De La Rosa
Affordable, Organic, Kosher Wines
Affordable, Organic, Kosher Wines
I first noticed De La Rosa Real Foods & Vineyards through their non-wine products—organic olive oils, vinegars, and grape juice. I have a gaggle of foodie friends who love these products and I eventually got to taste some of their wines in various settings—on their own, accompanying meals, against other competing wines, at a public tasting, and at home as part of my, ahem, rigorous tasting regimen. Despite labels and packaging that still seem a touch underwhelming, and not sufficiently suggestive of the quality and character of the wines in the bottles, I was and remain impressed. De La Rosa offers some very lovely, quality kosher wines at attractive prices.
De La Rosa Real Foods & Vineyards, a Jewish company, was founded on the principles of “compassion for living things, and for being guardians of the Creator’s handiwork.” The name De La Rosa was selected to honor the 18th century Sephardic kabbalist and Torah sage Rabbi Chaim De La Rosa of Salonika. Natural healing was one of his areas of focus. They produce kosher, non-GMO oils, vinegars, tahini, grape juice, and wine.
The De La Rosa line of wines hails from Burgenland, Austria, from a family estate located in the picturesque town of Mönchhof, east of Lake Neusiedl. This family estate has been producing wines there for 800 years, and specifically kosher certified wines since 1980. Their vineyards have also been certified organic since 2007. They produce a wide range of wines, such as sweet Kiddush-style, dry table wine, sparkling, and fine dessert wines. Here are but a handful to consider:
De La Rosa, Chai 18, Organic Welschriesling, 2014 ($20; mevushal): This expressive, refreshing, aromatic, elegant, fruity, medium-dry white is a fine example of Austrian Welschriesling—unrelated to the Riesling grape—with lovely herbal notes, and ripe green apple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors, all lifted by balancing acidity. Versatile and food friendly.
De La Rosa, Sasson, Organic Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 ($22; mevushal): dry, floral, and fruity, with fruit more in the gooseberry and peach spectrum than the tart grapefruit and green pepper style, with just enough acidity to keep it interesting, refreshing, and enjoyable.
De La Rosa, Sasson, Lev, St. Laurent ($20; mevushal): this is lovely, soft, supple, juicy, and aromatic, with notes of black elderberries, blueberries, and even some Bing cherries, all against a backdrop of graphite, with a long, smooth, satisfying finish. This is perhaps the first kosher expression of the St. Laurent grape, an Austrian specialty, to reach the US market.
De La Rosa, Shaarei Orrah, Late Harvest Blaufrankisch, 2014 ($22; mevushal): This Spätlese-style Blaufrankisch, one of Austria’s most famous red grape varietals, has a wonderfully fruity nose of cherries and cranberries, is sweet, easy going, full-bodied, and beautifully balanced on the palate. A real pleasure to sip with dessert, or as dessert.
De La Rosa, Ur Kasdim, Sweet White Sparkling Muscat Ottonel, 2016 ($27; mevushal): This fun, supple, enjoyable, frizzante-style sparkler made from late harvest Muscat Ottonel (part of the Muscat grape family) is flowery and fruity, with distinct muscat characteristics. Makes for a great alternative sweet sparkler.