Home > Uncategorized > Baron Herzog Zinfandel, Lodi (California), 2007

Baron Herzog Zinfandel, Lodi (California), 2007

I had promised a review of a California Kosher wine in my previous post so here it is: the Herzog Zinfandel 2007. Lodi, California (pronounced low-dye) is known for its production of Zinfandel, a grape that has a varied and dubious history.

No one is absolutely positive where Zinfandel came from, and as such, there are many stories regarding where the grape came from. For a long time, Zinfandel was thought to come to America via Hungary, when immigrants brought the vine over from Europe. However, recent genetic experiments in Italy suggest that Zinfandel is related to, if not the exact same grape as Primitivo, which is found most prominently in the Puglia region.

Zinfandels are characteristically very high in alcohol and have lots of fruit notes. Also they tend to be pretty tannic (read: eat with fatty meats, particularly beef)

Now, the last two wines I reviewed were very subtly flavored with many layers coming out each time I tasted the wines. The Herzog Zin, on the other hand, is not subtle at all. To give an image, for those of you who have seen Caddy Shack II, the Yarden Syrah and Rothschild Bordeaux were closer to the long-time members of the country club: with an air of refinement. However, the Herzog Zin I would liken more to Jackie Mason’s character: gaudy and flamboyant, but still fun.

Please don’t read anything negative into that description. I’m not trying to put down any of the wines I’ve tasted thus far. At the same time, though, the Herzog Zin comes from a different  place and with a different goal in mind than the other two, as I’ll describe below.

On the nose, I got a lot of blackberry fruit, extremely ripe. Also, the alcohol was very present (again, typical of Zinfandel); I got almost a burning sensation when I was smelling the wine–that’s the alcohol sayin’ “howdy!” And there was a little woody spice at the end..something along the terms of licorice or star anise.

The palate was very similar. The very first thing I tasted was the over ripe blackberries; there was no subtlety at all. Instead of a licorice flavor I got more of a black pepper note.

This wine is very simple and straightforward. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in approachability. For those who are looking for a “big,” full-bodied red, this is a great one to try.

Let’s talk food for a second. This is definitely a burger or chulent wine. Both dishes are fun and enjoyable but not necessarily elegant (if you have an elegant chulent recipe, please let me know!!). The tanins in the wine play well with the fats that would be in the meat or stew while the fruit plays a nice complement to the earthy tones that the dishes have.

This wine goes for about $10-12 in most wine stores

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