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Wine Pick of the Week

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Herzog SR Lake Cty Cab Picmonkey

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon


Herzog Wine Cellars

Lake County

Alcohol: 15%

Suggested retail: $44

“Herzog Wine Cellars is located in Oxnard, which may account for their wines being a bit ‘off the radar’ for many wine consumers. Actually, Oxnard is in Ventura County which is just south of Santa Barbara, a pretty good area for growing grapes. Taste publications first became aware of Herzog some years ago when encountering their Chenin Blancs, which were sourced from grapes from the Clarksburg AVA near Sacramento.

“Today’s pick is also a wine made from Northern California grapes. The fruit for the 2014 Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon came from Lake County, which is just to the north of Napa. Lake County, once known primarily for excellent Sauvignon Blanc, is cultivating quite a reputation for red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. Much of the vineyard development in recent years has been on red volcanic soils at considerably higher elevations than most Napa vineyards. This is a great environment for growing high quality red wine grapes.

“When were a bit apprehensive when we saw an indication of 15% alcohol on the label. So many Cabs at this higher alcohol level have been too big. Many of them may seem lush, but they tend to be overly sweet and maybe even a little ‘hot’ on the finish. We found this week’s pick to be an undeniably big wine, but with none of those unfortunate aspects. To our taste there was a predominant theme of blackberries and dark cherries. This was evident in the nose and reprised later in the taste. The fruit was good and the flavors concentrated, but we found an intriguing spice--and even a little herbal--part of its personality that became more evident as the wine ‘opened up.’ In all, Taste deems this a good Cabernet Sauvignon—perhaps Napa-like in quality—but for less money.

Herzog produces both Kosher and non-Kosher wines. As with wines that are made from organic or biodynamic grapes, our reviews are not affected by such standards chosen by the winery. Our reviews are based on how the wine tastes, regardless of how it was made. However, this week’s wine Pick, the 2014 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Herzog Wine Cellars, is certified Kosher and we know that many of our readers will appreciate that.

Food Affinity: “This is a big, rich wine and deserves powerful flavors to complement it. No doubt it would work with other dishes, too, but after tasting the wine on its own, your reviewer served the balance of it with London broil, grilled to medium-rare. He reports that If it wasn’t the most creative or exotic pairing, it certainly was tasty.


Editor’s note: Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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