Wines of the Week: Great Wine Doesn't Have to Be Super Expensive
It's a misconception that only very expensive wines are really good wines. While we have some excellent wines that are priced accordingly, some less expensive offerings should certainly not be disregarded.
For example, Bordeaux wines have somewhat of an elitist reputation as wines for rich wine snobs. This is of course a distorted image of the reality, as like with any other wine region, Bordeaux also offers some wines which sport a high QPR (what we in the wine industy call Quality Price Ratio), that offer the drinker fantastic value for money. Let's not forget about Israeli wines either, which have now been leading all categories of the kosher wine market for over a decade. Here are two great newly released wines that I can reccomend, with an excellent QPR:
Tulip White Tulip 2016
Tulip winery has a great story. They make quality wines with the help of adults with special needs, residents of the village in which the winery is located.
Their red wines may be seen as "classic" for Israel, with the typical grape varieties and blends most Israeli wineries like to produce. However, Tulip's white wines happen to be among the most original ones out there.
In this particular case we have a dry wine made with 2 varieties: Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. Gewürztraminer, which is a very popular variety originating from Germany and Alsace (which is France now but also used to be part of Germany), usually produces some of the world's most delicious and refreshing off dry and dessert wines. There are also dry versions, but they're way harder to come by. This dry blend is 40% Gewurz and 60% SB. For anyone who is familiar with Gewürztraminer, it is obvious that here it overpowers the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has aromas and flavors of litchi, apricots and dried rose petals, with the SB contributing some notes of citrus fruits and balancing acidity. A charming wine to sip throughout the summer, with or without food.
This is a wine that will please the sophisticated and amateur palates alike.
Château Trijet Bordeaux 2015
Royal Wine Europe is a subsidiary of the American-based Royal Wine Company, producing kosher runs of a large variety of wines in France and Spain. Menahem Israelievitch, after close to 20 years assisting and working with his predecessor Pierre Miodownick, successfully leads that team as the head winemaker, cooperating with the winemakers of world-famous estates. Menahem has impressed me repeatedly with his kosher runs of Château Giscours, Malartic-Lagravière or with the Drappier Champagnes and the new Ramon Cardova Rosado, to name only a few.
This inexpensive, non-mevushal wine is yet another winner. Sure, 2015 was a great vintage in Bordeaux, but it does take talent, experience and knowledge to produce good wine, even when you already have great grapes. Speaking of which, Château Trijet is made with grapes that are organically grown, according to the European standards, which means that little to no pesticides are used on the vines.
A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, medium-bodied, with a silky mouth-feel as well as notes of raspberries, black cherries, lavender and tobacco. It is very pleasant to drink now with meat or poultry dishes either cold or warm and will likely develop some of those lovely notes of wet earth and barnyard funk as it develops in the bottle over the next few years.
There are very few quality kosher Bordeaux wines retailing around $10 so you better grab this one!
Photography by Tzvi Cohen.