My top 25 kosher wines of 2021, including the Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year, the Best Wine of the Year, and the Best Mevushal wines of the year awards

Like last year, I wanted to make this post short and sweet – so the criteria are simple. I could care less about price, color, or where it was made. All that matters is that it is/was available this year sometime to the public at large and that I tasted it in a reliable environment, not just at a tasting, and that it was scored a 92 or higher. Also, there are a few lower-scoring wines here because of their uniqueness or really good QPR.

We are returning with the “wine of the year”, “best wine of the year” along with “Winery of the Year”, and “Best White wine of the year”, along with a new one – “Best Mevushal wine of the year”. Wine of the year goes to a wine that distinguished itself in ways that are beyond the normal. It needs to be a wine that is easily available, incredible in style and flavor, and it needs to be reasonable in price. It may be the QPR wine of the year or sometimes it will be a wine that so distinguished itself for other reasons. The wines of the year are a type of wine that is severely unappreciated, though ones that have had a crazy renaissance, over the past two years. The Best Wine of the year goes to a wine well worthy of the title.

The Mevushal wine of the year is something I personally dread. I understand the need for a wine that can be enjoyed at restaurants and events, but when we start seeing Château Gazin Rocquencourt and Chevalier de Lascombes go Mevushal – we know we have a problem. As I have stated in the past, if this is what needs to happen, then please sell both options as many do with Peraj Petita/Capcanes, Psagot wines, and many others. Still, it is a wine and as such, it needs a best-of-the-year moniker, so this will be the first year where we do it.

This past year, I tasted more wines than I have ever, in the past. Now to be clear here, I did not taste many Israeli wines as they have proven to me over and over again, even with the much-ballyhooed 2018 vintage that they are not worth me spending my money on. So, no I have not tasted as many Israeli wines as I have in the past, but overall, this is the largest number, for me. I spent a fair amount of time tasting all the French and European wines I could get my hands on and I feel that is where I added the most value, IMHO. For those that like the Israeli wine style – other writers/bloggers can point you in some direction.
IMHO, this past year brought the best wines I have seen in a long time.

IMHO, this past year brought the best wines I have seen in a long time. No, I do not just mean, the lovely 2019 Chateau Pontet Canet, but overall, the scores garnered this year are on keel with my top wines of 2017, which included the best wines from 2014 and 2015 vintages. Nothing has come close since that list, until this past year – so that really excites me as there are still a few wines from the 2019 vintage that I have yet to taste.

As I will talk about in my year in review post, 2014 will come out as the best vintage for the past decade in France. That is a hotly debated subject, but IMHO, in the world of kosher wine, there were FAR more best wine options in the 2014 vintage than any other vintage in the past decade. That may not be the case for non-kosher wines, but news flash, I do not drink non-kosher wines, or even taste them, and further this blog is about kosher wines. The 2018 vintage may well have some serious “best wine of the year” candidates, but sadly, not all of those wines are here and I could not travel to France to taste them all, as I do commonly. The 2019 vintage may have as many once we taste them all, but for now, the 2014 vintage across all wine producers has created a far more complete and consistent product than any of the years, up until 2019.

There are also interesting wines below the wines of the year, think of them as runner-up wines of the year. There will be no rose wines on the list this year. If last year, I thought the roses were pure junk, this year, you can add another nail in the coffin of rose wines, IMHO. Thankfully, the task of culling the bounty of great wines to come to these top wines was more a task of removing than adding. We are blessed with a bounty of good wines – similar to 2017. To highlight the last point, I scored 109 wines with a 92 or higher, and 66 of those were given the QPR score of WINNER (or WINNER in FRANCE).

The supreme bounty comes from the fact that Royal released the 2019 French wines a bit early! Throw in the incredible number of kosher European wines that are coming to the USA and being sold in Europe and this was truly a year of bounty for European kosher wines.

Now, separately, I love red wines, but white wines – done correctly, are a whole other story! Sadly, in regards to whites, we had no new wines from Germany, still. Thankfully, we have some awesome new entries, from the 2019 Chateau Malartic and the 2019 Château Gazin Rocquencourt (NON-Mevushal), and the new 2020 Meursault!

The wines on the list this year are all available here in the USA, in Europe, and a few can be found in Israel, as well. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

The 2021 kosher wine of the year – is new!

This is a new wine for the kosher wine market and it sits a bit above where I would like it, price-wise, but it is the best wine for a price that is still comfortable for the value. It is one of the rare wines that score a GREAT QPR – when priced above 100 dollars. Still, it fits right there to make it GREAT. There were so many to choose from this year – I am so happy to restate, but in the end, this award goes to a reasonably priced wine that garnered the highest score. The 2014 and 2015 Domain Roses Camille was an option, but the price pushed out of the competition. There was the 2017 Elvi Clos Mesorah, at a far better price than the LaGrange, but again, the LaGrange fit right in that space, barely above the Clos (quality-wise), and within the range of QPR. There was the 2018 Malartic and the 2017 Leoville, but they, like the DRC, were priced out. Finally, there was the 2019 Jean Luc et Paul Aegerter Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru, Les Vallerots, but that wine is almost impossible to find, sadly!

If there was a single QPR WINNER that blew me away – it would be the 2012 Château Cru Ducasse – in France, I can see no reason not to buy as much of this as humanly possible! Either way – the new Chateau LaGrange is a wonderful wine and one that is worthy of the 2021 wine of the year!

2019 Chateau LaGrange Grand Cru Classe En 1855, Saint-Julien – Score: 94+ (QPR: GREAT)
WOW, what wine for a 12.5% ABV wine, come on, the next time someone says I need to wait for the phenolics to talk with me, the answer is this wine! This wine is a blend of 80% cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, & 2% Petit Verdot.
The nose on this wine is lovely and perfumed with rich minerality, dense loam, graphite, smoke, roasted animal, clay, black and red fruit, all wrapped in more dirt, tar, and licorice, wow!
The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine is beautiful, the acid is perfect, balanced and tart, elegant and layered, with lovely raspberry, plum, dark currants, hints of blue fruit, with ripe cassis, scraping mineral, dirt, loam, roasted herbs, menthol, with sweet vanilla, and lovely licorice.
The finish is long, with draping tannin, scraping mineral, and lovely tar, loam, nice leather, and rich garrigue, really lovely! Drink from 2031 until 2042. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 12.5%)

The 2021 kosher Winery of the Year

This one was very hard for me this year. Not that the winner was not worthy, but more than the other options were equally as good. Still, the 2021 Kosher winery of the year goes to Elvi Wines! They win on so many layers.

First, they have been and continue to be the QPR SUPERSTARS. They are very close to Terra di Seta, in regards to the sheer number of QPR WINNERS they release every year. Still, this past year, was just shocking. The 2016 Clos Mesorah Sublim, 2017 Clos Mesorah, 2016 Herenza, Reserva, 2019 EL26, 2020 Herenza Blanc, 2019 Herenza Semi, 2019 Vina Encina Blanco, and the roses, all WINNER or ones or two GREAT QPR scores, just incredible!

To be fair, we have been blessed with Europe, but most of those blessings come under the auspices of single-run kosher wines. Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, you name it, are all based upon kosher runs. What we have in Europe, kosher-winery-wise, is Terra di Seta, Cantina Giuliano, and Elvi Wines (including Clos Mesorah).

Of course, I have been friends with Mosies and Anne for more than a decade, when we first met in San Francisco and then again, in Oakland to taste many of his wines, before they were available here in the USA, at scale. So, I will add my disclaimer, just as I am friendly with last year’s winner of this award, friendship does not gain access, the quality of the product in the glass is what matters.

Please do read the original post I had on Elvi Wines, in 2012, you will see that while they have focused the marketing and labels, the breadth and scope of what they are striving for, a truly Spanish winery – from one tip of Spain to the other, is still the driving factor for Moises. Anne is focused on quality, scale, and more quality. Every procedure is scrutinized, vineyards, winery structure, procedures, scale, and then wine, all of it matters, every detail. Still, the dream is the same, to bring kosher Spanish wine to the world. Not some kosher Rioja or some kosher Cava, no, but the full breadth and scale of Spain. With that said, there is so much more of Spain I would love to taste. More Bobal (some of it is in Adar and Vina Encina), Monastrell, Verdejo, and others. Still, if there is a winery that describes Spain that would have to be Elvi! Bravo!!!

So, with mad props and great happiness, and hope for even more success, Bravo to Mosies Cohen and Anne, and their children, on all the hard work. The quality of the wines that are here and will be coming, in the coming years, are impressive and I wish them only continued success and joy!

The 2021 best kosher wines of the year!

As I have stated a few times now, this is the best year, in regards to 94+ scored wines in a long time. Still, I think the winner, to most people, is the worst kept secret of the year! LOL! Still, that would not be 100% true. Yes, the highest scoring wine of the year, is the OBVIOUS 2019 Chateau Pontet-Canet, however, the award will be shared by the other highest scoring wine of the year, and the best Pinot Noir, as of now, that I have tasted – the 2019 Jean Luc et Paul Aegerter Corton-Vergennes, Grand Cru. To be clear, both of these wines garnered crazy scores and both of these brought us back to the future in regards to Bordeaux and Burgundy. In the past we had Pontet-Canet and we had Grand Cru wines from Burgundy, but those were both a very long time ago. With the exceptional 2019 wines, we can now stop regaling people with tales of the past and start looking to the future for new and even better vintages – if that is possible! Bravo to both Royal wine and IDS/M&M for two exceptional wines and hoping for many more in the future!

2019 Chateau Pontet-Canet Grand Cru Classe en 1855, Pauillac – Score: 96 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, & 2% Petit Verdot. I must start by saying that this wine is pure finesse, it is not a concentrated monster, it is not an extracted beast, rather this is an elegant expression of love for the vine, wine, and what went into the making of it. The entire process of making this wine was done by hand, no pump over, no machines, no destemming machines, the entire process from picking to just before bottling was done by hand.
The nose on this wine is very special, a perfume of dirt, rich loam, tar, clay, and graphite, with lovely red and black fruit, blueberry, lovely green notes, floral notes, rich forest floor, barnyard, and deep minerality, incredible.
The mouth on this wine is too young, but what you get is more than just elegance, you get purity and clean lines, with no ripeness, no oak, just lovely loam, dirt, raspberry, blackberry, cassis, blueberry, dark sweet cherry, balanced to perfection, with a stunning fruit focus, structure, and mouth-draping tannin, followed by more barnyard, forest floor, green notes, savory notes of herb, rosemary, basil, mint, and rich spice.
The finish is long, elegant, clean, with foliage, mouth-draping tannin that coats and layers the mouth followed by herbs, clay, limestone, graphite, and mushroom, all wrapped in elegance and tannin that makes the wine linger in the mouth forever. Drink from 2036 until 2045. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2019 Jean Luc et Paul Aegerter Corton-Vergennes, Grand Cru – Score: 95.5 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine starts with deep mushroom and barnyard aromas, then it goes smoky, showing notes of roasted duck, red fruit, smoke, floral notes, rich saline, dense foliage, and toast. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich, layered, elegant, plush, and concentrated, but not overly extracted, with sheer elegance, loam, dark cherry, currant, plum, sweet raspberry, and dense dark fruit, porcini mushrooms, dirt, smoke, all wrapped in an ethereal package, just incredible!! The finish is long, dark, green, red, and smoky, with coffee, dark chocolate, and leather. Drink from 2029 until 2036. (tasted April 2021)

The 2021 best kosher White wine of the year!

This award is going to be the first of many new white wines hailing from France. Last year we had a Chablis and a Meursault! This year we have the best white wine in a very long time, the 2019 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Blanc. The last time we had a white wine this good was also in 2017 when we had the lovely 2014 Von Hovel wines. Sadly, those days are long gone. Thankfully, we have the lovely Malartic wines to pick up the slack. Bravo!

2019 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Blanc, Grand Cru Classe – Score: 94+ (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. The nose on this wine is a new thing, crazy, this thing is incredible, it is a rich elegance, it is richer than the Gazin Blanc, yet more elegant, as well, with a richness of fruit that does not overpower the elegance. The nose on this wine is incredible, notes of white and green fruit, with rich vanilla, with gooseberry, lemongrass, floral notes of jasmine, orange blossom, rich notes of Asian pear, yellow apple, yellow plum, grass, dry hay, and beautiful smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is the next level up from the Gazin, WOW! WOW! Rich, layered, and even more elegant, but also deep, powerful, and attention-grabbing, as if you were drinking a glass of red wine, which happens to be white, the layers, the concentration, and the power are truly mind-blowing, wow! The fruit is rich, gooseberry, tart yellow grapefruit, gooseberry, dry straw, wet grass, all wrapped in rich balanced sweet oak, vanilla, saline, rock, smoke, with a perfume of flowers, tart yellow plum, and crazy grass. I love how the impact of the Semillon, with its minerality and straw/hay mixes beautifully with the Sauvignon Blanc grass and fruit, wow! The finish never leaves the mouth, it is forever, with smoke, tart fruit, vanilla, dirt, clay, and weight that cuts through anything, along with saline, slate, and rock. JUST WOW!! Drink until 2033. You can drink this now and you should taste it once and then let it sit for 4 years and then start opening them every year. (tasted June 2021)

The 2021 best kosher Mevushal wines of the year!

So, as much as I dislike the need for mevushal wines there is still a market. As such, it is time to accept the inevitable and move on. So, here is the best red and white mevushal wine I have tasted this past year.

2019 Chateau Tour Seran, Medoc, Bordeaux (M) – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
Thankfully, the kosher and quality issues of Tour Seran are all done with and it is BACK baby!! The 2019 Chateau Tour Seran is a true WINNER! The nose on this wine is the most balanced of the red 2019 vintage wines I have had so far, outside of the Chateau Haut Condissas, though I have had few 2019 reds so far. The nose on this lovely wine is dense, rich, controlled, no oak monster to calm down, this wine is in perfect balance and harmony, with dark black and red fruit, rich dark chocolate, graphite, mineral, spice, loam, and the start of some very nice forest floor, just lovely! The mouth on this full-bodied wine shows what a properly made, full-bodied wine should feel and taste like, the wine comes at you in waves of concentrated, yet elegant fruit, followed by a dense and concentrated mouthfeel, lovely extraction, showing rich blackberry, raspberry, cassis, saline, smoke, mineral, loam, green foliage, rich tobacco, tar, and precision in the impressive fruit focus. The finish is long, green, dense, ever-lasting, and perfectly balanced, with dry tobacco leaves, tart fruit, still lingering tannin, lovely leather, spice, and more scraping graphite. Nice!! Drink from 2025 until 2033. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France and in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 13.5%)

2020 O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (M) – Score: 92 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is classically New Zealand in style, cat piss, green notes, gooseberry, passion fruit, fresh-cut grass, and bright fruit all over the place. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, showing nice flint notes, smoke, rock, saline, gooseberry, lemongrass, guava, lychee, and crazy acid, that comes at you in waves, so much fun! The finish on this wine shows more saline, rock, flint, smoke, mineral, gooseberry, freshly cut grass, and intense acid, so much fun!!! BRAVO!! Drink until 2024. (tasted December 2021) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 12.50%)

Rest of the top 25 kosher wines of 2021

2014 Domaine Roses Camille Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Pomerol, Bordeaux – Score: 95 (QPR: GOOD)
I am tasting the 2014 and 2015 vintages side-by-side and my notes will represent my feelings of them as such. The nose on this wine is incredible, it shows less oak than the 2015 vintage does, which to be fair is reasonable as it is one year further removed from the barrel. The nose on this wine is lovely, mineral city, with graphite, black and red fruit, epic control, smoke galore, with roasted meat, spice, earth, and a start to mushroom, forest floor, cedar, sweet dill, and lovely green notes, wow!! This is the nose I dream of. Please remember, DRC is one of those producers that hold on to their wines forever. I felt this way about many of the 2014 wines of the past, but having the chance to relive that now is a true joy! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is closed, the middle is hollow, which will open, if anyone would open this wine and drink it now, I feel sorry for you, this is a wine that is so young it has not even gotten into its clothes yet, a true baby, showing incredible acidity, mouth draping tannin, blackberry, rich saline, graphite, tight texture, with ripe raspberry, smoke, rich loam, earth, and tar. The finish is long, green, earthy, smoky, and mineral-packed, with so much smoke, roasted duck, animal, and tannin that just goes on forever, foliage, dark chocolate, and more dill. WOW!!! Drink from 2035 until 2043. (tasted May 2021) (in California) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chateau Giscours Grand Cru Classe En 1855, Margaux – Score: 95 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon & 35% Merlot.
The nose on this wine is ripe but well balanced with lovely minerality, graphite, clay, smoke, roasted animal, sweet cedar, sweet baking spices, iron, and lovely loam.
The mouth on this full-bodied wine is dense, layered, elegant, controlled, and yet powerful, with layers upon layers of rich saline, ripe blackberry, cassis, boysenberry, dark raspberry, dense and concentrated, with stunning fruit focus, closed but lovely with graphite, dense loam, rich mouthfeel, and mineral that is just stunning.
The finish is long, dense, rich, layered, with hints of foliage, green notes, scraping graphite, clay, rich loam, dark chocolate, leather, and lovely roasted herbs. BRAVO!! Drink from 2031 until 2042. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)

2018 Chateau Giscours, Grand Cru Classe en 1855 – Score: 94.5 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine starts riper than I had been led to believe as many had touted this wine greatly. Look, 2018 is a strikeout or homerun kind of season for most of Bordeaux, many have played it well but some have fallen hard. To start the nose on this wine is ripe, no hiding that, with some control, showing notes of brooding black, blue, and red fruit, with loads of smoke, dried flowers, earth, loam, and hints of some forest floor. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is rich, really rich, ripe, layered, deeply extracted, concentrated, with layers of blackberry, boysenberry, dark plum, good acidity to calm this all down a bit, lovely mineral, graphite, saline, black olives, umami, mouth-draping tannin, and elegance that gives way to scary ripeness, it goes back and forth that way. The finish is long, green, with foliage, earth, smoke, dried smoking tobacco, chocolate-covered coffee beans, lovely graphite, soy sauce, and rich saline. Wow! This is lovely and may well have brought the best parts of 2018 together, control and fruit. Time will tell. Drink from 2031 until 2040. (tasted June 2021)

2015 Domaine Roses Camille Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Pomerol, Bordeaux – Score: 94.5 (QPR: GOOD)
As stated on the previous 2014 vintage notes I am tasting the 2014 and 2015 vintages of the Domaine Roses Camille side-by-side. The nose on this wine is more closed than the mouth, 2014 is more closed in the mouth than the nose. The nose on this wine is oaky, with lovely green notes, iodine, red, and black fruit, beautiful violets, hints of blue fruit, rich smoke, toast, earth, and loads of black fruit, this nose is far blacker than the 2014 vintage, with black tea, sweet mint, anise, and mineral galore. The mouth on this wine is far more open and accessible than the 2014 vintage, with layers upon layers of concentrated fruit, rich extraction, ripeness that is in line with the 2015 vintage, in vast comparison to the 2014 vintage, along with green notes foliage, fresh forest floor, elegant and mouth draping tannin, with more smoke, toast, sweet oak, sweet dill, menthol, savory notes, bay leaves, rich saline, and lovely loam/earth. The finish is long, green, earthy, with more smoke, toast, and lovely sweet plum, licorice, olives, almost milky dark chocolate. Wow! Drink from 2033 until 2045. (tasted May 2021, November 2021) (in California and Paris, France) (ABV = 14.5%)

2016 Clos Mesorah Sublim, Montsant – Score: 94.5 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is ripe, richly layered, smoky, earthy, dirty, but ripe, with candied plum, blackberry, boysenberry, dense fruit, covering layers of earth, loam, and mushroom, and lovely floral notes that help to balance the nose. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is ripe, it shows the staying power to go a long way, what shines is the integrated acidity, balance, that helps to calm down the layers upon layers of ripe and concentrated blackberry, dark plum, boysenberry, rich smoke, tar, mouth-drying tannin, sweet cedar, sweet dill, roasted basil, herbs, foliage, that is backed by a density of elegance that shows rich power and fruit focus, that gives way to more floral notes, smoke, earth, and roasted notes. The finish on this wine is ripe, cedar-driven, smoky, and dense with roasted animal, rich leather, smoking tobacco, dark to milk chocolate, but what continues to shock me is the balance and elegance notwithstanding the current fruit density and cedar, all wrapped in rich mouth-draping tannin, tar, and licorice. Bravo!!! Drink from 2026 until 2037. (tasted November 2021) (in Montsant, Spain) (ABV = 15%)

2018 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Grand Cru Classe – Score: 94 (QPR: GOOD)
This 2018 Bordeaux is also clearly ripe, but it has more control, it shows more finesse, but the oak is strong to start. The nose on this wine is ripe, but more controlled, with lovely notes of violet, white flowers, with rich black and blue fruit, followed by gravel, dirt, menthol, roasted green notes, sweet oak, baking spices, smoke, and lovely anise. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is incredible, where the nose scares me slightly, the mouth is incredibly elegant, sexy, but controlled, not slutty like a Margaux, with rich layers, concentration, plushness, without being over the top, showing ripe blackberry, dark cherry, blueberry, an incredible plushness, with sweet notes of tart red plum, a rich undergrowth, garrigue, foliage, mushroom, and rich loam. The finish is long, green, dark, brooding, and controlled, with sweet tobacco, dark chocolate, and lovely baking spices – WOW!! BRAVO!! This may be the best 2018, though Cantenac-Brown will give it a run for its money! Drink from 2027 until 2041. (tasted March 2021)

2018 Chateau Grand-Puy Ducasse, Grand Cru Classe – Score: 94 (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is incredible, first, the 2018 vintage is hard, it is ripe, and certain regions fared better than others, for Pauillac, it was a winner, the nose and wine are incredible, but this needs time, this wine will last a very long time! The nose starts very hot, like much of 2018, with time, it brings the best of 2018 to bear, but in an incredibly controlled manner. The nose is ripe, controlled, rich, with incredible iron, graphite, charcoal, mineral, followed by rich dense black fruit, lovely bright red fruit that balances it all very well. The mouth on this full-bodied wine could use more acid, it is my only concern, and it will allow for earlier drinking, but overall, the mouth is concentrated, ripe, rich, extracted, and layered with ripe blackberry, dark tart cherry, ripe raspberry, smoke, with draping and drying tannin, with a plushness that evokes elegance but also aggression, the tension is palpable, with dark fruit wrapping it all together. The finish is long, ripe, tart, balanced, and plush, with green notes, mushroom, foliage, and dark chocolate, with sweet tobacco lingering long! This is a wine that is in constant tension with the will to go dark and ripe but also controlled and opulent, BRAVO!!! Drink from 2027 until 2038. (tasted March 2021)

2017 Clos Mesorah, Montsant – Score: 94 (QPR: WINNER)
This is a super elegant, floral, and feminine wine, bravo!! The nose on this wine is beautiful, showing floral notes of violet, white flowers, with blueberry, black fruit, smoke, roasted duck, earth, and loads of smoke, dirt, and loam. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is so elegant, layered, concentrated, earthy, fruity, smoky, and richly extracted, with boysenberry, lovely green olives, blackberry, dark cherry, plum, smoke, earth, loam, and lovely sweet cedar, with green notes, sweet tobacco, sweet basil, and lovely acid. The finish is long, green, with draping elegant tannin, showing a bit more acid than even 2019, sweet smoking tobacco, dark chocolate, white pepper, and anise. Bravo!! Drink from 2025 until 2035. (tasted November 2021) (in Montsant, Spain) (ABV = 14.5%)

2019 Jean Luc et Paul Aegerter Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru, Les Vallerots – Score: 94 (QPR: EVEN)
Wow, incredible, this is incredible, with floral notes, violet, rich saline, dirt, smoked duck, rich cherry, ethereal beauty, with dark fruit, rich smoke, gunmetal, and lovely floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is layered, rich, smoke, saline, and green notes, with a concentration of cherry, incredible acid, floral notes, earth, loam, tar, and green note with foliage, elegant mouth draping tannin, with elegant green notes, extraction, rich saline, green notes, smoke, toast, and deep toast. The finish is long, green, toast, mushroom, floral notes, and intense smoke, bravo!! Drink from 2025 until 2033. (tasted April 2021)

2012 Chateau Cru Ducasse, Haut Médoc – Score: 94 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a crazy WINNER in France and elsewhere not even close to worth it, which is so sad! The wine has such elegance, grace, power, and focus, that it makes me sad to not have access to such wines. You can just open the bottle, and find the wine accessible, but to me, this wine is still not ready, it needs a bit more time to start to show the tertiary notes I love.
The nose on this wine is stunning, bright, ripe, balanced, black and red fruit, with intense mineral, slate, graphite, loam, and rich clay, lovely!!! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is crazy fun, it reminds me a bit of the 2008 Château Armens, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, all you feel at the start is the intense scraping mineral, followed by bold yet perfectly balanced fruit, rich and layered, dense and smoky, with rich blackberry, tart strawberry, dark plum, rich roasted herbs, all wrapped in dense and mouth-drying rich tannins, and more loam. The finish is super long, rich, and tannic, with green notes, foliage, loam, mineral, pencil-shavings, iron, and rich dark chocolate that is beautiful. Drink until 2027, probably longer. Bravo!!! (tasted June 2021)

2020 Domaine Aegerter Meursault, Meursault – Score: 94 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is pure funk, almonds, walnuts, peach, nectarines, orange blossom, honeysuckle, rich floral notes, straw, mineral, spice, and rich oolong tea. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is bombastic, wow, unique, special, just wow! The screaming acid, hay, straw, jasmine, white flower, with yellow plum, green apple, Asian pear, with rich saline, mineral, smoke, straw, and rich flint, WOW! The mouth is dense, oily, structured, and just lovely! The finish is long, green, hay, earth, smoke, lemongrass, with a plushness, oily, sweet oak, intense cloves, and rich green notes, wow! Drink from 2025 until 2032. (tasted November 2021)

2016 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Riserva – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
This is one of the most balanced versions of the Riserva in a very long time. The Riserva is normally undrinkable for a few years, this one is far more accessible than any previous version – WOW! The nose on this wine is incredible, with mushroom, truffle, soy sauce, tar, floral notes of violets, earth, smoke, and rich dark fruit, WOW! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is incredible, tannic, gripping, earthy, smoky, and fruity, with lovely tart cherry, currant, plum, and ripe blackberry, with rich earth, loam, mushroom, intense saline, black olives, with intense acid, and mouth-drying and draping aggressive tannin, wow! The finish is long, black, green, and earthy, with umami, soy sauce again, with incredible floral notes, leather, tobacco, tar, and richness, wow! Bravo!! Drink from 2025 until 2033. (tasted January 2021)

2019 Chateau Trianon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
The nose on this wine is even better than the 2018 vintage, tasting them side-by-side, what a lovely wine!! The nose on this wine is crazy fun, rich mineral, smoke, loam, lovely blue and black fruit, rich graphite, iron, and roasted herbs, lovely!!! The mouth of this full-bodied wine is lovely, layered, rich, plush, very elegant, without intense extraction, rich saline, mineral, blackberry, blueberry, saline, lovely roasted herbs, oregano, mint, rosemary, and plushness that is beautiful and elegant, lovely! The finish is lovely, rich, with mouth-draping and drying tannin, plush, scraping and elegant graphite, leather, smoke, dark chocolate, green notes, foliage, and anise galore, lovely!!! Drink from 2026 until 2035. (tasted June 2021)

2018 Marciano Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Score: 93+ (QPR: POOR)
The wine is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon & 18% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is so elegant it is crazy, with sweet oak, tar, graphite, roasted animal, spice, rich black currant, sweet cinnamon, and lovely floral lavender. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is incredible, richly layered, concentrated, extracted, deep fruit focus, crazy balance, with intense mineral, the graphite and saline are far more pronounced in the Marciano than in the Terra Gratia, with pure elegance, plum, dark cherry, smoke, and loads of earth. The finish is long, green, earthy, with sweet tobacco, vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet spices, more floral notes, and tannin that lingers forever. Drink from 2026 until 2034. (tasted April 2021)

2016 Elvi Wines Herenza, Reserva, Rioja – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
This is what I crave in wine – balance, complexity, elegance, and all bottled for a price that makes it a WINNER! The nose on this wine is beautiful, balanced, complex, lighter than 2014, but still bold, rich, and expressive, soy sauce, umami, rich mushroom, loam, spices, blue and red fruit, and sweet anise, lovely! The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is not as bold as the 2014 and it starts a bit ripe, with time the wine opens to show balance, dark blueberry, plum, candied/spiced raspberry, and rich sweet spices give way to a mouth-draping elegance, sweet tannin, plush mouthfeel, and rich loam, clay, and earth, beautiful. The finish is long, balanced, with leather, sweet tobacco, root beer, sweet baking spices, cloves, cinnamon, sweet cedar, dark chocolate, and rich searing acidity that brings this wine altogether. Bravo!! Another smash! Drink from 2024 until 2032. (tasted June 2021)

2018 Les Roches de Yon-Figeac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is heavenly, with notes of clay, graphite, loam, dirt, smoke, and earthy notes of rich forest floor, mushroom, and red and black fruit, WOW! The mouth on this full-bodied wine is lovely, ripe, layered, dense, and extracted, with rich concentration showing blackberry, cassis, blueberry, lovely dirt, scraping graphite, rich mouth-drying tannin, lovely acidity, with rich roasted herb, rosemary, basil, mint, and menthol, lovely! The finish is super long, green, herbal, with leather, graphite, pencil shavings, iron, mushroom, forest floor, and lovely leather, wow! Drink from 2027 until 2035. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)

2019 Chateau Le Crock, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. This is the return of lovely wine, I liked the 2018 vintage some did not, but this is nice indeed. These are the notes for the non-mevushal version of this wine!
The nose on this wine is perfectly balanced, with lovely fruit, loam, dirt, smoke, bright and ripe plum, black and red fruit, with ripe dried strawberry, Darjeeling tea, and rich mineral.
The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, layered, beautifully controlled, with rich smoke, saline, lovely loam, beautiful graphite, scraping pencil shaving, mouth-draping tannin, blackberry, dark plum, strawberry, elegance, and control, that gives way to richer extraction than the Mevushal, with sweet tobacco, and mineral.
The finish is long, green, loam, dirty, rich, and yet elegant, with roasted meat, smoke, draping elegance, incredible richness without the show, really a wine to hold but one that can be enjoyed now. Drink from 2030 until 2039. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)

2016 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Assai, Gran Selezione, Chianti Classico – Score: 93+ (QPR: WINNER)
This vintage of Assai is its best and this wine is 100% Glorious, rich, elegant, focused, balanced, fruity, but tart, refreshing and concentrated – WOW! BRAVO!!! The nose on this wine is pure heaven, it is soy sauce, funk, forest floor, mushroom, fruity, red and black fruit, tar, smoke, violet, very floral, wild herbs, and rich mineral. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is ripe, concentrated, but well-controlled, with ripe plum, dark strawberry, candied raspberry compote, with menthol, licorice, baking spices, all wrapped in dense sweet oak and elegant draping tannins, just incredible! The finish is long, dense, dark, rich, layered, concentrated, yet perfectly balanced, with screaming acidity, rich espresso coffee, mushrooms, almost truffle, forest floor, mineral, charcoal, graphite, and star anise. WOW!!! Drink from 2026 until 2033. BRAVO!!! (tasted January 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 15%)

2016 Four Gates Frere Robaire, Santa Cruz, CA – Score: 93.5 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is ripe, but well balanced and lovely, with notes of blue, black, and red fruit, with smoke, roasted meat, sweet spices, dark plum, and sweet basil/mint. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is rich, layered, unctuous, plush, and complex, coming at you in layers of blackberry, ripe and juicy boysenberry, red plum, intense saline, mineral, graphite, iron, and sweet spices, with a mouth-draping tannin plushness, nice! The finish is long, green, ripe, smoky, earthy, and dirty, with a rich mineral core, graphite floor, tar top, and earth in between, impressive, with milk chocolate and leather on the long finish. Bravo!! Drink from 2029 until 2037. (tasted January 2022) (in San Jose, CA) (ABV = 15%)

Posted on February 27, 2022, in Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. How much air would you give the 19 le Crock if one would open now?

    • I am not a fan of drinking wines this early. Still, if that is your desire, the next question is, will you be drinking it slowly or quickly? Is this for a tasting where you have a few wines and you want to pop and go bottle after bottle or is this a bottle or two for a Shabbat and as such it will lie around longer??

      If this is the pop and go game – I would decant this for an hour and then place the wine back in the bottle and enjoy
      If this is for the Shabbat – I would open the bottle ahead of time (like two hours before Shabbat – and take a small glass of wine to taste), make kiddush on something you know that is ready now – or grape juice, and then enjoy the wine and watch it evolve over the Shabbat.

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