The 2008 vintage of Herzog’s Special Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon steps out of the bounds delineated by over a decade’s worth of releases making it a challenger to Herzog’s iconic Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This feat was accomplished in at least three ways. First, it’s a 50/50 blend of Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; I guess this follows the adage “if you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em.” The Alexander Valley component adds spice box, tobacco and undertow of cassis all of which blend nicely with the Napa Valley component’s eucalyptus and milk chocolate. Second, the wine was collectively barrel aged for 31 months. I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing, but this wine will surprise you. The oak is well balanced and well integrated preventing the wine from coming across as over-oaked. Its net effect is wonderful cedar accents peppered throughout and a loud, yet pleasant, note of toast on the long finish. Finally, as a corollary to points one and two, this is the first Napa Valley release with significant structure. Muscular tannins, ample acidity and 14% AbV will allow this release to drink for at least a decade if not longer. I do feel, though, that the body of the wine needs more heft to fill out the frame, but the two may align with some further bottle aging. Enjoy now until 2022, possibly longer. Cheers!
- KosherWino Rating: 91 points (Rating Chart)
- Region: California, Napa Valley / Alexander Valley
- Color: Red
- Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Alcohol: 14%
- Mevushal: Yes