09-18-2006 Capcanes is King for Royal Wines with Peraj Ha'Abib
This boutique wine, has been described as “One of the finest kosher wines I haveever tasted”, by Robert Parker the guru of sophisticated wines. Winemaker Jurgen Wagner narrates how he first became involved with a fertile vineyard in the village of Capacanes in northern Spain. “I came to Barcelona on a year’s winemaking study scholarship and fell for, not just the country, but also a girl who I ended up marrying. It was she who persuaded me to take my winemaking talents and apply them to Spanish grown grapes.” Wagner discovered Capacanes in the elevated but deserted Catalan mountains, a co-op of around 80 catholic farmers who passed on the grapes (and profits) to a large conglomerate who in turn directed the production of a dry red table wine and its worldwide distribution. Several years ago, thanks to a family connection that pressed for a locally made, kosher wine for the Jewish community, Peraj Ha’Abib was created. This Sephardic name means Early Spring Flower (Flor de Primavera in Spanish). For the farmers it heralded a first attempt at fully producing a wine. Today, German-born Mr. Wagner, together with 2 colleagues, oversees the entire wine production at Capcanes.“The difference here,” points out Jurgen, “was that from the outset, this was designated to be a sophisticated kosher wine. It became such a huge success that non-kosher versions followed in its wake. Normally, the reverse is true. Here, the original was quality kosher.”Renowned critic Jose Penin awarded it a 95, rating it the “3rd best wine in Spain.”After importer, Eric Solomon,, confessed he was unfamiliar with the “kosher marketplace”, Royal Wine Corp. was appointed to import this fine product to the USA. Initially, 800 cases arrived, and disappeared in no time. The blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carignan grapes, influenced by the stable Mediterranean climate, aged in French and American oak, would exhibit a royal ruby color with a taste of currants introducing sweetness. The quality of the wine owes its standards to the careful selection of grapes from vines that range up to 100 years old. After conscientious hand picking and leaving the skins on for a lengthy 40 days, it yields more tannins and structure than ordinary wines. Extraordinary would be an apt word to describe this wine.A characteristic of the wines is the absence of fining, sterile membrane filtration and cold stabilization. Neither do they mix gelatin to acidify nor is egg white added. Thus the fullness conserves an elegance, which will maintain over a decade.Jurgen Wagner is delighted with Royal’s participation as part of a winning team.. Vigilant supervision continues from flowering right through to bottling. The extra dimension of kosher preserves the originality and naturalness denying foreign particles, often added to co-mingle.Even though several non-kosher versions are now produced under different labels, Jurgen fondly describes Peraj Ha’Abib as the “Bad Boy of the Company”. He explains: “It was the first, the pioneer and for me the one with the most muscle”. This is a stand-alone wine that is garnering wide interest and considerable praise from critics, dubbing it the "King of Kosher Wines". Peraj Ha’Abib retails in the $45.00 range.
06-27-2006 The US Congress and Competitions facilitate a cross-over for Israeli Wines
The advent of Israeli wines as a serious contender into the general wine market got a significant boost this last week with 2 highlights seemingly unrelated. The first event occurred in an unlikely location - The United States Congress where Jay Buchsbaum, VP of Marketing for Royal Wines premiered a hosting of Kosher/Israeli Wines to Members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Prominent politicians such as former Vice-President contender Sen. Joe Lieberman, Henry Waxman and Deputy Majority Chief Whip Eric Cantor joined with other dignitaries such as Bermuda's Governor in applauding the quality and sophistication of the wines served. And these guys know the difference! Buchsbaum communicated the subtleties required in koshering the wine and explained the remarkable facelift experienced by Israeli wines in the marketplace, thanks to improved techniques, enhanced skills and quality care. Members of the House Committee Wine Caucus readily concurred in toasting the new standards carved by Royal and Herzog wines, domestically and the current portfolio of modern Israeli wines. Honorable mentions went to Carmel, Castel and Barkan. This was a rare occasion where there was unanimous agreement without the bi-partisan divisions usually found in the House. Meanwhile, 5000 miles away in an unrelated event, Israel hosted the 2006 Terravino Completion in Tel Aviv. Our own Jay Buchsbaum was invited to join the panel of judges and was praised by the selection committee on his fine distinctions while choosing the winners.Carmel winery came out the most successful with 13 awards testifying to the sweeping changes made at the winery. Royal shares in their success. Winner of Double Gold in the blind tasting was Sha'al Gewurztraminer Late Harvest, Single Vineyard, Golan Heights 2004 which was also voted not only overall Best Wine of the Contest. but also Best Kosher Wine. Even more gratifying to Carmel was the judges decision to award Best Winery to Carmel. In addition Carmel carried off 5 gold medals and 4 Silver. in the first International Wine Competition ever held in Israel. Wines of Israel are now a force to be reckoned with as they make further inroads into the broader Wine Community.
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NEW ELITE KOSHER WINE MENU AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, BOSTON.
The new generation of fine kosher wines coming into vogue has launched a new tradition at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston. Since 1927 this historic hotel has been the social center for celebrations and special family occasions and now there is something new to toast.
“With the new production of first-rate wines that just happen to be kosher, we wanted to offer the best available to our catering clientele,” says William De Saulnier, area director of catering sales. “Fine wines are an essential part of fine cuisine and a luxury lifestyle and now we have a selection of kosher wines as good as non-kosher bottlings.”
The New Elite Kosher Wine Menu created for the first time complements the kosher and kosher-style menus chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston have created. Alan Richman, wine and restaurant writer for Bon Appétit and GQ and The French Culinary Institute’s first Dean of Food Journalism, recommended many of the kosher wine selections that appear on the new menu.
At a tasting of these wines, held in The Dining Room, Richman remarked, “The best news about kosher wines is that some are corked, some are oaky, some are thin, some are delicious and a few are extraordinary. That makes kosher wines exactly like non-kosher wines, which is a wonderful turn of events. One of my friends, a Jewish scholar, commented to me that the Talmud says that wine makes the spirit happy. That’s a pretty remarkable endorsement---even better than 100 points.”
Some of the selections are Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne (France), Yarden Katzrin Chardonnay, Galilee, 2000 (Israel), Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee, 2001 (Israel), Baron Herzog Syrah, 2002 (California) and Golan Moscato, Galilee, 2004 (Israel). Guests who plan their family celebrations, business entertainments and holiday festivities at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston now can toast with these new discoveries.
William De Saulnier, who initiated the kosher wine menu, has recently returned to Boston from 17 years as the director of catering at The Plaza in New York City. This is a time of renewed energy in the catering department with so many unique settings for special events. The Dining Room, the site of this legendary hotel’s opening gala in 1927, is now exclusively used for private events. The hotel’s very distinctive spaces also include The Wine Cellar, The Roof, The Grand Ballroom and salons with wood-burning fireplaces. The Café and The Bar will be featuring selections from The New Elite Kosher Wine Menu for the public.
Caron LeBrunArea Director of Public RelationsThe Ritz-Carlton, Boston15 Arlington StreetBoston, MA 02116USAPhone: (617) 536-5700Fax: (617) 912-3421
Contact: Martin Davidson Director of PR & Communications Tel: 718.534.0172 E-mail: MDavidson@royalwines.com Royal Wine Corp., a market leader in the import and distribution of fine wines & spirits reports that Goose Bay 2005 vintage of Sauvignon Blanc has been awarded a 90 rating by Wine Spectator. The New Zealand import hails out of the Marlborough region and features just 1200 cases. The review quotes the wine as "Crisp, with herbal nuances to the distinctive tangerine and quince aromas and flavors.finishing with a flourish of fresh spices". According to Nathan Herzog, Royal's Executive VP of Sales & Marketing, "This wine is yet another example of the new generation of kosher wines designed to tempt sophisticated consumers who do not wish to compromise on taste and quality." The enviable high mark meant that Goose Bay headed the choices of New Zealand wines. in the June 15 issue. Goose Bay represents an extraordinary line of New Zealand wines that have been added to the Royal Wine portfolio of imports in the USA . The extended, cool growing season and clay soils absorbed contributed delicious citrus flavors and a crisp body to this wine. Goose bay Sauvignon Blanc is recommended with fish, cheese, and fresh breads.