The best/top kosher wines for Passover 2018 in all price ranges

As 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 really hard for me to get my head wrapped around this year, last year’s list was better. Still, it is a list and a resource you can use as you see fit, 95% of those wines will not be on my list. As I walked around both KFWE this year, and sommelier (in the past) – 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 overripe, 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 WinesGotham WinesSuhag Wine, and of course and Gary’s store, along with 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 10 dollar 2016 Chateau Les Riganes Bordeaux, 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 2016 Chateau Les Riganes Bordeaux, as wonderful as it is may or may not be, can 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 a 90 (A- of old) 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 2016 rose wines! PLEASE! They are muted and a waste of your hard-earned money. Wait for the 2017 Roses that will be released soon.

Arba Kosot (The Four cups of Passover)

Finally, it the Jewish custom to drink four cups of wine on Passover, but to power down these wines are far too hard for me (the concept there is to drink the base quantity of wine to fulfill your requirement – which is a Revi’it, within a certain time period). In the past, I was drinking red, Israeli wines that were simple to drink, not complex or impressive. However, with time, I found a better option, drink the majority of a small cup that fulfills the Revi’it quantity of wine. This way, I can drink an Israeli, not Mevushal, red wine – like a Tzora, Netofa, Flam, or Castel wine. This is explained more below.

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 list, because 2015 in Israel was a total disaster, outside of a few winners. The reds from 2015 in Israel, started to show nicely, but now they are falling apart, and the 2016 reds from Israel are flat or worse.

With Terrenal gone and the 2015/2016 Baron Herzog wines not showing really well, sadly, there will be fewer options out there, IMHO.

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:

2017 Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg (QPR)  (mevushal)
2016 Chateau Les Riganes (mevushal) (QPR KING)

Wines below 15 dollars:

2016 Baron Herzog Chardonnay (QPR)  (mevushal)
2014/2015 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso (QPR)  (mevushal)
2016 Elvi Winery Rioja Herenza (QPR)
2015 Ramon Cardova Rioja (mevushal) (QPR)
2014 Chateau du Grand Barrail, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux (sadly only in France)

Wines below 20 dollars:

2016 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)
2015/2016 Yarden Gewurztraminer (2015 is Shmita)
2015 Capcanes Peraj Petita (NOT 2016 that is really NOT a fun wine)
2013/2014 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico (Great QPR)
2016 Psagot Viognier
2013 Cote de Brouilly Beaujolais
2016 Dalton Pinot Gris (QPR)
2017 Hagafen Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR)
NV Elvi Adar Brut (some are mevushal) (QPR)
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Eva, Blanc (QPR)

Wines below 25 dollars:

2016 Goose Bay Pinot Noir (mevushal)
2014 Carmel Riesling, Kayoumi (QPR)
2014/2016 Hagafen Dry Riesling (QPR) (mevushal)
2012 Elvi Herenza Crianza (QPR)
2016 Dalton Viognier (QPR)
2015 Rothschild Flechas Malbec
2016 Kishor Viognier Savant
2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Vineyard
2012/2014 Chateau Montroc (Mevushal)
2014 Louis Blanc Crozes-Hermitage
2015 Domaine Pradelle Crozes-Hermitage, Bokobsa
2015 Capcanes Peraj Haabib Flor de Primavera Pinot Noir
2017 Covenant Viognier, Blue C label

Wines from 25 to 35:

2015 Chateau Fourcas Dupre (QPR)
2016 Psagot Chardonnay
2014 Chateau Malmaison, Baronne Nadine de Rothschild
2015 Chateau Larcis Jaumat
2016 Les Marronniers Chablis
2017 Kos Yeshuos Viognier
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.t
2015 Herzog Chardonnay, Special Reserve, Russian River
2012 Herzberg Village blend (Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec)
2016 Shirah Vintage Whites (QPR)
2014 Lueria Terrace
2015 Tzora Judean Hills, Red (QPR) (2015 is shmita)
2016 Tzora Judean Hills, White
2016 Hagafen Pinot Noir (mevushal)
2014 Gvaot Merlot
2014 Gvaot Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Shirah Syrah (QPR)
2013/2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Katzrin
2012 Herzog Petite Sirah, Prince Vineyard, Limited Edition (mevushal)
2012/2013 Hagafen Cabernet Franc (mevushal)
2013/2014 Hagafen Merlot (mevushal)
2014 Chateau Gigondas (NOT the 2016 Gigondas)
2014 Chateau Royaumont Lalande De Pomerol (DO NOT buy 2013)
2014 La Demoiselle d’Haut-Peyrat Haut – Medoc
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Albert, Grand Vin, Blanc
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Samual, Rouge
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Marco, Grand Vin, Rouge
2014 Shirah Black and Blue
2015 Alder Springs Furmint

Wines below 50:

2015 Tzora Shoresh Red (2015 is shmita)
2015 Elvi El26
2015 Chevalier de Lascombes
2016 Tzora Shoresh White
2014/2016 Castel C, Chardonnay (not 2015)
2014/2016 Castel, Petit Castel (not 2015)
2014/2015 Covenant Chardonnay
2013/2014 Gvaot Pinot Noir, Gofna
2012 Chateau Cru Ducasse
2014 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 Hagafen Late Disgorged Brut
2015 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve (NOT mevushal)
2014 Chateau Malmaison
2014/2015 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac
2014 Chateau Peyrat – Fourthon Haut – Medoc
2012 Tabor Special Edition Cab/Merlot
2011 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Assai
2013/14 Hajdu Grenache, Eagle Point
2014/15 Hajdu Petite Sirah, Eagle Point
2013/14 Hajdu Syrah, Eagle Point
2014 Shirah Wine Bro.Deux
2010 Paulo Manzone Tenuta Moncheiro Barolo
2015 Shirah Carignan
2013/2014 Tabor Malkiya, Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines above 50:

2011/2012/2014 Chateau Haut Condissas
2014/2015 Chateau Leoville Poyferre ‘Pavillon de Poyferre’
2011/2012 Echo de Roses Camille
2014 Lueria Grand Vital
2012 Chateau Serilhan
NV Chateau Bonnet Ponson Champagne
2012/2014 Gvaot Cabernet Franc Gofna
2013/2014 Shirah Pinot Noir JSV
2011 Moulin du Chateau la Clide
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
2015 Chateau Le Caillou, Pomerol
2014 Domaine D’Ardhuy, Ladoix, Grand Vin
2014/2015 Domaine Chantal Lescure, Pommard 
2014 Domaine D’Ardhuy, Côtes de Beaune Village
2015 Domaine d’Ardhuy Aloxe Corton
2014 Terra Gratia
2016 Domaine Roy Maison Roy & Fils Pinot Noir, Shai

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

2005/2015 Chateau Leoville Poyferre
2014 Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes, 1er Cru classé
2014 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe
NV Yaacov Oryah Old musketeer
2014 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac – Leognan
2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
2015 Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse
2015 Chateau Cantenac Brown
2015 Chateau Lascombes
2010 Beaune 1 Er Cru By Damien Gachet – Monot
2012 Eagles Landing Zinfandel Reserve (mevushal)
2012/2014/2015 Chateau Giscours, Margaux
2013 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Ink Ranch, Single Vineyard
2014 Chateau Rayne Vigneau Sauternes
2014/2015 Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan
2014 Chateau Soutard, Grand Cru Classe de Saint-Emilion
2014/2015 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Special Edition (mevushal)
2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone Six
2007/2008/2009 Yarden Blanc de Blanc (mad QPR) (2008 is Shmita)
2009/2010/2011 Yarden Rose Brut (mad QPR)
2012/2013 Castel Grand Vin (not 2014/2015)
2011/12/13 Flam Syrah, reserve
2011/12/13 Flam Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve
2010/11 Flam Noble
2015 Tzora Misty Hills (Shmita)
2013/2014/2015 Capcanes Peraj Habib
2009/2010/2013/2014/2015 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
2012/2013/2014 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera (Grenache)
2013/2014/2014 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera Old Vines Samso (Carignan)
2005/2014 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
2004/2014 Chateau Montviel
2010/11/12/13/14 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2009/2010 Elvi Herenza Reserva
2011/2012/2013/2014 Gvaot Masada
2011/2015 Chateau Moulin Riche
2014/2015 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
2013/2014 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70
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)

Israel Only – For Now anyway

2015/2016 Tzora Or (2015 is shmita)
2016 Yarden Pinot Grigio (QPR)
2016 Domain Netofa Tel Qasser, White
2017 Domaine Netofa Rose (QPR) – ONY 2017
2016 Domaine Netofa White (QPR) (Israel ONLY for now)
2016 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR) (Israel ONLY for now)
2012/13/14 Domaine Netofa Latour, White
2016 Carmel 4 Vats (only in Israel)
2009 Yaacov Oryah Emek Hatzayidim (Hunter Valley) Semillon
2014 Yaacov Oryah Eye of the storm
2015/2016 Vitkin Grenache Noir, Collector’s Edition
2016 Vitkin Gewurztraminer, Collector’s Edition

France/Europe Only for now

NV Vranken Champagne Demoiselle
2014 Chateau Marsac Seguineau, Margaux (should be here soon)
Champagne Vranken Charles Lafitte
2014 Chateau La Tour de Mons ‘Marquis de Mons’, Margaux
2011 Chateau Leydet-Valentin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
2015 Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere, Margaux
2014 Chateau La Tour Carnet, Haut Medoc
2014 Servitude Volontaire De La Tour Carnet, Haut Medoc


Posted on March 13, 2018, in Israeli Wine, Kosher Dessert Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yossie Horwitz

    I found the Furmint 2015 to be over the hill last time I tried it – was your recent experience different? Also no Four Gates or German Riesling?

    On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 1:02 AM, Wine Musings Blog wrote:

    > winemusings posted: “As 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 improve” >

  2. The Furmint is not over the hill at all. Four gates are not publically available. The Nik Wies wines are available, but really hard to find, or at least I barely got mine.

  3. Is the third year supposed to be 2015 or only two vintages 2013/2014?
    2013/2014/2014 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera Old Vines Samso (Carignan)

  4. Have you tried the Hagafen Prix Melange 2012? How does it compare to previous vintages?

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