Wednesday, January 22, 2014

California confusion

Lots happening this week in the world of wine. Like a houseguest!

James Isbell came to town and with him he brought tales from Google, lots of good vibes and a beautiful bottle of Cabernet:

This Cab was ripe and burst-y like Ellen Burstyn with plenty of classic Cabernet blackberry and black cherry flavors, plus pepper and leather. Its earthiness, which as you know I've been on a quest for, reminded me of a slightly disappointing wine I'd brought to a Golden Globes party the Sunday prior:

Black Mountain Pinot Noir was plenty tasty. It just wasn't what I was looking for in a Pinot Noir. Pinots are supposed to be light bodied with notes of red cherry and red meat and cola and earth. But this guy rocked raspberry and vanilla above all else. Wtf? Then I remembered another California Pinot Noir I tasted and realized I was starting to see a pattern (this is a real link. I get that I burned you with that Google one but this one is real). These were great wines, but not in the ways I was looking for in a Pinot Noir.

Another accidental gif! How am I doing this?! I think taking many pictures of the same person in the same place in a row? I'm literally magic. Also check out Kate's Olivia Pope wine glasses! I am told by people who watch television program "Scandal" that this is impressive! This is a long caption!

Ok, back to business. I didn't even realize I was buying the same brand when I picked up this Zinfandel:

I simply took Paul's suggestion that he often finds earth (and spice and smoke, his favorite aromatics in a wine) in California Zins. And now I see it. Now I see why Zinfandel is California's grape. And just like I can eat pizza here and tacos in New York but they aren't gonna be as good, I get why a great five dollar wine can only be found in the local wheelhouse.

Because this wine doesn't just suit my savory-minded style. No, this guy is layered as hell, combining Old World and New World aromatics for a full, fruity, leathery, peppery wine. Raspberry, blackberry, green and black pepper, leather, tobacco on the nose. A rich jamminess, a little caramel and smoke on the palate but not too sweet. Our other roommate David made a heavenly tomato jam this weekend and it reminds me of that, with its balance of sweetness, acid and layers on layers of spice. All this Old World prestige and New World bounty for I think it was 5 or 6 bucks? It's safe to say Black Mountain 2012 Zinfandel is one I'll be buying again.

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