New Kosher Wineries

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

New Kosher Wineries

Postby Matt Walter » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:21 pm

Hello Rogov!

Could you provide your loyal readers and fans with news of existing wineries (Israeli especially) that are introducing kosher wines in the near future? Any accompanying comments about the quality of their products would be great!

I personally am eagerly awaiting Gustavo & Jo (I posted a TNR just a few minutes ago), and am hoping that, one day, (bimhera, b'yameinu!) to read of wineries such as Flam and Margalit producing kosher product.

(Do you know if Gustavo & Jo is going to be marketed in the US?)

Once again, thanks!

Matt
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Ilan T » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:12 pm

I understand that Bravdo will be kosher beginning with 2007. Is that accurate?
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:40 am

Indeed Bravdo is "going kosher" with their wines of the 2007 vintage. Other than that, however, little to report for at the present moment those who were going to make the switchover have already done so, a few small new wineries will be moving in the kashrut direction, but most are maintaining their status.

I can understand that someone who keeps kosher would hope that an increasing number of the better boutique wineries might move in that direction. I can also understand the resistance to this on the part of many of the better winemakers, a large part of whose pleasure comes from the hands-on aspect of making their wines. Because many of those people are not observant, the switchover to kashrut would remove them one step from the winemaking process and their pleasures.

Also worth keeping in mind that many of those wineries that have or will in the future switch over to kashrut do so not out of any religious belief but entirely with an economic motive in mind - that of increasing their potential buying audience. We have discussed this on many occasions in the past but whether doing that in order to reach a largely "Jewish audience" is wise or not waits to be proven. My own prediction for small wineries "going kosher" - increased business at first, an increase in output, and then loss of interest and sales as the market becomes saturated, especially if they approach sales on a "we're kosher basis".

As to Gustavo & Jo shipping to the USA - current output of the winery is about 3,000 bottles annually. I will only know future plans after my visit in late fall/early winter.

Best
Rogov
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Gary J » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:15 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: My own prediction for small wineries "going kosher" - increased business at first, an increase in output, and then loss of interest and sales as the market becomes saturated, especially if they approach sales on a "we're kosher basis".


I'm certain we must have discussed this and I wholeheartedly concur. My sincerest apologies to the kosher consumers, but the kosher market is finite. Going kosher will only be beneficial when the kosher stigma is ridden. There are still too many people who as they put it "are not kosher" and therefore feel as if they should not have to subject themselves to kosher wines.

As to Gustavo & Jo shipping to the USA - current output of the winery is about 3,000 bottles annually. I will only know future plans after my visit in late fall/early winter.


While I understand that there are no immediate plans to go kosher, there may be some new varietals in the horizon for this tiny but fabulous boutique...
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby J Livny » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:55 am

Kosher in the US market are the shelves on the way to the toilet at the back of the store. Israel should be placed under "Wines of Israel" as is the case in Ontario, Canada for instance. As long as we are known for Kashrut only, I predict that our exports will lag. That would be a shame.
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Jeff L » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:15 pm

I have followed the Kosher wine debate for a long time. The wines in the past had the stigma people speak of and many would have been better suited for use as pancake syrup. Those who keep kosher and drink only kosher wines have fueled the growth of the new wine market as is evidenced by the increased prices of good but not great wines. Supply and demand have allowed this to happen. This further skews who will buy these wines as a non-kosher consumer will not pay $75 for wines rated 90 by Parker if they can purchase better wines for a lesser price. A winery changing to kosher can expect a warm reception and if quality dictates, continued prosperity. I do not know of any wine stores in NY importing non-kosher Israeli wine and if they are, the market is very small indeed!
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Ilan T » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:24 pm

Hi Rogov,

In his Wine Spectator article, Kim Marcus mentioned that Agur was in the process of becoming kosher. Do you know any more details on that?

-Ilan
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:52 pm

Indeed true. I'd written about that some time ago. All of the Agur wines will be kosher from the 2007 vintage.

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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Gary J » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:10 pm

In addition to Bravdo & Agur I understand that Odem Mountain was becoming kosher as of the 2007 vintage as well...
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:20 pm

Apologies for not reporting on that and Agur earlier, but both had been discussed on the "old" forum. Yes, Odem Mountain will be going kosher as of the 2007 vintage.

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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Matt Walter » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:07 pm

Rogov,

If possible, could you describe some of the wines produced by the wineries mentioned above that are introducing kosher wines?

Thanks!
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:38 am

Matt, Hi...

Follow are recent tasting or re-tasting notes of wines from Agur, Karmei Yosef (Bravdo) and Odem Mountain. Note that only those crits followed by the notation"K" are kosher, the others from the pre-kosher releases of the wineries. When a winery makes the switchover to kashrut, a wait and see policy is best.

Best
Rogov

Odem Mountain, Alfasi, 2005: An oak-aged blend, this year of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. Medium to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely and unfolding on the palate to show a generous array of currant and berry fruits, those supported by hints of sweet herbs and green olives. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 88–90.

Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2005: Deep garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with generous, soft tannins and spicy wood in good balance with blackberry, currant and cassis fruits. On the moderately long finish, hints of cedar and freshly cut herbs. Drink now–2010. Score 90.

Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Reserve, 2006: Oak-aged for 15 months, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot shows generous but gentle spicy wood in fine balance with soft tannins and acidity. Opens to reveal currant, berry and black cherry fruits on a background of chocolate, sweet spices and tarry notes. Long and generous. Drink now–2011. Score 89.

Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nimrod, 2006: Oak-aged for 10 months, showing gentle layers of spicy wood and vanilla, this medium to full-bodied, garnet-colored wine shows near-sweet tannins integrating nicely and opening to reveal berry, currant and sweet herbs. A light medicinal aroma on pouring blows off quickly. Generous and moderately long. Drink now. Score 88.

Odem Mountain, Merlot, Nimrod, 2006: Dark garnet with purple reflections and full-bodied with firm tannins that need a bit of time to integrate. Opens to show generous red currant, cherry and raspberry fruits, those supported by hints of Mediterannean herbs. Drink now–2011. Score 87.

Odem Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Opens with a bit of bottle-stink, but that blows off quickly to revel a medium to full-bodied, softly tannic wine with generous black currant and purple plum fruits, those matched nicely by hints of mocha and vanilla. Ripe, round and moderately long. Drink now. Score 86.

Karmei Yosef, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bravdo, 2007: Still in embryonic form but already showing firm, deep tannins and spicy wood, those parting to reveal a core of currant, raspberry, toasty oak and licorice notes. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 87–89. K

Karmei Yosef, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bravdo, 2006: Showing more tannic and with a somewhat heavier wood influence than at barrel tastings. Dark royal-purple in color, medium to full-bodied and with overall good balance between still firm tannins and spicy wood that allows the fruits to sow nicely. On the nose and palate currants, wild berries and mint notes, those lingering nicely. Best 2009–2012. Score 90.

Karmei Yosef, Merlot, Bravdo, 2007: Dark garnet towards royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, with soft, near-sweet tannins and showing a generous array of blackberry, blueberry, spicy and earthy aromas and flavors. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 88–90. K

Karmei Yosef, Merlot, Bravdo, 2006: Blended with 15% of Cabernet Sauignon, aged in barriques for 12 months, deep garnet towards royal-purple in color, with once gripping tannins now integrating nicely with spicy wood. Full-bodied, opens to reveal a core of plums, blackberries and blueberries, those on a background of exotic spices and hints of chocolate and mocha that linger nicely on the palate. Drink now–2012. Score 90.

Karmei Yosef, Chardonnay, Bravdo, 2007: Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, developed in oak for only three months to guard the aromas and freshness of the variety, this medium-bodied white shows forward pineapple, citrus and pear fruits, those with good acidity and a light mineral note keeping the wine lively. Lacks complexity but refreshing and easy to drink. Score 87. K

Karmei Yosef, Chardonnay, Bravdo, 2006: Fermented partly on its lees in new French and American oak and partly in stainless steel, this deeply golden white shows a green tint, and is bursting with layers of figs, apples, apricots, melon and light cedary oak. Rich, with mineral flavors that linger nicely on the finish. Drink now. Score 89.

Agur, Special Reserve, 2006: A medium to full-bodied blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, with firm tannins and generously spicy wood integrating nicely to show appealing blackberry, black cherry and sweet herbs on the nose and palate. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 86–88.

Agur, Cabernet Sauvignon, Special Reserve, 2005: Dark royal-purple, medim to full-bodied, with generous spicy oak integrating with chewy tannins and fruits. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with equal parts of Petit Verdot and Merlot, oak-aged for 18 months, the wine is concentrated, showing currant and plum fruits along with hints of cedar, green olives and sage, with the tannins rising on the persistent finish. Drink now–2010. Score 87.

Agur, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006: Dark garnet, full-bodied, with good balance between dusty wood, black currants and blackberries supported by a potpourri of spices and cedar and a hint of minerals on the firm and complex finish. Drink from release–2010. Tentative Score 86–88

Agur, Merlot, 2006: Super-dark purple, with gripping tannins that turn supple from mid-palate and reveal cherry cola, black cherry and plum fruits on a background of mocha and spicy oak. The best yet from Agur. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 88–90.
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Jeff L » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:58 am

Rogov
Do you know who the importers are/will be for the wines that are becoming kosher?
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:13 am

Do you know who the importers are/will be for the wines that are becoming kosher?



Sorry, but not the foggiest idea. I would, however. suspect that keeping an eye out on Royal Wines might not be a bad idea.

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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Josh Patt » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:43 pm

Hi Rogov,

I have seen some bottles from Alexander winery with kosher certification. Do you know anything about this?

Thanks, Josh
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:05 pm

Josh, Hi....

Alexander winery made the switchover to kashrut in 2006. Until then the winery released wines in several series, Alexander the Great, Alexander, Liza, Gaston and Sandro. Whether those series will all hold is not yet known to me. I have tasted only three of the kosher wines from the winery, two of those in barrels and one after release. Those tasting notes follow.

Best
Rogov

Alexander, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander the Great, 2007: Dark, almost impenetrable garnet in color, full-bodied, concentrated and intense. On first attack dried figs and orange peel, those yielding to traditional Cabernet currant and berry notes, all with a sweet chocolate overlay. Drink from release–2012, perhaps longer. Tentative Score 88–90. K

Alexander, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander the Great, 2006: Dark garnet towards royal-purple,full-bodied and with still firm tannins and reflecting its development in barriques for 15 months with generous spicy wood, those in fine balance and needing only time to integrate. On the nose and palate black currant, blackberry and dark chocolate notes, all leading to a long mouth-filling finish. Drink from release–2012. Tentative Score 89–91. K

Alexander, Chardonnay, Liza, 2006: With one-dimensional citrus fruits and far too much acidity, the wine fails to excite. Drink up. Score 79. K
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Re: New Kosher Wineries

Postby David Raccah » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:31 pm

Hello Daniel,

I really loved the two kosher Alexander the Great releases when I got a chance to taste them early this year - I blogged (http://kosherwinemusings.com/2008/01/29 ... der-winery) about the 2007 vintage and the story behind it (quite cool actually). I liked the Lisa a bit more than you did. I remember it to have more fruit and a bit spicy and nice. Not sure if I got a different bottle.

Best wishes
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