Wine speak: What Bobal & Rambam have in frequent

2021-07-23 04:38:02

There usually are not many kosher wineries in Europe, although there’s a giant amount of kosher wine produced there. That is typically made by common wineries deciding to additionally produce a kosher cuvee. 

Spain, which has a tiny Jewish neighborhood, doesn’t produce a lot kosher wine, however the wineries that do are fairly good. “Celler de Capcanes” from Monsant and Elvi, a family-owned negociant firm, are good examples. They’re making really high quality wines. Capcanes’ Peraj Ha’abib is famous and Elvi’s Herenza model is excellent worth. Their respective flagships La Flor del Flor de Primavera and Clos Mesorah are excellent wines with deep complexity. Then there may be the worth model Ramon Cardova, produced by Royal Wine Europe, whose wines are very drinkable.

Vina Memorias is the most recent child on the Spanish block. The vineyard represents a fairly retro wine area, a closely planted, however comparatively unknown grape selection and a household new to wine. It’s a mix, or let’s say, “a paella” made up from a smidgen of France, Spain and Judaism, served up on the identical plate. Paella is in fact the long-lasting Spanish dish initially from Valencia and this area is barely 75 km. from Utiel-Requena, the place their vines are located. This area has a protracted historical past, however it’s not that well-known.THE UTIEL-REQUENA wine region is 70km from ValenciaTHE UTIEL-REQUENA wine area is 70km from Valencia
I first got here throughout the wines a 12 months or two in the past when Armando Caracena-Molcho, the international minister so to talk, got here to current them in Israel. I used to be undecided whether or not there was a marketplace for the unknown Bobal grape selection, nor did I imagine there was a necessity for extra kosher wine in Spain. Nonetheless, most of all, I assumed it was prudent to attend and see, because it was a model new vineyard.

Nonetheless, Armando, who in Israel is called Yitzhak, did impress me. He was tall, handsome and assured, however respectful, in addition to passionate, thorough and educated. I assumed then that I want to return to their wines at a later date. Now the time has come, because the wines actually advantage consideration. The timing is true because the world is newly serious about retro wine areas, partly as a insurrection towards globalization. With Cabernet and Merlot seemingly rising all over the place, there’s a new fetish for native, indigenous grape varieties. 
ARMANDO (YITZHAK) CARACENA MOLCHO, who lives in Israel, with the Alenar wines and Cava.ARMANDO (YITZHAK) CARACENA MOLCHO, who lives in Israel, with the Alenar wines and Cava.
ARMANDO IS one in every of three sons of Annie Molcho; every one is a priceless a part of the household initiative, however produce other pursuits unfold over the globe. Armando is the one who got here to Israel, fell in love with an Israeli and obtained married. His mom, Annie, is French, with Tunisian roots, with an emotional connection to Provence. She is a decided matriarch with a dream in her eyes, mixed with an iron will and the drive that was to not be denied.  
ANNIE MOLCO & Enrique Caracena-Murciano: Long-term vineyard owners became hands-on winemakersANNIE MOLCO & Enrique Caracena-Murciano: Lengthy-term winery homeowners turned hands-on winemakers

Armando’s grandmother was the one who owned vineyards. These have been inherited by his father and the grapes have been bought to the native cooperative, the place they have been misplaced in amorphous blends. That they had outdated vine vineyards, however as is the case with outdated vines, there have been more and more low yields every year. Harvesting turned much less and fewer cost-effective and what they regarded as high-quality grapes, weren’t being appreciated or used as such. 

In 2015 they reached a crossroads. Was it value persevering with? Ought to the winery be bought or the vines grubbed up? Alternatively, the vines have been gold mud; outdated perhaps, however brimming with unfulfilled potential. It was a no brainer. They determined, or quite Annie determined, to open a vineyard, and her household supported her wholeheartedly. From being distant homeowners of vineyards, they turned hands-on winemakers.

Vina Memorias was based in 2016. They’ve 18 hectares (180 dunams) of vineyards. The vines are between 600 to 900 meters above sea stage. Most are over 65 years outdated. Additionally they have treasured blocks which can be over 100 years outdated. The gorgeous outdated vines with their thick trunks wave their branches in grotesque, creative shapes, every vine totally different in its personal ritual dance, as if to point out its individuality. The soils are calcareous clay and Mediterranean breezes from the east cool the new vines. Vina Memorias produces 45,000 bottles 12 months. The primary 12 months the wine was made on the cooperative, underneath their directions, and since then they share a vineyard with the native giant producer of Cava in San Antonio.

The distinctive promoting level of this area is the Bobal grape selection. It’s the third largest planted selection in Spain, however is barely identified. The phrase means “bull” as a result of the grape cluster can have a triangular define just like a bull’s head. The wines produced from this selection have superb fruit and a refreshing acidity. Traditionally, they tended to be over-cropped and utilized in bulk wines or cheap blends. Lately pioneers within the area, like Vina Memorias, have illustrated that decrease yields and cautious winemaking can produce wines of excellent high quality, that are all of the extra fascinating to the curious due to the area and grape selection.

The vineyard has a wine named after Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, also referred to as the Rambam. It’s referred to as Memorias del Rambam. Internationally he’s higher referred to as Maimonides. He was a legendary Sephardi rabbi, thinker and physician who commanded worldwide respect that crossed religions and nations. As a physician he advisable wine sparsely for good well being. As a rabbi, he most well-liked that wine for non secular ritual can be a high quality wine that was not mevushal (then boiled, as we speak flash pasteurized) or sweetened with added sugar. As a thinker he extolled the center means and was towards extremism. He was an enormous of his time and one of the excellent students in Jewish historical past and a beacon of Jewish knowledge forever. Seeing issues by way of the wine bubble as I are inclined to do, I regard him as the primary Jewish wine connoisseur.

THE WINE in his title has a beautiful gray label, with an etching of the Rambam in its heart. The Memorias del Rambam Crianza 2016 is comprised of 100% Bobal, from outdated vines which can be a minimal of 65 years outdated. It was aged in small American oak barrels. I discovered the oak fairly dominant and fragrant. It virtually overpowered the fruit, however it’s a well-made wine in a method many will like. 

The Yunikko 2018 (which means distinctive) is one in every of two flagship wines and it was merely scrumptious. The label is embellished with a portray by Gilbert Rigaud of Provence, and it illustrates three figures. These signify the three sons and the selection of painter celebrates the French Provencal roots of Annie Molcho. The wine was fermented and aged in 1,000-liter clay jars, identified in Spanish as tinajas. The wine is softly fragrant and really fruity; it has a satisfying silky mouth-feel and a lovely lengthy and well-balanced end. It was straightforward to drink due to its freshness and texture. It’s a wine I’ll look ahead to tasting once more.THE YUNIKKO, one of their flagship wines, was fermented and aged in tinajasTHE YUNIKKO, one in every of their flagship wines, was fermented and aged in tinajas

The entry-level wines are produced underneath the Alenar label. The phrase “Alenar” signifies that first consumption of breath if you see one thing stunning. The Alenar 745 Purple 2020 is recent, vibrant and fruity with aromas of cherries and strawberries. It was comparatively gentle within the mouth with nice acidity and a refreshing end. summer season wine, or what I name a consuming wine – that’s “consuming” versus “tasting.” The Alenar 745 Rose 2020 has crimson berry aromas and is crisp and flavorful by way of to the end. This can go effectively with Mezze. 

The Alenar 767 White 2020 is comprised of 80% Macabeo and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. It’s aromatic, recent and solely 12% alcohol. The Macabeo is closely planted in Spain and is normally referred to as Viura within the Rioja Area. There is no such thing as a proof that Macabeo is called after the Macabees, however there may be nothing to disprove it both and hey, who am I to spoil story by the reality? Lately Vitkin Vineyard produced the primary wine in Israel from this selection. My favorites of the three wines have been the crimson, adopted by the rose. 

Vina Memorias additionally produces a really acceptable Cava, referred to as Memorias del Rambam Brut Reserva. Their accomplice vineyard is the glowing wine specialist within the area. It’s made by the standard methodology (i.e. the identical methodology as is utilized in Champagne.) I need to say it’s a positive, recent glowing wine with some complexity on the nostril. 

The concept of constructing the wine kosher was insisted on by Annie. A nod to her Jewish roots, feeling a contact of Jewish delight, however on the face of it, it must be stated that it additionally was not a foul advertising and marketing resolution. Common wine lovers are all the time on the lookout for one thing new. Right here, with a area that’s not that acquainted and an introduction to the Bobal and Macabeo grapes, there may be lots right here to entice the curious wine lover. As for the kosher world, I’m totally conscious many readers drink solely kosher wine, but I typically write about non-kosher wines too. So it’s with pleasure that I introduce you to Vinas Memorias, a basic cross-over vineyard that might be of nice curiosity to wine connoisseurs and kosher machers. 

Armando advised me how fantastic it’s “to place your soul and persona into one thing.” The household is a mix of French finesse and Jewish roots on his mom’s aspect, Spanish delight and attachment to the land on their father’s aspect. This has resulted in a love and respect for his or her land and terroir, and their dream to show the fruit of their vines into wine, has come true. 

The author, a wine business insider turned wine author, has superior Israeli wines for 35 years. He’s known as the English voice of Israeli wine. www.adammontefiore.com


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