Kosher Rose wines of 2017 – final take

After all the tastings I have had for rose wines this year – I can say for now, that I am as far along as I can go without being in Israel, or asking people to schlep wines for me from Israel. I am still missing the new 2016 Elvi Wines Rose, the 2016 Terra de Seta Rose, the 2016 Matar Rose, and the 2016 Gvaot Rose. I guess that will have to be. When I get to Israel soon enough I will post again, but just on those wines.

In the end, my overall take on Israeli roses this year has been a huge and utter letdown. To me, there are few roses that I would waste my time drinking. In the end, the Netofa, Vitkin, Psagot, and Castel Roses are the only roses that I would buy this year, other than the untasted wines listed above (Matar and Gvaot), which may well be good.

The real saviors for us have indeed been Spain and USA. France has thrown in the La Vie Roubine, but it is not as good as the Ramon Cardova rose.

So, in closing, I will repeat what I listed the last posting. These wines are the best for each category, nothing I tasted in the last tasting has changed much around them, other than the sweet rose entry, which I would never buy, but is useful for those that like rose that way.

So, here are my recommendations based upon the wines I have tasted:

  1. 2016 Ramon Cardova Rose, is the best rose so far, but it is not a Provence style wine, it is more of a tweener.
  2. The 2016 Chateau Dubois is the best French rose I have tasted so far, but it is a clear non-Provence style rose.
  3. 2016 Chateau Roubine la Vie, is the best French classic Provence style rose.
  4. 2016 Ramon Cardova Rose is the best Spanish rose (that I have had the chance to taste so far, sadly I have yet to taste the new 2016 Elvi Rose)
  5. The 2016 Shirah Rose is the best USA rose. It is not a Provence style wine, it is a massive wine but a really fun one.
  6. The 2016 Netofa Rose is the best rose from Israel, it is as close to a Provence style wine I have found so far in Israel. Vitkin is right behind, along with Castel (but it is really expensive for the wine), and Psagot in the bigger/fuller rose category for Israel.
  7. The 2016 Psagot Rose (when it is on) is the best full bodied rose wine from Israel.
  8. The best sweet rose that is drinkable is the 2016 Contessa Annalisa Rose. Hopefully, a gateway rose to the drier and better options above.

Rose winemaking approaches

If you read the previous article, you would have read that there are classically three ways to make Rose; Maceration, Saignée, and blend.

The interesting thing we are seeing is a slight variation to the rose making – that is after they make the rose, using any of the aforementioned approaches, they are adding in some white wine! This is straight up genius! Why? Because as explained in the previous post, red grape juice has very few phenolics in it! The real phenolic powerhouse – for red wines, are the skins! White wine does not need skins to give it their phenolics, they have it innately from the juice alone. So, when you take red grapes and essentially crush them and bottle them, with minimal grape contact, what you get is a fun wine, that has very few phenolics in it. So, you have a few options, either let the liquid sit longer on the grape skins, thereby improving the phenolics, but that takes away from the classic rose look, as skin contact turns the juice darker. So, if you want more phenolics and less grape skin contact to keep the classic rose color, you can add in white wine!

The Ramon Cardova is a perfect example of this. As is the Elvi Rose (a wine I have not tasted), and the Jezreel Rose (see below). These three wines all added in different white wines, and it is a clear bump in the correct direction, but to the purists, it is not cool! I cannot speak to the purist’s issues, and yes, I can see that the Cardova is not a classic Provence wine, but it is a very enjoyable summer wine, and in the end, that is what rose to me, is all about!


Make sure you find what you like, the style that suits you, and then please enjoy lots of Rose this summer! I have posted all roses here, but the last tasting was just the first 4.

The wine notes of the wines I enjoyed can be found below:

Rose sparkling wines:

2010 Yarden Rose, Brut – Score: A- to A
I have just stated above that rose wine should never be aged, but this is different, this is sparkling wine and it ages beautifully. 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! Drink till 2020.

2011 Yarden Rose: Score: A-
A lovely nose, with toast, yeast, and really nice raspberry, and grapefruit. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is lovely, with great focus, small mousse focus, with great raspberry, dried strawberry, grapefruit, saline, a mineral madness that lingers long with lime and lovely toasty notes. The finish is long and mineral focused, with great acid, and joy, green olives, and a true joy that is infectious. The wine is a joy and lingers long with real focus. Bravo!! Drink by 2021.

Still rose wines:

2016 Galil Rose: Score: B+ to A-
The nose on this rose is nice, almost classic, with strawberry, but sweeter than normal, with creme notes, and spice. The mouth is not dry, showing some sweet notes, but it still has enough acid to make it work, with raspberry, peach, grapefruit, and tart lemon. The finish is really nice, showing great focus, and really fun fruit pith, with the acid, really showing up on the finish, with great slaine, slate, and rock lingering long. Nice!

2016 Ella Valley Rose: Score: B to B+
Very muted nose with strawberry notes and not much else. No thanks, this wine is hollow and has acid on the sides, but nothing in the middle. Showing fruit pith, red fruit, grapefruit, and lemon, and not much else.

2016 Jezreel Rose: Score: B+
This is a blend of bled off the fruit of 38% Carignan, 37% Syrah, 15% Argaman, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. A strange nose, with tobacco, earth, litchi, peach, somewhat tropical, and sweet fig. The mouth is floral and not much else, showing some green notes, but also nice mineral, with crazy acid, good slate, and grapefruit, and raspberry. The finish is long and spicy, with good graphite, saline, and loads of fruit pith.

2016 Contessa Annalisa Rose: Score: B+
Crazy candied fruit, fun and exciting nose, with mounds of sweet and candied fruit, with bazooka gum wrapping a life saver cherry candy. A sweet mouth, clearly not dry, with good balance, and really good acid, with nice weight and good fruit. The finish is sweet and balanced with fruit pith and slate. A nice sweet wine rose.

Psagot Rose so far this year – I have tasted it three times and I have had bottle variation. This is not only my opinion, others have seen it as well – I am not sure what is going on here.

2016 Psagot Rose – Score: A- (QPR)
Lovely nose with a great focus of spice and good raspberry, strawberry, and lovely grapefruit. Wow mouth, really impressive, super focused with crazy acid and spice, classy with orange and nectarines in the background, with good currant, and white pepper in the foreground, with great focus and lovely cloves with tart fruit, pith, and red tea.

2016 Psagot Rose – Score: B to B+
We tasted this blind and when we saw what it was – we were shocked, as we had tasted this wine a few weeks earlier and it was lovely (note is above), clearly there is some bottle variation going on. The nose on this wine is nice with strawberry and mineral and not much else. The mouth is more focused, with a good pop, nice acid, good enough body to match, but lacking a balance, crazy manufactured rose, with so much acid and not much else. With raspberry and strawberry coulis.

2016 Tabor Rose Adama – Score: B+ to A- (QPR)
I need to stress something about this wine, it is NOT a wine that will have a long life. This wine dropped out after a few hours of being open, which we did when tasting it blind. This wine is super fragile, and I doubt it will last the summer.
The nose on this wine is a cotton candy madness, with a very fruity madness, lots of candied fruit, bubble gum, with mint, nectarine, and sugar-coated candied raspberry. The mouth is rich, layered, and really focused, showing good acid, intense fruit attack with lovely grapefruit, guava, lychee, candied kiwi, and intense mineral, slate, spice, crazy saline, and lovely long finish.

2016 Bat Shlomo Rose – Score: B to B+
The nose is really muted, not really alive, with some red fruit, and apples. The mouth is round and juicy, with nice tart fruit, really acidic and focused but with little to no fruit, with a bit of kiwi, and grapefruit. The finish is long and tart. The wine lacks complexity, the mouth is almost hollow, with bombastic acid, it is all acid and not much more.

2016 Dalton Rose – Score: B+ to A- (QPR)
This is their driest and best rose Dalton has released so far. The nose on this wine is a nice slightly sweet nose, with raspberry coulis, strawberry, and cream, with nice spice, cinnamon, earth, and floral. The mouth is nice and round, good acid, good red licorice, with great grapefruit, yellow citrus, cloves, crazy acid focus, well balanced, fun, easy drinking, with pith, spice, mineral, saline, tart red fruit lingering long.

2016 Chateau L’Oasis Rose, Cotes de Provence – Score: B to B+
Lovely green, earth, mineral nose, with great saline, lime, lemongrass, and citrus city. The mouth is lovely, medium body, but lacks the pop that I crave, it has basic acid, but not enough focus. The finish is long with pith, and mineral lingering long.

2016 Chateau Roubine Rose – Score: B+ to A-
OK, before the hate mail starts coming, this is a nice rose, but it pales in comparison to the 2015 vintage. Actually, having tasted most of the kosher rose out there this year, the 2015 Chateau Roubine has yet to be eclipsed this year. So, does that make this a bad wine, no? It simply makes it a wine that I will buy again, but one that is not as good as last year.

The nose starts off with all the right things, sick mineral, saline, saline, lovely gooseberry and great strawberry. The mouth is where things go astray, the wine is nice, but it lacks that focused acid, it has more weight than in 2015, showing more like an Israeli rose than a Provence rose, with good peach and pink grapefruit, good orange pith and nice spice. The finish is long and spicy with more mineral, tart strawberry, pith, and cloves lingering long.

2016 Covenant Red C Rose – Score: B+ to A-
Sadly, this time the RS (residual sugar) really bugged me, and it did not score as well. The nose on this wine is filled with strawberry heaven, with bright fruit, ripe grapefruit, heady lemongrass, and rich cloves. The mouth is lovely with good acid, but RS that bugs me too much this time, with great spice, rich lemon, and great citrus, giving way to ripe red fruit, life saver raspberry, with sweet notes of honeysuckle that is balanced by good acid and spice. Long, spicy, and tart finish with crazy tart citrus, nice citrus pith, sweet notes abound and lack that balance I had a month or two ago.

2016 Chateau Bellerives Dubois Rose – Score: A- (Crazy QPR) (mevushal)
This nose is very nice, with pure gooseberry and kiwi heaven, guava, strawberry, and crazy fruit, with lovely mineral, and herb. The mouth is awesome, truly rich, layered, and controlled, with layers of dirt, saline, acid, and good fruit, like a sauvignon blanc but in a rose format. Awesome finish with a crazy acid lingering, with good mineral, slate, and great tart fruit lingering long. Nice!

2016 Chateau Laurier Rothschild Rose: Score: B+ to A- (QPR)
Very interesting nose, crazy Flint, tobacco, crazy smoke/charcoal, with hints of red berry, and lots of green notes, and herb. Wow, what a mouth, crazy acid, insane mineral, saline, nice flint, with rich grapefruit, currant, almost tannin like, dark cherry, almost like someone dropped a bit of red wine into this wine, with lovely balance, bracing acid, gripping, and enjoyable. Lovely pith lingers, with solid mineral, and some fruit.

2016 Ramon Cardova Rose: Score: A- (GREAT QPR)
Another reserved nose, but nice, with white pepper, floral notes, mounds of marzipan, showing flint, mineral, candied fruit, life saver, very nice. Good mouth, really nice, acid bound, not crazy, but very respectable, with perfect balance, lovely citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, nectarine, with good guava, tangerine, really nice, with good mineral, earth, good charcoal, flint, and currant, with pith lingering long.

2016 Borgo Reale Rose: Score: B+ (mevushal)
The nose is interesting, showing hand lemon soap, with candied lemon pie. The mouth on this wine is rich, layered, with lots of body, no huge pop of acid, but balanced, with good fruit focus, of strawberry, dirt, floral notes, good drinking and enjoyable wine, with nice grapefruit, candied red berry, with good fruit pith, gooseberry, and vanilla. The finish is long and tart, sweet, but balanced.

2016 Twin Suns Rose – Score: B (mevushal)
This is a red wine that is watered down, that is the best I can say. The mouth on this wine is manufactured, sorry, not for me. The acid is so over the top, with no balance to the fruit.

2016 Kos Yeshuos Rose: A- (Not publically available)
This vintage is very nice, but not akin to the epic 2015 vintage. Lovely nose, really ripe fruit, marzipan, flint, mineral, good earth, currant, and dried peach. Bravo! The mouth is balanced, nice, earthy, controlled, richer bodied, and nice ripping acid, with pineapple, lovely dried currant, intense fruit pith, drenched in tart cherry, with more lovely tart summer fruit. The finish is long and mineral-bound, saline, and lovely tart fruit lingering.

2016 Domaine du Castel Rose: Score: A-
This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Malbec, and 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose is
lovely with lychee, guava, gooseberry, mounds of floral notes, with dirt, mineral city, slate. The mouth on this wine is layered, controlled, with good focus, not over the top, but really good acid that is popping, easy drinking, and it can go with lots of food from its fruit structure, lots of sauvignon blanc stylings, with vanilla, and strawberry, followed by earth, and mounds of fruit pith. Bravo!! Fruit pith and acid lingering long.

2016 Dalton Alma Rose, Coral: Score: B
Lovely nose, sweet dill, lots of oak (not fun on rose), with mounds of vanilla, and good earth. The mouth is nice, but the oak overpowers, with good acid, with some fruit. People may like this, but not me. Unbalanced.

2016 Vitkin Rose – Score: A- (QPR)
This wine is a blend of Grenache Noir and Carignan. The nose on this wine is lovely,
very flinty, earthy, rich with strawberry, floral notes galore, peach, and lychee. The mouth is lovely, with crazy mineral, slate, saline, lovely acid, rich earthy, lovely tart gooseberry, with ripe fruit, but perfect control, lovely, showing peach, currant, nice rich slate, rock, with good flint and lovely kiwi, gooseberry, and grapefruit. Bravo!!! An elegant wine.

2016 Flam Rose – Score: B+
This wine is a blend of mostly Cabernet Franc with some Syrah. The nose on this wine starts with lovely strawberry, ripe raspberry, with gooseberry, and nice spice. The mouth on this wine is round, with good spice, but it lacks the needed acid to make the wine work, along with candied currant, dried quince, and peach. The finish is long and spicy with herb, orange pith, and Orangina.

2016 Gilgal Rose – Score: NA
This wine tastes like a red wine that was cooked, with acid added and then watered down. Not fun

2016 Yatir Rose – Score: B+
This wine is a blend of 67% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 3% Viognier. The nose is really nice, old world in style, with strawberry, raspberry, creme, lovely grapefruit, with a lovely feminine and perfumed scent. Wow, what a letdown, the nose was intoxicating and then it went downhill really fast, showing not enough acid, almost hollow, with good saline, and mineral, and red berries and not much else.

2016 Chateau Roubine La Vie (QPR) – Score: A- (QPR)
This wine comes in a beautiful Provence-styled bottle, a winning bottle in terms of its bottle and its content, at least so far in 2017. At the start, the bottle is pure pineapple and peach. With time, the wine changes and becomes one of the better and maybe top two roses on the market. With time the Rose opens to show mineral, pineapple, nectarines, kiwi, honeysuckle, and floral notes. The mouth on this medium bodied wine needs time to open, but when it does, it shows rich peach, creme, with lovely saline, mineral, earth, followed by grapefruit, white plum, backed by searing acid, and rich structure that handles lots of food, followed by earth, and fruit pith. The finish is super long, backed by green tea, lovely sweet yet tart balanced fruit, all centered with fun summer fruit. Bravo!

2016 Sainte Beatrice, Cotes de Provence – Score: B to B+
The nose is very nice with classic Rose notes or strawberry and creme, raspberry, citrus, with peach, and lovely floral notes, rose hip. Where the nose was lovely, the mouth fails, with lovely pith and red fruit, but the mouth is too round and lack the piercing acidity I need to make me happy. The finish is long with more pith, mineral, and some slate. Bummer.

2016 Shirah Rose – Score: A- (QPR)
This wine needs to be aerated to open up its nose and to remove some of the lingering chemical notes, but do not let this deter you from enjoying this lovely wine! This wine reminds me so much of the 2013 rose, epic and screaming acid based. The nose on this wine is classic Cali rose, with ripe strawberry, raspberry, with rich peach, and lovely floral notes. The mouth on this wine has a lovely body, with a great acid punch, with rich fruit red berry focus, followed by lovely citrus, grapefruit, and nectarines. The finish is long and red berry, with more acid, lovely fruit pith that lingers long, followed by light tannin, sweet hints of pineapple, and lovely acid lingering long. BRAVO!! This is a top 3 non-Provence style rose for 2017.

2016 Hajdu Grenache Rose – Score: B to B+
Sad, I had so much hope for this wine, but it shows blue notes, sweet pineapple, sweet vanilla, and a few floral notes. The mouth is nice and round, but too flat for me, with sweet raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, and nectarines. The finish is long and spicy, with sweet fruit notes, and nice mineral.

Available only in Israel

2016 Recanati Gris de Marselan – Score: B+ to A-
Lovely rose hips, orange blossom, really nice with great tart fruit and gooseberry and grapefruit. Nice medium wine, but lacking the bracing acid, with good spice and lemon, with pepper and tart spicy notes, passion fruit and guava. Nice long finish with good acid and slate galore.

2016 Domaine Netofa Rose – Score: A- (Great QPR)
This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 20% Mourvedre. Yes, this is the new Grenache that came online this year, and I really hope it helps the Rose last longer.
The nose on this lovely Gris wine, s redolent with strawberry, crazy raspberry, peach, apricot, showing crazy bright notes, lovely floral notes, spice, with lavender, smoke, rose and flint. Wow, what a joy of a mouth, the medium bodied wine is popping with acid, with rich dried aromas, lovely currants, tart summer fruits, showing dried lychee, gooseberry that goes on and on, with pink grapefruit, and lovely tart juicy fruit. The finish is long and crazy tart, with rich flint and chalk. Lovely fruit pith. Bravo!!!

2016 Domaine Herzberg Rose, Coteaux de Sitrya – Score: B+ to A-
This is a fun wine that shows a unique nose with great spice, strawberry, with hints of blueberry, and cloves. The mouth on this lovely medium body has very nice acid and solid fruit focus, showing a nice effort, with dark currant, showing a good balance, though not a classic Provence wine in any way, showing a more rich mouthfeel. Nice grapefruit, citrus on the finish with cloves and nutmeg. Nice.

Posted on August 13, 2017, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Where are you located? I live in Israel, but my business is in CA. If you’re in CA, I’d be happy to bring something you’d like to try and taste it with you.

    My next visit is in a couple of weeks.

    Marc Annis

    Mistakes sent from my iPhone

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