The best kosher wines for Passover 2016 at all price ranges

wall of wineAs many have read on these pages, a few wine events have come and gone – with the last one having happened in NY, at the City Winery.  The event showcased many great wines, and was a very good event! The Jewish Week and their kosher wine list for Passover is nice, but you will not find many of them on this list. As I walked around both KFWE this year, and sommelier – I was asked again for a list of my top kosher wines for Passover, 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 2010 Yarden Brut Rose, another smash sparkling wine, that happens to be one of the best 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 Capcanes Peraj petita, or the Herenza Crianza, or the Tabor Merlot, Adama, and many others. These are great wines and the price is only an added benefit. However, there are many low priced wines that are not on this list, as they lack the quality required, IMHO.

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 too 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. I want to stress those lines again – this year is one of the best years for kosher wine – maybe the best. Why? Because more kosher wine is being made than ever before, and the wines are improving. Thankfully, new wineries like Kishor, Shiran, and others are popping up in Israel and are finally toeing the line! Recanati is fully inline now, and Dalton is also toeing the line with their higher end wines and their new lower end wines. What can I say, Israel has always been the white and sparkling wine mecca, but now some smaller and more concerned wineries are moving the needle on reds as well. Enough said on this – just keep looking for good news as I get to actually blog about this good news – notes and story wise. Till then, just follow the list!

Lastly – there are four new section, to highlight the largest positive move I have seen so far in the mevushal and low-cost wines. Those are the Below 10 dollars and the below 15 dollars sections. Sure, they are owned by two folks, Terrenal and Herzog, but this highlights a very important fact – WE CAN make good low-priced and mevushal kosher wines in California – WE CAN! I have been told for the longest time that we cannot do it. Well kudos to Joes of Herzog (Joseph Herzog and Joe Hurliman)! The two people have proven the industry wrong and I hope they keep doing so for a long time! The 2013 Herzog high-end wines are the best in a very long time, and the 2014/2015 lower end Baron wines prove that affordable good kosher wines exist and can be produced – now we need to see that from Israel. Terrenal has proven it can be done in Spain and Chile, now it needs to happen the world over! BRAVO to Terrenal and Herzog!

The other two lists are Israel only wines and Europe only wines that I have had the enjoyment to taste.

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 10 dollars:

2014 Terrenal Seleccionado (QPR)
2014/2015 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon (QPR)
2014 Terrenal Chardonnay, Curico Valley – Score: A- (QPR WINNER) (mevushal)
NV Banero Prosecco, Veneto IGT (QPR) (mevushal)
2013/2014 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso (QPR)  (mevushal)
2015 Baron Herzog Chardonnay, Clarksburg (QPR)  (mevushal)
2015 Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg (QPR)  (mevushal)

Wines below 15 dollars:

2013 Baron Herzog Pinot Noir (QPR)  (mevushal)
2014 Twin Sun Cabernet Sauvignon (mevushal)
2014 Tabor Chardonnay Har/Mount Tabor (QPR)
2014 Terra Di Seta Rose Meshi (QPR)
2014 Recanati Shiraz (mevushal)
2013/2014 Recanati Chardonnay Diamond Series (QPR)
2014/2015 Recanati Rose (2015 is Shmita)
2014 Dalton Fume Blanc D Series (QPR)
2014 Gamla/Gilgal White Riesling
NV Gamla/Gilgal Brut (INSANE QPR)
2011/2013 Elvi Winery Rioja Herenza Semi (QPR)
2014 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)

Wines below 20 dollars:

2013/2014 Dalton Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (QPR)
2012 Butcher’s Daughter (mevushal)
2014 Koenig Riesling (QPR)
2014 Jacques Capsuto Blanc (QPR)
2012/2013/2014 Domaine Netofa White (QPR)
2012/2013/2014 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR)
2014/2015 Yarden Gewurztraminer (2015 is Shmita)
2011 Weinstock Petite Sirah, cellar select (mad QPR) (mevushal)
2012/2013/2014 Capcanes peraj petita (mevushal & non mevushal) (QPR)
2014/2015 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2014 Goose Bay Pinot Grigio (mevushal)
2014 Dalton White, Alma
2014 Dalton Pinot Gris (QPR)
2010 Chateau d’Arveyres (QPR) (mevushal) (DO NOT BUY 2014)
2013 Beit El Cabernet Sauvignon
2013/14/15 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)
2014/15 Hagafen beret rose (mevushal)
NV Elvi Adar Brut (mevushal) (QPR)
2014/2015 Gush Etzion Sauvignon Blanc (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2013/2014 Gush Etzion Spring River (five white grapes)
2009/2010 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico
2014 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal)
2014 Rothschild Les Lauriers Rose
2014 Psagot Rose (mevushal)
2012 Chateau Picampeau
2014  Chateau Cantelaudette (mevushal)

Wines below 25 dollars:

2011/2012/2013 Domaine Netofa Tinto
2013 Goose Bay Pinot Noir (mevushal) (2013 ONLY)
2014/2015 Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc
2012/2013 Carmel Riesling, Kayoumi (QPR)
2012/2013/2014 Tzora Judean Hills, Red (QPR)
2012/2013/2014 Tzora Judean Hills, White
2012 Binyamina Late Harvest Gewurztraminer
2012/2013 Dalton Semillon (QPR)
2013/2014 Recanati Petite Sirah (mad QPR)
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.
2013/14 Hagafen Dry Riesling (QPR) (mevushal)
2008/2009/2010 Elvi Herenza Crianza (QPR)
2012 Gush Etzion Emek Bracha (Blessed White) (Viognier/Roussanne)
2013/2014 Yatir Viognier (QPR)
2013/2014 Dalton Viognier (QPR)
2014 Tura Gewurztraminer – Lovely!
2013 Rothschild Flechas Malbec
2007/08 Elvi Adar Red (07 is a bit better)
2012 Pacifica Pinot Noir (2012 ONLY)
2014/2015 Lueria Gewurztraminer (2015 is Shmita)
2013/2014 Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc (QPR)
2014  Tabor Zohar, Adama II (QPR)
2010/2012 Chateau Fourcas Dupre (QPR)
2014/2015 Kishor White (2015 is Shmita)
2013/2014/2015 Kishor Viognier Savant (2015 is Shmita)
2012/2013 Recanati Merlot Reserve (QPR)
2012 Cote de Brouilly Beaujolais
2011 Ella Valley Cabernet Franc (QPR) (DO NOT GET 2012)
2014 Midbar 55 White
2014 Shirah Vintage Whites (QPR)
2014 Shirah Rose (QPR)
2012 Weinstock Cabernet Franc, Cellar Select (mad QPR) (mevushal)
2012/2013/2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Vineyard
2014 Goose Bay Fume Blanc (QPR) (mevushal)
2013 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Variations  (mevushal)

Wines from 25 to 35:

2014/2015 Castel Rose (2015 is Shmita)
2014 Don Ernesto Tempranillo Clarinet
2014 Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Bat Shlomo Rose
2012/2013 Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
2013 Hagafen Pinot Noir (mevushal)
2013 Gush Etzion Pinot Noir
2012/2013 Tzora Shoresh Red
2013/2014 Tzora Shoresh White
2013 Gvaot Merlot
2013 Gvaot Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Dalton 20th Anniversary White
2013 Shirah Syrah (QPR)
2014 Chateau Montroc (Mevushal)
2012/2013 Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
2012 City Winery Cabernet Sauvignon City Cab
2012 City Winery Petite Verdot
2013 Lueria Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Tzafona Vidal Ice Wine
2012 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Sumaka
2012/2013 Agur Layam
2014 Shirah Gruner Veltliner (QPR)
2010 Damien Gachot-Monet Bourgogne
2014 Joseph Mellot Sancerre (2014 only!)
2012 Chateau Marquisat de Binet Cuvee Abel
2012/13/14 Domaine Netofa Latour, White
2008/2009 Hagafen Sonoma Coast Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (375mL) (mevushal)
2012 Bokobsa M&R Chavignol Sancerre
2011/2012/2013/2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Katzrin
2014/2015 Recanati Gris de Marselan (2015 is shmita)
2012 Herzog Petite Sirah, Prince Vineyard, Limited Edition (mevushal)
2014/2015 Flam Blanc (2015 is Shmita)
2014/2014 Flam Rose (2015 is Shmita)
2013/2014 Flam Classico (QPR)
2012 Herzog Cabernet/Zinfandel/Syrah, Reserve (mevushal)
2011/2012 Hagafen Cabernet Franc (mevushal)
2013 Hagafen Merlot (mevushal)
2014/2015 Makom Grenache Blanc
2015 Hajdu Grenache rose
2013 Makom Pinot Noir
2010 Hevron Heights Isaacs Ram
2014 Herzog Variation Battle of the barrels, French Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon (mevushal)
2012/2013 Herzog Cabernet, Reserve, Alexander Valley (mevushal)
2012 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Saint Helena
2013 Herzog Chenin Blanc and Viognier Reserve (mevushal)
2014 Chateau Gigondas

Wines below 50:

2013/14 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon
2012/2013 Ramot Naftaly Barbera
2012 Ramot Naftaly Petite Verdot
2013/2014 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Bordeaux white)
2013/2014 Matar Chenin Blanc (BOTH GREAT but very different)
2013/2014 Matar Chardonnay
2012/2013 Matar Cumulas
2013/2014 Castel C, Chardonnay
2013 Castel, Petite Castel
2013 Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard
2007/2009 Hagafen Riesling Reserve (mevushal)
2013/2014 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc Reserve (mevushal)
2012/2013 Covenant Chardonnay
2014 Gvaot Pinot Noir
2013/14 Adir A Lavan
2011 City Winery Cabernet Franc 2011
2012 Chateau Cru Ducasse
2011/2012 Tabor Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition (QPR)
NV Drappier Champagne Carte Blanche (mevushal)
NV Drappier Champagne Carte D’ Or (mevushal)
2011 City Winery Pinot Noir Ein Sof
2014 Miame Rose
2012 Adir A Red
2011 Herzog Petite Verdot 2011 (mevushal)
2012 Eagles Landing Syrah reserve (NOT mevushal)
2012 Eagles Landing Zinfandel Reserve (mevushal)

Wines above 50:

2011/12 Chateau Haut Condissas
2011 Echo de Roses Camille
2012/13 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Special Edition (mevushal)
2006 Chateau Piada Sauterne
2012 Chateau Giscours, Margaux
2011 Lueria Grand Vital
2010 Hagafen Merlot Reserve (mevushal)
2014 Gvaot Petite Verdot
2013 Shirah Geshem
2013 Dalton 20th Anniversary Red
2012 Chateau Serilhan
NV Chateau Bonnet Ponson Champagne
2012/2014 Gvaot Cabernet Franc Gofna
2013 Shirah Pinot Noir JSV
2012 Teperberg Cabernet Franc Legacy
2009 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon MJT reserve (mevushal)
2011 Yatir Forest
NV Laurent Perrier Champagne Blanc
2011 Moulin du Chateau la Clide
2011 Virginie De Valaundraud
2009 Chateau Tertre Daugay Grand Cru
2012/13 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Coombsville, Prix (mevushal)
2010 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon One Plus XII (NOT mevushal)

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

2013 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Ink Ranch, Single Vineyard
2013 Chateau Piada (QPR)
2007/2008 Yarden Blanc de Blanc (mad QPR) (2008 is Shmita)
2009/2010 Yarden Rose Brut (mad QPR)
2012/2013 Castel Grand Vin
2011/12/13 Flam Syrah, reserve
2010/11/12 Flam Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2010/11/12 Flam Merlot, Reserve
2010/11 Flam Noble
2010/11/12/13 Tzora Misty Hills
2012/13 Capcanes Peraj Habib (Crazy QPR)
2009/2010/2013 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
2012 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera
2013 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera Old Vines Samso
2005 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
2004 Chateau Montviel
2010/11/12/13 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2010/11/12 Adir Plato
2009/2010 Elvi Herenza Reserva
2013/14 Recanati Syrah/Viognier – lovely!
2013/14 Recanati Wild Carignan – LOVELY!
2013/14 Recanati Marselan – LOVELY!
2014 Yarden Sauvignon Blanc – AWESOME
2012 Recanati Special Reserve
2012 Vignobles David Chateauneuf Du Pape
2011/12 Gvaot Masada
2011 Chateau Moulin Riche
2012 Four Gates Merlot
2013 Four Gates Syrah
2013 Four Gates Pinot Noir
2012/2013 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
2011/2012 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70
1999 Chateau Giraud Sauterne
2010/2011 Tabor Merlot, Adama (MAD QPR)
2012/2013 Matar CB (Colomunibus)
2012/2013 Matar Petite Verdot
2004/05/09 Hagafen Melange, Prix (mevushal)
2012/13 Hajdu Proprietary Red Wine
2013/14 Hajdu Grenache, Eagle Point
2013/14 Hajdu Petite Sirah, Eagle Point
2013/14 Hajdu Syrah, Eagle Point
2005/2006/2011 Domaine Roses Camille
2013 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve (NOT mevushal)

Israel Only – For Now anyway

2015 Castel LaVie (2015 is shmita)
2014 Matar Special Edition
2015 Gamla/Gilgal Viognier/Chardonnay (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2015 Lueria White (2015 is shmita)
2012/2013 Lueria Terrace
2014 Tabor Riesling Adama II Shahar (QPR)
2014 Tabor Rose barbera (QPR)
2015 Tabor Roussanne, Adama (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2012 Tabor Red Blend Keshet, Adama II
2013 Teperberg Chardonnay Reserve
2014 Midbar Chenin Blanc
2014 Kishor GSM
2014 Kishor Syrah (2014 only)
2014 Kishor Savant Red (2014 only)
2015 Gvaot Gewurztraminer (2015 is shmita) (Impressive and dry)
2015 Gvaot Chenin Blanc (2015 is shmita)
2013 Gush Etzion Mourvedre
2014 Gush Etzion Gewurztraminer
2014 Yatir Rose
2014 Yatir Viognier (best in Israel for now)
2014 Ehud Winery Marselan
2013 Trio Carignan Spirit of Jerusalem
2013 Eyal Blanco
2014 Eyal Gewurztraminer
2015 Yarden Pinot Grigio (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2015 Dalton Rose Gris Grencahe/Barbera (2015 is shmita)
2014 Psagot Viognier
2014 Psagot Moav
2013 Galil Grenache Noir
2015 Galil Sauvignon Blanc (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2014 Galil Viognier (QPR)
2013 Shiran Conductor
2013 Tzora Or

France/Europe Only for now

2014 Bokobsa Rose Club Noir (QPR)
2014 Bokobsa Rose Perle de Gris Merlot (QPR)
NV Vranken Champagne Demosselle
2008 Chateau Armens
2014 Chateau Magrez Fombrauge Blanc
2015 Chateau Roubine Rose

Posted on April 5, 2016, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Industry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Harvey Lederman

    Thank you, David. Very helpful.
    חג כשר ושמח!

  2. Nice reading this David….and great seeing you at the winery today! Sorry I missed saying goodbye. Always a pleasure to share a bottle of wine and a meal w/you!

    Have a Happy Pesach!



  3. Thanks again for your ever so helpful list.
    Would you say that the domaine netofa red 2011 is still drinking well? Could you give me a pingback on where you wrote up about this particular vintage as I have had a hard time tracking it down. Thanks

  4. Could not agree more about your notes on Recanati. Found their Marselan, Carignan, reserve wines, and several of their entry level wines to be outstanding. The first time I’ve changed my top pick from Giscours or Rothschild in years. Great post! Cheers-

  5. yosef gottdiener

    David Thanks for all the Great Posts, your blog is definitely Awesome QPR 😉 , Have you tasted the 2013 Dalton 20th Anniversary Red, wondering how it might compare to the 2006 Dalton Matatia ?

  6. yosef gottdiener

    We enjoyed a delicious bottle of the 2006 Matatia a few weeks ago, planning to open my last bottle on Pesach Be”h. I was wondering if I should purchase a few bottles of the 2013 Dalton 20th Anniversary Red to replace those, wondering if the Red is made in a similar style to the Matatia ?

  7. yosef gottdiener

    I like that Mat Jr 🙂 , wonder what Alex would say 😉 ?
    Best, ysg

  8. yosef gottdiener

    I’m thinking it’s a bit pricey for what it is or am I off base ?

  9. 60 dollars for that wine is a stretch – not a QPR clearly. But a better deal may be at the Duty Free if/when u come back from Israel trip.

  10. yosef gottdiener

    Be”h Bkarov

  11. yosef gottdiener

    Any idea if the 2010 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon One Plus XII is still available ?

  12. yosef gottdiener

    According to the Tasting Room there sold out
    Chag Samaech

  13. I see that you mentioned these wines in your list, were these the wines included in the August shipment?
    If not when were they sent?
    I just recently became a member of the Eagles landing cellar club (per your recommendation) and they told me they were sending me a Zinfandel, Pinot noir, Syrah, fledgling, and a Sauvignon blanc. What were your thoughts/wine notes on these wines (part of the August shipment)?
    2012 Eagles Landing Syrah reserve (NOT mevushal)
    2012 Eagles Landing Zinfandel Reserve (mevushal)
    2013 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve (NOT mevushal

    • I was able to find some tasting notes for these wines. I believe the eagles landing Syrah I will be receiving is the 2014. Have you tried this vintage? How did it compare with the 2012 you reviewed and put on this list?
      Also what did you think of the Eagles landing fledgling?

      • Sorry missed the last question. So, yes the 2012 Syrah, 2012 Zin, and 2013 Pinot Noir are all AWESOME! They are on my Cali list of wines, but not here as you cannot just “buy” them anywhere. I did taste the 14 Syrah, but no notes till it is released, which is now I guess. The 12 is more fruit-driven while the 14 is a bit more austere, but both are great! Have not had the fledgling, what is it? Did not have the SB either, though I asked 🙂

      • I’ll have to get back to you on what the fledgling is once I receive my shipment (Tuesday or Wednesday), when I signed up for be cellar club I was told it is a red blend and “Joe’s baby”.
        Being that u am getting only kne bottle of each of these, would you suggest to cellar them until they peak or drink on release? If cellar, for how long?
        Did you prefer the more austere or the more fruit forward Syrah vintage? By austere would you say it’s more old world/French style?
        Btw they told me that this was part of the August cellar club shipment, I was under the impression that you were part of that club, it’s strange that you haven’t gotten the SB and the fledgling.

      • Hello Ezra,

        I am not part of the wine club, so I did not get to taste the wines, other than at the winery or when my friend who is a member brings them over to taste. I would let the Syrah ride a year or so. The PN is ready to drink (last year it was closed). Enjoy and tell me about the baby fledgling please.

  1. Pingback: 10 Wines To Enjoy This Passover - This American Bite

  2. Pingback: The French Connection – kosher wine style | Wine Musings Blog

  3. Pingback: 2015 and 2016 – are Royal years indeed in Bordeaux | Wine Musings Blog

  4. Pingback: 2016 kosher wine Year in Review | Wine Musings Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: