Posts Tagged ‘Zinfandel’

What I Drank Last Month (Nov 2013) Part 2

By Nikki Lincoln

Here is the second part of my post on November wines. Part one can be found here.

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Cline 2012 Ancient Vines Zinfandel

This wine was a sample sent over a few months ago. I had wanted to hold onto it for a little while but I had been craving a good Zinfandel and decided to open the Cline Ancient Vines sample. I’m glad I opened it when I did as it was light for a Zin and had nice pepper and smokiness to it. It was also very acidic which I particularly enjoyed. I definitely thought this was a great value for all of the complexity in the wine. I would love to pick up a few more bottles of this to have around when I don’t feel like opening something too pricey but still want a good quality wine.

Price: $18

 

Vinum Cellars 2010 White Elephant White Table Wine20131109_120207

I am a huge football fan, but after giving up beer several months ago, finding an alternative beverage for tailgates and other beer heavy events has been a bit of a challenge. Obviously wine has been a big go-to for me, but a lot of wines that I have I would rather save for an occasion when I can really sit and taste it and appreciate it. I decided to grab the Vinum White Elephant Table Wine because I had gotten it rather cheap from a wine club. The wine ended up really surprising me. It was an extremely well balanced blend of 59% Chenin Blanc, 26% Roussanne, and 15% Viognier. It was light and refreshing and perfect for a warm, outdoor setting such as a tailgate. I normally don’t take notes on the things I drink in a party/tailgate setting but I knew I had to tell you all about this one.

Price: $20 (but can be found for closer to $10)

 

20131112_204616Sheldon 2007 Deviant Velocity

I won the Deviant Velocity at an open house for Sheldon WinesKrutz Family Vineyards, and Two Shepherds. I had been feeling under the weather and wasn’t up for doing any wine tasting which had made me pretty sad. I decided to throw a few dollars in to buy some raffle tickets to win a case of wine. I actually ended up winning and was able to take home a box of the wines that I hadn’t been able to try, including Sheldon’s Deviant Velocity 100% Petite Sirah. The wine was full of plum and blackberry flavors with some pepper as well. It was another wine that felt perfect for fall. When I went through my pictures, I also found it funny that my devious cat snuck into the background to give me one of her judgmental glares.

Price: $28

 

Imagery 2008 High Valley Tempranillo20131114_183821

I always lose track of the different wine days. I really need to find a wine calendar or something because I always end up finding out about them at the last minute and I get really sad if I don’t have that particular variety. When I got an email from the TAPAS society that the next day was Tempranillo Day, I was really happy that I had a bottle of the Imagery High Valley Tempranillo. The wine had high acidity and a taste of tart blackberries and spice. I loved how light and complex it was for a Tempranillo. I saw a few older reviews from last year that said it needed more time. I think the extra year really helped this wine develop properly because it was tasting great when I had it last month. On another note, I ended up finding a few more bottles of Tempranillo after the fact…

Price: Unavailable directly

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Feb 2nd is The Largest Tasting of Zinfandel: ZAP Details, Ticket Contest, & Promo Code Inside!

February 2nd is the 22nd Annual Zinfandel Festival, also known as ZAP. This lively event is the world's largest tasting of Zinfandel, and has blossomed from just a tasting to food pairings, education, and more.

Read for more details, a discount code, and a chance to win $130 in tickets!

festival_banner_2013There are 4 events in total:

 (1) EPICURIA – Food & Zin Pairings. Thur., Jan 31, 6-9 pm

The Concourse, 635 8th Street, San Francisco, (8th at Brannan in South Market area)

Courtesy of ZAP

Courtesy of ZAP

At Epicuria you will embark on a gourmet adventure exploring  the versatile flavors of Zinfandel at ZAP’s informal dine-around event. Sample culinary creations from master chefs, perfectly paired with 50 top Zinfandel wines. Taste delicacies from the ZinKitchen celebrity chefs while learning their professional techniques. Immerse yourself in the Zinfandel culture as you mingle with winemakers and culinary experts.

The Zin Kitchen will provide cooking demonstrations and talk about Zinfandel and food matchings.

(2) FLIGHTS – Forums of Flavor Friday,February 1,  10:30am – 1:00pm (SOLD OUT!)

The Fairmont Hotel, Nob Hill, San Francisco

Courtesy of ZAP

Courtesy of ZAP

Explore the passion
Designed for the enthusiast with a passion for the legendary, this exclusive seminar-style tasting ignites your imagination for the varietal as you delve into the history, culture and science behind the many flavors of Zinfandel. Flights offers unique insight into the Zinfandel varietal and allows you to experience the true character of the wines through the eyes of experts as you revel in a sensory experience like no other.

(3) WINEMAKERS DINNER – A Benefit with Taste: Friday, February 1 5 pm – 10

pm

Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, San FranciscoEric Baugher WEB

A benefit with taste
The fabulous forties reign as you venture to the exotic at our Casablanca-themed VIP benefit. Premier winemaker hosts buy cheap viagra india as they share the intrigue and romance behind their craft at this elegant reception and dinner, while pouring their specially chosen private selections of Zinfandel. Journey back through time as you learn about the origins of America’s Heritage Wine and the modern-day practices that make Zinfandel so legendary.

A live and silent auction features rare and one-of-a-kind lifestyle lots, with proceeds benefiting ZAP programming, education and Heritage Vineyard Projects.

(4) The Best for Last – The  GRAND TASTING Saturday, February 2

The Concourse,  635 8th Street, San Francisco, (8th at Brannan in South Market area)

  • Trade & Media 10 am – 1 pm
  • Members: 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Public: 2 pm – 5 pm

Enjoy the thrill of creating your own Zinfari at ZAP’s Grand Tasting! Make the quest for your personal Zinfandel flavor destination as you journey through the varietal’s unique growing regions to experience the diversity of America’s thumb_2012_Tasting_007Heritage Grape. This expedition takes you through the world’s largest Zinfandel tasting where you can enjoy hundreds of barrel samples, new releases and premier Zinfandel wines. The return of the ZinKitchen will be a highlight.

ZAP members also have access to special features like Winemaker Workshops, Located in the Members' Lounge :  Seminars conducted by two Vintners rotating every half-hour starting at 10:30 am and continuing  until 4:00 pm.  Workshop Schedule & Presenters.

As well as the Heritage Club Lounge,  Located next to ZinKitchen. Members enjoy table side service of select library and reserve Zinfandels while you relax in the comfortable Heritage Club Lounge at the Grand Tasting.  Heritage Club Lounge

Simple Hedonisms Readers Can Save 20% Off Ticketsimages

To purchase tickets, go to: here

At checkout, enter code “simple” hit apply, and Voila – save 20%!

Bonus! Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets to The Grand Tasting, a $130 Value!

Next Thursday, Feb 24, we will draw a pair of winners at random, with the correct answer.

To Enter to Win simply tell us (in comments below)

a. Your favorite food to eat with Zinfandel

OR

b. If the producers pouring (list here) which is your favorite, or the one you want most to taste?

Enter with EACH answer for two chances to win! Watch your email and here for winners!

And in conclusion….my favorite Video on Zinfandel:

Get your Zin On – Cheers!

Related Articles:

Celebrate the 4th of July with the “All American” Grape – Zinfandel; and these Dry Creek Events

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Events for This Weekend and Two Routes for the Wine Road Barrel Tasting

Guest Post by Fred Swan

This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra

tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”http://www.wineroad.com/events/barrel_tasting/3#tabs-5″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.

There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:

(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )

Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only

Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?

Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.

From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.

On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.

From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.

Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.

For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)

 

Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab

Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:

Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.

Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.

Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.

Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.

Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.

Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.

 

Events

Lake County

Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!

 

Napa Valley

Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.

Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.

 

Sonoma County

34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.

Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.

Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

 

A Quick Plug:

The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn levitra viagra online more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at NorCalWine.com.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Wine Events in the North Coast for February 15 – 24

Wine lovers and romantics are still coming down from the chocolate-induced sugar high last weekend’s pre-Valentine’s Day festivities caused. Fortunately, events for the coming days put the emphasis back on wine.

Start off your weekend with a jaunt

to the town of Sonoma this Friday evening. The Lodge at Sonoma is hosting the VinOlivo Grand Tasting. Nearly 60 different Sonoma wineries will be pouring and 25 restaurants and caterers serving.

If you’re a fan of Alsace varietals, or just like to laugh at people trying to say “Gewurtztraminer,” then I highly recommend you head up to Boonville this Saturday for the 7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting. There you’ll find more Pinot Gris under one roof than imagine. And, if you get white wined out, you can amble down the road a bit and enjoy some lovely Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

If you have an interest in California wine history — and would like to meet it — you’ve got to go the 6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. The food and wine are always excellent and you’ll never have a better opportunity to meet the legends of the California wine industry. Here are this year’s inductees.

All events listed below are in chronological order by region. Some events require advance reservations or ticketing, so it’s best to click through for any event you’d like to attend. The headline links for each event will take you to the calendar at NorCalWine.com where you’ll find further details on that event. And event organizers sometimes change details at the last minute, so it’s always a good idea to contact the host prior to showing up at their doorstep. For events in other regions, also check the calendar or my weekly NorCal event articles.

Lake County

Saturday, February 18

Ceago Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Owner Jim Fetzer, winemaker Barney Fetzer and family members will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.

Mendocino County

Saturday, February 18

Int’l Alsace Varietals Festival Technical Conference — Boonville: 9:00am – 11:30am
Winemakers from around the globe discuss winemaking and grape growing specifically for Alsace varietals.

7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting — Boonville: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Meet the winemakers and taste Alsace-style white wines from around the world, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat.

Alsace Festival Winemakers Dinner at Shaffenberger Cellars — Philo: 6:30pm
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner with the winemakers and learn more about their wines in the elegant private dining room at Sharffenberger Cellars.

 

Napa Valley

Ongoing Events

Saturday February 11 – Monday, February 20
The Ultimate Decadent Tasting at Trefethen Family Vineyards — Napa:
10:00am – 4:30pm
Enjoy special selections of Trefethen wines paired with handmade confections produced by one of Napa’s finest chocolatiers.

Friday, February 17

Cornerstone Cellars Winemaker Dinner at Bardessono — Yountville: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Enjoy a special 5-course tasting menu drawn from Lucy’s Garden by Chef Victor Scargle, inspired by the wines of Jeff Keene.

Saturday, February 18

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Winemaker’s Dinner & Bob James Concert at Miner Family Winery — Oakville: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
An intimate concert in the caves followed by a a four-course dinner prepared by La Saison chefs Natalie & Jonathan Niksa paired with new release 2009 Miner Cabernets.

Sunday, February 19

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Monday, buy online prescription viagra February 20

6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at CIA Greystone — St. Helena: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
A rare opportunity to mingle with noted winemakers, famous chefs, and wine-loving celebrities.

 

Sonoma County

Friday, February 17

VinOlivo Grand Tasting at The Lodge at Sonoma — Sonoma: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Sip Sonoma Valley’s best wines as you get to know the personalities behind the

wine. Sample food from more than 25 of Sonoma’s purveyors.

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Guitar ballads with Brian Ward

Saturday, February 18

Mardi Gras Celebration at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: noon – 4:00pm
The St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band, down home Louisiana cookin’, a Second Line-Parade, award winning wines and of course BEADS!

Sunday, February 19

Amphora’s Zinvitational: Zinfandel and Cioppino at Amphora — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:30pm
Current, library and barrel-sample Zinfandel plus Cioppino, sourdough and green salad.

President’s Day Celebration at Old Roma Station — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Limited production wines from Bluenose, Hart’s Desire, J. Keverson, Kelley & Young, Sadler-Wells, Sapphire Hill, Skewis, Shippey and Willowbrook.

Sundays on the “Terraza” at Santa Rosa Vintners Square — Santa Rosa: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Bring a picnic. They’ll will provide the wine, bocce ball court and live music.

Thursday, February 23

J Vineyards & Winery Winemaker Dinner at John Ash & Co. — Santa Rosa: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Join J Vineyards & Winery Assistant Winemaker, Scott Anderson, for an excellent dinner paired with five J wines.

 

Event organizers and publicists get your events published here. Post your events in the calendar at NorCalWine.com. Posting events there requires a one-time registration (easy, peasy), but is totally free of charge. And it only takes a couple of minutes. I’ll soon post a guide at NorCalWine.com with tips on how to make event posts as effective as possible.

Disclaimer: The events I’ll call attention to here are those that I’ve become aware of and which offer something beyond the standard winery tasting room experience. Neither I nor William are compensated by any of the event organizers in any way. The listings are for the benefit of the community. Event details are subject to change without notice.

This article is by Fred Swan for Simple Hedonisms. All rights reserved.

Valentine's Day Weekend Wine Events Update

Everybody wants to be your Valentine! Wineries, wine bars and restaurants are pulling out all the stops. And all the chocolate! Even if you don’t have a romance to kindle, you can cuddle up with a glass of wine and y

our sweet tooth this weekend.

My previous post included a whole box of chocolate and wine events. And even some without cacao. But then I got a Kiss-o-Gram with even more events for this weekend!

All events listed below are in chronological order by region. Some events require advance reservations or ticketing, so it’s best to click through for any event you’d like to attend. The headline links for each event will take you to the calendar at NorCalWine.com where you’ll find further details on that event. And event organizers sometimes change details at the last minute, so it’s always a good idea to contact the host prior to showing up at their doorstep. For events in other regions, also check the calendar or my weekly NorCal event articles.

Mendocino County

Saturday, February 11

Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate Sampling at Milano Family Winery — Hopland: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Bring your Valentine and tickle your taste buds with heavenly creations by the ladies of Milano Family Winery.

Parducci’s Valentines Day ‘Death by Chocolate’ Event — Ukiah: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Parducci Wine Cellars presents a romantic day of music, sensuous wines, and exquisite chocolates to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Napa Valley

On-Going Events

Saturday February 11 – Tuesday, February 14
Chocolate and Wine at Cornerstone Cellars — Yountville:
10:00am – 6:00pm
Bring your sweetie to Cornerstone Cellars and indulge them in a wine flight paired with 3 chocolates hand crafted by Brent and Anette at Anette’s Chocolates, Napa Valley.

Saturday February 11 – Monday, February 20
The Ultimate Decadent Tasting at Trefethen Family Vineyards — Napa
:
10:00am – 4:30pm
Enjoy special selections of Trefethen wines paired with handmade confections produced by one of Napa’s finest chocolatiers.
Daily Events

Sunday, February 12

Cooking up Sweet Passion: Amy Reiley, Author of Romancing the Stove at Peju — Rutherford: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Learn to make hand rolled chocolate truffles from Amy Reiley’s new cookbook Romancing the Stove while sipping Peju wines.

Sonoma County

Friday, February 10

An Evening with Merry Edwards at Paradise Ridge Winery — Santa Rosa: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Come spend a great evening celebrating Merry Edwards stellar career at a benefit for the Sonoma County Wine Library.

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: 7pm
Music by Michael Hantman plus belly dancing by Kimberly Andora.

Saturday, February 11

Special Valentines Day Vertical Tasting at John Tyler Wines — Healdsburg: 11:ooam – 5:00pm
2004-2006 Pinot Noir and Zinfandel wines in a mini vertical tasting paired with Brix Chocolates.

Wine & Chocolate at Amista Vineyards — Healdsburg: noon – 3pm
Join canadian healthcare viagra sales us at Amista Vineyards for award-winning wines paired with specialty chocolates from Sebastopol chocolatier Peters Chocolates.

5th Annual Amphoradisiac Winemaker’s Dinner at Amphora — Healdsburg: 5:30pm – 10:00pm
A multi-course gourmet dinner with fabulous wine pairings, white tablecloths, candlelight and roses.

 

Event organizers and publicists get your events published here. Post your events in the calendar at NorCalWine.com. Posting events there requires a one-time registration (easy, peasy), but is totally free of charge. And it only takes a couple of minutes. I’ll soon post a guide at NorCalWine.com with tips on how to make event posts as effective as possible.

Disclaimer: The events I’ll call attention to here are those that I’ve become aware of and which offer something beyond the standard winery tasting room experience. Neither I nor William are compensated by any of the event organizers in any way. The listings are for the benefit of the community. Event details are subject to change without notice.

This article is by Fred Swan for Simple Hedonisms. All rights reserved.

Great surprises from Lake County Wineries found at "Wines with Altitude" event

I recently attended Wines with Altitude, where the vintners of Lake County California brought their wines to town — literally, to a stunning San Francisco venue on Treasure Island.  Casually dressed wine-makers and staff members poured and chatted with the attendees between baguettes and hummus.  A folksy event put together by the Lake County Winery Association, the four-hour pow-wow came with a classy glass sporting the Wines with Altitude slogan, a fresh personal-size baguette, and booklet with info and space for wine-tasting notes.  I attended as press.

The event was held at The Winery SF on Treasure Island. WARNING: This is a place of jaw-dropping city views. It was easy access and there were a couple of food trucks outside with picnic tables.

Inside there was a large main floor of wine pouring. An upstairs room featured winning wines from the 2011 Lake County Wine awards. In all, over 100 different wines were pouring from 20 or so wineries. There were olives and olive oil, pizzettas and gazpacho and some nice lounging areas in the

old building.

I’ve been known to favor Lake County Sauvignon Blancs. The Altitude theme suggested Reds.  I arrived with my notebook and spit-cup, eager to commence tasting, and not really knowing what to expect.  It turned out to be a day of surprises, some professional – like tasting a Lake County Aglianico, and some personal – like running into Napa Valley winemaker Nils Venge, the first person who exposed me to garagiste winemaking. The story: About twenty years or so ago, a group of friends and I loyally appeared every season to help Nils bottle his fledgling Saddleback Cellars wines in a small concrete block building on Money Road in Rutherford, CA. The little block building is still the nucleus of Saddleback and Nils now also owns Cougar’s Leap in Lake County.

I made an effort to taste every Sauvignon Blanc (SB), and there were quite a few. The Lake County SB’s were each so different, I couldn’t identify a Lake County “style” or varietal “character.” The only label I recognized was Guenoc, a widely distributed and solid SB. This was a good sign I was discovering a number of labels for the first time. I learned that Guenoc is a Valley – and it’s own AVA — and that the premium SB is their Langtry Sauvignon Blanc (250 cases produced vs thousands of Guenoc). I liked the Langtry.  My other favorite Sauvignon Blanc’s were 2 from Six Sigma Michael’s Vineyard – the 2010 stainless with bright fresh melon on the nose and classic grapefruit on the palette – and a single vineyard, very lightly oaked version that maintains a crisp, cleansing acidity while adding dimension from the oak.  This wine recently won best-in-class in the 2011 Lake County Wine Awards Competition, directed by Ray Johnson.

 

Winemaker Nils Venge

Cougar’s Leap offered a unique Sauvignon Blanc rendition – the 2010 Black Rock White which is 70% Semillion, 30% SB and, according to vintner Nils Venge, includes a boost from a one-time barrel of Albarino. Cougar’s Leap was pouring 2 other wines and they were memorable: The 2008 Black Rock Zinfandel with lots of fruit coming through structure and tannins, and which Venge claims with a crooked grin is “17% alcohol.” Reviewers have dubbed it “Ballistic!” Definitely a wine with “Altitude.” I finished with a 2007 Petite Sirah at Cougar’s Leap.

Nils introduced me to Gregory Graham, and I spent quite a bit of time at Greg’s table. Former wine-maker at Rombauer, Graham has been at it for 30 years.  At one point he was making 4 different Zinfandels for them.  For his own label, he makes only small lots using bins for fermentation. He says this has freed him from the constraints of tank-based wine-making, giving him a lot of flexibility.  He was pouring several wines. I tasted the 2009 Gregory Graham Red Hills Bartolucci Vineyard Viognier, one of the nicest Viognier’s I’ve had … and it’s a $16, 13.5% alcohol wine.  Graham’s 2007 Grenache was my personal favorite of the day, delivering a mouth-filling intensity and lingering romance of fruit and texture on the palette.  The 2008 Cinder Cone was my red blend favorite of the day – 48% Syrah, 24% Cabernet, and 14% each Malbec and Grenache. Big, balanced, and Red. Graham’s wines are well-priced, running from $15-16 for Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, to a high of $38 for a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir he wasn’t pouring, and a number of wines in the $18-24 range. Gregory Graham wines represent star-quality wine-making at excellent value pricing.

Rosa d’Oro Aglianico.  This is a red varietal grape of Southern Italian regions – Basilicata and Campania – pronounced alianico.  I’ve had the Corte Normana from Campania (imported by Salvia Bianca), and heard of one or two Aglianico’s being vinted in California. So I was pleased and surprised to find Pietro Buttitta pouring his family’s estate-grown 2008 Aglianico. It’s a lovely wine expressing the full Aglianico character, if in a smoother, less rustic style than it’s Italian brethren. Well-priced at $18.  I tasted the 2008 Barbera, which won a Silver medal in the Chronicle Wine Competition – also a fine wine at the $18 price point.

I decided the only way to cope with the bounty of Rosa d’Oro, is to visit the their Tasting Room in Kelseyville and do some serious sampling of the Primativo, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Dolcetto and maybe a Rosato. And in another year or two, they will be bringing out a NegroAmaro! (You read it here first.) Pietro is also a prolific blogger – check him out here.

SF from Treasure Island

It’s clear I have a lot to learn about Lake county as a wine region and I’m planning to make a trip. You can find various Lake County Wine events online; next up is the Lake County Wine Auction on Sept 17. The event that interests me most is the People’s Choice Wine Awards and blind tasting on November 5.

I love blind tastings … as long as I can see the view!

One last surprise: Many of Lake County Wineries have active Facebook pages, but there is definitely room for growth in the Twitter realm. The Winery SF’s most recent tweet was in July, nearly 2 months ago. One would expect better care and feeding, especially when you have a high-profile name, location, and over 2000 Twitter followers.

 

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El Dorado of Wine: Exploring Calaveras Tasting Rooms

I visited a number of tasting rooms in and around the gold rush town of Murphy’s CA this weekend. My brother raised his children in Murphy’s but I hadn’t been back in nearly 10 years. When they were little, there were 3 or 4 wineries in town. Now there are well over 20, with new and expanding grape cultivation evident on the drive up Highway 4. Down in the valley, the road is lined with apple and peach orchards as it always was. As it reaches the higher elevations of the Sierra Foothills, Highway 4 gives way to glimpses of vineyards and new plantings between rolling hills.

Many wineries have opened tasting rooms on or near Main Street in Murphy’s. If the July 4th weekend was a bellweather, this once declining community is now a thriving village of cafes, bistros, boutiques and wine establishments, all grown up around the tasting rooms. Great care has gone into establishing the atmosphere of each room.

Day One:
I loved the intimate and funky Zucca Mountain Vineyards tasting room with it’s cool, dark stone cellar, wall of awards, and an afterhours patio with music and misters on a 100-degree plus day. Their 2008 Barbera was smooth, forceful and balanced with soft wood tones. It stands alone but calls out for a food pairing. Zucca smartly distributes recipe cards keyed to their wines. I picked up the Steak with Horseradish-Chive Sauce to be paired with the 2009 Sangiovese, complete with photo of the mouth-watering steak. Other Italian varietals produced by Zucca include Sangiovese, Dolcetto, and Sorprendere.
@ZuccaWines

Newsome-Harlow tasting room, just a couple doors up the street, was the polar opposite of Zucca, with equal appeal. Enter through an enclosed patio lounge complete with fire pit, which opens onto their food franchise, The Kitchen to the north and the Tasting Room to the east.  Lots of natural light through ample glass, zoned lighting and wood floors complete the euro high-tech look and feel. I wanted to taste with small plates but The Kitchen was only open until 3pm (in a week or two they will open for dinners).

I really liked the wines at Newsome-Harlow. The tasting room personnel were top-notch. They explained that this is the label of local Scott Klann, winemaker at Twisted Oak and Tanner. I didn’t have a chance to taste Tanner but between Twisted Oak and Newsome-Harlow I sensed a vast repertoire of styles emanating from Klanns’ wine-making influence.

Newsome-Harlow 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is classic grapefruit SB of which I am a huge fan. The wine was pure, simple and refreshing, a perfect synonym to the scorching weather outside.  The 2010 Rose of Grenache (10% Zin) was also a winner

at 13.2% alcohol. I took home a bottle of each.  NH featured a trio of Zinfandels, one from each of the Sierra Foothill regions – Amador, El Dorado and Calaveras — which makes for interesting tasting room discussion. I particularly liked the 2009 Donner Party Zinfandel from the local Dalton vineyard, described as “not for the faint of heart.” I really wished The Kitchen had been open when I got to tasting these Zins!
@NHVino

A galactic opposite Tasting Room experience was Ironstone, where the entry is through theme-park-like gates. In fact, the winery’s Amphitheatre hosts a complete season of fireworks, concerts and performing arts (Sammy Hagar plays in Sept).  The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, a snack and sandwich bar is housed right in the large tasting room, and the beautiful shaded gardens are an oasis of coolness on a hot day. To top it off, the wines are nicely made and range from value-priced to fine wines.

Day Two:
I visited the new Twisted Oak Winery in-town tasting room. It’s across the street from the former location, in a lovely Victorian cottage where most of the inter

ior walls have been removed to make one big bright light room. I was very well taken care-of despite the holiday crowds. Having followed Twisted Oaks’ Jeff Stai “El Jefe” on Twitter since my earliest wine tweets, I felt an obligation to be thorough. I tasted the entire list, which is amazingly long (12 wines were pouring) and diverse (3 whites, 7 blends, over 14 varietals) for a small-production (5000-8000 case) winery.

Another 100-degree day, and I was finding a dearth of whites. So I really enjoyed the Twisted Oak 2010 Calaveras County Verdelho and appreciated the light touch (13.6% alcohol). Of their many reds, I was partial to the 2008 Calaveras County Parcel 17 – a finely tuned and approachable blend with cranberry notes – of Mourvedre, Carignane, and Graciano all sourced from a single parcel of a Calaveras vineyard.  This wine has won best of California and Double Gold at the California State Fair and a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair. Even thought it’s not the biggest, slamming-est Twisted blend, t’s good to know I’m not alone in my tastes …

Twisted Oak has branded a kick-ass wine-making style which was evident in the dramatic acids of the 2010 Calaveras County Viognier. And in the 2008 Calaveras County Torcido that ROARS into the mouth like a forest fire in the pines.  Torcido means “Twisted” and it’s made up of “estate-grown Garnacha blended with a little Petitie Sirah.” Wines like these beg for food; I’m thinking to pair the Viognier with hotly spiced Thai.  I’m open to suggestion on the Torcido … perhaps a fire extinguisher?

@Twisted_Oak – @eljefetwisted

Another novel approach to tasting was the Allegorie Tasting and Art Gallery. Here an artistic couple have designed a line of wines that pair with their art.  Their wines are made by Jonathon Phillips of Val du Vino Winery (Murphy’s), in very low case production and available only in the gallery.  The 2009 Allegorie Calaveras County Grenache is one of the best I’ve tasted.  Ever.

In an homage to Spain, Metate Hill Vineyards tasting room boasts soft archways and cool tile counters to highlight their focus on artisan produced Spanish varietals. Two treatments of the same Albarino wine were tasting: The 2008 Albarino Acero – aromatic and clean-finishing, and the 2008 Albarino Barrica — from the same pressing using different fermentation and aging techniques.  Followed by 2008 Carinena Rosado, a boldly dry rose’ with tones of bramble bushes and pepper that produced a lingering refresca against the blistering heat of the afternoon. I took home a bottle, hoping to recreate the sensation.

I was fortunate to taste a couple of not-on-the-list wines: a 2008 Metate Hill Carinena (aka Carigniane) I would describe as a pure expression of the varietal character of the grape.  Then, a very special 2008 Graciano, a joyous wine with a soft mouth feel and full fruit ripeness and yet a serious intensity, moderated nicely.  The grape is from the Rioja region of Spain.  I noticed it in the Twisted Oak Parcel 17 and again at Metate Hill. I think I’ve just discovered another varietal preference!
Metate Hill on Facebook

Two words sum up my visit to Calaveras: Atmosphere and diversity. Atmosphere for the effort taken by the wineries to create unique tasting room experiences. Diversity for the range of varietals and winemaking styles – including Italian, Rhone, and Spanish — represented in the tasting rooms of one small town. I think the food pairing and access to food for tasting here in Calaveras, where there’s such a proliferation of food wines being poured, is a very important strategy not yet addressed by most of the tasting rooms.  These are a just a few of the rooms I had time to visit on a 36 hour trip. Others called out to me and I promise to see them on my next trip. Which may be soon!

If you’re going:

The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance (CWA) has an excellent and informative website with a great map of area wineries.

Events upcoming: Any of these would be a good reason to take a drive Calaveras and visit some of the tasting rooms.

July 22 CWA hosts a tour of six Calaveras vineyards with world-renowned viticulture specialist and Professor Emeritus at UC Davis, Dr. James Wolpert

July 31, Steve Miller Band at Ironstone Amphitheater

August 13, Cave-Looting Extravaganza at Twisted Oak Winery

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Our Highlights of Passport to Dry Creek: Food & Music Pairings

Take a pristine, gorgeous day with spectacular vistas in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, California. Combine it with a wide range of wine varietals and styles. Add generous portions of thoughtfully paired foods. Mix it up with music and friends – blues, salsa and even zydeco – and you have the makings of a weekend that brings together all of my favorite things. And, all the wineries have specials, case discounts, and in some cases $1 case shipping – a big saving for travelers. One of the best things about this wine event is the active involvement of the vintners, winemakers, vineyard managers, owners, and family members in serving the foods, pouring the wines, and mingling freely with the guests to share their perspectives on the wines.

This was Passport to Dry Creek 2011. Here are some highlights:

Day One

Dutcher Crossing: Coconut Prawn Cones with Mango Chili Sauce paired with 2009 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc. The taste is unique on this SB made with 9% Viognier, 7% Semillion, and 1% Roussane. It was well chilled and paired nicely with the prawns.

I found a hidden surprise in the tasting room: 2006 Dutcher Dry Creek Port, fortified with brandy and made from 40% Cabernet and 60% Syrah, all grown on the estate.  The port was dark and chocolat-ey.  Extra points for pairing it overnight canadian viagra with Frozen Chocolate Whoppie Pies – two pieces of soft Oreo crust wrapped around a dollop of frozen chocolate ice cream. Yummy.

Sbragia Family: 2008 Gamble Family Ranch Chardonnay (grapes from Napa), paired with bean and pasta soup with Pancetta.  I prefer unoaked, and this Chardonnay is made with oak. But it’s subtle oak flavors — without the buttery mouth feel and syrupy texture of so many over-done Chardonnays — made it highly drinkable.

Besides the wine, food, and hospitality, location is the highlight of Sbragia. The winery is a stunning building perched on a ridge opening to views all the way to Marin. By the time I got there the temperatures were in the high 70s, and live music from the terrace was filtering out over the property. Sbragias’ good wine and kitchen make this a must-stop for future tasting days.  Now that summer weather is here, check the website for regularly scheduled music dates. An added bonus when you’re there: In the Italian tradition, Sbragia shares recipes from their kitchen. I took home a “Skewered Herb Crusted Pork Loin with Dried Fig Sauce,” recipe card from the tasting room – can’t wait to try this.

Unti Vineyards: Unti sells about 50% of their 60 acres worth of grapes to other wine-makers.  I’ve had wine made with Unti grapes, but this was my first visit and first taste of their wines.  The Grenache wines were the highlight for me. Two: a 2010 Rose of 75% Grenache and 25% Mourvedre that was a lovely peach color, ultra-dry, 13.5% alcohol wine. Chilled, it’s a perfect lunchtime wine.  And the 2007 Grenache itself was my favorite red wine of the day. Paired with a blues vocalist and tortilla nacho plate with melted cheese from Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. Thumbs-up.

Mazzocco. I couldn’t pass up the Cuban music and food theme at this wonderful winery location. Orchestra Borenquen and Zinfandel? Yes! The pairing was Flank Steak with Chimichuri and Saffron Prawns. It was the best food of the day.  In addition to other varietals, Mazzocco makes vineyard-designate Zinfandels from 9 ranches in the region. They were barrel-tasting 4 of their 2010 Zinfandels for Passport. I favored the Stone Ranch Vineyard – their only Alexander Valley Zinfandel. Tasting right from the barrel, the wine was soft, fruity and naturally balanced. The Stone Ranch 2009 was sold out; but there were good discounts available on futures.

The Mazzocco property was beautifully laid-out for the event. The orchestra was shielded by a gigantic sunshade. Flank steak was cooked to order, perfuming the air. A Cigar Loft stood slightly away from the center, completing the Cuba theme.

Seghesio Family. Seghesio went to town with a “Big Easy” theme. I loved the Cajun Barbequed ribs as served up by Pete Seghesio. They were meaty and succulent and went well with some of the featured Italian varietals such as a tobacco-ey 2008 Alexander Valley Sangiovese and a Zinfandel – Petite Sirah blend called “San Lorenzo.”

The Big Easy backdrop was the sounds of Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic.  A local bay area group, Andre Thierry’s accordion brings his music heritage from southwest Louisiana together with an R&B sensibility to create upbeat and highly danceable music.  If there had been a dance floor at Seghesio you would have seen some zydeco dancing too. As it was, the shaded venue on a warm afternoon was perfect … Mardi Gras beads handed out at the door and a glitter tattoo station completed the theme. That and the fresh beignets at the end of the tasting line.

Day Two

A. Rafanelli. It’s always special to taste the limited production, handcrafted wines of the Rafanelli family. Even more special to visit this historic homestead winery, which is open by appointment only. And on Passport weekend the Rafanelli’s went “all-out.” I spoke to a number of people who return here each year for Passport. The 2008 Rafanelli Zinfandel and 2008 Rafanelli Cabernet – both of Dry Creek Estate-grown grapes – were pouring.

With this there were 5 food stations with 3 dishes each. Five stations! Fried artichoke hearts with Parmesan sauce, steak marinated and cooked in heaps of fresh rosemary, roasted red potatoes to name a few of the small bites offered each guest. The final station is two tables of chocolates.  Two tables! The interplay of chocolate, Zin and Cab was sublime.  Back outside the sounds of a traditional Italian trio with accordion and vocals set a festive mood.

Mounts Family. The short drive up to Mounts was worthwhile. The new 2010 Estate “Pink” Syrah (a light rose’) and delicate yet well-structured 2008 Estate Malbec were standouts, as was the shaded belly-dancing pavilion in the middle of a benchland vineyard just above the Dry Creek Valley floor.  Middle-Eastern foods and a mini-cupcake of ginger capped with incredible syrah frosting completed the experience.

Quivira. A biodynamic winery and farm, Quivira served the only Sauvignon Blancs of the day. Both from the same vineyard and vintage but made in two different styles. One produced in pure stainless and the other in neutral oak with new acacia barrels and a hint of Viognier. I surprised myself by liking the acacia-fermented taste. Both wines were crisp and refreshing on the warm afternoon, and paired with small savory bites to enhance. My friend Sheri found her favorite wine of the day – a GSM+ red blend at Quivera.  Called Elusive, the wine is 34% Syrah, 32% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre, 6% Petite Sirah. Quivera was also pouring a Mourvedre made from locally grown grapes; unusual because it is made without blending – it’s 100% Mourvedre.  Mushrooms and blueberries delighted us in this wine.

Passalacqua. This is a charming winery hidden in plain sight across the road from Dry Creek Vineyards.  I loved the gardens and vistas from their back deck, and their 2007 Sangiovese. This is a well-balanced Dry Creek Sangio with a highly satisfying tannic finish on it. Paired with flatbread pizza and Chocolate mousse gelato.

Mike Farrow, Amista

 

 

Amista Vineyards. I wasn’t hungry but I couldn’t pass up the Truffle Mac-n-Cheese with Arugula at Amista. It set off the Amista Syrah wines so nicely that I joined the wine club and brought some home. As a wine-club member I had access to the 2007 Syrah and a Sparkling Syrah that is not sold to the public. And soon a new Rockpile Cabernet will be available to members only. I’d been eyeing the Amista wines, their club and cooking events for some time.  With the club benefits and entry-level membership, the time was right. We ended our tasting on a jolly note with proprietor and vintner Mike. A must-visit anytime you roll down Dry Creek Road.

 

(Note from William – special thanks to Katherine for covering this event, and doing a great write up so quickly. I had previously accepted a Media invite to Hospice du Rhone in Paso Robles, so she attended and covered.)

cheers!

 

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Wine Review Panel – Six Sonoma Zinfandels from Wine Guerrilla

A few months ago I was contacted by Bruce Patch, the owner and proprietor of Wine Guerrilla and asked if I would like to receive some samples.  These days samples come in decent amounts, and my own cellar is burgeoning with wine, but when someone has taken the time to contact me and wishes to send a bottle, most times I accept, and will attempt to review.

Bruce it turns out was local, so I offered to let him drop off the wines to save shipping. It also allows me to meet the winery face and glean a bit of their story.  I was expecting a few bottles, lo and behold, Bruce had six. I like do like, buy, and review zinfandel (especially cooler Russian River Valley or Zin with some bottle time) but of the many wines I consume, Zin is less common. I realized it would take me quite a bit of time to get through six, nor would readers want six back to back Zin reviews, so I decided to try a different, more fun approach.

I was enthused, some of his Zin’s were well regarded, including prominent California Wine writer Charles Olken. Additionally it was a great opportunity to compare many fruit sources.

The Tasting Panel 

Wine Guerrilla "The revolution is in the bottle."

One of the great things of living in an area where there are over 200 wineries in a 30 mile radius, is enthusiasm and knowledge on wine cheap canadian viagra is very high. Many of us have changed our entire lives in pursuit of passion of this nectar of the gods. It’s as much a lifestyle as it is a beverage, and I blessed with many good friends who are like minded in this passion.

I decided to ask 4 friends all passionate about wine and all in the industry in various manners, ranging from wine maker, to blogger, to tasting room, to join me to taste through these wines.

I kept it simple to keep it fun, but focused still. Panelists were asked to write down basic tasting notes, and then rank their top 3 of the 6 zins.

Lineup

Wine Guerrilla makes a crazy amount of Zin’s, over a dozen are on the website for sale. Most are 200 cases or less.

#1 2009 Sonoma County Zinfandel 81% Zin, 10% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan & Cabernet

#2 2009 Adel’s Vineyard Dry Creek Valley

#3 2009 Harris-Kratka Vineyard 2009 Alexander Valley Zinfandel – 85% Zinfandel, 10% Carignan & 5% Petite Sirah

#4 2009 Conte Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel- A field blend of 83% Zin, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignan, 2% Alacante Bouchet, & 1% Grenache

#5 2009 Clopton Vineyard ‘old vine’ 2009 Russian River Valley Zinfandel -

#6 2009 Coffaro Vineyards ‘old vine’ Block 1 2009 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel – 84% Zin, 16% Petite Sirah

The tasting was not blind, and tasters had access to the tech sheets. This was an experienced crew, I wasn’t worried about influence.

Results

Each reviewers top pick got 3 points, #2 two points, and #3 a single point. As you can see, the number one choice scored almost twice as many points as the second. And they quickly trailed off.I should add, there wasn’t a single wine we didn’t like, and for many it was a hard choice, with a few re-visits. The styles were surprisingly, refreshingly different.

Wine Total Points
2009 Sonoma County Zin; 81% Zin, 10& PS, 8% Carignan, & Cab 4
2009 Adel’s Vineyard DCV 2
2009 Alexander Valley – Harris-Kratka 12
2009 RRV Conte Vineyard 5
Clopton Vineyards Old Vine RRV 6
Coffaro Vineyards DCV 84% Zin, 16 PS 1

Wine Review – Wine Guerrilla 2009 Alexander Valley – Harris-Kratka

The winner by a margin.

To The Eye: Lively, dark red.

One The Nose: Cocoa, spice, cherry pie, black fruit

In The Mouth: Brambly, jammy, complex, good finish.

Recommendation: A crowd pleaser amongst a wide variety of palates. 91 points $30 (media sample)

Wine Review: Wine Guerrilla 2009 Russian River Valley  Clopton Vineyard

To The Eye: Hazy dark red

One The Nose: Earth, blackberry, pepper

In The Mouth: Rich, viscous texture, ripe red fruit

Recommendation: A zinfandel that starts out with lots of fruit, finishes nicely, making come back for more. And more. 89 points.

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Wine Review: Tin Barn Vineyards Russian River Valley 2007 Zinfandel Gilsson Vineyard

This is a big (15.5% alcohol!) Zin in an elegant package from Tin Barn Vineyards, artisan producer of fine wines in Sonoma, CA. Michael Lancaster is a Toronto native living and practicing independent winemaking here.  Even though Russian River Valley is known primarily for its’ Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, there are a number of Zinfandel vineyards in RRV and many Zin producers including DeLoach, Passalacqua, and the newer Portalupi label.

Tin Barn says this Zinfandel is from 35-year-old vines planted in a flat sandy block of the Gilsson Vineyard, just east of the town of Windsor in Sonoma County. The 2007 vintage is said to be reminiscent of the 2005, which won Gold, Best in Class honors at the 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

The timing is perfect to get a taste of Tin Barn Zinfandels, which include this RRV as well as a Napa Valley Zin. Tin Barn is one of 10 neighboring wineries joining together in a food and wine pairing open house this Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Here you will find great wines, unique food pairings at each tasting room, and easy interaction with winemakers, family members and their dogs. See Simple Hedonism’s contest for a chance to win free tickets. Or, purchase tickets ($30) here.

To the Eye: Dense, cloudy rich garnet

On the Nose: Scent of the riverbed, gravel and menthol, almost like a RRV Pinot Noir. Lush, ripe stone fruit and savory herbs … like a full-figured dancer in a tight dress.

In The Mouth: Plums and dried cranberries emerge, puckering along the sides of the mouth and finishing on licorice and tobacco notes. Front of mouth softens as the wine is exposed to air in the glass. Back of mouth retains earthy, gutteral finish. Cries out for food.

Where to Buy: The 2008 is available from Tin Barn at $27. The 2007 might be found in small lots at some local retailers.

Food Pairing: Roasted meats with root vegetables and potatoes, adding some berries in the gravy to play off the fruit in the Zinfandel.  Think Pizza with sweet sausage and thick tomato sauce,BBQ’d Tri Tip or other grilled meat.

Recommendation: Plan a hearty meal around the opening of this wine. I let the bottle breathe for a couple hours before drinking, which allowed the aromas and flavors to open up nicely. Highly recommended for lovers of big wines and RRV nuanced aromas.

Pricing: $27 (media sample).

Wine Geek Info:

  • Varietal: 100% Zinfandel
  • Harvested: September 28th, 2007
  • Barrels: 35% New American Oak
  • Aging: 15 months
  • Bottled: January 27th, 2009
  • Alcohol: 15.5%
  • pH: 3.73
  • TA: 5.87g/L
  • Production: 579 cases
  • Release: November 2009

Tin Barn Vineyards

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