Exceptional   Excellent   Very Good


FROM LEFT: Cantina Gabriele Sangiovese 2017, Leuci Lucio Primitivo Rosso 2017, Pratello Pratello Catulliano Lugana 2017, Unorthodox Chenin Blanc 2018, Terra Vega Chardonnay Bin No. 959 2018 (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post)

Passover is April 19-27 this year, so it’s time to look at some kosher wines. As I noted last year, the quality of these wines appears to be getting better. This year’s four recommendations include a textbook chardonnay from Terra Vega winery in Chile, a deal at $10 and the greatest value of the week. I’ll confess I was more excited by the sangiovese from Cantina Gabriele in Italy, a delight for $13. We also have an earthy primitivo from Leuci Lucio in Italy and a delicious, juicy chenin blanc called Unorthodox from South Africa. And it’s also worth noting that because of rabbinical requirements, all kosher wines are vegan.

To finish off the list, check out the Pratello Catulliano Lugana, a lovely Italian white (not labeled as kosher) that is an ideal partner for seafood.

Dave McIntyre

GREAT VALUE
Cantina Gabriele Sangiovese 2017

Lazio, Italy, $13

This sangiovese is downright delicious, juicy with cherry, raspberry and cocoa notes and a silky texture. Mevushal, kosher for Passover. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Barmy Wines & Liquors, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Potomac Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s, Wine Specialist. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Dugans Discount Liquors, Kosher Bite and Wine Loft in Pikesville, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Mom’s Organic Market, Moti’s Market and Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Town Center Market in Riverdale Park, Wine Source in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, the Wine Outlet in Vienna.

Terra Vega Chardonnay Bin No. 959 2018

Valle Central, Chile, $10

A basic chardonnay, with some oak influence, the wine offers a hint of peach and pear flavors and mouth-filling texture. It is fine by itself and versatile with a variety of foods. Mevushal, kosher for Passover. ABV: 12 percent.

Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (P Street). Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton, Village Liquors of Clarksville in Clarksville, Dawson’s Market, Moti’s Market and Rollins Beer-Wine-Deli in Rockville, Downtown Crown Wine and Beer in Gaithersburg, Dugans Discount Liquors, Kosher Bite, Miller’s Delicatessen and Wine Loft in Pikesville, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Quarry Wine & Spirits and Wine Source in Baltimore, Roland’s in Chesapeake Beach, Snider’s Super Foods in Silver Spring, the Wine Harvest in Potomac.

Leuci Lucio Primitivo Rosso 2017

Salento, Italy, $14

Primitivo is the Italian name for a grape now recognized as tribidrag, its original name in the Balkans. In California, it is known as zinfandel. This wine is earthy, with flavors of black tea and olives over dark fruit. Mevushal, kosher for Passover. ABV: 14 percent.

Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine & Spirits, Morris Miller Wine & Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton, Dugans Discount Liquors in Pikesville, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda, Mom’s Organic Market in Rockville, Old Farm Liquors and Riverside Liquors in Frederick, Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at the Wine Outlet (McLean, Vienna).

Unorthodox Chenin Blanc 2018

Coastal Region, South Africa, $15

Chenin blanc is South Africa’s star white wine, and Zandwijk Wines captures the character of the grape in this juicy example with the humorous name. It offers orchard fruit flavors of peach and apricot, with a slightly off-dry finish. Mevushal, kosher for Passover. ABV: 14 percent.

Imported by Victor Wines, distributed by M. Touton Selection: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Eye Street Cellars, Morris Miller Wine & Liquors, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Choice Wine & Beer in Wheaton, Dugans Discount Liquors in Pikesville, Hop N Grape in North Bethesda, Knowles Station Wine & Co. in Kensington, Mom’s Organic Market in Rockville, Old Farm Liquors and Riverside Liquors in Frederick, Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at the Wine Outlet (McLean, Vienna).

Pratello Catulliano Lugana 2017

Lake Garda, Italy, $19

Here’s another lovely white wine that displays Italy’s diversity of grapes. The label says the wine is 100 percent turbiana, and I thought I’d found another obscure grape to cross off my list. Importer Didier Simonin says it’s native to the Lugana region and used to be called trebbiano di Lugana. According to Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, et al., that is a synonym for verdicchio. Whatever it is, this beauty offers aromas of white flowers and flavors of orchard fruit, with a hint of salinity and smoke for added interest. This cries out for seafood. I’ve seen online that it is made from organic grapes, though the label does not say so. ABV: 13 percent.

Imported and distributed by Simon N Cellars: Available in the District at A. Litteri, Cork & Fork, MacArthur Beverages. Available in Virginia at Tastings of Charlottesville in Charlottesville, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview); on the list at Renewal in Charlottesville.

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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