A New, Mysterious Wine Arrives | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

A New, Mysterious Wine Arrives

A New, Mysterious Wine Arrives

The Chosen Barrel Reserve Cab 2012

An exclusive import doesn’t offer much information about its provenance.

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Not too long ago, a sample arrived of The Chosen Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($35.99). This new wine, an exclusive import from the folks at Kosherwine.com, is a private labeled offering and something of an enigma. Very little information is disclosed about the wine other than that it is an Israeli Cab, made from grapes grown in the Judean Hills region in 2012, is 15.4 percent alcohol, and is not mevushal (OK supervision).

To support the “reserve” on the label, the back label informs us that the wine was aged for a period of 20 months, that the grapes were harvested “manually” and at night, and that the wine is unfiltered. Little else about it is revealed. There is even an uninformative website http://thechosenbarrel.com/ for “The Chosen Barrel” brand.

The other two wines released under “The Chosen Barrel” label are also Israeli, each sourced from a different undisclosed producer.

For wine-geek consumers, such parentless products with a bare-bones presentation are often looked down upon. They want to know who the winemaker was, and ideally what vineyard or vineyards its grapes came from, how many cases were produced, what the residual sugar (brix) at harvest was, as well as the level of acidity and PH.

I am a wine geek, and the marketing didn’t help assuage my suspicions.

For starters, the website boasts the slogan: “Chosen, especially for you.” That alone gets me thinking all negative and suspicious. Then consider this bit: “The Chosen Barrel is an innovation in the U.S. Wine Industry.  We sampled countless barrels from more than 20 Israeli wineries and when we found The Chosen Barrel, we knew we had to have it all.  So we could bring it to you.” This is obviously some definition of the word “innovation” previously unknown to me. These hardly constitute the most galling of intelligence-insulting marketing, but they are very far from appealing, either.

Fortunately, I tasted this wind blind, and that allowed for a more forthright evaluation of what is, as it happens, a very nice wine:

The Chosen Barrel, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 ($35.99): This rich, powerful, well made medium-to-full bodied Cab offers aromas and flavors of ripe plum, blackcurrant, cassis, and black cherry, along with dark chocolate and spice, and with soft tannins and enough balancing acidity to keep it all cohesive and very enjoyable. Nice lengthy finish too. L’Chaim! 

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