Home > Israel, mevushal > Teperberg "White" Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc, Israel

Teperberg "White" Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc, Israel

This offering comes from one of my favorite Israeli wineries producing good quality, moderately-priced wines, both mevushal and non-mevushal. Now, while we are on this topic, let’s digress a bit to talk about mevushal issues.

First, let’s address the purpose of having mevushal wine. Historically, going back to the days when all of Israel’s neighbors were making sacrifices and libations to the goat god and whatnot, the pagans would refuse to use boiled wine for their libations because the wine was “inferior” by their definition. So, to ensure that any Israelite wine that could potentially be used for libations at the Temple, they would boil the wine to ensure that no pagan “defilement” would occur.

Fast forward to today, what mevushal means for us is the following: regarding when someone who is not Jewish (some would go as far as to say a Jew who is not shomer Shabbos) handling an open bottle of wine. If the wine is mevushal, then the wine is still kosher even after the person in question has handled the bottle. If the wine is not mevushal then the wine is no longer kosher when the non-Jew/non-Shomer Shabbos Jew handles it.

Now, I hate to say it, but the pagans did get something right. For most of its history, mevushal wine has been an inferior product because it would always have a distinct “cooked” quality, both in the nose and on the palate. However, modern technology has allowed us to make wines that are halachically mevushal, but not “cooked.”

In fact many of the world’s top wineries use the same process to flash pasteurize their wines, including Chateau Latour in Bordeaux and Beaucastel in the Rhone valley of France (on a “bad” year, both of these estates’ wines will sell in the HUNDREDS of dollars. For example a 1997 Latour, horrible year in Bordeaux, sold for around $300 wholesale. Just to give you some perspective). So basically, the quality of wine and mevushal are non-issues, assuming the process is done right.

So today’s example IS a mevushal wine, and a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It retails for around $18 and is delightful. Very aromatic on the nose with some vanilla aromas from the oak aging and floral qualities (surprising, given that neither grape is known for strong floral notes). On the palate, it is smooth and creamy, with some more of the oak coming through and well-balanced acidity to play off the tropical fruit flavors.

This is a wine that I intend to keep around the house on a regular basis. It’s great to have on its own or could do well with a creamy alfredo-style pasta. I was very surprised by this wine, in a pleasant way, and everyone I’ve recommended this wine to has come back to say it was so good. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Categories: Israel, mevushal
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