Like their vinegar, love their wine

Special to WJW

I first noticed De La Rosa Real Foods & Vineyards through their non-wine products — organic olive oils, vinegars and grape juice. I eventually got to taste some of their wines in various settings — on their own, accompanying meals, against competing wines. I was and remain impressed. De La Rosa offers some very lovely, quality kosher wines at attractive prices.

A Jewish company, De La Rosa Real Foods & Vineyards was founded on the principles of “compassion for living things, and for being guardians of the Creator’s handiwork.” All their products “are always non-GMO, always kosher and whenever possible, organic.”

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).

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. The estate has been producing wines for 800 years and certified kosher wines since 1980.

Their wines range from Kiddush style, to dry table wine, to sparkling, to fine dessert wines. Availability of specific wines seems to ebb and flow, but the brand is most definitely worth seeking out. Here is 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, has 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 U.S. 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. L’chaim! n

Send your wine and liquor questions and challenges to lchaimqs@gmail.com.

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