I love hanging out with my cousin immensely, admittedly when we went to see him this weekend I was secretly relishing what sort of bottle adventures he was going to place in front of me. Somehow, [presumably due to his bartending brilliance] he consistently knows what grape I’ve been obsessing over lately, so when he set a glass of deep dark Zinfandel down, he was spot on as always.
Turley Wine Cellars produces some of the most powerful and exotic Zinfandels, taken from old-vine vineyards throughout central and northern California. With dizzying [yet fantastic!] alcohol levels these wines showcase the rich, ripe, super fruity old vines. Aromas of blueberry pie and eucalyptus greeted me from the dark inky purple glass. Dense fruit flavours of blackberry and currants plumped up the medium-full body. Permeating under the bold fruitiness were driving notes of plum and raisins. Spicy black pepper announced the lengthy finish and ushered in lively and warming ginger, which merged into a long toasty oak finale. Absolutely fantastic, just watch out for that alcohol content, it sneaks up on you!
100% old vines Zinfandel
Grown, Produced and Bottled by Turley Wine Cellars, Templeton
Enjoy now through 2014
Next adventure up was a Napa Cab. Stewart Wine Cellars are a family-run, highly celebrated winery that consistently produces purposefully small amounts of high-end wines. Their labels, in perhaps arguable descending order are: Stewart, Hollis and Slingshot. The brilliant wine-maker Paul Hobbs has always been the man behind the Stewart Cellars ventures, [also of Hollis fame] and the Stewart Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is no exception. Only 1000 cases were made, the fruit is sourced from various well-known amazing Napa vineyards, picked on a row by row basis, hand sorted and whole berry fermented in small lots. Needless to say, I was pretty fired up to partake of this bottle.
Climbing out of the beautiful inky purple in my glass was the smell of cloves and pumpkin pie. Flavours of luscious blueberry and plum infused every sip. Silky smooth, firm tannins synthesized with smoky tobacco and dark chocolate in the lengthy finish. Whilst it was smooth and well structured, and critics everywhere are singing its praises, I thought it to be overall a bit hollow and feel fairly confident that this is due to the fact that it’s still a little young. According to Stewart Cellars, it will drink well over the next 10-15 years. I think with a couple of more years under its belt for the flavours to mature and fill out, this will be a truly phenomenal bottle.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Produced and Bottled by Stewart Wine Cellars
Enjoy now thru 2022