Wednesday, August 29, 2007
2002 Noah Tevel Merlot
Tonight my wine was Kosher.
I recently discussed the wines of Israel and then found one of their wines at the Grapevine Travelers in Medford. I bought the 2002 Noah Tevel Merlot ($23) which is imported by Abarbanel Wine Co.
The Noah/Hevron Heights Winery is located in the Judean Hills in Qiryat Arba. All of their wines are Kosher. Noah is considered the first vintner in recorded history. “Tevel” is Hebrew for “Nature” or “The Natural World.” In honor of Noah and the animals in the Ark, Noah Tevel wines feature scenes from the animal kingdom. The Merlot has the picture of a tiger on the label.
The Merlot, as are all Tevel Reds, spent 12 months in oak. All Tevel wines are also Mevushal, O-U certified and carry two additional Israeli certifications.
What does it mean for the wines to be Kosher? Well, the wines have been created for sacramental use for the Sabbath, holidays and special occasions such as weddings and brises. Kosher wine is a process. "These are the world's oldest wine-making laws stipulating production wholly by the rabbis and their assistants to ensure that the only thing in a bottle of kosher wine are the grapes themselves. There are no animal or food additives of any kind. No sugar or fruit juices added. Kosher wines are not "blessed," rather, they are made kosher so that blessings can be offered on them. Special kosher yeasts and enzymes are used for fermentation and when called for, wines undergo heat flash pasteurization to make them "Mevushal." More information can be found here.
So, what did I think of this wine? It has a fruity nose and a dark purple color. It has nice fruit flavors on the front palate, some plum and black cherry. But it does finish a bit bitter and tannic so would be better with food. I did drink it with some fried Pierogies, sauteed in butter, oil and garlic. The bitter finish did smooth out some though it would have probably been better with beef or game. This was an ok wine though nothing special. At its price, I think it was a bit expensive for what you get. So, I would have to call this a Drink but Not Buy.