Happy Hanukkah and here’s another vastly mis-understood brand to most wine consumers. Usually on the knee-hi shelves of supermarkets and USUALLY: not even with the *real* wine, but over in the *weird* section between the vermouth or marsala and box-wine, maybe below the non-alcoholic wine. But that is the cheap Herzog, and they make a LOT more wines than the $10 stuff, from esteemed places all over California. I think *kosher wine* also gets an instant dismissal from most, as it implies some special treatment or something ‘removed’ from the wine, rendering it odd and unsavory. All kosher wine tastes like Manischewitz, right???
Dark, blackish ruby in the glass, and of medium transparency with a minuscule rim. Nice big black cherry in the nose, solemn and ripe, with mountain air and redwood reasonings. Plump and rosy, a tiny sliver of minty briar evolves from deep inside, stroking the oak polish with aplomb. It’s not a mind-bogglingly complex bouquet, but clean, rich and purposeful.
In the mouth, it presents a classic, un-pretentious and un-edgy version of the variety–definitely skewed toward a BDX style. Green-pepper and soft acid contribute to the richness of raspberry and pomegranate concentration, a clean middle washes the tongue refreshingly, lightening the spirit without lessening the elegance. More classic pepper and even slight rusticity frame the finish, allowing a nice churn of mellow tannin to take a bow.
This is a beautiful, well-made Cab-Franc, refined to pinpoint focus and balanced almost to boredom. It is assuredly NOT a grocery-store Baron Herzog, and is not cheap. And the character of the fruit and absolute seamlessness of it tells me it can go another decade easy in the cellar.
2017 HERZOG WINERY RESERVE ‘Baroque Series’ CF North Coast California 13.5