The brand new release of Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Zin is on the shelf at $21. This is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. Chronic Cellars wines are extremely popular so get yours while you can.
Posts Tagged ‘zinfandel’
Tasting Notes courtesy of Mark Johnson, Commander Printing.
Wow, it was quite an evening last night at the ZIN is IN tasting at Casa de Keating. We started with 3 white wines: a white Rhône from Milaflores Winery, a Sauvignon Blanc from Stephen & Walker/Trust Winery Sonoma, and a unoaked Chard from Morgan. Then we started in on the vast array of tasty food: falling off the bone Thai style ribs, BBQ pulled pork and tri-tip sandwiches, black bean and beef taquitos with pepperjack cheese, stuffed mushroom caps, smoky BBQ ribs, and spicy chicken posole, plus breads, cheeses, nuts, and crackers.
We opened 21 wines and overall the quality was quite good, with only a few real dogs (including a pricey Aussie Zin). After separating the Zins into two flights (of lower vs. higher alcohol content) we went to work, and after a slow start found several standouts in the first group of 9. After a food break we went back at it and found several more really good wines in the second batch. Then it was time for elimination and final judging. It grew quite contentious as the west side of the table argued with the east side, almost coming to fisticuffs. Finally, after much verbal sparing we selected a winner: the 2007 Carlisle “Papera”, which interestingly was my wine — in first place — again. Though to be fair, my personal favorite which I actually scored higher, was Ruth’s 2005 Martinelli “Jackass”.
Here are my top 8 Zins:
2007 Martinelli Jackass
2006 Michael-David LUST (controversial)
2007 Mauritson Rockpile
2007 Renwood Crain Sleeper
2007 Carlisle Papera
2008 Prisoner (very controversial – see note below)
2007 Carlisle Montazi
Thanks again to Kent and Jill for hosting and helping with all the food. The table was set up perfectly with all the appropriate tasting accoutrements. Job well done!
NOTE: when is a Zin not a Zin? That was a major topic of discussion last night as some thought the Prisoner was not “qualified” for this tasting (even though it tasted great). As luck would have it, in today’s LA Times food section the front page article was all about field blend Zins. It makes for a very interesting, and timely, read.
Commander Printed Products
3450 Camino del Sol
Oxnard, CA 93030
800-722-3676 / 805-988-5880
Courtesy of Mark Johnson who recently toured Sonoma, Napa and Lake Tahoe with his wife Kathie for a food and wine vacation.
Here’s Day 3 for your reading enjoyment
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31
We packed up early and hit the road to Tahoe, but of course we had to do a brief detour to Napa along the way. The Sonoma area fog gave way to a beautiful, blue sky morning in Napa Valley. We stopped first at the Mondavi’s new project called Folio www.foliowinemakersstudio.com . They were pouring several of their brands (Oberon, Spellbound, Medusa, Emblem) ranging in price form $20 -$70. They were just OK — at best. Not worth the stop. Next we went to Robert Biale www.robertbialevineyards.com. Now we’re talking! We had 4 great Zins, a big Syrah and a fantastic extended barrel age Petite Sirah. They do it right. A short hop away we stopped at Darioush www.darioush.com so we could nibble on their imported Persian pistachios while tasting. What a beautiful tasting room and an extremely profession tasting staff. We tried the 2007 Chardonnay (very good), the 2008 Viognier (tasty but too sweet for us), a 2006 Merlot (not bad), and the 2006 Cabernet (excellent). After a bit of schmoozing I got him to open the 2006 Cabernet Franc (very nice). So we bought some wine and pistachios to go. Great stuff, plus he waived the $25 tasting fee. We decided it was then time to finish on a high note and hit the long road to Tahoe.
Dinner tonight was at Kalani’s www.kalanis.com, a Pacific rim/Asian fusion restaurant. We have had some great meals here and some disappointing ones. Tonight fell flat. Other than a tasty appetizer of tempura crusted ahi bits with a teriyaki and eel sauce, all other items were uninspired, not even worth writing about. Thank God we brought a great wine, the 2006 Ramey “Ritchie” Chardonnay www.rameywine.com. Big, viscous, buttery and like the Benovia, enough acid to keep it all in balance.
Check out day 4 tomorrow!