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October 5, 2015 / 22 Tishri, 5776
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Top Ten Wines For The New Year

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   Rosh Hashanah is all about new beginnings and self-improvement and kosher wineries all over the world are making a commitment to producing great wines at affordable prices. Here are 10 suggestions for a fresh start on kosher wines.


   Baron Herzog Zinfandel, which has wonderful aromas of blackberry and raspberries balanced with vanilla and spice, has just been issued the seal of the Lodi Rules Certified Green Sustainability Program. The Lodi Rules program uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a long-term solution for both the environment and economy. IPM reduces the amount of harmful pesticides introduced into the grapes as well as the environment. When you enjoy the delicious Baron Herzog Zinfandel, you know you are doing the right thing for the environment and for yourself.


   For the first time in almost 10 years, the Herzog family presents the Late Harvest Riesling in a 375ML size. The Riesling has intense, late harvest aromas of dried apricot, pineapple and baked apple, a rich and luscious full mouth feel and sweet forward impression with a very well balanced finish. The flavor of apricot and honey will linger for a long time.


   Pinot Noir is a very elegant wine varietal. While usually dismissed as too soft or light for a red, the complexity of aromas on the palate of Pinot Noir more than makes up for it. The Herzog Reserve Pinot Noir is an exquisite wine, with silky texture and fine-tuned layers of cherry, raspberry, anise and spice flavors.


   The year 2006 in California was an excellent harvest for red wine varietals from the Herzog Winery. One of the best examples is the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which recently was given a phenomenal rating of 92 points by a well-respected wine publication. The Herzog Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine exhibiting berry, cherry and licorice aromas and flavors of mocha and vanilla. This wine is the perfect example of affordable luxury.


   Sparkling wines are superb for toasts and celebrations. Rosh Hashanah is the start of a new year and the Elvi Brut Cava Sparkling Wine is an ideal fit. Cava is a Sparkling Wine made in the French champagne method and, similarly to champagne, can only be called Cava if grown in the specific regions in Spain for cava. The Elvi Adar Brut is bubbly, and dry, with notes of flowers, citrus and strawberries.


   Finding fun, fresh and enjoyable wines that are capable of being paired with food or enjoyed on their own is an arduous task. The Red, Pink, and White by W Wines have just made that task a lot easier. The Red has flavors of grenadine and fresh berries followed by a crisp finish. The White is lively with aromas of grapefruit, elegant floral notes and white peach flavors on the palate. The Pink is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Muscat Canelli. It’s aromatic and refreshing, with hints of wild strawberry and cherry, and a soft, well-balanced finish. The W Wines are also affordable as they are all under $10 so even the most budget conscience consumer will be satisfied.


   New Zealand wines other than Sauvignon Blanc are now moving into the spotlight as top tier high quality wines. Goose Bay Chardonnay is a rich, big wine with tropical fruit flavors of citrus and pineapple as well as green apples, fine oak and a touch of vanilla. Chardonnays are great for Rosh Hashanah because one of the flavor traits for chardonnay is apple.


   The next few wines highlight some of the hot, up and coming new wineries in Israel from the Judean Hills Region. The Judean Hills Region is well known as a winemaking region going as far back to when the Roman Legions supplied their soldier’s rations with wine from the Judean Hills.


   The Shiloh winery, founded in Shiloh in the Shomron Region in Israel, has just the right wine for the New Year. The Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon’s grapes are harvested from a simple vineyard nestled on a small slope in the Judean Hills. The Cabernet grapes are then crushed and barreled for 14 months in new French oak barrels after which most are bottled for the regular Cabernet Sauvignon. The best barrels are selected to be aged an additional two months before bottling and named the Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The Secret Reserve has notes of rich cassis, toasted oak and spice, with a long concentrated finish.


   The Tzuba Estate Winery is located in an area historically recognized as a major wine-producing region since biblical times. The local topography of the Tzuba hillside vineyard has an altitude of 700 meters and a climate that provides ideal conditions for staff to cultivate the vineyards and produce a variety of prize-winning boutique wines. The inaugural 2005 Tzuba Metsuda wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 24 months, and is medium dark in color and full-bodied. It has a complex aroma of spices, mineral soil, licorice, tobacco leaves and coffee beans. This velvety, harmonious, quality wine has abundant tastes of red ripe fruits, chocolate and roasted oak, with a long finish.


   For the tenth wine it’s appropriate the winery’s name is Psagot, which in Hebrew means apex. Psagot wineries flagship wine, Edom, meaning red in Hebrew, is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot. The Edom has rich spicy vanilla notes with berries, black currants and oriental spice flavors.



   Shlomo S. Blashka is wine communications director for Royal Wine Corp.

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