Kos Yeshuos Winery’s new U.S. releases for 2020

A couple days ago, Josh Rynderman, “The California Kid“, and Chana, “The Joburg Girl”, came by and we tasted this year’s new wines. As, I stated in last year’s post, doing this dual-hemisphere winemaking is a real drag on life. Besides the crazy flying, you never really feel at home, where is home? I could never find myself living that kind of life, but Josh and Chana both find joy in this life and wine – one underpinned by the art of winemaking and the passion that drives it.

To see more about the story and life of Kos Yeshuos and the Ryndermans, you can read my post here about last year’s wines, and this post about the wines made under ESSA Wine Co.

2019 vintage in Northern California

This vintage Josh tried some brand new varietals for him and honestly, a new varietal for the kosher wine world, from what I know anyway. There is the 2019 Falanghina, which to me is the only kosher wine from that varietal. It is a crazy acid bomb and two days later it is still an acid bomb, though the mouth rounds out well underneath that bed of acidity.

Besides that, the Viognier has returned, but it is an oaked version this time. I am crazy for white wines, and Viognier has been a passion, but the oaked ones, while nice in their oaky peach perfume, lacked what Josh got out of last year’s oak-free Viognier. Who knows, maybe this will come around, but for me, while this wine is absolutely solid, it is a slight step back from last year’s yumminess.

Finally, there are two new oaked wines as well. The blend called The Joburg Girl, which is a nod to Chana, and it is a really fun wine. The oak does not take over and the acidity really shines. The final one is the Pinot Gris, which was macerated for a few days. Now, this is not an Orange wine, though it does show some of the nuttiness and sherry-like notes, far in the background, that you find in the longer macerated wines, like Yaacov Oryah’s masterpieces. For those that fear that kind of wine, I stress, the note is far in the background, and I pick it up having cut my teeth now, on a few years of enjoying Oryahs wines. It is perfectly balanced and one that you will truly enjoy.

If you look at the image below you can see the impact of oak and extended maceration on the wines. The lightest color belongs to the Falanghina, which was unoaked and had little to no maceration. The next one, the Viognier in 2019 had oak aging, while the next two, in degrees, had both oak aging and extended maceration, on account of the Pinot Gris is a large part of The Joburg Girl. It is truly fascinating to see the color progression on such young wines.

As you know Josh is a friend, and as always I make sure to disclaim things like that before posting my notes, like with Benyamin Cantz of Four Gates Winery. So, with that my many thanks to Josh for coming by with the new wines to taste and safe travels and best of luck on the 2020 Harvest in South Africa! Remember to bring me samplers from the 2019 vintage of ESSA Wine Co. reds when you are back in July! If they are as good as the 2018 vintage then you guys are well on your way to making good on this incredible journey across the hemispheres!

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2019 Kos Yeshuos Falanghina – Score: 91
This may well be the first kosher Falanghina every made. The nose on this wine is unique and very much akin to a Roussanne and Chenin Blanc, showing green notes, pine, menthol, with waxy notes, showing loads of citrus, with hay, Orange blossom, and ginger. The wine is a very cool acid bomb, none added, all of this is clearly natural, with a clear leaning to lemon/lime, orange notes, with lemongrass, clementines, with great mineral, with the acid overpowering, with chalk and flint, followed by straw. The finish is long, green, crazy tart, with fun notes of almond, honeyed notes of lemon, and more mineral, with citrus acidity still dominating. Drink by 2022

2019 Kos Yeshuos Viognier – Score: 91 to 92
This wine is oaked but not heavy oak, no toast, just barrel heads. This is a higher ABV and this vintage shows more tropical than last year. The nose on this wine is classically Viognier with peach, mango, guava, with less of crazy peach and honeyed perfume, still, this has a nice oak and honey perfume, with apricot, and creme notes. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is ripe, well-balanced, with clear marzipan, almond, coming from the fruit, no oxidation, with lovely acidity, nice pith, oak tannin, showing nice grapefruit, mango, tropical notes, lovely sweet cedar, earth, green notes, and candied pear, all wrapped with a lovely mouthfeel, salinity, with cedar, acid, and almond pith on the long finish. Drink by 2022.

2019 Kos Yeshuos The Joburg Girl – Score: 91 to 92
This is a blend of mostly Pinot Gris, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is oaked but not heavy oak, no toast, just barrel heads, the oak is in the Pinot Gris. The nose on this wine starts off very closed but shows notes of the Sauvignon Blanc, with gooseberry and flint, along with almonds from the Viognier, and apple from the Chardonnay. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is dominated by the apple and pear from the Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, with nice nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, followed by lovely balancing oak, with lemon, flint, more oak tannin, earth, and citrus blossoms, balanced well with great acidity. The finish is long, green, with lovely peach and apple pie, fresh crumbled bread, cat pee, Creme Fraiche, and mineral lingering long, with nice pith and oak tannin. Very nice! Drink by 2021.

2019 Kos Yeshuos Pinot Gris – Score: 92
This wine is oaked but not heavy oak, no toast, just barrel heads. This wine underwent a multi-day maceration that gives the wine its unique color, though far from a rose, and not an Orange wine, IMHO. This wine is closed to start, but with time shows a unique nose that is closer to a Roussanne than a simple Pinot Gris. The nose on this wine is tight, with time, it opens to show nuts, walnuts, almonds, marzipan, with some lovely apple, pear, yellow plum, crazy hay/straw, and spices, followed by citrus, ginger, and herbs. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is layered and has a nice mouthfeel, with clear oak leanings, showing stone fruit, orange, nectarine, citrus, lemon, with waxy notes, wrapped in sweet oak, with a tannin that emerges from under the sweet but well-balanced summer fruit, and sweet baking spices. The finish is long, green, oaky, with a wonderful mouthfeel, well-textured, fruit-focused, with a nice creme and oak backbone, pear and apple core, mineral of saline and rock, with lovely spices, and lovely honeyed notes, with lovely roasted and dried walnuts and almonds on the long sweet mineral nutty finish. Bravo! Enjoy until 2022.

Posted on January 17, 2020, in Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. weinerzachgmailcom

    There has been a cheap kosher Falanghina from Sicily available in Italy for a number of vintages. Nothing to write home about.

  2. OK, but as I stated, my comment was for a KOSHER Falanghina. Have there been kosher Falanghina made before in Italy??

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