The best/top kosher wines for Passover 2019 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. Last year’s Jewish Week’s kosher wine list for Passover is really hard for me to get my head wrapped around this year. 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 Wines, Gotham Wines, Suhag Wine, and of course kosherwine.com 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 dollars 2017 Chateau Trijet 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 2017 Chateau Trijet Bordeaux, as nice 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 one of these Top Flight wines, 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 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 2017 rose wines! PLEASE! They are muted and a waste of your hard-earned money. Wait for the 2018 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. This year, I think I will go with Yarden Rose Brut Sparkling wine. It is Israeli, not mevushal, “red”, and lovely wine, and an acid BOMB!

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.

NOTE! The first night for ALL Jews, in Israel and the Diaspora should have a cup with at least 4.42 fluid ounces, as it falls on the Sabbath, and that is a Torah law, so you need to drink the Torah size Revi’it. The rest of the cups throughout the first day or the second day for those in the Diaspora will be Rabbinic, and so they will only require 3.3 fluid ounces.

It does not fulfill the Chazon Ish’s requirements of 5.1 ounces, but if you wish to meet that requirement use these glasses by TableTop King. Also, remember that you should drink the entirety of the cups, which is why I recommend the smaller cups. If you cannot, some allow the idea of drinking the majority of the cup, but that is not the best approach. Finally, the LAST CUP, should be drunk in totality, as that is the ONLY cup upon which you say an “After Bracha (Blessing)”, and as such you must have drunk at least 3.3 ounces to say the last blessing.

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 Israel continues to be a mess, outside of a few winners. The reds from 2016 or 2017 in Israel, have been a failure, excepting for a few.

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 15 dollars:

2017 Elvi Vina Encina White

2017 Elvi Vina Encina Red
2016 Elvi Winery Rioja Semi (QPR) – was not a fan of the 2017 vintage
2017 Baron Herzog Chardonnay (QPR) (mevushal)
2016 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso (QPR) (mevushal)
2017 Chateau Trijet (QPR)
2016 Koenig Riesling (QPR)

Wines below 20 dollars:

2017 De La Rosa Taryag Gruner Veltliner (Organic)
2018 Or Haganuz Amuka Blanc Blend – DO NOT buy 2016 or 2017 (they are essentially dead)
2017 O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc (QPR)
2015 Ramon Cardova Rioja Crianza
2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico (Great QPR)
2018 Tabor Sauvignon Blanc, Adama (QPR) – ONLY 2018, the 2017 vintage is dead
N.V. Gilgal Brut (QPR)
NV Elvi Adar Brut (QPR) – make sure to buy NON-mevushal, the mevushal is too old
2014 Louis Blanc Vintage Servigny, Cotes du Rhone Village
2017 Chateau Lacaussade (QPR)
2017 Pacifica Riesling (QPR)
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Eva, Blanc (QPR)
2017 Herzog Lineage Chardonnay (QPR) – Only the 2017 vintage, NOT 2016
2017 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc (mevushal) (QPR) – ONLY 2017, 2016 is too old
2017 Ramon Cardova Albarino (QPR)
2012 La Gravelle Cuvee Terroir Chinon
N.V. Koenig Brut, Cremant d’Alsace

Wines below 25 dollars:

2014/2016 Hagafen Dry Riesling (QPR) (mevushal)
2015 Cote de Brouilly Beaujolais
2015 Louis Blanc Beaujolais Julienas
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Samual, Rouge
2014/2016 Carmel Riesling, Kayoumi (QPR) (NOT 2015)
2014 Elvi Herenza Crianza (Super QPR)
2016 Rothschild Flechas Malbec
2016 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Vineyard

Wines from 25 to 35:

2017 Covenant Viognier, Blue C label
2015 Domaine Pradelle Crozes-Hermitage, Bokobsa
2015 Capcanes Peraj Haabib Flor de Primavera Pinot Noir
2012/2013 Terra di Seta Chianti Riserva (Great QPR)
2018 Kos Yeshuos The California Kid
2016 Or Haganuz Elima (No Added Sulfites)
Porto Quevedo, Ruby Port, n.v.t
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Albert, Grand Vin, Blanc
Porto Cordovero Fine Ruby Port
NV Shirah Vintage Whites (QPR)
2017 Shirah Bro-Deux White
2016/2017 Les Marronniers Chablis
2016 Herzog Chardonnay, Special Reserve, Russian River (QPR)
2016/2017 Tzora Judean Hills, White/Blanc
2016 Chateau Lamothe-Cissac
2015 Chateau Fourcas Dupre
2016 Chateau Malmaison
2014 Yarden Chardonnay, Katzrin
2014 La Demoiselle d’Haut-Peyrat Haut – Medoc
2017 Joseph Mellot Sancerre Blanc
2017 Jean Philippe Marchand Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits
2018 Hajdu Rose
2017 Pascal Bouchard Chablis, Premier Cru

Wines below 50:

2017 Chateau Guiraud G (dry)
2016 Jacques Capsouto Cuvee Marco, Grand Vin, Rouge
2017 Jean-Pierre Bailly Pouilly-Fume, Sauvignon Blanc (QPR)
2016 Vitkin Grenache Noir, Collector’s Edition
2016 Vitkin Grenache Blanc
2015/2016 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac
2016 Chateau La Colonne – NOT the 2014 vintage
N.V. Dalton Anna
2015/2016 Covenant Chardonnay
2016/2017 Castel, Petit Castel (not 2015)
2014 Chateau Rollan De By
2013 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Assai
2016 Chateau Guimberteau Lalande-De-Pomerol
2016 Shirah Wine Bro.Deux
2012 Chateau Cru Ducasse

Wines above 50:

2015 Hagafen Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine
2012 Chateau Cheval Brun Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
2015 Chevalier de Lascombes
2012/2014 Chateau Haut Condissas
2015 Elvi Wines El26
2017 Chateau Petit Guiraud Sauternes
2015 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Single Vineyard, Oak Knoll
2015 Chateau Leoville Poyferre ‘Pavillon de Poyferre’
2015 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Clone Six Edition (not a fan of 2016)
2011/2014 Domaine Roses Camille Echo de Roses Camille
2011 Moulin du Chateau la Clide
2014 Terra Gratia
2016 Domaine Roy Maison Roy & Fils Pinot Noir, Shai
2012 Chateau Serilhan
2013/2014 Shirah Pinot Noir JSV
2014 Chateau Magrez Fombrauge Blanc (NOT the 2015 vintage)
2014 Clos Haut-Peyraguey Sauternes

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
2014/2016 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe
2014/2016 Chateau Haut Brisson
2016 Chateau Du Tertre Margaux
2015 Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse
2015 Chateau Cantenac Brown
2015/2016 Chateau Lascombes
2009/2014 Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, Pessac – Leognan
2016 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
2015/2016 Chateau Giscours, Margaux
2014 Chateau Rayne Vigneau Sauternes
2014/2015/2016 Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan
2014 Chateau Soutard, Grand Cru Classe de Saint-Emilion
2015/2016 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Special Edition (mevushal)
2009/2010 Yarden Blanc de Blanc (mad QPR)
2011/2012 Yarden Rose Brut (mad QPR)
2016 Castel Grand Vin (not 2014/2015)
2015 Elvi Wines Clos Mesorah
2014 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera (Grenache)
2014/2015 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera Old Vines Samso (Carignan)
2005/2014/2016 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
2004/2014/2016 Chateau Montviel
2010/11/12/13/14/16 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2009/2010/2014 Elvi Herenza Reserva
2011/2015 Chateau Moulin Riche
2015/2016 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon
2014/2015 Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon, Lot 70
2005/2006/2011/2012 Domaine Roses Camille
2013 Eagles Landing Pinot Noir Reserve
2007 Yarden Blanc de Blanc Late Disgorged
2014/2015 Domaine Chantal Lescure, Pommard
2015 Domaine d’Ardhuy Aloxe Corton
2016 Chateau Clarke Bordeaux
2015 Virginie de Valandraud
2015 Chateau Labegorce, Margaux

Israel Only – For Now anyway

2018 Domaine Netofa Rose (QPR)
2018 Domaine Netofa Latour, Rosado
2018 Domaine Netofa White (QPR)
2017 Domaine Netofa Red (QPR)
2016/2017 Domaine Netofa Latour, White
2016/2017 Domain Netofa Tel Qasser, White
2016 Domaine Netofa Latour, Red
2016 Domaine Netofa Dor
2017 Yaacov Oryah Silent Hunter (הצייד השקט in Hebrew)
2017 Yaacov Oryah Light from Darkness (אור מאופל in Hebrew)
NV Yaacov Oryah Old musketeer

France/Europe Only for now

NV Vranken Champagne Demoiselle
2014 Chateau Marsac Seguineau, Margaux
Champagne Vranken Charles Lafitte
2011 Chateau Leydet-Valentin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
2015 Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere, Margaux
2014 Chateau La Tour Carnet, Haut Medoc (NOT the 2015 vintage)
2014 Servitude Volontaire De La Tour Carnet, Haut Medoc (NOT the 2015 vintage)
2014/2015 Chateau Peyrat – Fourthon Haut – Medoc
2014 Domaine D’Ardhuy Cotes de Beaune Villages
2014 Chateau Grand Barrail, Prestige, Red
2014 Chateau Tour Baladoz
2015 Chateau Clauzet
2015 Chateau du Grand Barrail, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux
2014 Chateau Trigant, Pessac Leognan
2014 Chateau Tour Seran, Medoc (NOT Mevushal)
2017/2018 Elvi Wines Invita White

Posted on March 27, 2019, 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. 3 Comments.

  1. Re. the Yarden Brut; is that the 2008 which you’ve written about glowingly in the past or the [more common] 2012?

    (Also, will you be at City Winery tonight?)

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