A Kosher Wine not just for the High Holy Days
Psagot winery was founded in 2003 by Yaakov and Naama Berg. By 2013 annual production was up to 200,000 bottles. Vineyards are located on limestone terraces 900 meters above sea level in the settlement of "Psagot" in Binyamin. The winery is located in a beautiful stone structure overlooking the Kelt Wadi and the mountains of Edom surrounding Jerusalem. Psagot Winery ages its wines in an ancient underground cave that was used for wine-making in the Second Temple period.
I'm naturally fascinated by wines sourced from ancient winemaking locations. The wine making traditions of Israel go back millennia. Naturally, our human heritage has been influenced by wine and winemaking, for longer than many assume. I have strong opinions on this subject. Would we be who we are today without wine? Philosophical question aside, it is with pleasure I share my first Kosher wine review on this blog.
"Winemaker Yaakov Oryah has created an approachable wine at open, though, decanting for an hour clarifies this vintage and shows the wine from an admirable perspective."
Color: Deep ruby
Nose: Plum, sour cherry, smoke, cedar, orange peel.
Palate: Cranberry, pie cherry, bright on tongue, with some heat, blackberry and a sour note into medium finish. Enjoyable at open.
30 minutes: Brown sugar, dried cherry, plum, and a whiff of dried orange peel. Lively, fluid, balanced with a touch of heat, flavorful, currant, plum, dried cherries, fine tannin, chocolate and orange with a tingle into medium finish. Fine tannin more obvious on the gums, with some acid tingle, suitable for food and toasting at this point.
One hour: Aromas of Plum and cedar, orange peel, mint and chocolate. Fluid, chocolate, dried cherry, mint, tea, blackberry, focused, pleasantly dry, medium finish, components more integrated, showed very well. Should compliment food and the occasion.
One hour decanted: Savory nose with dark fruit, graphite, plum, whiff of dill, light cedar, dried cherries…enticing. Satisfying mouth-feel, rounded, fine tannin on tongue and cheeks, dried almost earthy cherry, stewed plum, hint of rose water with chocolate and sour orange into the medium, lengthening finish.
Six hours: Cherry licorice, tar, chocolate orange jellies, leather with brightness into the medium plus chocolate cherry finish. My speed, food not required.
Day two: Ripe plum, cherry flesh, juicy, with cola, felt taut across the tongue with light spice and mouth filling flavors, fine tannin, happy medium plus finish. Big like!
Thoughts: Winemaker Yaakov Oryah has created an approachable wine at open, though, decanting for an hour clarifies this vintage and shows the wine from an admirable perspective. Drink now, yes, but please decant if you do, or cellar for another 8 years. Enjoyable wine alone and with food. Suggested pairings include traditional Rosh Hashanah staples such as brisket and the lively acidity of this wine naturally pairs well with tomato based dishes. I'm thinking slow cooked beef stew.
Blend: Merlot 63%, Cabernet Sauvignon 16%, Petit Verdot 11%, Cabernet Franc 10%
Hand harvested in early morning
Closure: natural cork
Sample provided by winery
D.N. Mizrach Binyamin
|Replica coin from the period of the "Great Revolt"|
The Coin on the Label
You likely noticed the coin on the label. It is a replica of a coin from the period of the "Great Revolt" 66-73 CE, which was discovered while excavating the cave which would become Psagot's barrel room. Makes for one of the most striking label designs I have seen.
About Kosher Wine Production
"An observant Jew must initiate, activate, or operate every essential step of the crush, including the fermentation, standardization, and sample taking for quality control. For this reason, the winery must be manned by a sizable crew of qualified Mashgichim throughout the duration of the crush and a smaller crew during standardization operations."Source: The Art of Kosher Wine Making, Rabbi Tzvi Rosen
"In production terms, any movement of the grape juice along the production line, initiated by the non-Jew, qualifies for Hamshacha. If this Hamshacha is done by a non-Jew anywhere along the line, whenever the juice is pressed, sampled, conveyed into the plant, or pumped by hose, the production is disqualified (and is not Kosher.)"
Upcoming High Holy Days
Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year. Learn more
It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of God as king.
Begins sunset of Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Ends nightfall of Friday, September 22, 2017
No work is permitted.The Month of Elul - August 23 - September 20, 2017
Fast of Gedaliah - September 24, 2017
Yom Kippur. Learn more
Begins sunset of Friday, September 29, 2017
Ends nightfall of Saturday, September 30, 2017
No work is permitted.
note: I know I've had Kosher wine before, but I searched and did not find any Kosher wine reviews over the last ten years on this blog. So this post is overdue. I hope you seek out the Psagot 2013 Edom. It was most enjoyable.