2014 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Variations “French Oak” North Coast, California

With this second sample from the Herzog Variation series, we review another wine from the Kosher wine experts, Herzog. This wine is so good it should be considered for all celebrations Kosher or otherwise.

The fruit for both the French Oak and American Oak designations of Herzog’s, “Traditions Series” was sourced from Andy Beckstoffer vineyards in the North Coast California AVA. Tasting the same wine aged in different barrels in a home setting with food was quite enlightening.

The biggest observation was the French Oak barrel makes wine prettier and Andy Beckstoffer grows some of the best fruit available anywhere. The high notes of cranberry aromas are highlighted when using French oak barrels. With less vanilla flavor imparted from the barrel into the wine, the brightness of acidity is a little more focused than the wine when aged in American oak. For my palate, the French oak was a bit more desirable for me with this North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon fruit.

Pairings are not quite as broad with this wine versus the American oak aged version. I would not recommend going as big with flavors like smoked meats, however grilled lamb would be better with this version.

Rating: Excellent (92) | $35 | 15.0 % ABV