Baron Herzog Merlot (OU Kosher) 2011
The Baron Herzog brand is known for outstanding variety and value. With a history of reliable quality dating back to 1985, Baron Herzog wines offer something for every palate. They trace their winemaking origins back nine generations, to Phillip Herzog, who made wine in Slovakia for the Austro-Hungarian court more than a century ago. Phillip’s wines were so appreciated by Emperor Franz-Josef that the emperor made Phillip a baron. Baron Herzog wines, a line of premium yet moderately priced California varietals, are named to commemorate that honor. These award-winning wines are handcrafted by winemaker Joe Hurliman for immediate consumption or short-term aging, and are widely available nationwide.
The vineyards just inland from the Sacramento River Delta, along the deep banks of the Sacramento River, comprise the Clarksburg AVA. The River Delta channels in cold air and fog from the Pacific Ocean creating a cooling effect in this area. Warm summer days quickly change to chilly evenings and make a great environment for grape growing. While a range of grape varieties grow here, Chenin blanc stands out the most, distinguishing itself in the appellation.
The Clarksburg Wine Growers and Vintners Association, made up of nearly 50 grower members and over a dozen wineries, has been working since the late 1980s to promote the high quality wine of its region.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.