5 Medium-Bodied Reds For The Sukkah
Until recently, the trend in kosher wine has been to create red wines that are both exceedingly fruity and full bodied. While there are many occasions where such wines can be delightful, a warm afternoon in a humid sukkah is not one of them. Fortunately, there are now a growing number of quality medium-bodied kosher reds available. In preparation for Sukkot I tasted more than a dozen such reds and have selected five, priced under $40, any of which would make a lovely addition to a meal in your sukkah.
Hayotzer, Lyrica, GSM, Galilee, 2014: Composed of 40 percent grenache, 35 percent syrah and 25 percent mourvèdre, this Rhône-styled, medium-to-full-bodied Israeli red has a lot to offer. Look for flavors and aromas of cherries, blackberries, cassis and oak, with a hint of Ceylon tea leaves. The finish has notes of spicy wood and cherry brandy. Well structured, with subtle, well-integrated tannins, this wine is ready to drink now and for the next three years.
Score B+. (39.95. Available at Skyview Wine and Liquor, 5681 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale,  601-8222)
Jezreel, Adumim, Red Table Wine, Galilee, 2014: This garnet-colored, medium-to-full-bodied cuvée of 60 percent syrah, 25 percent carignan and 15 percent argaman, was aged separately in French oak barrels for 20 months before blending. The woody bouquet is redolent of oak, cassis, blackberries, vanilla and allspice. Look for flavors of cherries, blackberries, cranberries and strawberries, all playing against a rich woody/earthy layer, with notes of allspice and pink peppercorns on the finish. This is a very good example of a uniquely Israeli wine with a true Mediterranean character. Drink until the end of the decade.
Score B+. ($27.95. Available at Columbus Avenue Wine & Spirits, 730 Columbus Ave.; Manhattan,  865-7070)
Domaine de Boissan, Selection Bokobsa, Gigondas, Grande Reserve, 2014: Made in a small appellation in the southern part of the Rhône Valley, this delightful blend of 80 percent grenache and 20 percent syrah has a medium body, garnet color and supple mouthfeel. Look for flavors and aromas of cherries, blueberries, black fruits, graphite, wild herbs, violets, milk chocolate and earth. Drink within the next two years.
Score B+. ($29.99. Available at Best Buy Liquors, 1613 Neptune Ave., Brooklyn,  265-4350)
Louis Blanc, Crozes-Hermitage, 2014: Louis Blanc has long been one of France’s better kosher negociants/winemakers; unfortunately, their wines are not frequently imported into the U.S. However, recently Monsieur Touton has begun importing a handful of Louis Blanc wines, including this very enjoyable Crozes-Hermitage. Garnet colored and medium bodied, this delightful syrah was made from grapes grown in the northern end of the Rhône Valley. Look for flavors and aromas of cherries, blueberries, black pepper and smoke, with a rich earthy element and just a hint of pastrami. Drink now until the end of the decade.
Score B+. ($29. Available Taste Wine Company, 50 Third Ave., Manhattan,  461-1708)
Cantina Giuliano, Chianti, 2015: Produced at one of Europe’s few wholly kosher wineries, which is located in the heart of Tuscany, this very enjoyable Chinati is made of a blend of 70 percent sangiovese, 15 percent ciliegiolo and 15 percent canaiolo. With a ruby color and a medium body, it has flavors and aromas of cherries, black raspberries, chocolate, herbs, cedar and wild flowers, with a bit of a green note and just a touch of spice. Drink within the next two or three years.
Score B+. ($17.95. Available at Skyview Wine and Liquor, 5681 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale,  601-8222)
Wines are scored on an “A”-”F” scale where “A” is excellent, “B” is good, “C” is flawed, “D” is very flawed, and “F” is undrinkable. Prices listed reflect either the price at the retailer mentioned.