A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Guide To $15 Wines – A Central Coast California Chardonnay

We have often reviewed wines coming from the Baron Herzog winery, including a Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc. Baron Philippe Herzog was chief winemaker to Franz Joseph, head honcho of the barely regretted and almost forgotten Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Baron’s descendant Eugene left Czechoslovakia (without his winery) in 1948 and within ten years purchased the Royal Wine Co, where he had worked as a truck driver and a salesman. This wine is Kosher as is their upscale restaurant Tierra Sur located in the wine cellar in Oxnard, California. The companion wine is a French Colombard-Chardonnay blend at about two-thirds the cost.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Baron Herzog Chardonnay 2008 13.5 % alcohol about $14.

In the absence marketing materials we can start by quoting the back label.” Baron Herzog Chardonnay is a blend of Central Coast Chardonnay grapes. This blend has produced a very lush and complex wine. Baron Herzog Chardonnay displays notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and apple, with a hint of vanilla on the finish. It pairs perfectly with fish or chicken dishes and should be served slightly chilled.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was floral and slightly sweet with just a tinge of oak. Fiery Wasabi peas had no effect other than increasing the sweetness. A medley of roasted veggies (red peppers, mushrooms, and leeks) over whole wheat penne doused with grated Romano cheese rendered our Central Coast friend floral with wispy acidity and some oak. It was just a bit sweet. The side dish of eggplant roasted in its skin with tons of garlic imparted oak, some charcoal, and oranges to the libation. Chocolate strudel cake rendered this drink too oaky.

The second meal included barbecued chicken breast and wings. When paired with the white meat Chardy was sweet and oaky, a bit too much, and longish. The wings intensified that oak taste, which became dominant. Okra stewed in onions, garlic, and ginger gave my glass the taste of caramel, the taste of burnt, and the taste of you know what. Fruit juice candy for dessert rendered Whitey weak but some of that unpleasant oak taste remained.

The final meal began with potato knishes (potatoes and onions in puff pastry) that rendered the libation sweet and dark with a nice bite and OK oak. The main dish was beef meatballs in a cabbage, tomato, and onion sauce over brown rice, hardly a traditional white wine pairing. And yet things did work out fairly well. This drink tasted of caramel with light acidity and sweetness. Fresh strawberries definitely muted the wine, except for the oak, which bounced back far too much.

Final verdict. I would not say that I am allergic to oak. But I find all too many Chardonnays have bathed excessively long in the barrel. So I definitely won’t be buying this wine again.

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