Kos Yeshuos Winery’s new U.S. release for 2021, and 2019 South African ESSA Wine Co. wines

WOW, I cannot believe I just wrote that number, but yes, we made it through 2020, and I hope all of you are safe and well. The prize for reaching 2021 is more wine, and Josh Rynderman, the Dual-Hemisphere winemaker of Kos Yeshuos Winery and ESSA Wine Co., swung by last week and we tasted his new release for 2021, the 2020 Kos Yeshuos Viognier. Sadly, this year, there are no cool marketing/moniker-driven wine names. Other than the Wylder Side Orange Viognier, but that is a super-small production promotional item.

Sadly, 2020 was a horrible year for many, in the wine world and outside of it. Sadly, because of fires, smoke, crazy heat waves, and God knows what else, Kos Yeshuos only made the Viognier, but it is a really good wine!

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. Sadly, the ESSA Wine Co. wines are still not available here in the USA, but they are nice!! We tasted the ESAA Wine Co. wines in September 2020, and the wine notes are also below.

Well, 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, safe travels, and best of luck on the 2021 Harvest in South Africa! Remember to bring me more of those wonderful South African reds when you are back in July/August 2021!

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

2020 Kos Yeshuos Viognier – Score: 92 (QPR: EVEN)
The notes are on a bottle that was bottled less than 2 weeks ago. To start the nose opens to smell very much like the 2018 California Kid, which was Viognier/Sauvignon Blanc, this vintage is 100% Viognier. The nose starts with bright peach, pear, citrus, gooseberry, fresh hay, cardamom, jasmine, and flint galore. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, layered, and rich, with waves of acidity that are almost overcoming, but they are tempered by the smoke, flint, peach, citrus galore, ripe pomelo, with an almost oily texture, followed by waxy notes, with lovely weight, ripe apricot, yellow pear, and more hay. The finish is long, green, with hints of foliage, more tart and juicy yellow fruit, gooseberry, honeydew, and loads of flint, smoke, and green notes. Bravo! Drink until 2023. (tasted Dec 2020)

2020 Kos Yeshuos Wylder Side Orange – Score: 92
This wine is a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay made in an Orange style. This wine starts closed with apple notes and not much else. With a few hours of decanting the nose opens to what I expect from an Orange Viognier, with notes of almonds, candied peach, apricot, cardamom, sweet rosehip, sweet jasmine, with creme brulee, and fresh apple compote. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, the acid hits you first, but that is quickly overcome by waves of sweet tannin, followed by an oily texture that coats the mouth with sweet apricot, peach, oak, and notes of smoke and toast. The finish is long, toasty, smoke, flint, mineral, roasted walnuts, and more tannin that lingers forever. Bravo!! Drink until 2024. (tasted Dec 2020)

2019 ESSA Cabernet Franc (French Barrels) – Score: 92+
The nose on this wine is oaky to start with loads of heat, with a few minutes that blow off, to show lovely earth, forest floor, and dirt, with dark currant, green notes, foliage, green tea, and lovely red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is still quite young, with loads of screaming tannin, lovely acidity, and oak, with loads of sweet dill, spice, and nice control overall, with 13.8% ABV, showing green notes of asparagus/cucumber with cranberry, dried raspberry, and tart fruit, and lovely floral notes of rosehip, still showing oak, hints of smoke, mushroom, and sweet strawberry. An elegant wine with great control. The finish is long, green, dark, and yet tart, with a great balance from the acid and the fruit, with lovely sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, and earth, with graphite, and more mushroom lingering long. Bravo! Drink from 2023 until 2027. (tasted Sept 2020)

2019 ESSA Cabernet Franc (Hungarian Barrels) – Score: 91+
The nose on this is oakier, in nature, the wine was aged in Hungarian oak, versus the other was in French oak. The nose is oakier, but still, the fruit comes out with time, showing the same red currant and raspberry, but the oak has tamped down the green notes and the dirt. The mouth on this medium-bodied to full-bodied wine comes at you in a richer fruit profile, but still, one that is well balanced, with crazy acid, nice sweet oak, with a denser mouthfeel, and a richer/sweeter approach, showing a sweeter approach with layers upon layers of sweet oak and sweet tannin, followed by dark currant, raspberry, and dirt, with mushroom now showing from under the pile oak, with sweet but red fruit galore. The finish is long, oaky, and sweet, with green and red fruit, more tannin, but what lingers is the real fruit that lies beneath, and what we saw in the French oak version, with more Currant, strawberry, and green tea, with leather, and sweet tobacco, on the long finish. Drink from 2022 until 2026. (tasted Sept 2020)

2019 ESSA Emunah – Score: 92
This wine is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine shows lovely Cabernet fruit with green, black, and red fruit, showing great control, with dark fruit and lovely dirt. To me, while the mouth is not as good as the pure Cabernet Franc, at this point, the nose is the best of the three. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is really fun, with clear leanings towards the Cabernet Franc, with lovely sweet black and red fruit, showing blackberry, cranberry, dark currant, lovely chocolate, with nice then green notes of asparagus. The finish si long, green, earthy, tart, with great balance, showing layers upon layers of tannin and acid, with nice mouth draping fruit and tannin, with dark chocolate, sweet tobacco, and smoke. Bravo! Drink from 2022 until 2027. (tasted Sept 2020)

2016 Kos Yeshuos Syrah, Mokelumne River, Lodi – Score: 92
What a lovely Cali nose, a real joy, controlled, fruity, big and bold and meaty, with great boysenberry, blueberry, roasted meat, backed by nice floral notes (not weak Australian style – but really rich and floral), with mounds of chocolate, lovely graphite, mineral, and sweet oak. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is rich, layered, and inky, a real joy, a wine with great control and finesse, a true food Syrah (not because it is undrinkable without food, it has ZERO date or sweet issues), but this wine is a beast, it cannot be enjoyed on its own unless u are a glutton for punishment, showing rich cassis, blackberry, followed by blue fruit galore, juicy and ripe, yet not over the top, wrapped in spicy and sweet oak, with rich ribbons of mineral, earth, and great baking spices to bring it all together. The finish is long and mineral-based, with great graphite, rich saline, green and black olives, along with hints of other umami to come, but meaty, blue, mineral, and black lingering long. Bravo! Drink until 2023. (tasted Sept 2020)

Posted on January 4, 2021, in Kosher Orange Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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