Showing posts with label Clarksburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarksburg. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2024

Kosher Clarksburg Rosé

Oxnard may not spring to mind immediately when you start riffing through your mental Rolodex of California wine regions. The Ventura County town is home to Herzog Wine Cellars, under the umbrella of the Royal Wine Corporation. The winery's story is one of immigrant grit and determination. 

The Lineage line of wines, the latest from the winery, helps trace back the Herzog family winemaking tradition over nine generations. From Eastern Europe, to America's East Coast, to the western US, Herzog has been producing fine kosher wines all along.

The 2022 Herzog Lineage Clarksburg Rosé is kosher for Passover and delicious anytime. The website blurb says it is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and at first I thought it must have been a misprint. After a few sips, though, I feel it might be Cab. It's just that we hardly ever see a rosé made from Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are in Clarksburg, alcohol sits at 12.5% abv and the retail price is $23, but I see it online for far less. 

This wine is a pretty pink color and has a nose of ripe cherries, strawberries and citrus, along with a beautiful herbal note that suggests thyme and tarragon. The palate has all the fruit there, with minerals and a mid-level acidity. It will serve well on the table as well as on the back porch or patio as a sipper. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tracing The Herzog Lineage Back Nine Generations

The Lineage line of wines, the latest from Herzog Wine Cellars, helps trace back the Herzog family winemaking tradition over nine generations. From Eastern Europe, to America's East Coast, to the western US, Herzog has been producing fine kosher wines all along.

The  2020 Clarksburg Malbec - one of six new wines in the Lineage line - is a full varietal wine which hits 14% alcohol by volume and retails for $20.

This kosher wine is quite dark in the glass, showing a ruby red coloring with rose notes while pouring. On the nose, a blast of black raspberry and blackberry is laced with pepper, clove, anise and tobacco. The palate is just as dark and carries a savory streak along with the black fruit. It is the fruit that steals the show. Acidity is racy and fresh while the tannins have a good bit of grip. Have it with game or lamb for a real pairing treat. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Chef Duff Goldman Makes Port Style Wine Purr

"Chef Duff Goldman?" My wife asked, all like, you know, incredulous. She suddenly was keenly interested in my PR invitation, a thing that usually fails to raise an eyebrow around here. Usually the PR folks are just offering wine events, but this one had food, too. This one was interesting. "Oh, you have to go! He’s great! He’s over on Melrose! He’s from Baltimore! Julie looooves him!"

Goldman - the pastry chef and televised Ace of Cakes - was destined for a food career. As a kid, he lived in the tiny Cape Cod town of Sandwich. He graduated from Sandwich High School, which is nothing like the Culinary Institute. He claims his early career as a graffiti artist was derailed when he was caught doing it. He turned to welding and learned how to work with metal. That’s where he got the chops to craft his own wood and metal logo sculpture for the wine he is currently promoting. But food would call him back. After finagling a job at a top Baltimore restaurant making cornbread and biscuits, he was hooked.

The Wine

Goldman's new offering is called Steel Kitten, and it comes from the chef's collaboration with Club W Wine. It’s a Port style dessert wine. Syrah grapes were late-harvested in Santa Barbara County’s Alisos Canyon, near Los Alamos. Dark ruby red, the wine sports a big cherry nose, kinda buzzy with alcohol. The expansive, fruity palate shows cherry and red currant, with lots of alcohol but no big bite. It really feels nice in the mouth and goes down without a burn. The tannic structure is firm.

Goldman advises you pair Steel Kitten with "anything gamey" - pork loin in a port reduction for instance. During the PR event, he demonstrated how to create a pear tart using pears poached in Steel Kitten. The recipe is available on the Club W website, as is the wine.

Another Wine

Just a mention: I opened the evening with a sparkling Chenin Blanc - I know, who is saying “no” to that? The wine is called, "Oh Snap!" and it is done in the Prosecco style. In fact, this 2014 bubbly could easily take the place of Prosecco at your next brunch. Oh Snap! is made from grapes grown in California’s Clarksburg region. It sells for $16 through Club W.

Oh Snap! not only gets your attention with a label that looks like millennial bait, it delivers with a fascinating sensation for the nose and tongue. Pretty, fruity aromas of apples and pears are like candy wrapped in a savory salinity. The wine is brimming full of minerals. On the palate, things are sweet and juicy with amazing apple, pear and peach flavors cruising into a toasty, slightly yeasty finish. The bubbles dissipate rather quickly, but the taste is festive enough so you really don’t miss them. If you like your bubbles sweet, this is one you should try.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Warm Weather White Wines: Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2013

Three new white wine releases by Dry Creek Vineyard were shared with me recently, and they are perfect for springtime and summer consumption.  Personally, I enjoy whites all year long.  ‘Tis the season, though, for outdoor meals and bottles of whites on ice to pair with them.  We will cover the Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc soon and we have already had their Sauvignon Blanc.  Today, their Dry Chenin Blanc.

Dry Creek Vineyard has produced Chenin Blanc since 1972, and proudly so.  The fruit for this wine comes, as it has since the '80s, from the Clarksburg appellation in the Sacramento Delta.  The winery says sandy soils, warm days and cool nights make Clarksburg a perfect place to grow Chenin Blanc.  The 2013 vintage benefitted from nearly perfect growing conditions, and it was one of the driest on record.  A mild winter and moderate summer extended the season.

This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc which was fermented in stainless steel tanks.  The alcohol is restrained at 13% abv, and a better buy would be hard to find - $12 retail.

A pale straw tint makes for a delicate sight, while the aromas come on a little more forcefully.  Big, delicious smells rise from the glass - apple, pineapple and lime with a healthy dose of wet rock minerality.  The palate is dominated by flavors of green apples and lemon-lime with that awesome blast of minerals making another appearance on the tongue.  The acidity is just perfect: very noticeable, but it's not going to carve up your taste buds.  The sip finishes so clean and zippy with the sense of lemon zest lingering long afterward.

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Friday, August 20, 2010


Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel

Bogle Vineyards makes some pretty good wine and sells it at a pretty reasonable price.  I've been impressed with their Petite Sirah before, and now I'm diggin' their Zin.

While the PS was a fairly dark and intense wine, the Zinfandel goes the other way, over to the “bright” end of the spectrum.  It reminds me of Zin's cousin, Primitivo, in its brightness and freshness.  It even works when chilled a bit.

The Clarksburg, CA winery puts wording on the label of this old vine Zin which leads one to believe the vines are 100+ years old, but the winemaker notes say 45-80 year vines from Lodi and Amador County are used.  The alcohol content is on the high side and the wine spends ten months in American oak.

The medium red color is tinged purple around the edge.  It's not terribly dark.  The nose on this old vine Zin is fairly uncomplicated.  Big, jammy blackberry and black cherry are predominant, and it's not shy about showing itself.

On the palate, a lively mouthful of blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and clove mix it up deliciously.  Despite the age of the vines, this wine tastes youthful and brash, but after only a few minutes in the glass, it opens up and smooths out.  At 14.8% abv, it's a big wine, but the alcohol does not overpower the flavors.  A medium mouthfeel gives an almost refreshing feeling, while the finish leaves a big hint of spice behind.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Dry Creek Chenin Blanc

Variety is the spice of life, but I freely admit I can get stuck on things I really enjoy.  A favorite tune can cause me to hit the "repeat" button for the duration of the drive.  I'll go to "On Demand" for several episodes at a time of a TV show I like.  When a restaurant makes a dish I can't do without, I don't do without.  I go there repeatedly to enjoy it again and again.

When some friends wanted to hook up for dinner, I was overjoyed when they agreed to Fabrocini Beverly Glen.  That's because they make the salad of my dreams, the calamari and scungilli.  A little light on lettuce and a little heavy on seafood is how they make it, and that's fine with me.  I ordered the Dry Creek Chenin Blanc to go with it, and all was well in my world.

Healdsburg's Dry Creek Vineyards produces some extremely nice wines.  This white is produced from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes from Clarksburg, the Sacramento Delta region.  It's stainless steel fermented with no barrel aging and logs a 12.5% abv number.  According to the winery's website, 2008 was the first vintage for the wine to have a vineyard designation, and also the first to feature a screw cap.

The nose shows minerals, citrus and tropical notes.  The palate is quite interesting, with a sweet edge to the citrus, maybe some Meyer lemon.  More minerals are tasted and a bracing acidity is present - the creek isn't the only thing that's dry here - but at the same time there is a creamy aspect which I don't find too often in white wines fermented in steel.  It's a delicious quaff on its own, but it pairs perfectly with the calamari and scungilli salad - still the only thing I've ever ordered at Fabrocini and still the reason I look forward to dining there.  Denise had the shrimp scampi, which is nothing short of amazing.  The wine is brilliant with that dish as well.