Friday, January 25, 2008

Pinot Goes Kosher

I was sent an intriguing bottle of Pinot Noir the other day. It's by Baron Herzog, the well-known, and well-distributed, kosher label out of California.

What was interesting is this is the first time Herzog has tried Pinot, which makes them a little late to hop on the bandwagon, the varietal being all the rage in Cali for some years now, not to mention Oregon and Washington.

Some may turn up their noses at kosher anything, but I know Herzog to make some good juice when they put their mind to it; some of the high-end reserves are quite impressive. Herzog culls is Pinot grapes from Edna Valley, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The resultant wine is not in keeping with the rich, powerful Pinots of Sonoma, which, it can be argued, is something to applaud. Though north country Pinots are typically over the top. The oak here is not overbearing, showing that it spent equal time in new and neutral French barrels.

This is a light-bodied wine, which a floral nose and and delicate tannin. It's closer to the Burgundy style than the California style, but, at this point, without the depth or sense of terroir (or aging potential) of the French wines. One's tempted to call it a bit inconsequential. But, then, this is a first try, and a decent one at that. Certainly, the wine is an easy companion with food.

At $32, it's a bit overpriced. But, then, so are all Cali Pinots.

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