The best kosher wines for Passover 2017 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 happening in NY, at the City Winery, this coming Monday.  Over the past two years, the Jewish Week/City Winery event has really changed its stripes and has improved quite impressively from the previous years. The Jewish Week’s kosher wine list for Passover is nice, but you will not find many of their favorites 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 my list 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 2009 Yarden Blanc de Blanc or the Yarden Brut Rose, both are great sparkling wines. 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 a 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 Wines, Gotham Wines, Suhag Wine, and all the other wine stores I have listed on the right-hand side of this blog (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 less than 20 dollar Capcanes Peraj Petita, or the slightly more expensive Herenza Crianza, 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 dollars 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. If you do not see a wine you love and it scored an A- or higher on this blog somewhere, then I can assure you that it was probably an oversight on my part.

Also, this is a PSA – please do not buy 2015 rose wines! PLEASE! They are muted and a waste of your hard earned money. Wait for the 2016 Roses that will be released soon.

Arba Kosot (The Four cups of Passover)

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. Another option is to get some of these great glasses from Stolzle, that fulfill the official four cups requirements in terms of volume and respect, according to most Rabbis. The glasses hold 3.5 fluid ounces of wine, which according to almost every source fulfills the concept of Revi’it. It does not fulfill the Chazon Ish’s requirements of 5.1 ounces, but if you wish to meet that requirement use these glasses from Arc International. Also, remember that the first cup should be drunk in totality, according to most authorities.

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 not as long as last year’s lost, because 2015 in Israel was a total disaster, outside of a few winners. The reds from 2015 in Israel, are showing well from the best wineries, but that list is short. 

Lastly, while the 2015 Terrenal wines were nice on release, at this point they are too sweet and past peak for me. The new 2015 Herzog reds and whites are nice and are on the list for their mevushal status and cost.

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:

2015 Baron Herzog Chardonnay, Clarksburg (QPR)  (mevushal)
2015 Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg (QPR)  (mevushal)

Wines below 15 dollars:

2014/2015 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso (QPR)  (mevushal)
2015 Baron Herzog Pinot Noir (QPR)  (mevushal) (NOT the 2013)
NV Gamla/Gilgal Brut (INSANE QPR)
2013/2014 Elvi Winery Rioja Herenza (QPR)
2014 Ramon Cardova Rioja (mevushal) (QPR)
2015 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)
2014 Chateau les Riganes (mevushal) ONLY 2014 – NO 2015!
2011/2012/2013/2014 Elvi InVita
2007 Elvi Makor
2016 Borgo Reale Rose (mevushal)

Wines below 20 dollars:

2014/2016 Domaine Netofa White (QPR)
2016 Domaine Netofa Rose (QPR) – ONY 2016 (previous vintages are dead)
2013/2014 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR)
2015/2016 Yarden Gewurztraminer (2015 is Shmita)
2013/2014 Capcanes peraj petita (non mevushal only at this point) (QPR)
2016 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama (QPR)
2016 Dalton Pinot Gris (QPR)
2016 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)
NV Elvi Adar Brut (some are mevushal) (QPR)
2013 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico (Great QPR)
2016 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (GREAT QPR)
2016 Psagot Rose
2014 Chateau Cantelaudette (mevushal)
2013 Dalton Crimson Alma
2016 Dalton Fume Blanc, Estate

Wines below 25 dollars:

2014 Goose Bay Pinot Noir (mevushal) (2014 ONLY)
2015/2016 Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Covenant Red C Rose (ONLY 2016)
2012/2013/2014 Carmel Riesling, Kayoumi (QPR)
2012/2013 Dalton Semillon (QPR)
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.t
2014/2016 Hagafen Dry Riesling (QPR) (mevushal)
2009/2010 Elvi Herenza Crianza (QPR)
2013/2014 Dalton Viognier (QPR)
2015 Rothschild Flechas Malbec
2007/08 Elvi Adar Red (07 is a bit better)
2012 Chateau Fourcas Dupre (QPR)
2016 Kishor Viognier Savant
2013 Cote de Brouilly Beaujolais
2015 Shirah Vintage Whites (QPR)
2012/2013/2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Vineyard
2014 Goose Bay Fume Blanc (QPR) (mevushal)
2014/15 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Variations 3/5 (mevushal)
2012 Herzberg Village blend (cab, merlot, malbec)
2012/2014 Chateau Montroc (Mevushal)
2010 Chateau Du Rocher
2014 Louis Blanc Crozes Hermitage

Wines from 25 to 35:

2012/2013 Lueria Terrace
2014/2015 Tzora Judean Hills, Red (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2014/2015 Tzora Judean Hills, White (2015 is shmita)
2014 Don Ernesto Tempranillo Clarinet
2013 Hagafen Pinot Noir (mevushal) (not 2014)
2013 Gvaot Merlot, Herodian
2013 Gvaot Cabernet Sauvignon, Herodian
2014 Dalton 20th Anniversary White
2013 Shirah Syrah (QPR)
2012 City Winery Cabernet Sauvignon City Cab
2012 City Winery Petite Verdot
2012 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Sumaka
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
2016 Recanati Gris de Marselan
2012 Herzog Petite Sirah, Prince Vineyard, Limited Edition (mevushal)
2014 Flam Classico (QPR)
2012/2013 Hagafen Cabernet Franc (mevushal)
2013/2014 Hagafen Merlot (mevushal)
2014/2015 Herzog Variation Battle of the barrels, French Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon (mevushal)
2012 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, Saint Helena
2014 Chateau Gigondas
2014 Shirah 1-2 Punch
2011/2014 Chateau Royaumont Lalande De Pomerol (DO NOT buy 2013)
2014 La Demoiselle d’Haut-Peyrat Haut – Medoc

Wines below 50:

2012/2013/2014/2015 Tzora Shoresh Red (2015 is shmita)
2013/2014/2015 Tzora Shoresh White (2015 is shmita)
2014/2015 Adir Cabernet Sauvignon (2015 is shmita)
2013/2014 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Bordeaux white)
2013/2014 Matar Chenin Blanc (BOTH GREAT but very different)
2013/2014 Matar Chardonnay
2013/2014 Matar Cumulus
2013/2014 Castel C, Chardonnay
2013/2014 Castel, Petite Castel
2013/2014 Covenant Chardonnay
2013/2014 Gvaot Pinot Noir, Gofna
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 Herzog Petite Verdot (mevushal)
2012/14 Eagles Landing Syrah reserve (NOT mevushal)
2012 Eagles Landing Zinfandel Reserve (mevushal)
2012 Hagafen Late Disgorged Brut
2015 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve (NOT mevushal)
2014 Chateau Malmaison
2014 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac
2014 Chateau Peyrat – Fourthon Haut – Medoc
2012 Tabor Special Edition Cab/Merlot
2011 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Assai
2011/2012 Recanati Special Reserve (NOT 2013)
2013/14 Hajdu Grenache, Eagle Point
2014/15 Hajdu Petite Sirah, Eagle Point
2013/14 Hajdu Syrah, Eagle Point
2014 Chateau Leoville Poyferre ‘Pavillon de Poyferre’
2012 Domaine l’Or de Line Chateauneuf Du Pape
2014 Shirah Wine Bro.Deux
2010 Paulo Manzone Tenuta Moncheiro Barolo
2012 Chateau Grand Rivallon Saint Emilion Grand Cru

Wines above 50:

2011/12 Chateau Haut Condissas
2011/2012 Echo de Roses Camille
2006 Chateau Piada Sauterne
2014 Lueria Grand Vital
2010 Hagafen Merlot Reserve (mevushal)
2013 Shirah Geshem
2013 Dalton 20th Anniversary Red
2012 Chateau Serilhan
NV Chateau Bonnet Ponson Champagne
2012/2014 Gvaot Cabernet Franc Gofna
2013/2014 Shirah Pinot Noir JSV
2013 Shirah Saint & Barbarian Syrah
2009/2010 Hagafen Cabernet Sauvignon MJT reserve (mevushal)
NV Laurent Perrier Champagne Blanc (Make sure it is the new bottling)
NV Laurent Perrier Champagne Rose (Make sure it is the new bottling)
2011 Moulin du Chateau la Clide
2011 Virginie De Valaundraud
2013 Hagafen Pinot Noir, Coombsville, Prix (mevushal)
2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain, Single Vineyard
2014 Chateau Magrez Fombrauge Blanc
2014 Clos Haut-Peyraguey Sauternes

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

2005 Chateau Leoville Poyferre
2010 Beaune 1 Er Cru By Damien Gachet – Monot
2010 Bourgogne By Damien Gachot-Monot
2012/2014 Chateau Giscours, Margaux
2013 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Ink Ranch, Single Vineyard
2014 Chateau Rayne Vigneau Sauternes
2014 Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan
2014 Chateau Soutard, Grand Cru Classe de Saint-Emilion
2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Special Edition (mevushal)
2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone Six (mevushal)
2007/2008/2009 Yarden Blanc de Blanc (mad QPR) (2008 is Shmita)
2009/2010 Yarden Rose Brut (mad QPR)
2012/2013 Castel Grand Vin (not 2014)
2011/12/13 Flam Syrah, reserve
2011/12/13 Flam Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2013/2014 Flam Merlot, Reserve
2010/11 Flam Noble
2010/11/12/13/14 Tzora Misty Hills
2013/2014 Capcanes Peraj Habib (Crazy QPR)
2009/2010/2013/2014 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
2012/2013 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera (Grenache)
2013/2014 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera Old Vines Samso (Carignan)
2005/2014 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
2004/2014 Chateau Montviel
2010/11/12/13 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2012/2013 Adir Plato
2013 Adir 10th Anniversary Red
2009/2010 Elvi Herenza Reserva
2011/12 Gvaot Masada
2011 Chateau Moulin Riche
2013 Four Gates Merlot M.S.C.
2013 Four Gates Cabernet Franc
2013 Four Gates Syrah
2014 Four Gates Pinot Noir
2014/2015 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
2013/2014 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70
1999/2001 Chateau Giraud Sauterne
2012/2013/2014 Matar CB (Colomunibus)
2004/05/09 Hagafen Melange, Prix (mevushal)
2013/14 Hajdu Proprietary Red Wine
2005/2006/2011/2012 Domaine Roses Camille
2013 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve (NOT mevushal)
2014 Yatir Viognier (best in Israel for now)

Israel Only – For Now anyway

2014/2015 Matar Special Edition (2015 is shmita)
2015 Matar Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (2015 is shmita)
2015 Matar Chardonnay (2015 is shmita)
2015 Matar Cumulus (2015 is shmita)
2014 Matar Merlot
2016 Lueria White
2016 Lueria Unoaked Chardonnay
2015 Kishor GSM (2015 is shmita)
2015 Kishor Syrah (2015 is shmita)
2015 Kishor Savant Red (2015 is shmita)
2015 Kerem Kishor Red (2015 is shmita)
2014 Ehud Winery Marselan
2013/2014/2015 Tzora Or (2015 is shmita)
2016 Yarden Pinot Grigio (QPR)
2016 Covenant Viognier, Blue C label (Soon available here but far cheaper in Israel)
2016 Ella Valley Sauvignon Blanc (may get here soon)
2016 Ella valley Chardonnay (may get here soon)
2016 Psagot Chardonnay (may get here soon)

France/Europe Only for now

NV Vranken Champagne Demoiselle
2015 Chateau Le Caillou, Pomerol (should be here soon)
2014 Chateau Marsac Seguineau, Margaux (should be here soon)
Champagne Vranken Charles Lafitte
2012/2014 Domaine D’Ardhuy, Ladoix, Grand Vin
2014 Chateau La Tour de Mons ‘Marquis de Mons’, Margaux
2014 Domaine Chantal Lescure, Pommard (Not yet tasted but I hear it is great)
2014 Domaine D’Ardhuy, Côtes de Beaune Village (Not yet tasted but I hear it is great)
2011 Chateau Leydet-Valentin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

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Posted on March 20, 2017, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. What do you thing about Terrenal Wines? There are below 10 dollars and you have Tempranillo and Malbec, mevushal and not mevushal.

    • Sorry, I wrote the answer to this in the blog post above the wine list. I think the Terrenal wines from 2015 are not enjoyable any longer

  2. “Lastly, while the 2015 Terrenal wines were nice on release, at this point they are too sweet and past peak for me. “

  3. Ezra, did you taste the Malbec, it is dry

  4. Simon Weinberg

    Hi

    Can you send me the picture for :

    NV Laurent Perrier Champagne Rose (Make sure it is the new bottling)

    Tks
    Simon

    • Sadly there is no good way to see that, you have to ask the wine store and make sure they bought it recently from Royal Wines

  5. Hi, this is great as always! Was wondering why you have specifically excluded the 2014 Castel GV from your list?

    • Yeah, it was the first GV i have ever tasted that I was not a huge fan of, or at least a very good fan of. Sadly, 2014 is neither, IMHO for me. As I stated my list if for my tastebuds. Go taste it at a pouring and see if u like it!

  6. For the kishor, did u mean the 14?
    Also, ehud winery – is that haroe winery?

    • The vintages I wrote for Kishor are the ones I meant, I do not know if the 2014 are going well now. YEs Haroe Winery = Ehud Winery

  7. 2010 Damien Gachot-Monet Bourgogne
    how is this wine? i never heard of it

    • Gachot Monet made 4 kosher wines. The Bourgogne and the 1er cru are very good, the other two; Cote de Nuits-Villages and Gevrey-Chambertin, were not as good at all – I did not buy those.

  8. What’s your opinion on any of the Carmel limited edition vintages? Any of them worthwhile?

    • I was going to put the 2011 LE on the list, it is fine, but not a wine I invest in personally. The best was 2008, but that is shmita wine. Other than that, none I would proactively find or buy.

  9. I hear ya. Same story with segal’s unfiltered?

  10. I can’t find the 2014 Capcanes Peraj Petita, just the 2015. What is your opinion of that for a duck dish for the seder?

    • Sadly, I have yet to taste the 2015. You can still get the 2014 from Skyview and other places. Thats aid, 2015 will probably be a safe bet, but will need some time to open. The 2014 was more accessible by nature of the vintage in Spain.

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