I recently drank a Kosher wine yet I was unaware that it was Kosher when I purchased it. While browsing through the Lower Falls Wine Co., I checked out their Spanish section. They don't have an area set aside for Kosher wines and this wine was not noted as being Kosher either. It was just one more Spanish wine mixed in with all the others.
I chose to purchase it because it is from a lesser known region of Spain, Utiel-Requena, and contains a lesser known grape, Bobal. I wanted something different and it was one of the wines that fit that desire. Though I looked at the back label, I did not notice its Kosher designation. Though even if I had seen the designation, it would not have affected my decision to buy it. I am pleased though that the wine store did not emphasize that aspect of the wine, treating it just like any other wine.
The 2004 Makor de Elvi ($23) is produced by Elvi Wines, a family-owned company in Spain that only produces Kosher wines from several different D.O.s, including Priorat, Utiel-Requena, Ribera del Jucar, La Rioja, and Cava. This wine came from the Utiel-Requena D.O., which is located to the west in the province of Valencia. I originally thought this wine was made from 100% Bobal, as it is the only grape listed on the label, but I subsequently learned this wine is actually a blend of 50% Bobal, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Tempranillo. It appears to be aged in oak for nine months, though I am unsure of the type of oak, and has an alcohol content of 13%.
Bobal is indigenous to Utiel-Requena and derives its name from the Latin term "bovale" which refers to the shape of a bull’s head. Though it often was used to make bulk wines, there are now efforts to produce high quality bobal wines. I have had a few other wines made with bobal and have enjoyed them, including the 2005 Bodegas Mustiguillo “Mestizajes."
The Makor had a rich, deep purple color with smells of ripe plum and blueberry. On the palate, there was plenty of spice up front which transformed into a fruity taste. Lots of plum, blackberry, and dark cherry flavors. It is a medium-bodied wine and the tannins were restrained. The finish was fairly long, though with a bit of sourness on the end. I had this wine with a roast chicken breast and corn bread stuffing. It actually was a decent pairing as the wine was not overly tannic and the fruit did seem to go well with the spices on the chicken. Check out this wine and see some of the potential of Bobal.