Bottle Shock…Another California Zin

It’s been six (6) years since I graduated from law school[1]. It’s amazing how fast time passes. This past week my alma mater hosted an alumni event for local grads. I’ve gone before; it’s usually a good time at a nice venue along the river.[2] IMG_7051You get a chance to catch up with old friends, meet some new crazies lawyers, and maybe even get a referral out of it. I always find it tough to eat at these Extracurriculars though, so some friends[3] and I decided to skip out early continue the celebration at a nearby eatery[4]. It’s tough for me to blog about wines I have when I’m out, so that’s why the blog posts have been so light lately.[5] That being said, I had some amazing wines this week that I didn’t blog about. See Instagram posts 1, 2 and 3. I think I’m going to get another bottle of the Barbazzale to blog about because it was Just. That. Good. I’d do the same for the 2010 Mondavi Animo, which was luscious, exceptional, outstanding and stellar to put it mildly, but it’s apparently hard to find.[6] ___________________________________________________
To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               June 21, 2015
Wine:             2012 Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel ___________________________________________________
Delizioso! What a treat. The nose is rich with leather, wood, dark cherries and a hint of Sharpie marker. Light to medium bodied with some soft tannins. It’s excellent on its own and has a fairly short finish. I have a feeling it’s going to open up when we pair it with our Rana spinach ravioli topped with a homemade pesto sauce with basil from the garden. IMG_7050I’m pleased to report that I was right. A perfectly light complement to the fabulous meal. With the food the finish extends a bit. The flavors of both the wine and the meal are beautifully enhanced. A perfect pairing. Wine Dossier A few months ago, I’d never heard of Ridge Vineyards, but it started popping up within the Instagram wine community over and over again. I liked the simplicity of the label and decided I needed to try some myself. If you’re a wino wine lover like me, you’ve probably seen the movie Bottle Shock[7] and know about the 1976 Judgment of Paris[8]. Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello 1971 came in fifth. The French, in disbelief that California wines could have been chosen over French in both the red and white categories, historically said that the French wines would age better. So fast forward thirty years later. In 2006, they tested the same wines again. This time Ridge’s ’71 Monte Bello came in first. You know I love the French, but if that doesn’t give you some American pride, your heart is black. This particular wine is a blend made up of 80% Zinfandel, 11% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah and 1% Alicante Bouschet.[9] The grapes, harvested in 2012 and bottled in January 2014, were sourced from seven different vineyards throughout the Ridge properties in Sonoma County. As we drank, Husband said, I wonder if this wouldn’t benefit from aging. As I read the back of the bottle, the winemaker suggested it would be “most enjoyable over the next five years.” That Husband. He’s a keeper. I found this for $18.95 in upstate New York. It seems to be widely available online for between $19 and $25. I’m going to grab another bottle to hang on to and try again in a few years. I suggest you do the same! Lawyer Footnotes [1] And only six additional years left to pay back the loans. What a deal. [2] Even though they ply you with difficult to eat finger foods and a cash bar with bad wine. [3] Sassy Chardonnay Friend, BookNerd Work Friend and Very Knowledgeable Lawyer Friend (“VKLF”). Remember VKLF? She’s married to her Semi-Sommelier Husband? They gave us that great Mas Fleurey Rosé. [4] Where we of course drank some wine. [5] Husband and I seem to be out most nights, so sitting at home drinking some wine is becoming a rarity. Don’t worry, we still usually drink wine (or Onyx Moonshine) wherever we are. [6] And more importantly, out of my poor Associate price range at $85 a bottle! [7] If you haven’t, rent it tonight! Such a good movie! [8] A blind tasting pitting California wines against French wines. This was the beginning of Napa Valley vintner’s gaining respect in the international community. A momentous day. [9] I hadn’t heard of Carignane or Alicante Bouschet either, so don’t feel bad.

One thought on “Bottle Shock…Another California Zin

  1. I’ve read about Ridge’s Monte Bello Bourdeaux style blend for a while now but have never actually tasted it…until last week at their tasting room in Lytton Springs. It truly lives up to the hype I expected. Cheers on scoring an older vintage!

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