Sunday, August 2, 2009

Zinfandel Weekend

It was somewhat unexpected but it turned into a Zinfandel weekend with two different Zins being consumed.

Saturday was very much a long workday to finish the first half of the fiscal year, but some friends were kind enough to say, "just come over for dinner when you're done." It was an invitation we couldn't turn down.

The wine that made the journey was a 2003 Mazzocco Sonoma Zinfandel. There was chicken and pasta for dinner after some mushrooms tarts for starters. We opened the Zin early and it tasted smelled exactly like it should, brambly fruit, a few blackberries, and a tiny hint of oak. The taste was very much the same with the blackberries tasting great and some oak and tannin adding balance to the wine. This wasn't a wine to blow anyone away, but it was a wine that tasted very good with the appetizer and the entree. To me this is where Zinfandel shines. I'm not a huge fan of the highly extracted and highly alcoholic wines that seem currently in fashion. It was just well made and tasty.

It wound up the evening playing second fiddle to a 1999 Clos des Pape Chateauneuf de Pape. This wine was full of fruit and barnyard funk. There was definitely some brettanomyces in the wine, but it was at a level that made it appealing rather than appalling. Strawberries and red currants were the primary taste, and the balance and finish were incredible. This was the second bottle of this wine that I had the pleasure of drinking recently and both were first rate.

Today was cleaning and errand day since none of that got done on Saturday. We ended the evening with a ribeye steak on the grill and a baked potato with sour cream and black truffle salt. The wine as a 2006 Rosenblum North Coast Zinfandel. This wine was on the light side but still had the requisite smell of a Zin. The body and flavor fell in the middle area. It's just a nice entry level Zin with no pretension of being anything more. It was great with the steak.

The market rip this morning resulted in the last of the local blackberries, and that was another reason for going with a Zinfandel. The berries wound up being macerated with some sugar and lemon juice and then appearing in the stacked shortcake pictured below. It was a nice way to end the weekend.

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