2020 Bokobsa Sieva Wine tasting just outside of Paris

Well, I am one post in and I have another 5 to go. As I stated in the first of my 6 posts on my trip to wine tastings in London, Paris, NYC, and L.A., I am truly thankful that my trips ended well for everyone, the news keeps getting uglier.

As I stated the kosher wine tasting season was upon us, and the first of my posts about the ones I attended was my London post. After a quick train ride to Paris, and a stop at the hotel, it was time for another tasting, the Bokobsa Sieva tasting.

The Bokobsa Tasting, is presented by the company known in France as Sieva, and it happened in Paris (well not exactly Paris, more on the very outskirts of Paris to be exact) on Tuesday, on the stunning grounds of the Pavillon des Princes in the 16th district. I arrived early and after taking a bunch of pictures I just relaxed and waited for the event to start. One of the issues from the tasting in past years was the older vintages of wines poured, along with the food that was cold and quite simple. This year, the food was nicer, they had warm food, and some very well put together dishes. Sadly, the vintages on the Royal wines were still strange, some new 2017 vintages while some wines were 2014 and 2015. However, the Bokobsa wines were all the latest, other than the 2018 Chablis which was not being poured.

One wine two Hecsher/Kosher Supervisions means two labels

One of the biggest shocks I had at the event was the realization that France is in a far worse place, in regards to kosher supervision than Israel and the USA. I have seen many times, where Badatz Edah HaChareidis and the OU would both be on the same bottle of wine, like Or Haganuz wines and others. However, in France, that seemingly is not an option! Understand that there are NOT multiple mashgichim (kosher supervisors) when there are multiple supervisions on a single bottle. Rather, the ONE/Two mashgichim all do the stringencies of one or both of the kosher supervisions. However, in France, this cannot work – I am not kidding! Clarisse showed me two bottles of the same Champagne made by Bokobsa Sieva. The difference between them, was not the overall supervision, as that was one the same, nor was it in any way a different vintage or winery, nope! They were EXACTLY the same wine – EXACTLY! The only difference was the name of the supervision on the back of the bottle! One had the kosher supervision of Paris Beit Din and the other had the kosher supervision of Rabbi Rottenberg.

So, I then asked the head of the supervising Rabbis, who was at the tasting, if the Paris Beit Din accepted to be on the same label with Rabbi Rottenberg, would Rabbi Rottenberg agree? He said no! OMG! I was speechless. ME! What question would you followup to that answer? I asked why? He said because they have different requirements. I said they are the same Mashgichim, so why would you care? In the end, he said that is how it is in France. Sadly, that is the state of affairs and I moved on.

Another fascinating difference between the labels is that the Paris Beit Din version of the wine has a different Cuvee name than the Rabbi Rottenberg version. That, I was told, was just for marketing, so that people would not be as shocked as I am now! Finally, there is also a pregnant lady with a slash through it, denoting that alcohol and pregnancy is not a good idea, the normal disclaimer wines have on their labels. On the Rabbi Rottenberg label, it was all in text, no images of a lady.

The wines

Of the wines that I really liked, there were few. Sadly, there were no interesting wines from Israel. Tabor had a few wines there, more than in London, but none of them moved me from my feelings of Israeli wines. Sadly, the same goes for the rest of the wines there that came from Israel. The Tabor reds were ones that I could at least taste, the others were so off-kilter and ripe that there really was nothing there to describe. There were two OK white wines, the 2019 Matar Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, and the 2018 Yatir White Creek, which was a surprise to me.

Hafner had a few wines I had wanted to taste for quite some time, but sadly, after tasting them, I was unimpressed. The Sauvignon Blanc, which is defined as dry, was maybe dry, but its ripeness put me off. The same goes for the rest of the wines. The sweet wines were nice enough, but they lacked the acid they so deeply needed.

In regard to the French wines, there were a few new and nice wines to enjoy. They were all on the low side of the prices, so there were a few good QPR wines. The best of the “higher-end” French wines, that were not Royal wines, was the 2016 Chateau Bellegrave, Saint-Emilion it was a solid wine indeed! There were a few QPR wines as well, including the 2018 Chateau Terre Blanque, 2015 Bourgueil Les Perrieres, and the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Marinet.

The Champagnes were quite nice, including the improved Drappier Rose that is more refreshing than when I had it in November. Of course, there were the identical-twin Champagnes with different kosher supervisions and a few others. Sadly, the 2018 Bokobsa Chablis was not there, but 2017 was showing well still, of course.

Overall, the event was lovely, and in my opinion, a solid improvement over the already good event last year. While there were some older vintages being poured, the complexity of getting shows like this together normally means there are some misses. My many thanks to Clarisse and to Lionel Bokobsa for making the event as lovely as it was. Bravo!

I already tasted all the Royal wines, so the wines I concentrated on for this tasting were Bokobsa wines along with wines that are imported by Bokobsa alone. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:

2017 Hafner Riesling, Austria  – Score: NA
Sweet and round.

2018 Hafner Gruner Veltliner, Austria – Score: 86
The wine was almost dry but there was very little other than the nose to attract my attention.

2019 Matar Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon – Score: 89 to 90
The nose and mouth are lovely, acidic, balanced, orange blossom,  orange notes, with grapefruit and flint. The mouth is medium and nice with straw and orange, lemon curd, and pith galore. Not very complex but solid. Drink now.

2018 Yatir Creek, White – Score: 89
The nose and mouth are aligned and while they are simple enough, there is good acidity and some nice fruit focus. Overall, tart, showing saline, fruit, and well balanced. Drink now

2017 Chateau Haut Corbian, Saint-Estephe – Score: 87
This reminds me of the Bordeaux of old, green, red and not over the top. The nose on this wine is green with loads of mineral, herb, black fruit, and red cherry fruit notes. The mouth on this light to medium-bodied wine is a lightweight with that acidity, showing cherry and currant fruit, with mineral, nice tannin, and not much else. Drink now until 2023.

2016 Chateau Bellegrave, Saint-Emilion – Score: 91+ (QPR)
This is showing much better than last year, with all the stuff I like. The nose on this wine is really lovely, green, red and well balanced, with great bright fruit, showing smoke, tar, and graphite, with loads of dirt and hints of the forest floor. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has great acidity, mouth draping tannin, with red fruit focus of currant, cherry, and plum with great controlled juicy and tart fruit with crazy mineral pith, earth, and lovely smoke, lingering long. Bravo! Drink from 2022 until 2028.

2018 Chateau Terre Blanque, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux – Score: 90 (QPR)
The nose I this wine is simple but fun with tart and juicy fruit, red all the way. The mouth is simple, not complex with nice acidity, good tannin, cranberry, earth, but it is really nice, showing a focus, great earth, roasted herb, and loads of smoke and tar. The finish is long, very green, earthy, foliage, and lovely fruit with graphite and garrigue, with tart cherry and nice tannin lingering long. Drink until 2024.

2018 Chateau le Caillou, Pomerol – Score: 89
The nose is less interesting than previous vintages with darker fruit, earth, dirt, and rock. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows lovely acid as great tannin focus, with green and red fruit, nice earth, and overall enjoyable, but not as interesting as previous vintages. Drink from 2023 until 2026.

2016 Chateau Jeantieu, Grave de Vayres – Score: NA
This wine was not that interesting

2017 Sieva Bokobsa Chinon, Les Rosiers – Score: 87
The wine shows Dirt, earth, and cherry notes on the nose and mouth, sadly there is not much else. Drink now.

2015 Sieva Bokobsa Bourgueil, Les Perrieres – Score: 90 (QPR)
This wine is nice, well balanced, clean and fruity with great acid and tannin, showing black and blue fruit and nice spices. Nice! Drink now!

2018 Sieva Bokobsa Brouilly – Score: NA
Sadly, this wine tastes cooked and simple

2015 Sieva Bokobsa Crozes-Hermitage, Marinet – Score: 90 (QPR)
This wine is showing better than last year. Nice, solid wine, tart who balanced, juicy and bright fruit of strawberry, blackberry, and blue fruit, with great acidity, tannin, and overall nice fruit focus with a good body. Nice. Drink now.

2018 Domaine Lafond Cotes du Rhone, Roc-Epine – Score: 88
The wine is not bad, it is just not as good as the Crozes, but the acid and fruit are nice. Overall, the wine is sweeter than I like, with loads of plum, blackberry, and red fruit. Drink until 2023.

NV Bokobsa Sieva Champagne Heritage, Brut, Cuvee Leon, Premier Cru – Score: 89
NV Bokobsa Sieva Champagne Heritage, Brut, Cuvee Lucien, Premier Cru – Score: 89
As I described above these two wines are exactly the same, I was told they were and I tasted them and indeed they are the same. It is sad, IMHO, to see two wines who differ only in two different Kosher Supervisory role symbols. Otherwise, the Champagne was nice enough. The nose on this wine is quite nice, yeasty with good minerality, showing nice notes of citrus, quince, apple, and stone fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine comes at you with layers of medium-sized mousse, showing nice toast, yeasty notes, peach, and herb. The finish is long, green, herbaceous, with slate, and nice minerality. Nice! Drink now.




Posted on February 27, 2020, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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