Psâgot Viognier makes a debut
There are several Kosher wines suitable for serving at Passover, the holidays or for any friendly gathering. And at around $19 a bottle, Psâgot Viognier is an excellent choice.
Although the Psâgot vineyards, located deep in the valley of Moshav Mata on the western slopes of the Gush Etzion in the Judean mountains, produce a limited range of wines, they are nonetheless robust and aromatic. Additionally, the ancient chalk terraces and rocky terroir are capable of cultivating varietals, and, because of the high humidity and low temperatures of the region, the vineyards are rarely irrigated, which enhances their quality.
Founded in 2003, the Psâgot Viognier winery makes use of facilities that date to antiquity, aging it in a special cave containing winemaking tools and appliances that date to at least the time of the Second Temple. The combination of ancient tradition and sophisticated technology adds to the allure and mystique of this boutique winemaker, Yaakov Oryah, who has been dubbed Israel’s white wine expert. Oryah has been the leading winemaker at Psagot since the 2014 vintage and has perfected the craft of creating viognier under the winery. Psâgot produces a Viognier that has experts comparing it to the coveted wines of Condrieu in France’s Rhone Valley.
The Psâgot Viognier wine is well known for its lush, soft character, floral aroma (notes of peach, pears, tangerines, violets), minerality and terpenes (the major components of resin and turpentine). Half the wine is aged in new 500-liter French oak wood barrels, and the remaining half is aged in stainless steel tanks. The aging process is about eight months. (A novice to this wine, I wasn’t sure if what I tasted was oak- or stainless steel-tank-aged, but my guess was that had been aged in oak barrels.)
Consumed young (Viognier wines more than three years old tend to lose the floral aromas), the young Psâgot Viognier, however, is a more complex wine, and it, unlike a buttery Chardonnay, gives a crisp finish and delights the palate. The medium-acidic Psâgot Viognier is light and easy to drink and is compatible with fish, pasta, pork, turkey, lobster, crab, salmon and chicken.
Psâgot Viognier is Kosher for Passover.