Taieb continues to excel at making solid wines for reasonable prices in France

After our miraculous escape from the hotel which brought vivid memories of one of my favorite songs of all time – Hotel California, highlighted by the most famous line in that song: ”Relax said the night man, we are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”. If you were there, the dude almost said those words as we were running for the door, anyway, on to more happy thoughts.

We escaped “Hotel California” and made our way to the train station in Lyon for our trip to Roanne. This train is the common man’s train, and it allowed us an interesting glimpse into the melting pot of France’s middle class. The trains from Paris or Strasbourg were TGV trains and though they can be bought on the cheap, they are for folks moving between large cities. This train was a commuter train, the only real way to get from Lyon to Roanne.

This trip to Taieb wines was far less insane than the trip earlier this year from London, that trip was too crazy to even believe. This one was far simpler, other than the Hotel California issue. That said, overall it took two trains and an automobile to get Avi Davidowitz from the Kosher Wine Unfiltered blog, and me from Strasbourg to Roanne. Yoni Taieb from Taieb Wines was so kind as to pick us up from the Roanne train station and take us to the offices.

Sadly, there had been a death in the family so George Taieb, Yoni Taieb’s father, could not join us, but Yoni was so nice to facilitate the tasting.

Kosher wine pricing again

If you look at the kosher wine producers/facilitators in France, Taieb comes out far ahead in regards to their pricing and quality. I love that we have kosher Chateau Leoville Poyferre or Smith Haut Lafitte, but those prices are crazy, absolutely bonkers, especially when you see their non-kosher pricing (showing at double the price). Again, I have spoken about pricing many times, and no matter how often I talk about it, it is still crazy to me, that we pay such high prices for kosher wine.

There are two issues here. One is that the big-name wines are super expensive and this issue continues to disallow others from enjoying such wines, given the price tag. Secondly, the lower stature wines, ones that are still fun to enjoy and QPR wines, are far and few between, when you look at the sub-20 dollar bracket. Look at Kosherwine.com and tell me how many sub-20 dollar QPR wines exist? In red, there is THREE, 2018 Chateau Les Riganes, Bordeaux, the 2018 Elvi Herenza Rioja, and the 2017 Chateau Mayne Guyon. THREE wines I would buy for under 20 dollars and two fo them are Mevushal! Under 10 dollars there are none.

In France, under 10 Euros, there are MANY! There lies in the issue. Obviously, to get a wine from France to here takes hands and hands cost money, but Taieb had four wines that I would buy under 10 Euros. If they were brought here, they would probably cost 20 dollars. Overall, this is the issue. The second you add hands into the picture it gets too expensive. Royal Wines makes the wines, imports the wines, and sells them to distributors. So, within all that, you have cut out many hands that would otherwise raise the cost structures. If Taieb exported the lovely 2018 Baron David, Bordeaux, which costs 9 or so Euros and even less when on sale, and the importer added his costs, this wine would probably sell for 23 dollars. This is what is so broken with the system. Of course, I have no issue with people making a living! That is not the discussion here. The issue I have is that there are MANY sub-10 dollar wines from France in the USA and some are quite nice, even scored a 90 by Wine Spectator. That is just one example. I do not get it. Are we saying that these wines, yes it is sold by Costco and Trader Joe’s, so their margins may be a bit thinner? But do they not make money? Does the importer not make money? The winery? The Distributor in the USA? The non-kosher market for sub-10 dollar wines follows the same system as kosher wines. So, please where is the money going? The kosher supervision on wines like this are a total joke, maybe 20 cents a bottle, so please move on from that. Why is it so hard to import this Baron David and make it work for everyone? Why is it not that difficult for the non-kosher market? There lies in my question!

Anyway, in France, these wines are a wonderful buy and I hope those that live there get a chance to taste them, as they are 100% worth the money!

So, to repeat the Taieb wines in the USA are hard to find, other than the Burgundy wines, because of the horrible wine distribution of Victor Wines and Touton wines, here in the USA. It is a shame as they make some very solid QPR (for France pricing) wines. You can find some of the wines here but most of them are just in France. With that said, Saratoga Wine Exchange, out of NY, seems to stock almost all of the wines, I have no idea why as they are not a kosher wine or near a large Jewish community. Still, that is only for the few wines that are imported here in the first place. Vive la France for QPR kosher wines!

Taieb Wines

Yoni Taieb and the wines

Taieb started making kosher spirits 50 years ago and since then he has added kosher wine to the company. Many of the Bordeaux wines that he now makes have been in production for decades. Taieb is famous for the Phenix Anisette, a liquor made from Anis.

Recently, I have been loving the wines coming from Taieb, because they are making some really great Burgundy wines, including maybe the best Burgs to be made kosher in quite some time, the epic Domaine Lescure and the 2012 Domaine d’Ardhuy Gevrey-Chambertin, which may well be the best Burgundy in some time, though I find the 2014 Domaine Lescure to be as good.

Taieb has been spoiling us with great Burgundy wines and the only reason why we know about them is because of Nathan Grandjean and Andrew Breskin. Sadly, distribution of these and many of the lovely Bordeaux wines from Taieb have no distribution here in the USA, without Breskin. Victor Wines officially imports Taieb Wines, but the wines rarely show on shelves, I really hope this will be fixed soon, as the Taieb wines I had in France were wonderful.

Sadly, Domaine d’Ardhuy stopped doing kosher wines with Taieb, after the 2015 vintage. The Domaine Lescure was epic in 2014 and 2015, it had a hiccup with the 2016 vintage, but the 2017 vintage is lovely as well!

The line of kosher wines that Taieb produces includes entry-level wines for restaurants and weddings. It then has a myriad of wines at the next level, from lovely a Sancerre wine to Brouilly wines. The next level includes some very solid Bordeaux wines and Burgundy wines as well.

Overall, I was very impressed with the lineup of wines and I really dream of being able to have these wines more accessible here in the USA. For now, Liquid Kosher has the wonderful 2015 Domaine Lescure and the very nice 2015 Domaine d’Ardhuy Aloxe Corton.

Again, the theme of Taieb wines being very solid but hard to find in the USA is a consistent issue to me and a sad one. My many thanks to Yoni Taieb for taking the time to meet with us on the Beaujolais Nouveau day in France! Taieb is a very large producer of Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Our condolences to the loss of a family member, and may we taste wines together again, George and Yoni, with a happy heart. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2014 La Chene de Margot (AKA Chateau Bellerive Dubois) Blanc, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux – Score: 90 to 91 (Mevushal)
This one tasted better than the one we had the day before, much like what I had many times in my house, thanks to Josh Rynderman schlepping them from South Africa for me. The nose on this wine is awesome, with fresh-cut grass, gooseberry, lime, lemon, lovely fruit, and herb. The mouth on this wine is classic cool climate fruit, with great acid, showing a lovely mouth structure, with lovely lime drops, starfruit, and crazy citrus, with dry orange, mineral, saline, rich not fully ripe pink grapefruit, and bracing acidity. The finish is long and tart, with green apple, rich fruit pith, and fun tart fruit notes throughout. Bravo! Drink now!

2017 Joseph Mellot Pouilly Fume – Score: 88
The nose on this wine shows wax, and rich lemon, with orange blossom notes, with nectarines. The mouth is nicely acidic but less interesting than other Pouilly, with nice notes of orange, backed by grapefruit, and lovely slate. Drink now. (Available in France)

2018 Joseph Mellot Sancerre, La Graveliere – Score: 91 – 92 (QPR for France)
The nose on this wine is pure heaven, honeysuckle, gooseberry, with crazy loads of orange blossom, passion fruit, and rich saline, lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has lovely weight, showing crazy pith, screaming grapefruit, with citrus and layers of rich slate, spice, nutmeg, and lovely lemon curd, and herbs. The finish is long, green, and mineral-driven, with loads of pith and orange blossoms lingering long Lovely! Drink by 2022.

2016 Moise Taieb Cote de Brouilly – Score: 88
The nose is sweet spices, with nutmeg, cinnamon, with sweet herb, and sweet blue and black fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied is ripe, with a fruit-forward body, showing blueberry, blackberry, with leather galore, showing smoke, and earth, tar, and fruit fingerling long. The finish is long, and sweet, with crazy tannin, leather, sweet spices, and coating, with rich dirt, forest floor, and green notes. Nice! Drink by 2022. (Available in France)

2017 Moise Taieb Morgon – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is the perfect Gamay for me, showing ripe blue and black fruit, with loads of sweet spices, followed by blackcurrant, with green and red fruit in the background, and sweet garrigue. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows nice acidity, with sweet and juicy raspberry, nice light tannin, with smoke, and sweet spices. Nice. Drink up. (Available in France)

2017 Moise Taieb Julienas – Score: 86
The nose on this wine is ripe, with crazy brooding and dark blue and black fruit, showing incredible dirt, loam, sweet spices, and loads of floral notes. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is sweet, with crazy acidity, with loads of ripe and juicy blueberry, boysenberry, and sweet spices. Drink by 2022. (Available in France)

2017 Moise Taieb Fleurie – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is bright, fruity, and has loads of floral notes, with earth, and a ripe and juicy backbone of red fruit. The mouth is ripe and juicy with loads of ripe and juicy raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, and loads of rhubarb, with sweet tannin, and mouth-drying tannin. The finish is long, sweet, green, with loads of ripe red fruit, and earth, and sweet spices. Drink by 2022. (Available in France)

2018 Moise Taieb Brouilly – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is ripe, but well made with sweet notes and spice, followed by blue and black fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, with a fruit-forward approach, showing cranberry, rhubarb, and intense mouth-drying tannin, with sweet notes and smoke. The finish is long, green, sweet, with crazy tannin lingering long in the mouth. Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2017 Moise Taieb Moulin-A-Vent – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is sweet with spices, herb, and loads of blue and red fruit, showing tart and bright fruit, with dark fruit in the background. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fruity, with a solid acid core, showing mineral, rhubarb, with candied raspberry, pomegranate, and sweet spices. The finish is long, sweet, well balanced, with loads of floral notes, rosehip, sweet spices, and mineral. Drink by 2022. (Available in France)

2017 La Petite Metairie Chinon, Moise Taieb – Score: 89 to 90
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is lovely rich, green, with red fruit, and herbs galore, redolent with a perfume of herbal notes, oregano, sweet mint, and sweet Italian herbs, lying above a bed of mineral, and dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is backed by a core of acid, mineral, with loads of herbs, that is front and center, with green fields of grass, followed by floral notes, smoke, and spices. The finish is long, green, herbal, and backed by mineral, juicy tart raspberry, cherry, and dried plum. Bravo!!! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2017 La Petite Metairie Bourgueil, Moise Taieb – Score: 90 (QPR for France)
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is far different than the Chinon, showing far fewer herbs, here the nose centers on red to dark red fruit, still tart and juicy, but the green notes are in the background, with a perfume of floral notes and rose. The mouth on this wine is perfect, well balanced, a bit round, but perfect in regards to the mouth, great acidity,  medium-bodied, with mouth coating tannin, showing lovely tart and juicy raspberry, smoke, loads of green notes, herbs, but with an overall ethereal profile, lithe and beautiful. The finish is long, green, red, and smoky, with herbs, and tannin lingering. Lovely! Drink until 2023. (Available in France)

2018 Palais de L’Ombriere, Bordeaux – Score: 90 (Mevushal) (QPR for France)
This wine is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec. The nose on this simple Bordeaux has a perfect balance of black and red fruit, with floral notes, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, simple, not overly complex, but well balanced, with lovely blueberry, raspberry, and black fruit, with loads of acid, menthol, garrigue, mineral, and green notes, mouth coating tannin, all coming together under a bed of herb and fresh dirt. Very solid easy drinking and very enjoyable wine! Drink until 2023. (Available in France and earlier vintages of this are in the USA, so maybe this one will come as well)

2018 Haut de Grava, Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 90 (QPR for France)
Another solid hit from 2018, this is a simple wine, but come on, I wish we had wines like this in the USA that cost 10 dollars and are as enjoyable. The nose on this wine is lovely with loads of blue and red fruit, with hints of black fruit in the background, showing loads of dirt, menthol, and lovely licorice, followed by tar, and more dirt, lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is another hit, showing green fruit, with a nice mouth-coating system, with lovely raspberry, smoke, a bit rounder than the Palais de L’Ombriere, but still lovely. Bravo! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2018 Pavillon Mougneau, Bordeaux – Score: 88 (Mevushal)
The nose on this wine is lovely with red juicy and tart fruit, with the smoke of oak, and green notes. The mouth on this wine is lovely, green and round, with good acid core, green notes, and lovely core-acid, but rounder of the three, with good tannin structure. Drink by 2022. (Available in France)

2018 Baron David, Bordeaux – Score: 91 (Mevushal) (Crazy QPR for France)
The nose on this wine is lovely, a perfume of green, smoke, dirt, and herb, and lovely complexity, really fun! The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is really fun, well made, professional, showing green and dark fruit, raspberry, blackcurrants, with tar, straw, lovely dirt, really lovely dirt, nice enough complexity, with mouth-drying tannin, showing graphite and ribbons of charcoal, with lovely earth, and menthol, bravo!! The finish is long, lean, green, great acidity, with loads of earth, fun! Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau La Naude, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: NA
Sadly, this wine did not show well. (Available in France)

2015 Chateau de L’Anglais, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux – Score: 86
The nose on this wine is ripe, fruit-forward, with loads of black and red fruit, showing hints of blue fruit, and loads of dirt, with menthol. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, rich, and layered, but the ripeness really throws me, it has nice acidity, but the balance is off, with saline, earth, and tart juicy fruit, this is just too much, searing sweet fruit. (Available in France and maybe here in the USA)

2014 Château La Motte Despujols, Graves – Score: 90 (QPR for France)
This wine threw me off for a bit, but finally, this came around to me, it has crazy floral notes of violet, rose, and hints jasmine, with loads red fruit, herbal notes, and dirt. The mouth on this wine is unique, it is bright, tart, and really nice, with loads of herb, sweet but well-balanced tart and juicy raspberry, cherry, and rhubarb, with nice mouth-coating tannin, and saline bring it all together with a bed of dirt and green notes. The finish is long, green, earthy, and smoky, with loads of tannin, earth, tobacco, and saline. This kills me. This is a lovely 12 euro wine, that we cannot even dream about having in America for less than 24 dollars. Drink by 2023. (Available in France)

2012 Chateau la Rose de By, Medoc – Score: NA
Sadly this wine is dead.

2016 Chateau Meilhan, Medoc – Score: 85
The nose on this wine is red and black with green notes, with lovely earth, terroir, and smoke, nice, sadly it is the best part of the wine. The mouth is ripe, sweet, round, with searing acid and tannin and much else. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau Bois Cardon, Haut-Medoc – Score: 91 (QPR for France)
The nose on this wine is well balanced, it is black and blue with fruit galore, with loads of menthol, lots of milk chocolate, roasted meat, and sweet spices. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is really nice, layered, and rich, with good acidity, yes it is ripe with a fruit-forward profile, it is well-balanced, with rich blackberry, ripe and juicy raspberry, rich smoke, loam, fresh dirt, with mushroom, and lovely spices. The finish is long, green, sweet, and well-balanced, with lovely mouth-coating tannin, sweet spices, garrigue, sweet tobacco, and sweet green notes. Lovely! Drink by 2024. Bravo!!! (Available in France and USA)

2014 Chateau de Lamarque, Marquis d’ Evry, Haut-Medoc – Score: 91
This is the second time I am tasting this and it is far improved. The nose is green, with red fruit, and herb galore, that gives way to menthol, crazy smoked lamb, and garrigue. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich, layered, but green, with more smoked game meat, with raspberry, dark currant, and nice roasted herb, that gives way to dark cherry, crazy gripping tannin, showing dark fruit in the background, with earth, mineral, pencil shavings and fun fruit, with nice layers and complexity, with lovely garrigue, menthol, tar, green notes, and red fruit lingering long, with crazy tannin, and loads of earth. Bravo!!! Drink by 2025. (Available in France)

2018 Pavillon Du Vieux Chantre, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion – Score: 90 to 91 (QPR for France)
This wine is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is another of those who are crazy redolent with screaming brightness, showing rich herbs, candied and spiced red fruit, but well balanced, with smoke, tar, licorice, and lovely dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is super young, showing a crazy unique mouthfeel, with intense acidity, showing a lovely balance of candied strawberry, tart raspberry, with cherry, wrapped in intense spices, green notes, lovely earth, sweet oak, and milk chocolate, and mouth-coating tannin. Bravo!! Drink until 2024. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau de Mole, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion – Score: 87
The nose on this wine is ripe. The mouth is ripe, not round, with acidity, but too fruit-forward for me. Well made, with loads of fruit, graphite, smoke, and mineral. Drink by 2024. (Available in France and the USA)

2015 Chateau Roc de Boissac, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion – Score: 91 (QPR for France)
The nose on this wine is barnyard, floral, and herbal, with smoke, purple fruit, and violet. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is nice, showing a bit rounder than the Pavillon Du Vieux Chantre, with loads of tar, smoke, ripe and juicy boysenberry, dark raspberry, and crazy mouth-drying tannin, with a fruit structure that is incredible for the price. The finish is long, green, herbal, with loads of graphite, screaming charcoal, and sweet tobacco, that is based in acidity, tannin, leather, and sweet spices that linger long. Bravo!! Drink by 2025. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau Castelbruck, Margaux – Score: 91 to 92
The nose on this wine is young, showing loads of sweet cedar, milk chocolate, with loads of dark and brooding fruit, with hints of blue fruit, and loads of black fruit, with herb, and mineral. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, well-controlled, with clean lines, showing ripe and juicy blackberry, blueberry, with milk chocolate, crazy acid core, backed by layers upon layers of fruit, with rich complexity, showing rich fruit structure with ripe and juicy fruit that is well balanced and showing so beautiful. The finish is long, green ripe, and earthy, with mineral galore, showing lovely scrapping graphite, with earth, and leather, dirt, and mushroom galore as a bed to the bright and ripe fruit. Lovely! Drink from 2022 until 2028. (Available in France)

2016 Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere, Margaux – Score: 91
This wine is closed, but with time it opens to show great filth, loads of dirt, earth, mushroom, with milk chocolate, well-balanced, with red fruit,  rich garrigue, and smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is layered, rich, ripe, but so well balanced, with loads of saline, green notes, foliage, raspberry, cassis, tobacco, and nice acidity, dark cherry, milk chocolate, with herb, and lovely sweet cedar, with earth, dark currant, and graphite galore. The finish is long, green, sweet, well-balanced, earthy, and dirty, with mouth-coating and drying tannin, and leather, giving way to tobacco, and mineral galore. Bravo!! Drink from 2022 until 2028. (Available in France)

2017 Domaine Chantal Lescure, Pommard – Score: 93
This is a crazy barnyard wine is super slow to open, showing a wine with notes of foliage, menthol, barnyard, mushroom, loam, and wet soil, showing red fruit, with toast, mineral, and loads of earth, lovely. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is incredible, showing ripe and sweet fruit, that is layered  with layers upon layers of dark cherry, raspberry, blackberry, plum, and earth, with loads of dirt, menthol, with loam, that is so tannic that it is crazy, with loads of saline, olive, black and green fruit, and foliage galore, backed by mushroom forest floor. The finish is long, green, black, tannic, with dark chocolate covering coffee beans, earth, and smoke, that shows incredible leather, smoke, and foliage, with gripping tannin and earth/barnyard galore, with graphite and charcoal lingering long. Bravo!! Drink from 2024 until 2033. (I hope this will soon be in the USA, for now in Europe)

Posted on December 5, 2019, in Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Paul Koenigsberg

    Just looked on Saratoga

    They have none of these wines on their web site

    Dr. Koenigsberg

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Yup, all I meant was they are the ONLY folks that have Taieb wines from Victor, but if you read the notes you will see my comment on whether or not the wine is imported. The vast majority of them are not, which was the main thrust of the post, outside of the notes themselves.

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