I’ve had the wine before. It is a kosher Cabernet Sauvigon from California. Not Napa Valley, but Alexander Valley fruit. Having tasted previous vintages of it, I was not surprised to hear that it was awarded 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
2005 Herzog Special Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
For those of you who do not know, The Alexander Valley is in Northern Sonoma County just North, Northwest of the more famous Napa Valley. Like Napa it is littered with wineries where they produce great wines. And while the nuances of the wines made in Napa & Sonoma are different, my experience has been that the styles of wine are similar. Big, extracted, fruity, high (but generally balanced) alcohol, etc.
I’ll make a confession here…I like big fruity wines. As a matter of fact my favorite meal is a rare steak & big bad cab. Sure these tooth staining wines will overpower the flavors of most dishes but it goes oh so well with steak and other hearty rich meats, stews & chops.
So the 90 point score was of no surprise to me. A big Alexander Cab got a high score. But then I tried it…
WOW. This wine reminded me immediately of the wines from another California winery; Edmunds St John. Steve Edmunds makes leaner, lower alcohol, terroir driven wines. And his “Rocks & Gravel” GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend is a favorite of mine – when I’m not eating steak 😉
So tasting this lean, earthy, minerally wine was a real treat. A Cali cab that I can enjoy with more than just a steak. At 13.8% alcohol with its nice tight structure, this wine wont overpower some of my other favorite foods like chicken, salmon or pasta. My wife commented on the pretty floral nose while I enjoyed its clean, tart, forest berry flavors.
And to top it off this wine is mevushal (flash pasteurized). But no stewed or cooked fruit. Just real lean & fresh. Beautiful.
So if you are looking for Cali Cab that got a 90 from the critics but isn’t a fruit bomb go check out the Herzog Special Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Happy non-fruit bomb Cab tasting!