A Central Coast California Chardonnay

Can we get a fine Central Coast California Chardonnay at this price? ...

Central Coast California Chardonnay

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 Baronís 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 letís start by quoting the back label.ď 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.Ē And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was floral and slightly sweet with a tinge of oak. Fiery Wasabi peas had no effect except to increase 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 and tons of garlic imparted oak, some charcoal, and oranges to the libation. Chocolate strudel cake made 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 kicked off 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 worked out fairly well. The drink tasted of caramel with light acidity and sweetness. Fresh strawberries definitely muted the wine, except for the oak, which bounced back excessively.

Final verdict. I wonít say that I am allergic to oak. But I find many Chardonnays have bathed too long in the barrel. So I wonít be buying this wine again.

Access the companion wine A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A French Colombard, Chardonnay Blend

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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