This past weekend I was really excited to go through all the kosher Petite Sirah (PS) wines that I have. Before you ask, Petite Sirah is NOT a Syrah or Shiraz grape in any way. I hope that was informative – LOL!! You see, PS is NOT a Syrah grape with a stupid name. Rather , it is a hybrid of Syrah and an obscure grape called: Peloursin. It has some similarities to Syrah and to many it is considered more Syrah than Rhone, but it is not a Syrah grape. Dr. Carole Meredith and her colleagues at UC Davis, in 1998, ran DNA tests on thousands of grape vines throughout California and came out that PS and Durif are one the same.
But first off, I have already given away the punch line, here is the story. In the last 10 or so years petite syrah has veered from its path of being a great blending grape, to one that is a very popular and successful single varietal.
Petite Sirah has more in common with syrah and shiraz grapes then just phonics. They share viticulture roots that we will unearth as we unfold the legend of the syrah and petit sirah grapes. Our journey starts in Shiraz – a large city in the southwest of Iran. Known as the Garden City of Iran, as it flows with fruits and grapes, Shiraz was thought to be the birthplace of the shiraz/syrah grape. Winters are mild here, and its summers are moderate – which makes for an ideal climate for grapes. Legend has it that a Frenchman named Gaspard de Sterimberg took grapes he found here while crusading through Iran in the 13th century. Upon his return to southeastern France, he
planted his sapling on a rolling hill near the Rhône River. He established a sanctuary on the hill and settled down in hermit-like seclusion – from where we get the Hermitage AOC (Appellation d’origine controlee) today. This is how syrah was supposed to have become dominant in this region.
There are many different syrah wines in the Rhone Valley, but each is named for its specific place and not the grape. The wines of the Hermitage region (mineral and tannic in nature) have different styles and characteristics then syrah wines from the Cote-Rotie region (fruity and perfumed in nature). Since the 1800’s Hermitage has been one of the most famous Syrah wines in the world, though recently, syrah from Australia, California and Washington state have gained worldwide fame.
Unfortunately, the Shiraz legend is just that – all myth and no fact. In 1998, research at the French National Agronomy Archives in Montpellier and the University of California at Davis (UCD) cut through the romantic marketing and discovered the real source for the shiraz/syrah grape.
Carole Meredith from UCD and Jean-Micel Boursiquot of France tested syrah grapes. They found that syrah grapes were, in fact, indigenous to France and not a transplant from Iran. Our story of syrah ends here, but the story of petit sirah is just beginning. In the 1880’s, Dr. François Durif promoted a cross of syrah and peloursin to combat syrah’s biggest issue – powdery mildew. Dr. Durif named this grape Durif eponymously. Then In the 1890’s phylloxera decimated the syrah crops within California. When replanting started in the
late 1890’s, much of the new acreage was of this Durif. The first importer started calling the Durif grapes ‘petite sirah’, for no particular (or known) reason. It was planted because of its dark color, fragrance, and abundant yields. It became the main blending grape for the top red wines in the state. It was not until the very same Professor Carole Meredith’s study, published in 1998, that it was conclusively established that about 90 percent of the old vines known as Petite Sirah in California are actually Durif and not Syrah, Shiraz, or Sirah. Read the rest of this entry
These past two weeks have been what the Jews call the 9 days that are rather famous for the infamous events that have occurred in this specific span of time. Thankfully, once they were passed Herzog Cellars and Royal Wines put on an encore event of the IFWF (International Food and Wine Festival), this time in the Herzog Winery itself, to celebrate the winery’s 25th year in the industry! What an event and celebration it was! It brought back memories of the old IFWF events that were held in Oxnard, since the inaugural IFWF event in 2008.
Sure there were some 200 or so in attendance, but with the fully expanded setup, including an enclosure in the back that housed the French wine table, dessert table, and room to hunker down, it felt spacious and very comfortable.
In many ways, this event felt like an almost exact replay of the first International Food and Wine Festival. The crowd size was perfect, there was room for you to hunker down and taste wines and there was room for you to huddle up and talk with friends or people of like or dislike opinions.
Besides the layout and crowds, the food was absolutely fantastic, just like in previous events here. Once again, Todd Aarons and Gabe Garcia created wondrous delights that were so wrong in all the right ways! Of course, I came to the food area too late to partake of all of the goodies, but I still got to taste many fantastic culinary treats, including the absolutely stunning puffed chicken nuggets topped with incredibly tasty barbecue sauce.
Unfortunately, I came a bit late to this event because of what I came to call parking lot A and B (405 and 101 respectively). Whenever, I watch the Dodgers or the Angels, I can now understand why the crowds are so empty for the first three innings, because everyone is parked on one or more highways! My guess to why they all leave by the 7th inning is that after the folks get so aggravated waiting in the traffic, they get tired and want to go home. Quite clearly getting to and from any event in LA adds a few hours to the overall time and that is aggravating and tiring. However, like I, once the guests arrived they had to almost physically throw us out. The place did start to peter out in the last hour, but the place was still humming and drinking until the last second. Read the rest of this entry
If any of you were at the 2012 IFWF in Feburary you all know it was a total blast, but also not as intimate as the previous incarnations, being in LA’s Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City. Well, I am happy to say that it’s back! Yes, Herzog Wine Cellars is once again hosting a small and intimate affair with all the Tierra Sur Restaurant food that you could dream of and wine to boot!
Save the date! The event will take place at the Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, CA on Thursday, August 2, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
This International Food and Wine Festival is a private affair for you the customer! You will be able to sample wines from France, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Israel, Argentina, California, and more, along with all that great food!
As an added bonus, I was able to procure a 15% coupon for all the attendees. Use the coupon code: WINEMUSINGS or just click on this link. Buy the tickets and mark your calendar – I am sure it will be a lovely soirée filled with food and wine in an all so familiar, comfortable and intimate setting.
I am sure you are as excited as I am, so here is the information, I was able to get from the winery…
We are bringing the International Food & Wine back to Oxnard for an intimate, one day engagement August 2nd at Herzog Wine Cellars. Tickets are limited, as we would like this event to focus on enjoying incredible wines from across the globe together with our close fans. In addition to an amazing lineup of wines from France, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Israel, Argentina and more – our guest will experience inspired cuisine from Tierra Sur. This event will have all of the rare selections, unbelievable flavor and decadence as our Los Angeles event, only in a much more intimate and exclusive setting.
This past weekend we had friends and family around the table to enjoy some great food and some pretty good wines. This week there was no wine theme, actually to be more precise, the theme was that there was no theme. The theme was Drink up or let die. I say this as I have far too much history and track record in this area, and it has been my sworn duty going forward that I would embrace and channel the work of Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher and attempt to always open that bottle in its time. To meet this need I attempt to create wine themes when there is no pressing wine to get to, otherwise, I drink the wines that are up next.
I use drink by dates of the late Daniel Rogov, Cellar Tracker, and of course, my own personal notes. This week it was time to get to some bottles that I have been worried about. I got to a couple of them, but missed out on the 2005 Ella Valley Pinot Noir, which we last tasted on some 3 years ago. We did get to enjoy some wine that we have not tasted in a couple of years, the 2001 Yarden Merlot, Ortal Vineyard, one of the finest Merlot that Yarden has ever produced, along with the 2006 Recanati Cabernet Franc, both of which have a year or maybe more left on them. Both are drinking lovely now, but if you too wish to live the motto “no good wine will be left to die“, drink it now and you will not be sorry.
I often laugh when people ask me when they should drink a particular bottle. In the kosher wine world more and more wines are being created that are built for cellaring. All that means is that the bottle you buy is not quite ready to drink, and the wine maker and winery have decided to diversify their risk and have you cellar the wine rather than them. For the most part, most wine (kosher or not) is made to be drunk within the year or two. There are reserve wines that are built to age a few years maybe 4 years at most. Then there are the a fore mentioned high-end wines that are truly not enjoyable at all from release, and need time to come into their own/peak.
The Recanati Cabernet Franc is at its true peak and can be left for another year or so, but why? Unless you have more pressing wine to enjoy – drink it now! There is only one sure thing, other than taxes, and that is – that the wine will eventually die. Why not enjoy it now. There is rarely a perfect time to drink a wine. There is just the acceptable and peak time to enjoy the wine and the rest is what you make of it! Read the rest of this entry
As stated in the previous posting on this lovely event, there were many wines to taste and there was no way I could post all the wine notes in a single posting. Here is my follow-up posting on the wines tasted at the event, including the wines that I loved and did not love.
The wine notes are listed in the order that I tasted them:
2010 Domaine Netofa – White – Score: B++
The nose on this light gold colored wine shows clean and lovely nose of green apple, peach, grapefruit, kiwi, light quince, and rich/nice loamy dirt and mineral. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich and balanced with nice minerality, along with nice bright fruit that mingles well in the mouth. The finish is long and spicy with nice quince, tart green apple, grapefruit, and green tea.
2010 Binyamina Chardonnay, Reserve, Unoaked – Score: B
This wine did not show nearly as well as its 2009 sibling, the wine was flat without much to grab your attention. The nose on this straw colored wine has apple, lemon, nice mineral, bright acid, and melon. The mouth is somewhat plush and the finish has citrus to round out the wine.
2010 Binyamina Chardonnay, Reserve – Score: B+
This wine did not show nearly as well as its 2009 sibling, though not as bad as its unoaked twin. The nose on this dark straw colored wine has light oak, brioche, lemon, nice spice, light creme, and honey. The mouth is round with spice, summer fruit, and oak influence.
2011 Tulip White Tulip – Score: B++
This wine is a blend of 70% Gewurztraminer and 30% Sauvignon Blanc with the sweet and floral notes of the Gewurztraminer showing nicely with honey and guava, while the green apple and bright lemon notes from the Sauvignon Blanc blend together in a unique manner. The nose on this straw colored wine hits you with mineral, light honey, bright lemon, green apple, and guava. The mouth is nice and honeyed with light petrol, and citrus. The finish is long with both sweet lemon creme and bright lemon at the same time, along with fig, and tart notes. This is a great wine that would go well with fish or sushi.
This past week I was under a big top enjoying kosher wines from around the world and Chef Aaron Todd’s sumptuous splendors were available for all to enjoy. The event was the 2012 Herzog International Food and Wine Festival (IFWF) that was being held at the stately Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City. Last year’s event was held at the state-of-the-art Herzog Winery, in Oxnard CA. The intimate lighting and setting was lovely last year, but the combination of the Royal’s larger wine portfolio, the wonderful food, and the growing crowds made it feel like the event was getting too big for its britches. So, with much dismay we waited to hear where the event was going to move to. When the word came out that the event was going to be held at the legendary Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City – the event became the must attend hot ticket event for everyone who enjoys food and wine in the LA area – which is about all Los Angelenos.
Now before anyone thinks the event was held in the stately Los Angeles Ballroom – it was not. Actually, it was held in the lovely Plaza Pavilion, whose name does not even begin to give the unique 9,000+ square foot space its due. The event was moved from the somewhat cramped, yet intimate, setting of the winery to a beautiful tent that is a permanent fixture in the hotel and the social calendar of many a LA party hopper. Actually it is with good reason, if I may say so, as the room is a long rectangle with sufficient yet dim-able lighting and enough space to host the many food and wine stands that the 500 or so attendees partook of. Never during the evening did I feel cramped or claustrophobic like I did last year. Further, while the smell of charring wood and meat is a huge turn-on (for me), it totally messes with my olfactory abilities, which when attending a wine tasting (not drinking) event – really bites! There were copious examples of carnivore delights, which were all prepared on site, but the smells did not permeate the walls of the pavilion. The larger space allowed for more vertical sitting spaces with round tables, in case you were not heads down like I was tasting wines. Also, the ability to stroll out of the pavilion and sit in the reception area, a few feet away, made for a far more roomy feeling event. Finally, the pavilion’s lovely champagne, antique gold and chocolate-brown colors, along with the chandeliers and wall-to-wall carpeting made for an evening of sheer elegance and grandeur. Just an aside, while the surroundings were indeed attention grabbing, the guests who attended the event were equally well draped. Some came with tails and a top hat, others dressed to kill in evening ware gowns and suits. I of course, jeans and long sleeve shirt, however, the majority of the crowd were clearly channeling the elegance of the evening.
The confluence of events that just happened to fall on Wednesday, February 15th, made it feel like the odds were stacked against a successful foray out of Herzog’s home base. First it rained – I mean pouring rain! If any of you saw L.A. Story, I hope you can appreciate how rare that is – even in the so-called winter! Further, POTUS decided to do not one, but TWO drive-bys, bringing traffic to a standstill while people craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the most powerful man in the free world. Still, blessedly, nor rain nor sleet nor traffic (the latter a very common malady that Los Angelenos are used to) can keep good citizens of LA from enjoying some seriously good wine and food. The event to me was a major success for many reasons, but the main reason was the fact that sure the event was attended by Jews interested in seeing what wines to buy for the upcoming Purim and Passover. However, there was a large contingency of party goers who attended the evening festivities to enjoy good food and wine – irreverent to their religious and dietary beliefs (which trust me in LA is saying a LOT)! The opportunity to show the L.A. glitterati that the word kosher does not relegate one to an automatic 15 minute timeout, is serious step forward for the kosher industry. Read the rest of this entry
Well 2011 has come and gone and I am finally getting the chance to write up the 2011 International Food and Wine Festival (IFWF) that was held at the Herzog winery in Oxnard. In some ways it was the best ever and in some ways it was not. To start, 2011 was the fourth incarnation of this event and each time it has been well worth the trip. This past year’s event, in many ways, was the best. The food, as usual, was fantastic! The food is catered by Chef Todd Aarons, the head chef of the Tierra Sur, the world-class restaurant that is in the Herzog Winery. As usual, the food that Mr. Aarons and his staff prepare the event is bite size or a bit larger format, food that easily fits on a small plate. Essentially, think of them as normal or slightly large tapas, depending upon the food in question. As usual, the tapas were just divine, and as usual I always get the scarps. I say that because, I want to finish tasting the wines before I eat the awesome food, which would seriously inhibit my ability to write coherent wine notes. Of course, there is never a lack of good wines to taste, so essentially, I always eat whatever is left over as they are winding up the food and wine service. It is a mad rush to get some pictures and eat some food – truly sad, and totally my fault!
This past year’s event was even larger than its predecessors. As usual, the Herzog winery was fully decked out and expanded in the back by adding on a few heated tents. Normally, the French and Israeli wines were poured from the back room and the tent, behind the back room, which itself abuts to the parking lot behind it. This past year, they expanded further by pouring only Israeli wines from the entire back areas, moving Capcanes to the Spanish and Italian section, and moving all the French wines to its own room – the Herzog Situation or Conference room, which is off to the right from the entrance, essentially on the other side of the building. Some may look at that and say they relegated the French wines to the “basement”, but the way I see it, Royal has SO MANY wines to show off from its portfolio, and only so much room in the winery that they chose the best holistic group they could that would not look too small or take up too much room, in the conference room, and that fell to the French wines.
This was the first of the, not so good points, and that was the lack of communication around this change of venue for the French wines! I totally understand the complexity of it, and there was signage. However, given the drastic change that was in affect, a bit more information for some would have been good. I found myself telling many people about the new location for French wines, that they thought were AWOL for 2011. That said, I think this will not be an issue in 2012, as the event will be moving from Oxnard and the Herzog Winery to LA at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Century Plaza!
Of course, with all the room taken up by wines and wonderful food, there still needs to be place for the humans and this was issue number two, which again will be fixed in 2012. That being, there was very little room to move about as the evening moved on. I found myself having to find a corner to just write notes, let alone not to feel claustrophobic, which is a problem I do not normally exhibit. That said, I hope that the new venue will allow the event to stretch its wings and soar to higher heights with more space and more opportunities to showcase its wonderful food and wines.
I truly believe that 2011, was the first year where the wines totally out shone the food, excepting for 2008, when the French wines were truly off the hizzy. This is not in anyway a slight to Aaron’s food, rather it is a compliment to Royal wine portfolio, that has now reached world class, and something I am sure they are extremely proud of. I do not need to repeat the story of Herzog, which can be found in the middle of last year’s post, as that would be just repeating myself. I just hope you read this and it grabs you enough to buy some tickets that are going really fast for the 2012 version of the International Food and Wine Festival which will be happening in LA this year – enjoy the notes. I need to add my personal thank you to the entire Royal and Herzog staff for putting together such a great show, and much luck on your new 2012 event!
The wine notes follow below, in the order they were tasted:
2007 Domaine l’OrDeLine Chateauneuf du Pape – Score: B+ to A-
Would love to know how Herzog pulled this one off, and who is the negotiant for this wine. I found a lovely write-up about the winery and the name, anyway, on to the note.
The nose on this light gold colored wine is hopping with kiwi, grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, mineral, apple, and white peach. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is rich with white fruit, tropical fruit, and mineral. The mid palate is round and balanced, with nice spice and mineral. The finish is long with clean yet round flavors of of fruit, spice, mineral, and bramble. The wine is so classic in its minerality and clean lines yet ripe and luscious. Read the rest of this entry
Once again Herzog is putting on its massive food and wine festival on February 15th, 2012 (MAN I still cannot get used to that number) starting at 6PM. The festival is a great place to get to taste some of those wines that are either beyond your price budget, or hard to find wines, or ones that you pass by on the shelves because you just have no idea how good they are. They will be pouring more than 100 bottles of wines, so be sure to get there early, before the crowds show up. There will be a few new faces this year, with a couple of new wine makers showing up, and a few surprises (think new kosher wineries), from what I hear. Of course, there is also the food TO DIE for, from Mr. Aarons and his staff of insanely competent chefs! So please be sure to BUY your tickets here (coupon code below). The wineries pouring will include; Flam Winery (newly Kosher), Tulip (also newly kosher), many wonderful French brands, Goosebay, Teal Lake, Harkham, Barkan, Segal, Shiloh, Gamla, Carmel, Psagot, Domaine Netofa, Domaine du Castel, Binyamina, Morad, Capcanes, Ramon Cardova, Elvi Wines, Casa de Corca, Porto Cordovero, Alfasi, Yatir, Fleches de los Andes, Rashi, Bartenura, Weinstock and Herzog Wine Cellars… OVER 130 WINES WILL BE POURED!
Tickets are going fast so grab one or more while you can. Like last year they will be pouring wine and spirits – from around the world. Last year they poured cognac and scotch, and the display/table was “well attended”.
Please note the change of scenery! The event this year will be in Los Angeles BABY!!! That is right you heard me correctly! You do not need to drive 50 minutes to and from your home; rather you can drink and eat to your heart’s content, and then crash at one of the many rooms in the lovely Hyatt Regency Century Plaza! Herzog is working out a deal with the Hyatt and will hopefully have great deals for staying there on the website soon.
The last four years that we have enjoyed attending this event it has been getting a bit more crowded each year. This year with all the room that the Hyatt has to offer, the hope is that there will be more than enough room to roam and taste the aromas of the world and the flavors of Todd Aaron’s world renowned Tierra Sur Restaurant. Please DO NOT worry, just because the event is at the Hyatt does NOT mean the Hyatt will be doing the catering, rather ALL food preparation will be handled by the incomparable staff of Tierra Sur Restaurant. The food will be prepared on the premises, just as if it was still in Oxnard!
Yes, Yes I left the best for last. Herzog is giving out a coupon out for 10% off the ticket price – use the coupon (on the page after you add the tickets to the cart) KOSHER.
Every year we go and every year we are so excited because it gives us a chance to taste the wines and to see what to buy for the upcoming holidays. So grab you mouse and start clicking and we look forward to seeing you all the 2012 Herzog International Food & Wine Festival.
This is a copy of the blog posting from Herzog’s web site:
Join Herzog Wine Cellars in celebrating fine wines and cuisine at the 2012 International Food & Wine Festival. Year after year, this massive event has highlighted choice wines and spirits brought in from around the globe. This year’s festival is coming to Los Angeles, CA for the first time, and is the perfect place to taste amazing, rare and hard to find wines and spirits. More than 100 labels will be poured from Royal Wine Corp’s diverse international portfolio, all in the sophisticated setting of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
This past week my wife and I went to dinner at the famous Tierra Sur Restaurant, which is located inside the Herzog Cellars Winery. The restaurant is run by the head chef Todd Aarons and is always a culinary treat. We have enjoyed his handiwork before when a few times at the Herzog International Food & Wine Festival held every year at the winery, around February. This year the event will be held in the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets for the upcoming event on February 15th, at 6 PM, can be purchased at the Herzog Wine Cellars web page here.
As we entered the winery we were greeted by the nice lady at the front desk, as we made our way to the restaurant we passed the Herzog Tasting Bar.
Traffic getting to the winery was so crazy busy that we barely made our appointed time. We entered the lovely restaurant and were seated immediately, and were given the current menu. The menu changes often, as the restaurant is proud of its local sourcing and its rich and bountiful flavors. According to the website: Tierra Sur continually strives to bring the best produce and ingredients to its customers by buying from local, small family farms. We are proud to participate in the Growers Collaborative Program under Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). CAFF is a statewide non-profit organization that works to build a movement of rural and urban people to foster family-scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economies and promotes social justice.
Given the complexity of building a menu around what is available locally, even in California, Tomatoes are pretty much over now, as are zucchini, and fresh bell peppers. So the menu is filled with fresh winter salads, chard, and beets, all lovely tasting winter California bounty, with tomatoes and other Summer Solstice vegetables used as adornments. For starters we chose the Chorizo lamb sausage and black olive piadina flat bread with watercress, cherry tomato salad and zahtar dressing. The small pie was lovingly adorned by rich and spicy lamb sausage, along with black olives and a couple of tomatoes on top. For entrees, my wife chose the braised brisket and I chose the duck. After makes our choices, we made our way to the tasting bar and we sampled four of the red wines that were available.
I started with the 2008 Baron Herzog Zinfandel, which is a fine enough wine, but one that does not stand me up on my ear and make me take notice. For 10 bucks or so a bottle, at most local shops, it is the best of the baseline Baron Herzog wines. We than had a taste of the 2009 Herzog GPS (Grenache Petite Sirah) blend. According to the back label Joe Hurliman, the head winemaker at Herzog, has been wanting to make a wine from the Grenache grape and personally, he has made a wonderful wine that emotes whimsical and light white chocolate, flowers, and rich fruit. We followed that with a testing of the 2010 Weinstock Alicante Bouschet. Do not worry, I never heard of this one either before my friend told me about it when he received it in his Herzog Wine Club delivery. For some quick history and viticulture the Alicante Bouschet, it is an intensely red grape with a somewhat dark and infamous past. It was the number one grape used during the prohibition, and widely planted in California during the prohibition, because its color and thick skin allowed for the long trip to the east coast and to be diluted without discoloring the wine too greatly! The grape makes for intensely dark wines, with somewhat high alcohol, and average quality wine.
On October 20th of this year (2011), for Shemini Atzeret lunch, we crashed at our friend’s party, as we did not put up a sukkah, and one needs to eat in a sukkah (without a blessing) on Shemini Atzeret. Anyway, the meal was truly fantastic, but Benyo (from Four Gates Winery), my wife and I, were invited to taste a vertical tasting of Herzog Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve. We have had many vertical tastings in the past, but this one was driven by our friend’s access to the wines. You see the Herzog Winery Wine Club, sent him an email asking if he wants to taste a 4 bottle vertical of Napa Valley Cabernet! Our friend bought the vertical and shared it with us all, and it was a true treat. These folks are our friends, so it is always fun to enjoy a meal with them and their lovely family.
The meal started off (Kiddush) with a bottle of 2004 Herzog Napa Valley Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was killer, the nose was awesome and the mouth was smooth with lovely rich flavors. This was followed by some lovely fish and a bunch of lovely dips. We all enjoyed a glass of the wine, and then the bottle was moved to the side, to follow it through the meal. This was a really good tactical approach to a vertical wine tasting. The correct approach to a vertical wine tasting is to taste a glass of each wine one after the other, and then loop back to the first wine and do another round, until the wine is done.
Just a bit of information. The 2004 vintage was not mevushal! What? Herzog not being mevushal? Yes, in 2003 and 2004 Herzog decided to mevushalize their wines BEFORE bottling and NOT, as they do now, which is after fermentation, well before bottling.
So we tasted the 2005 Herzog Napa Valley Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon next. Where the 2004 was a killer wine, the 2005 was a total let down, truly sad! The wine has a lovely nose, but the mouth and finish were not enjoyable at all. I will state that the wine was starting to turn brown, but it should not have affected the wine to this significance. We then moved to the main course, which was some killer barbecue chicken, salads, and mushrooms. The next wine was the 2006 Herzog Napa Valley Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was rich with clear chocolate covered cherries and then lovely fruit. The final wine we enjoyed was the 2007 Herzog Napa Valley Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the other huge winner for the meal. When we returned to the 2004 – it was dead . So clearly this is a wine you want to enjoy NOW, and do not hold and pray, this is a wine to be enjoyed now. The 2005 vintage did not improve with more air, it was equally unbalanced. The 2006 vintage was slightly improved and the 2007 vintage did improve with more air. Read the rest of this entry