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Posts Tagged ‘Wine Guerilla’

Zin Versus Zin Versus Zin

June 18, 2013 11 comments

Wine Guerrilla Monte Rosso Zinfandel DSC_0328I was in “zin’s mind” this past Father’s day. I don’t know how did that happened, but when I was thinking what bottle to open for dinner, “how about Zinfandel” thought came over. I had no reason to resist, so Zinfandel was it. And by the way – the title of this post sounds a bit antagonistic – but this is not the idea. I just happened to enjoy recently 3 different Zinfandel wines, hence the wording in the title.

Zinfandel is one of the pretty unique grapes – even if we will count Primitivo as Zinfandel (which technically is incorrect – it is only a very close relative), there are only a handful of places where Zinfandel wines are produced. But – the good news is that California, the primary Zinfandel’s habitat, has no shortage of excellent Zinfandel producers.

If you will take a look at my “Happy Father’s Day” picture, you can see two Zinfandels there – and these are the wines I want to talk about. First, a couple of words about producers. Turley Wine Cellars needs no introduction for any Zinfandel aficionado. Turley produces 28 wines, most of the them are Zinfandel with addition of few Petite Sirah and some others, coming from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Paso Robles and other primary areas in California. Turley is a “cult” winery, and while their wines can be found in some of the very select wine stores and restaurants, one really have to be on their mailing list to have more universal access to their wines (Turley was the first mailing list I was accepted onto – give me a second and slice of lemon to extinguish smile on my face).

The second producer is called The Wine Guerrilla. While not as well known as Turley, they also produce a full range of Zinfandel wines from the different areas in California. It is interesting to point out that The Wine Guerrilla is the only producer (to the best of my knowledge), which doesn’t make any other wines but Zinfandel. When your slogan is “The Art And Soul of Zinfandel”, I guess this is rather appropriate.

DSC_0640 Turley 2009 PesentiI decanted both Turley and Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel for about 2 hours. Yes, I know this is not typical to use a decanter around Zinfandel, but both wineries make wines rather in restrained style, so I really wanted them to open up. First up – 2009 Turley Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel Paso Robles (16% ABV). Even after two hours of decanting, the most I got on the nose was a hint of blackberries and some dark chocolate notes. The very first sip of the wine said “I’m big”. The first words which come to mind to describe this wine are “dense”, “firm”, “structured”. On the very firm structure the perfect fruit is weaved (hmm, interesting composition of the sentence – not a typical one for me, but I like it : ) ). More blackberries and dark chocolate on the palate, but also an “old world style” minerality was coming through, and then acidity was all in check. The wine is perfectly balanced, with tannins, alcohol, fruit and acidity being all together, in harmony. Drinkability: 8-

DSC_0638 wine guerillaNow, let’s talk about 2010 Wine Guerrilla Mounts Vineyard Cypress Block Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma (15% ABV, 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah, 300 cases produced). The wine showed a lot of dark fruit on the nose, mostly blackberries and cherries. On the palate, the wine was not as structurally dense as Turley, but instead it had layers of fruit with very nice luscious texture – ripe blackberries, cherries and dark chocolate, and a hint of eucalyptus. Very good acidity and overall nice and round wine, excellent balance. Drinkability: 8-

Did you notice a label of another Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel at the beginning of this post? It is there not for the purposes of decoration – it is actually another Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel which I had a week ago. 2010 Wine Guerrilla Monte Rosso Vineyard Block E44 Zinfandel Sonoma Valley (15% ABV, 200 cases produced) was totally unique in its style. To give you an idea, I would call it a Brunello of Zinfandels. After 2+ hours in decanter, the first thing which came to mind after the first sip was “dry”. This wine was soooo dry – uniquely  dry for Zinfandel. It was also very herbaceous for the Zinfandel, with lots of dried herbs aromas, such as sage and oregano. It did show some fruit, but in very restrained, dialed back fashion. Definitely the most food friendly Zinfandel I ever tried, very balanced overall. Drinkability: 8

So I have to confess that I have one regret in regards to three wines I presented to you today. One, but big regret – I really want to taste these wines 10 years down the road! No, decanting didn’t do them any justice. These wines have to mature first, and then they will give you an ultimate pleasure. They were great and very enjoyable wines now, but they would become something much much bigger – if I would only have some spares…

Before we part, I want to share a few pictures from the Father’s day. Few weeks ago, my cousin got for me a new charcoal grill which is called “mangal” and it is mostly intended for making a kabob, but of course can be used as generic charcoal grill. Here are few pictures for you – with the warning – it might make you hungry…

Ribs and chicken

Ribs and chicken

just chicken

just chicken

just ribs

just ribs

That’s all I have for you for now. Ahh, before I will forget – don’t miss the WTSO Cheapskate Wednesday tomorrow, June 19th. Expected to appear are Benziger Pinot Noir, Rioja DOC Crianza, Provenance Merlot, Pomo Nation Cabernet, Expo Cabernet and Edenhall Shiraz, of course in addition to many many other wines. Cheers!

Disclaimer: The Wine Guerrilla wines were provided courtesy of Wine Guerrilla. But of course all opinions are my own.

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Le Féret, En Premeur Tales, 1WD Giveaway and more

June 5, 2013 11 comments

Meritage time!

Let’s start from the answer to the wine quiz #59, Grape Trivia – Zinfandel. In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about California’s star grape, Zinfandel. DSC_0370 Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel

I know many people prefer to answer quizzes in the Google-free form – however, this Zinfandel quiz was somewhat of an exception. Let’s move on to the answers.

Q1: It was established recently that Zinfandel existed in Croatia under a different name, at least from the 15th century. Do you know what was that name?

A1. This was actually a tricky question. People, I mentioned Crljenak Kaštelanski right in the text of the quiz – I was hoping that this would be enough of a hint that this will not be a right answer. If someone will look into Wikipedia, you will be able to find that “After years of research and DNA testing of vines from vineyards across the globe, a single 90 year old grape vine from the garden of an elderly lady in Split, Croatia, provided the evidence to show that Zinfandel was a Croatian grape that has been known as Tribidrag since at least the 15th century.” So the correct answer for the question #1 is Tribidrag.

Q2: While Zinfandel typically listed on the label, very often some other grapes are added to the blend. Name one grape which can be considered a traditional blending partner of Zinfandel

A2: Petite Sirah. Look at the information on many Zinfandel wines, and you will often see at least some percentage of Petit Sirah to be a part of the blend.

Q3: Pink Zinfandel was discovered by accident. Can you explain how that happen, and possibly use the proper winemaking term for the “accident”

A3: Oops, sorry, I should’ve being checking my writing. It is actually White Zinfandel, not Pink, of course – pink is just a color… Anyway, I see that many of you figured out what I meant ( I will still correct the question) – yes, White Zinfandel was discovered as a result of the accident, which is called “stuck fermentation” – all the yeast dies and fermentation stopped before sugar was fully converted into the alcohol.

Q4: Two California winemakers are largely credited with putting red Zinfandel wines on the wine map. Can you name them?

A4: Most of you mentioned only the wineries – and the question was actually about the winemakers. But thedrunkencyclist was correct mentioning Ridge and Ravenswood – Paul Draper of Ridge and Joel Peterson of Ravenswood are largely considered the pioneers of California Zinfandel.

Q5: Most of the well known Zinfandel producers still make other wines from the different grapes. But there is one winery in California ( at least that I know of), which make nothing but Zinfandel wines. Can you name that winery?

A5: Yes, this was a tough question too. Most of the famous Zinfandel producers – Turley, Ravenswood, Rosenbloom, Seghesio, Robert Biale, and so on – are all producing other wines in addition to their great Zinfandels. The only winery I know of which produces Zinfandel and nothing but Zinfandel is Wine Guerilla – it is not for nothing they are calling themselves “An Art and Soul of Zinfandel”. Take a look at their line up – they are currently offering 13 different kinds of Zinfandel – and nothing but Zinfandel.

Summing it up, we don’t have winners this week, and Jeff, a.k.a. thedrunkencyclist gets an honorable mention with 3 correct answers out of 5.

Now, to the interesting stuff around vine and the web!

Have you heard of Editions Féret? I have to admit that I didn’t, not until I read a Wine Spectator article called “The Book that Defined Bordeaux“. It appears that the book, now called Editions Féret, or simply Le Féret, which started exactly 200 years ago as 84 pages travel guide, and had grown to become a 2,296  pages bible, largely defined Bordeaux wines, starting from famous 1855 classification – it was that book which rated the wines simply based on their prices in 1850, which was taken as a foundation of 1855 classification. Read the article, I think it is quite interesting.

According the post on Dr.Vino’s blog, it appears that during En Premeur, a primary Bordeaux event where new vintages are presented, one and the same wine can be “processed ” differently for the different groups of tasters – Americans will get the wine exposed to more of the new oak, and the same wine for the French audience will be finished to have more subtle showing of the fruit. Is it true? I have no idea. But it gets a final product into an interesting perspective – does it mean that one and the same Bordeaux wine can taste differently depending on where you will buy it ( in US or in Europe)? Hmmm…

Do you like giveaways? Of course you do, who doesn’t? So assuming that you do, please go and check this post at 1WineDude web site – if you leave a comment there, you will get a chance to wine one of the 5 memberships in the French Wine Society. I think it is not a bad deal, huh?

Last but not least – mark your calendars for June 19th – and make room in your wine cellars and their equivalents. Yep – WTSO is doing it again! Famous Cheapskate Wednesday is coming into town on June 19th – for more information please visit WTSO web site (you can find link in the “Buying Wine section to your right) or click this link.

That’s all I have for you for today, folks – the glass is empty. But refill is on on its way. Until the next time – cheers!

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