By Dave McIntyre
Each year I recommend kosher wines for Passover, and this year's crop is the best so far. They include a delightful Cotes du Rhone and Bordeaux from the excellent 2016 vintage in France, a delicious chardonnay from Chile, a lush Israeli cabernet and a zesty South African sauvignon blanc spiced with a bit of humor. That last wine is the only one in this bunch to catch on to a potential market niche by noting "vegan" on the label. All kosher wines are vegan, as the rules do not allow use of animal-based fining agents to clarify the wine.
La Fille du Boucher Cotes du Rhone 2016
Rhone Valley, France, $18
This lively wine is just what we expect from Cotes du Rhone: bright dark fruit flavors with a hint of wild herbs and mountain air. I'd drink this any day of the year, but preferably the day after it's opened; it gets even better with some air. Kosher for Passover. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.
La Citadelle de Diamant "Marius" Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Galilee, Israel, $29
A stylish splurge, with cabernet sauvignon's rich, velvety texture and black currant flavors, spiced up with white pepper from 20 percent cabernet franc in the blend. Kosher for Passover. ABV: 14 percent.
Alta Delta Chardonnay 2015
Central Valley, Chile, $12
Mouth-filling and soft in texture, this delicious and gulpable chardonnay offers an orchard's worth of fruit. Mevushal, Kosher for Passover "and year round." ABV: 13.5 percent.
La Tour Pavée Bordeaux Supérieur 2016
Bordeaux, France, $16
La Tour Pavée took full advantage of Bordeaux's excellent vintage in 2016. The wine offers black currant flavors and a graphite minerality that wine fiends tend to call "pencil lead" or "pencil shavings." It's a Bordeaux signature and might just take you back to school. Mevushal, Kosher for Passover. ABV: 12.5 percent.
Unorthodox Kosher Sauvignon Blanc 2017
South Africa, $14
This kosher white wine has a sense of humor to match the zip of acidity and guava flavors that make it as refreshing as it is delicious. The same label also has a delicious Cabernet-Shiraz blend. Marked as Mevushal, Kosher for Passover and vegan. ABV: 13.5 percent.