg Petite Verdot, Limited

Wines above 50:

2010 Chateau Haut Condissas
2009/2010 Hevron Height Makpelah
2011 Echo de Roses Camille
2010/2011 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre, Saint Julien
2011/2012 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Special Edition
2009 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Clone Six
2006 Chateau Piada Sauterne
2012 Chateau Giscours, Margaux
2010/2011 Chateau Haut Candisas, Medoc
2012 Bat Shlomo Cuvee Betty
2010 Elvi El26
2010 Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon, Limited Edition, 1/7000

Top Flight Wines (wines worth it no matter the price – within your idea of reason)

2010/11/12 Castel Grand Vin
2011/12 Flam Syrah, reserve
2010/11 Flam Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2010/11 Flam Merlot, Reserve
2010 Flam Noble
2010/11/12 Tzora Misty Hills
2011/2012 Capcanes Peraj Habib (Crazy QPR)
2009/2010/2013 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
2011 Capcanes Flor de Flor
2005 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
2011 Shiloh Mosaic
2011/12/13 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2011/13 Adir Shiraz
2010/11 Adir Plato
2009 Yatir Forest
2009 Elvi Herenza Reserva
2009 Carmel Limited Edition
2012/2013 Recanati Syrah/Viognier – lovely!
2012/2013 Recanati Wild Carignan – LOVELY!
2012/2013 Recanati Marselan – LOVELY!
2013/2014 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc – AWESOME
2011 Recanati Special Reserve
2012 Shirah Power to the People
2011 Dalton Shiraz, Kerem Hoshen (not the 2012)
2012 Vignobles David Chateauneuf Du Pape
2011/12 Gvaot Masada
2011 Chateau Moulin Riche
2007/2008 Four Gates Merlot
2010/2011 Four Gates Frére Robaire Bordeaux blend
2009 Chateau Tertre Daugay Grand Cru
2012 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
1999 Chateau Giraud Sauterne
2010/2011 Tabor Merlot, Adama
2012 Matar CB (Colomunibus)
2012 Matar Petite Verdot
2013 Netofa Syrah (Project XX1) – though leaked here
2012 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Coombsville, Prix (mevushal)
2004/05/09 Hagafen Melange, Prix (mevushal)
2012 Shirah Shiraz, White Hawk
2012 Hajdu Proprietary Red Wine
2013 Hajdu Grenache, Eagle Point
2013 Hajdu Petite Sirah, Eagle Point
2013 Hajdu Syrah, Eagle Point

Posted on March 12, 2015, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Semi Sweet Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Most important article of the year. 🙂

    Elie Lowy

    Louis Newman & Company P 212-719-2626 F 212-764-4329

  2. Thanks Elie! I agree and a ton of fun to cultivate!

  3. I don’t get the 10 tabor ADAMa merlot. I like it. But it tastes like a mevushal wine to me. It opens up right away. And has no finish. No complexity. The fruit is good at best. I want you to taste my bottle when ur in town and explain it or tell me if mine is consistent with the one you have tasted. Don’t get me wrong. I like it. But I don’t see what everyone sees in it.

    Elie Lowy

    Louis Newman & Company P 212-719-2626 F 212-764-4329

    • Elie, you are the second person to make that statement, which scares me. That wine is one of the most closed wines on the market today. But others have had your experience! It is shocking to me and others who have had this wine a few times now. I believe your bottle(s) are bad. Return them and get others, this is NOT what I have experienced with them.


    Sorry for not knowing (and not asking until now) but what does QPR stand for? Ty

  5. Thanks for doing this. I always find something new and exciting on the yearly list. I agree with you Israeli date juice drift so would be curious to try the French reds.

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