Kosher Rose wine options for 2016 – as the weather heats up

Rose wine in the non kosher market is exploding – especially Rose wine from Provence; a wine region of France. Sadly, in the kosher wine market – that is not quite the case. I did not stress my previous statement with a suffix of AT ALL, even though I am not allowed to open a bottle of rose on my Shabbos table with guests – why? Well that is simple – no one will drink it!!

Still, Gary Wartels of Skyview Wines told me recently that there is an uptick in interest, especially in the newly released Vitkin Rose 2015. I need to get back to that wine and other shmita wines, but first we need to talk about what Rose is and why the current craze in the non kosher market is just an uptick in the kosher.

Wine Color

Well simply said, rose is a wine that can best be defined as the wine world’s chameleon. Where white wine is a pretty simple concept – take white grapes squeeze them and out comes clear to green colored juice. Yes, white grape juice is clear – well so is red grape juice, but more on that in a bit.

White wine is not about color – almost all color in a white wine comes from some oak influence of some sort. So, an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris can sometimes look almost clear, depending on the region and how the wine was handled. Now oaked Chardonnay of course is what most people use as an example of a dark white wine. As the Wine folly linked above states, different wine regions oak their Chardonnay differently and as such they are sold with different hues from the start. With age – the wine patenas even more and the gold moves to auburn.

The only real exception to the stated rule above – that white grape juice without the influence of oak is somewhere in the clear to green color spectrum, is – orange wines. We have spoken about orange wines – mostly thanks to Yaacov Oryah. Outside of Yaacov’s work there really is no orange wine in the kosher world to speak about. Orange wine is made exactly like red wine, which means that the clear grape juice is left to sit on the yellow-ish to dark yellow grape skins (depending upon what varietal is used to make the orange wine).

Red wine juice – straight from the grape comes out the same color as white grapes. You see the juice from grapes is mostly clear to greenish in color. The red wine color comes from macerating the juice on the grape skins. The longer the juice sits on the grape skins (wine must) the redder in color the wine becomes until it reaches its maximum red color potential.

The only real exception to the rule of a grape’s juice color are the Teinturier varieties. The grapes are called Teinturier, a French language term meaning to dye or stain. The list of grapes whose juice is actually red, are long – but the list of kosher wine options that is a wine made from these grapes – is the Herzog Alicante Bouschet. The Gamay de Bouze is not a normal Gamay grape, it is one of those grape mutations that are very red in nature.

Rose wines are the in between story – hence the chameleon term I used above.

Rose Wine

Rose wine is made in one of three ways. I will list the most dominant manners and leave the last one for last.

Maceration:

This is the first step of the first two options and the only difference is what you do with the rest of juice after you remove it? You see, as we stated above, the color of the juice from red grapes is clear to green and for one to get the lovely red hues we all love from red wine, it requires the juice to lie on the grape skins – AKA maceration.

The rose hue depends on how long the juice macerates. I have heard winemakers say 20 minutes gives them the color they like, and some say almost half a day or longer. The longer the juice macerates the darker the color. While the wine is macerating, the skins are contributing color by leaching phenolics – such as anthocyanins and tannins, and flavor components. The other important characteristic that the skins also leach are – antioxidants that protect the wine from degrading. Sadly, because rose wines macerate for such a short period of time, the color and flavor components are less stable and as such, they lack shelf life – a VERY IMPORTANT fact we will talk about about later. Either way, drinking rose wine early – like within the year – is a great approach for enjoying rose wine at its best!

Now once you remove the liquid, after letting it macerate for the desired length of time, the skins that are left are thrown out or placed in the field to feed organic material into the vines. This is a very expensive approach indeed, because the grapes are being thrown away, instead of doing the saignee process which is described in option #2. This approach is mostly used in regions where rose wine is as important as red wines, like Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. Mind you, the grapes used in this method are most often picked early, as they are being used solely for making rose.

Saignee:

The second approach for how rose wine is made, is essentially the same as maceration – the only difference is that they do not remove all the juice. In the second method for making Rose wine, the Rose is the afterthought – in DRASTIC contrast to the first approach, where the rose is primary.

So in places like California and Rhone in France, winemakers will pick the grapes when they reach their appropriate phenolics. Then to concentrate the wine, the winemaker will bleed some of the juice – hence the term saignee in French which means bleed. By removing this juice, after the juice has macerated long enough, the resulting wine is further intensified, because there is less juice lying on the same amount of grape skin surface.

The interesting thing here is that the grapes used to make this kind of rose is normally one with higher Brix, as the grapes are destined for red wine. So, when you bleed the juice out of the must, what is being pulled out is juice at a higher alcohol level than Rose wines made using the first method. So what do you do when you have wine that is too high in alcohol so early in the game – well that is simple you water it down! Now remember this wine is already low on phenolics and color, so if you know that your rose will be high in alcohol when all is said and done, you have lots of options here. You can leave the juice to macerate for longer, yes the juice you finally pull out may well be darker than you desire. However, you will be watering it down, so it is all a question of numbers and winemakers who make these kinds of wines, are used to it and know how to handle it.

Now you ask what is wrong with high alcohol rose? Well, rose is normally meant to be light and fruity wine, and higher alcohol wines are neither of those things.

Blending Method:

Finally, what do you get when you mix some white wine with some red wine – a rose by George a rose! This last method, is the least common method for creating still rose wines. That said, it is very common in the world of Champagne and sparkling wines. Next time you enjoy sparkling rose wine, you can almost be sure that it is a blend of Chardonnay (white wine) and either Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier (red wine).

As stated in the pure rose still market there really is very little of this kind of blending going on.

State of kosher rose wines

Types of Rose made:

  1. Red rose wines: There are truly few examples of this, but they have been made and they are not rose. They are billed as a rose at times, but to me they are essentially a light red wine, much like a Gamay
  2. Sweet Rose wines: Sweet wines are created because either the winemaker could not get the wine to completely finish primary fermentation or because they stopped it. Sweet rose wines sometimes lack balance because they lack the screaming acid needed to make it all work. That said, sweeter rose wines are the gateway wines to get people to try drier wines. The best of the sweet wines IMHO are the 2014 GooseBay Rose and Dalton’s rose.
  3. Dry rose wines: Dry is not a subjective concept it is measureable and can be tasted as well. That said, what we as humans can perceive does seem to be subjective. Some of us will think a Sauvignon Blanc is sweet unless it is a Sancerre – you know who you are JR! Dr. Vinny was asked this question here, and essentially we can start perceiving sweetness at 0.5% residual sugar, but as the Doc says, sometimes a bone dry wine can be perceived as sweet because of its ripeness and/or lack of balancing acidity.
  4. Dark rose wines: Color in any rose or red wine is defined by the amount of maceration the wine goes through, as described above. Some people like that salmon color and some like that darker rose color. The 2014 Vina Encina is a dark rose – but it is an awesome QPR wine indeed. There are so many colors in the rose spectrum, and no the darker roses are not based on what grape is used in the making of the wine, unless it is based on a Teinturier grape – which I have yet to see.

So where does that leave us? To recap IMHO, rose wine is meant to be light, refreshing, tart, and low in alcohol. It can have a varying rose hue, from gris (grey if French – light color) to Salmon, to rose, and all the way up to dark red. Yes, there have been wineries who tried making heavier rose wines, that were essentially red wines, whom I will not mention and they have all been epic disasters. If you want a red wine – make a Gamay and leave me alone! Rose is about summer, tart and refreshing wine. Sure there are some minor exceptions – like the very good 2014 Psagot Rose – which is a heavier wine, but it is still very refreshing, tart, and enjoyable.

Now for the bad news, while last year was a GREAT year for white and rose (with a few exceptions), 2015 is not a great one. To start, 2015 in Israel (the largest rose producer – in terms of labels for sure) was shmita – which means that most of these 2015 rose wines from Israel will not be coming to the USA. Still, some Israeli wineries are sending their 2015 Shmita wines to the US anyway, like the new Vitkin wines. Yes, as stated earlier, Vitkin turned kosher in 2015 and they shipped their rose and some whites to the US via Israeli Wine Direct and if you drink Shmita wines, they can be found around the NYC area. Sadly, I have yet to taste this wine, but hope to do so soon.

So, for those of us who live in the USA, and do not drink shmita wines, where does that leave us? Well, as we stated above Rose is not a wine for cellaring. Remember it had short contact with the skins and as such the wine normally lacks the needed antioxidants and phenolics from the grape skins (and other goodies) to protect the wine’s color and flavor components. So, if you put that all together in a single sentence – stick with 2015 wines, unless otherwise noted. Sadly, there are very few 2015 rose wines on the market. California has a couple – the Hajdu and Shirah (soon to be released), along with the nice (but not great) Hagafen rose.

From there we have to go to France, where there are a couple of 2015 rose – which may well be the best options out there, IMHO. The best one right now by far is the 2015 Roubine – which is lovely, floral, mineral sound, and tart as all get out. The other is a new wine made by Touton, the 2015 Les Favieres Rose. I have yet to taste it, but it is another Provence and I have high hopes for it.

White and Rose wine education

Royal Wines has done a great job in bringing these two wines in, but I must stress – we need more education! Any wine distributor today can sell A Cabernet Sauvignon in its sleep! Why? Because the kosher wine drinking public is programmed to drink big bold red wines! Nothing light and lithe, only sledge hammers! Now, who am I to disagree with what someone likes – if you like a wine enjoy it! What I would like to see is people finding a way to expand their palate – by doing so they will learn more about wines and maybe they will actually see why they like and dislike a wine more – education is the answer! Now to those who say – why bother, if they like it let them enjoy it? To that answer I say – sure, when u were three years old you liked mud, and you really liked spreading it all over your sister’s new white dress! Should we have let you enjoy it forever?? Of course not!

Now your reply will be – come on we are talking about wine – not personal growth and their humanity! Of course but like everything in this world – we should want to strive and learn more about what makes us happy and why! If you like a Monet painting – you owe it to yourself to learn why? What grabs you when you see 100+ year old paint on a canvas? So what he painted a haystack – good for him? What makes you want to stare at it for hours? The answer is inside of you – and you need to learn the answer. I hope we can all find the answers about what makes you tick, why you love some things and why you hate other things. That is called human evolution – it makes us what we are – human! Anyway, I am off my soapbox now, but I hope we can agree that growth is good – no matter the subject.

I beg distributors and wineries to get out and teach! Get out and go to wine stores and pour wines – pour wine to anyone that wants to taste or even to those that do not! Education is the foundation of this industry – and without it we are doomed to stasis – something that terrifies me!

Rose Wines that are available

Sadly, there are many – in the tens – of GREAT 2015 rose wines made in France that will never come to the USA. Why? Well that is a very simple question – NO ONE drink rose in the kosher market! Why invest money buying wines, that have an extremely short shelf life and bring them to the USA for them to die in your warehouse or on your customers (wine shops) shelves.

There are a some 2014 French rose that are still showing well, including the QPR 2014 Les Lauriers des Rothschild Rose. Sadly, the 2014 Maime Rose is too expensive and not good enough for my palate (in some ways I would call it the anti-QPR winner). What saddens me is the list of Bokobsa rose I enjoyed in Israel, baseline roses that were lovely, including the 2014 Cotes de Provence Club Noir and the 2014 Perle de Gris (but they are NOT making their way to the USA).

So, the rest of the rose wines here in the USA from France are from 2014, and you should be drinking them ASAP. Now that brings us to the 2014 wines from Israel and california. On my list of Israeli rose wines from 2014 (that I posted in 2015), there are few Israeli options that I would still drink, and the rest are either sold out or never made it here.

So, I will go through those 2014 wines quickly now and give you an update on their status.

  1. The much loved 2012 Tavel from Bokobsa – is not coming to the USA, for many reasons of which I may or may not be privy to discuss (I forget now).
  2. The 2014 Tabor Rose was still doing well a few months ago – but I am all out and there is none available in Israel (the wine never made it to the USA). There is a new 2015 Tabor Rose and it is lovely and a Shmita wine!
  3. The 2014 Recanati Rose is holding on, but it is in severe drink up mode, and is not a wine I will have on my list of wines below. The 2015 Recanati Rose is the best one so far BAR NONE, again the exception to the 2015 vintage overall. The 2015 Recanati Gris de Marselan is not as good as 2014 and shockingly not as good as the baseline 2015 rose, but still a nice and elegant wine indeed.
  4. The 2014 Goose Bay Rose (Blanc de Pinot Noir) is still showing well, but it is showing more sweet notes now than tart notes, it is on the decline IMHO, so drink up.
  5. Sadly, the 2014 Netofa is not showing well now and there is no 2015 as they made no wine in the Shmita year.
  6. The 2014 Castel Rose is still going strong and I have yet to taste the 2015
  7. The 2014 Flam Rose is still showing well as of a couple of months ago, and the 2015 is also very beautiful
  8. The 2014 Shirah rose is one of those extreme examples of an exception in regards to rose wines. Their 2012 is still crushing it! 2012!! Same with the 2013 Hajdu rose – the epic Pinot Gris rose. Anyway, the 2014 Shirah rose is doing great and the 2015 has yet to be released
  9. The 2013 Chateau Montaud is no longer available, so I have no idea about its current state . The 2014 is tasting insanely good, better than the 2013 IMHO and is a great QPR wine – if you can find it!
  10. The 2014 Yatir Rose is still going strong, but it is long sold out across the wine channel, that I can see. I have yet to taste the 2015 – another wine I need to taste soon!
  11. The 2014 Bat Shlomo is a wine that was showing well two months ago. I have no idea when the 2015 will be released.
  12. The 2015 Don Ernesto Rose (Hagafen) is showing beautifully, but I have run out. The 2015 is not as good, but it is an OK option to get.
  13. The 2014 Hajdu is showing beautifully, but the 2015 may well be better, if maybe just fresher.
  14. I have not retasted the 2014 Ella Valley Rose and nor have I had the 2015
  15. I tasted the 2014 Agur Rosa two months ago and it was still showing well,  but it is in drink up mode IMHO. I have yet to taste the 2015
  16. The 2014 Lueria Rose is on the edge, move on. The 2015 is very impressive – VERY nice indeed
  17. The 2014 Midbar Rose is not one I would look for now
  18. The Dalton roses are always sweet to me, and was listed because people like them that way, along with the Galil as well (not listed). To me, both of those are not worth finding, but Dalton did make a GREAT gris in 2015 that is made from Grenache and Barbera – it should be released very soon – or already on the market.

The good news is that there are a few new options. There is the 2014 wines from France, one from Italy, a few rose lingering from Israel, and a couple from California. I really hope you enjoy what is out there. The options may be far slimmer than last year, but they are very solid. If you live in Israel and drink Shmita there are a bunch of GREAT options that you should make sure to get your hands on. Including the QPR AWARD winner of 2016 so far – the 2014 Elvi Vina Encina Rose – a wine you can find in the shuk. Also, you can find the 2014 Montaud there as well – get them while they last!!! Sadly, the 2014 Capcanes Petita Rose is not showing well and is essentially dead, wait for the 2015 to come.

Of course no list of Rose wines can possibly exist without making note of the EPIC 2008  and 2009 Yarden Sparkling Rose brut! The 2010 may well be the best but it needs time to settle down.

White and Rose wine drinking in the kosher wine world

Even with the assurances of Gary and others, I find that white and rose wines just do not sell to the kosher market. Sadly, they do not see the joy that I and much of Israel now sees. Six years ago, if you had said that Israel would be making epix white and rose wines and not so many great reds, wine aficionados would have looked at you askance. Well, that is exactly where we are today! Much of what Israel makes in the red wine world, is not very good, especially in the larger wineries. There are the usual suspects that are continuing to impress vintage after vintage, but the vast majority have sold out to the sweet toothed date drinkers. However, they are creating wonderful white and rose wines! What is more – is that they are selling much of it in ISRAEL! Yes, that is right, Israelis are drinking far more white and rose wine than ever and the craze we are seeing here in the non kosher world for Rose, is happening in the kosher world in Israel!

Sadly, that craze has yet to find its way here. As I stated at the start, I have rose and whites, and I can never open them over Shabbos, unless I am alone. If I open one I would need to drink the bottle on my own, as few in my community drink white wines. The exception is Four Gates Chardonnay, which to be fair is a great wine and it is so rich and intoxicating that it appeals to red wine drinkers.

I really hope that articles like this can start to pique people’s interest. Rose and tart refreshing white wines have so much to offer. They are meant to lithe and refreshing, but also complex and unique. They go well with so many great summer foods and yet, when summer comes around folks just continue drinking heavy reds or beer. Now, I like beer like most people, but between a lovely rose or beer, I choose rose!

Wine Notes

So, that is a warp on Rose wine as a whole, and the state of kosher rose wine in 2016. If you find some great Rose – be sure to post them in the comments and I will be updating this post with new rose I find both here and in Israel. If you live in France – well be thankful that you have a bounty of great options! If you live in Spain – enjoy the Vina Encina.

Roses I know of that I have yet to taste:

  1. 2015 Capsouto Rose
  2. 2015 Vitkin Rose
  3. 2015 Agur Rose
  4. 2015 Castel Rose
  5. 2015 Yatir Rose
  6. 2015 Ella Valley Rose
  7. 2015 Covenant Israeli Rose (I tasted this wine at the Tzur Tasting and it was awesome but it was a tank sample – looking forward to tasting the real thing soon)
  8. 2015 Covenant USA Rose (I tasted a tank sample at KFWE USA and it was very nice)
  9. 2015 Shirah Rose – not yet released
  10. Two Yaacov Oryah Rose – hopefully will be tasting them soon

For those of us in the USA:

2010 Yarden Rose, Brut – Score: A- to A
This wine is still very young with an impressively aggressive mouth and mousse, it needs time to calm down and integrate, maybe best in a year or two. The nose on this lovely dark salmon colored wine is lovely and restrained with flint, dirt, smoke, and ripe quince. The mouth is intoxicating and demands your attention, the mousse attack is crazy, the small bubbles are lovely and well balanced with intense searing acid, that flows into cherry, raspberry, lovely gooseberry, pink grapefruit, and lovely spice. The finish is long with brioche, yeast, with more mousse attack, mineral, and sweet spices lingering long. BRAVO! Best from 2018 to 2024.

2014 Psagot Rose – Score: A- (great QPR)
This is the first rose from Yaacov Oryah’s first year as winemaker at Psagot. Nice nose of rose petal, graphite, cherry, and saline. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has calmed down a lot since the last time I have had it and in that time the tannin and mineral have calmed, giving way to more fruit, earth, and hints of tannin. With cranberry, dried grapefruit, pomelo, dried raspberry, searing acid, and lovely pith. The finish is long with nectarines, more citrus, nice mineral, lovely saline, black olives, graphite ribbons, and good fruit structure that flows into great acid and lovely spice. BRAVO!!

Terra di Seta Meshi Rose – Score: A-
This wine is made from 100% Sangiovese. The nose on this wine starts off with a very nice smoky component, followed by dirt, earth, and then followed by rose, floral notes, with nice mineral. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is actually quite dense and round in the mouth, showing very nice fruit structure, while staying true to its roots with tart fruit, making for a bit more complex rose – but still quite refreshing with nice acidity. The fruit abounds with juicy and tart raspberry, grapefruit, lemon citrus, and strawberry. The finish is long with great minerality, awesome pith that lingers with orange, nectarines, and lovely crazy flint. BRAVO!

2014 Les Lauriers des Rothschild Rose – Score: B+ to A- (QPR)
The nose on this lovely wine is redolent with quince, cherry, mineral, slate, and lovely pink grapefruit and dried herb. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is popping with nice acid and red fruit, along with gooseberry, green apple, dried pear, and lovely garrigue. The finish is long and mineral, with a hint of sweet fruit and pith, citrus rind, all coming together nicely. NICE!

2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Rose – Score: A- (mevushal) (available from winery directly)
So, yes this rose is built using the saignee (bleeding) approach, and it shows in the mouth, but the acid balances it well. Please beware, this wine’s structure will initially make you think twice if there is any acid in this wine, GIVE IT TIME! With time the wine opens to show a lovely balance with ripe fruit, acid, and green notes.

The nose on this Cabernet Sauvignon blend (75% Rutherford Cab and 25% Spring Mountain Cab) shows crazy ripe red and white fruit, cherry, strawberry, rose hips, with flint and smoke and tart white fruit like peach and litchi. The mouth on this medium bodied wine grows on you, so give it time! When it opens, the mouth shows well with nice weight, with good acid (not ripping but very well balanced) with crazy spice, good peach, sweet herb, and apricot. The finish is long and beguiling with its ripeness, yet green and tart notes, very good acid, sweet summer fruit, and nice pith. BRAVO!

2015 Roubine Rose, Cru Class – Score: A- (and more) (QPR)
This may well be America’s rose saviour, an honest to goodness knockout wine at a very reasonable price. This wine is from Provence but the Cru Class designation is really a joke – read here. But this particular wine may well be worthy of this insignifigant designation.

The nose on this wine is straight up filthy, a nose that is intoxicating with its sheer elegance yet core strength. The nose starts off with crazy rich flint, followed by rose hips, mineral, graphite, graphite, and an interesting hit of vanilla and spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has great acid, showing a refreshing and tart attack, with herb and peach, balanced well by slate, gooseberry, grapefruit, and apricot. The finish is long and lingering with orange pith, yellow plum, intense citrus joy, and nectarine lingering long with rich acid. BRAVO!!!

2015 Hagafen Don Ernesto Rose – Score: B+ to A- (Mevushal)
Last year this wine was epic and one of my goto rose for sure, sadly this year it is a step back. The nose on strawberry colored rose, starts with lovely strawberry notes, along with crazy ripe red fruit, and raspberry. The mouth on this wine shows good acidity, with nice lychee, kiwi, tart red grapefruit, with more tart citrus, along with orange notes and nice slate. The finish is long with tart and ripe pomegranate and marzipan lingering.

2015 Hajdu Rose – Score: A- (and more)
This wine is mostly made from Grenache, with a blend of other wine. The nose on this lovely rose, shows with good earth, spice, mad pith, along with crazy spice, strawberry, mad raspberry, cloves, and citrus. The mouth on this lovely medium body, with great weight adding to the complexity of this wine, along with gooseberry, citrus, nectarines, balanced well with searing acid, lovely grapefruit, slate, straw, rich mineral, crushed herb, currant galore, with hints of blackcurrant and spice. This wine is a very generous fruity, refreshing, and mouth filling wine, with acid and pith lingering long with dark red fruit.

2014 Goose Bay Blanc de Pinot Noir – Score: B+ to A- (mevushal)
The 2013 vintage was too sweet for me, but this vintage was perfect, well balanced and showing lovely acid. The nose on this wine made from 100% Pinot Noir, was redolent with strawberry, herb, raspberry, slate, and mineral. The mouth on this lovely medium bodied wine has some weight and viscosity and it does have a tinge of residual sweetness, but well balanced with tart fruit, ripping acid, crisp and refreshing, showing currant, pink grapefruit, quince, lovely saline, gooseberry, nectarine, and more tart fruit. The finish is long and tart with nice pith and more acid rounding out the finish. BRAVO!!

For israelis:

2015 Gvaot Rose – Score: A- (and a bit) (shmita wine)
This wine is made of 100% Grenache and I hope it lasts longer than the previous vintages. The nose on this lovely wine is redolent with peach, plum, spiced cherry, and grapefruit. The mouth on this lovely medium bodied wine shows a more white fruit character than the nose with more lovely pink grapefruit, intense acid, lovely citrus, apricot, with nice herb, and black pepper. The finish is long with lovely litchi, crazy lemon fraiche, great spice, cloves, and more lingering acid and pith. BRAVO!!

2014 Elvi Wines Vina Encina Rose – Score: A- (and a bit more) (BEST QPR ROSE) (mevushal)
Sadly, this wine is only available in Israel and Europe. This wine like the Chateau Montaud needs an hour or two of air to really come into its own. We last had this epic wine in Spain, at Moises’s house and now it is showing as well or better, if that is possible!! This lovely salmon colored rose is made of 100% Tempranillo Saignee and it reflects its redder brother, by showing ripe and tart fruit, but it adds white fruit and crazy intense acid. The nose on this wine is redolent and intense with raspberry, dark cherry, litchi, peach and floral notes. The mouth on this medium bodied wine first hits you with intense searing acid, followed by lovely mineral, saline, and then follows with ripe kumquat, nectarines, grapefruit, and dirt. The finish is long and tart with bitter notes, earth and grapefruit and candied pomegranate. Bravo!

2014 Chateau Montaud, Cotes du Provence – Score: A- (and more)
Sadly, this wine is only available in Israel and Europe. This wine like the Vina Encina needs an hour or two of air to really come into its own. OK, this wine is one of those polarizing wine, some will love it, others will think it is funky and spoiled. The last vintage of this wine we tasted blind, but this one was enjoyed without any silver foil all over it! The nose on this gris colored wine is indeed old world, dried fruit, earth, dirt, mineral, saline, insane funk, strawberry, and yellow flowers. The nose on this lovely medium bodied wine starts off a bit closed, but with time – it fills with incredible mineral, flint, graphite, which then gives way to dried apple, mad quince, grapefruit, and more fruity than the 2013. This wine though is still very Provence in style, showing great focus, mineral, straw, dried grass, slate, crazy acid, with pear and apple taking front stage. The finish is focused, saline, mad acid and mineral bomb. Bravo!

2015 Alexander Rose – Score: A- (tasted once at sommelier) (shmita wine)
This wine is a saignee of the GSM red. The nose on this salmon colored wine is ripping with tart fruit, gooseberry, pink grapefruit, lemon, and straw. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, but lacks the ripping acid I crave, still it is balanced with nice pith, nectarine, a nice structure – almost extracted, with orangella, and great spice. The finish is long with orange pith, slate, and mineral. Nice!

2015 Tabor Rose, Adama – Score: A- (and some) (QPR) (shmita wine)
This wine is made from 100% Barbera. The nose on this lovely salmon colored wine starts with lovely gooseberry, kiwi, sour cherry, raspberry , intense grapefruit, and great floral notes. The medium bodied wine shows a lovely mouth with good saline, a lovely intensity that comes out with time, balanced well with lovely acid, great flint, nice quince and peach with stone fruit and nice pith. The finish is long and spicy with green olives, earth, with nice dried apple, pith, and great cloves and spice. BRAVO!!!

2015 Carmel 2 Vats Rose – Score: B+ to A- (GREAT QPR) (shmita wine)
This wine is really nice, a simple wine with a bite, adding to its perceived complexity, very nice. The wine is a blend of GCM (Grenache-Carignan-Mourvedre). The nose on this dark salmon colored wine is ripe and very dry, with gooseberry, blueberry, kiwi and spice. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows great acid, tart fruit, grapefruit, lovely citrus, strawberry, spice and a nice overall attack. The finish is long and showing cloves and crazy dried guava with nice peach and herb. BRAVO!!!

2015 Flam Rose – Score: A- (shmita wine)
This wine is made from 52% Cabernet Franc and 48% Syrah. The nose on this lovely rose start with lovely juicy strawberry, raspberry, with peach and guava. The mouth on this wine is refreshing and tart with nice currant and blue fruit, followed by tart gooseberry and pink citrus. The finish is long and refreshing with slate, citrus pith, with crazy classic rock and mineral. A very impressive rose with raspberry and tart cranberry lingering.

2015 Recanati Rose – Score: A- (and more) (shmita wine) (QPR)
This wine is a blend of Barbera and Merlot. The nose on this wine is tart, spicy, and expressive with classic strawberry, peach, and nice herb. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is super refreshing, but with mouthfeel and weight, showing ripe raspberry, and a lovely attack of ripe tart gooseberry, grapefruit, and mad citrus. The finish is long and tart with nice spice, floral notes, and mineral. BRAVO!

2015 Recanati Gris de Marselan – Score: A- (shmita wine)
This vintage is a step behind the epic 2014 vintage. The nose is spicy and tart with cranberry, gooseberry, and lemon. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice, but a step behind the 2014 lacking that crazy acid, with nice acid, pink grapefruit, cherry, lots of floral notes, followed by rose hips, rose water, and pear. The finish is long and refreshing with slate and mineral.

2015 Lueria Rose – Score: A- (shmita wine)
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Barbera. I tasted this wine twice, once in tank and then from bottle. The nose on this wine is tart and ripe, with lovely raspberry, crazy tart strawberry, along with nice Saline and pepper. The mouth on this medium bodied wine starts with great spice, followed by nice tart red fruit, good slate, peach, apricot, gooseberry, herb, and citrus. The finish is long and refreshing with lemon Fraiche, great acid, tart fruit, and more mineral. Bravo!

2014 Gush Etzion Rose – Score: B+ to A-
This wine is made of 100% Mourvedre. The nose on this wine is lovely with floral notes, dirt, along with ripe raspberry, strawberry, along with hints of funk, straw, and slate. The mouth on this lovely old world wine shows great acid, mineral, along with sweet notes of quince, peach, grapefruit, with apple and nice slate. The finish is long and acidic with nice dry grass, and sweet notes. Very Nice!!!

2015 Dalton Alma Vin Gris – Score: A-  (shmita wine) (Tank sample tasted on Jan 31st)
This wine is made from Grenache and a bit of Barbera. THis wine is Dalton’s first attempt at a more sophisticated rose than their normal sweeter counterpart. The Dalton Rose is a great gateway Rose for those wishing to try a Rose for the first time.
The nose on this lovely wine is both floral and fruity while being very tart and refreshing, a lovely rose. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is dry with a more old world feel, showing great acid, along with an immediate attack of dry gooseberry, cherry, raspberry, pink grapefruit, and lovely saline. The finish is long with good mineral and slate. This wine will have a very limited distribution but is one worth finding.

French Wines not available in USA or Israel:

2014 Bokobsa Perle de Gris – Score: B+
This is a really nice wine that is a bit simpler than I had hoped but refreshing all the same. The nose is lovely with flint, smoke, dirt, and peach. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is smoky, with nice acid, intense layers of citrus pith, with candied raspberry, and cranberry. The finish is long with a nice splash of saline, more pith, and dirt. Nice

2014 Bokobsa Cotes de Provence, Club Noir – Score: A-
This is a classic Provence wine to me, tons of mineral and hints of fruit! The nose on this lovely salmon colored wine is smoky, with nice flint, raspberry, and cherry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is intense, its starts with layers of concentrated saline, coming at you non stop, then lovely funk, yeast, mineral, and lovely intense floral notes. The finish shows fruit, strawberry, apple, quince, and more intense acid, with pith and dried herbs on the long finish. BRAVO!

 

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Posted on May 19, 2016, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. These annual rose posts are important; but you gotta focus on the positive, to create excitement, man! Although I do identify and commiserate with you. “… I am not allowed to open a bottle of rose on my Shabbos table with guests…”,”…the kosher wine drinking public is programmed…”. I don’t blame people like my dad, from the old generation, who’re just overjoyed that there’s actually drinkable wine nowadays. His lifetime of experiences taught him that Israel just doesn’t make decent white and rose wines, he was “burned” too many times; and it will take a white that no-one can’t love to revive his trust. Meanwhile, good whites from the rest of the world aren’t distributed enough and/or are expensive. But to our gen … wake up! For red wines we’ll train ourselves and our palate, so that it doesn’t go reeling when we unleash a tempest of a wine at it, and we can center ourselves and be “mindful’ of the layers of delicious flavors and bouquet peeling themselves open one by one. But for whites not? Bigotry! They just have a different flavor profile and set of “weaponry”; minerality and sour acids are more pronounced, and the mouth-feel is generally not as thick, etc.. You can train yourself just as easily (and enjoyably!) to enjoy them! Ditto for roses, although the key factor seems to be *when *and* how* it’s served. Example:Think when you would serve lemonade; a warm day, by a weekday get-together or family simcha. Rose can be promoted among the classier guests, or those who would aspire, as ‘more sophisticated than your best lemonade’, an understatement at best, but one that will be approved upon everybody’s first well-chilled glass. Or think of when white wine is really appropriate, whether you normally get away with it or not; if it’s a warm day, pull a rose from the fridge to open up a Shabbos meal. It’ll carry everybody through the fish and ‘Salatim’, with another bottle on Act II with some salad/ snacks, before/after the heavier deserts, during the drawn out end-of-meal chatting (, however one normally chooses to run things anyways). Sorry for the uber-long “comment”; but you hit a couple raw nerves by me too!

    P.S.* “2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Rose* – Score: A- (mevushal) (available from winery directly)” That’s not the Baron Herzog $12 “Rose of Cabernet” (available from KosherWine), is it? http://www.kosherwine.com/baron-herzog-rose-of-cabernet.html

    winemusings posted: “Rose wine in the non kosher market is exploding – > especially Rose wine from Provence; a wine region of France. Sadly, in the > kosher wine market – that is not quite the case. I did not stress my > previous statement with a suffix of AT ALL, even though I am ” >

  2. No this is not the baron herzog rose – as I said this is the Herzog Rose that can only be bought directly from the winery.

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