Passover is arguably the holiday for wineries to show off their hard work. Asked by tradition to drink at least four cups of wine, many of us will drink a little more during the Seder.
Here is a list of what wineries and wine importers are offering for the holiday. There are, of course, more offers and many deals, but you may find these suggestions helpful.
We present here wines from both the large wineries and some of the many boutique wineries that are popping up around the country. Enjoy!
The 1848 boutique winery launched its five-generation Cabernet Franc 2011, a spicy dark purple and velvety wine produced in small quantities. NIS 89. (Kosher)
Adir 2011, a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, is dark red to purple in color, aromatic and elegant with good acidity. It is a great wine to serve with beef or with cheeses. NIS 120.
The Adir Shiraz 2012 is very dark in color, with flavors of berries and spice. NIS 90.(Kosher)
The Amphorae Rhyton series of impressive wines has a new addition, the Rhyton Red 2011, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.(Kosher)
The Ben-Haim winery launched Senna 2010 for the holiday, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged 16 months in oak barrels. A round pleasant wine, it will pair well with chicken or fish. NIS 85.
The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from 2008 is a very rich, fruity and full-bodied wine that should be served with meat. The wine is sold only at the winery and upscale wine stores. NIS 160 (Kosher)
The Binyamina winery launched a lovely white, the Roussanne 2012. A blend of relatively new grapes in Israel, Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, the wine is wonderful and fresh with citrus and flowery aromas. It goes very well with fish and cold dishes. (Kosher)
Bravdo Coupage 2011 from the Carmei Yosef winery is a wonderful blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from a single vineyard. The Coupage is dry and full-bodied and will develop well up to 10 years in the bottle. NIS 150. (Kosher)
Carmel introduces its premium series Carmel Vineyards. The new series, sold in wine stores and restaurants, includes four whites and four reds, all priced lower than they deserve.
We liked the Sauvignon Blanc (NIS 58), fresh, green flavor and the Gewurztraminer (NIS 65), which has more tropical aromas and good acidity. From the reds, the Carignan Old Vines, from Ein Hatut vineyard (NIS 90), is a medium-bodied, fruity wine that is very pleasant, and the Petite Syrah Old Vines from the Adulam vineyard (NIS 90), a rich and intensive wine to serve with meat. (Kosher)
The Syrah 2009 from the Solo series is a blend of Syrah (90%) and Caberet Sauvignon.
This wine has a dark red-purple color, with elegant flavors of plums and berries, as well as spice and vanilla. The wine is produced according to the slow wine method.
The Dalton winery chose to launch three wines for Passover. The Cabernet Reserve 2011 (NIS 123) will be excellent with your main dish. Two lighter wines are the Zinfandel 2012, which is flavorful and easy to drink (NIS 69), and the Rosé 2013, a semidry blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera, which is aromatic, flowery and balanced. NIS 49. (Kosher)
The Merlot 2011 Emek Ha’Ella, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is a good choice for the Seder meal. Aged in oak barrels, the wine is very dark in color with dark fruit aromas and spices. NIS 99 (Kosher)
For the holiday, the Gvaot winery has launched wines from its premium series – limited edition Massada 2011 and Gofna Cabernet Reserve 2011. The Massada 2011, aged for 22 months in French oakbarrels, is the winery’s flagship wine. It is dark red, full-bodied, with aromas of dark fruit and spices and red fruit flavor. Great with beef dishes.
The Gofna Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 18 months, has dark chocolate and red fruit aromas. The wine is well balanced and goes well with rich meat dishes. (Kosher)
The winery suggests four wines for the four cups: the 2012 Chardonnay (NIS 65); 2011 Cabernet Franc (NIS 110); 2011 Red, the winery’s flagship wine that recently won three gold stars in a wine contest (NIS 110); and 2011 Merlot, a rich and velvety wine (NIS 79). (Kosher)
The first dessert winery in Israel is called Ramat Negev. The boutique winery has launched two new wines. Neveh Midbar Red 2011 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, all grown in the Negev. NIS 89.
The Neveh Midbar White 2013 is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. A fresh and very light-colored wine, it will be great to drink on hot summer days. NIS 69. (Kosher)
Recanati has launched a new series called Galil Elion (Upper Galilee), all priced at NIS 62.
In the series are Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Merlot 2013, Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and Shiraz 2013. (Kosher)
The Tabor winery has launched five new wines in the Adama II premium series.
Tlalim 2012, a Chardonnay with typical golden color and flavors of white fruit and butter, was aged in oak barrels, is typically smooth and rich with full body. NIS 75.
Sufa 2010 is a blend of Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is very impressive, full-bodied and exciting. NIS 95.
Keshet is a well-balanced Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 12 months. NIS 95.
Ra’am is a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich blend that renders flavors of blackberries and flowery aromas. NIS 95 Lehava 2010, a blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot, is a warm, rich and well-balanced wine. NIS 95. (Kosher)
The family-owned Tanya winery in Ofra offers the Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 from the Hillel series. Aged 18 months in smoked French oak barrels, the wine will be sold for Passover at the reduced price of NIS 109 instead of NIS 139. (Kosher)
One of the largest wineries in Israel, Teperberg has launched new premium wines for Passover. The Cabernet Franc Teperberg Reserve 2011 is made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes harvested from a vineyard at the height of the Shomron Mountains. The wine is dark red, intense, full and deep. NIS 120.
The new Petit Verdot Teperberg Reserve 2011 wine is dark red, almost black. The aromas are rich with hints of black fruit, spices, chocolate and pleasant oak. NIS 160.
The Spirit series of the Trio boutique winery in the Upper Galilee has two new wines – The Spirit of Jerusalem 2012 Red (NIS 90) and the Spirit of Jerusalem 2013 White (NIS 70). Both are fruity and wellbalanced blends made from grapes grown in the Jerusalem area. Available at wine stores. (Kosher)
Tulip has added two new wines. The White Franc 2013 is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. A very original wine, it is a semi-dry bronze-colored wine with a gentle natural carbonation, which makes it a good choice as an aperitif. NIS 79. The Mostly Cabernet Franc 2011 is an impressive wine that dark red, full-bodued, round and fruity. NIS 85. (Kosher)
Cabernet Franc 2010, a single vineyard from Meron, is both elegant and quite powerful. It will complement any beef dish or sharp cheeses. NIS 115.
The White Masa Israeli 2013, a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, Colombard and Gewurztraminer, is dry, aromatic and fresh.
The wine is perfect for Asian dishes, as well as fish and cold dishes. NIS 75.
For a more versatile wine, the Vitkin Pinot Noir 2011 can accompany the meal from start to finish. NIS 95. (Kosher)
The following are kosher-for- Passover imported wines.
Casa di Luigi
Casa di Luigi kosher-for- Passover wines from Chile are produced especially for Israel.
Their best-sellers are the Chardonnay (NIS 34) and the Cabernet Sauvignon (NIS 34). Both wines offer good value. Imported by Kerem.
Masi Modello delle Venezie
The Italian Masi wines are known for their quality.
The wines, imported by Franc-Israel, are excellent. The Modello Bianco Delle Venezie IGT is great with starters or as an aperitif. The Rosato delle Venezie IGT 2012 is a light and fruity young wine.
Ramon Cardova Rioja Garnacha
Zur, importer of kosher wines, suggests for the holiday the Ramon Cardova Rioja Garnacha, a dry red wine very typical to the Rioja region.
Another good wine imported by Zur is the Gewurztraminer Vieilles Vignes, made according to traditional methods. Yellow in color, it has notes of violets, rose and pine. Lovely as an aperitif or with dessert.