WBW #60 Round Up: I Have Zinned

A hearty thanks to all who busted out some Zin to participate in the 5th birthday of WBW! As you probably gathered by now, I set the theme for this momentous occasion to I Have Zinned. I asked everyone to grab a bottle of Zin and pair it with their favorite grilled or BBQ food.  Zin and BBQ is one of my favorite pairings and it seems to be wbwlogosome of yours too! Though I did discover this time that Zins that have aged a little don’t seem to have the oopmh to stand up to sweeter BBQ sauce.  I think several others had the same revelation!

Overall, 30 folks joined us for WBW #60, with posts on 29 wine blogs!  Across the board, 46 Zins were reviewed for this WBW.  I’m happy so many joined in for the 5th birthday celebration of WBW!  I know participation lags in the summer as folks tend to be on holiday and such, so I appreciate the effort! Below are snapshots of all the posts, click through to read everyone’s full take on Zin and BBQ (or pizza in John’s case…though I kinda wish he’d grilled up some tofu or something 😉 )

Our first entry came in over a week early from David at Cooking Chat. He picked the 2007 Ridge Paso Robles Zin to pair with his ribeye. Sadly, he found it to be a bit underwhelming for the price point, though I expect it might have needed a little more time…07 is young for a Ridge Zin! Read his whole take here.

Ryan over at Oe-no-phile also joined with an early entry. He went off the beaten Zin path and picked a 2006 Old Vine Zin from Sineann, a winery with a Zin vineyard that straddles Oregon and Washington…so technically it’s a Washington State Zin. In short, he loved loved loved it.  Check out his fully review here.

Another early entry, Jason of This Blog and 20 Bucks Can Definitely Get You a Great Bottle of Wine (wow, that’s a mouthful!) picked a Zin I am very familiar with the 2006 Camellia Cellars Leconi Vineyard Dry Creek Zinfandel.  He paired it with an Heirloom tomato salad and grilled Moroccan chicken. You can read his review and check out his dinner here.

Randy, The Wine Whore, joins us for the WBW, and chose a Zin that I also have hanging around waiting for me to taste it!  He picked the 2006 J. Keverson Old Vine Dry Creek Zinfandel and presents us with a fun pictorial review of his experience tasting it.  Visit The Wine Whore for his review.

Bill from Wine for Newbies brought out the big guns for this WBW, tasting through 6 Zins! Though he admits he only tasted one of them with his BBQ! All 6 hail from Lodi and he picked the 2007 m2 “Old Vine” Soucie Vineyard, the 2007 Bargetto Zinfandel Old Vine, the 2007 Macchia Zinfandel “Oblivious”, the 2006 Mettler Vineyards Zinfandel “Epicenter”, the 2006 Harney Lane Zinfandel “Lizzie James” Vineyard, and the 2006 Michael David Gluttony “Old Vines”. Head on over to Wine for Newbies to read all about them.

Richard, who writes Silene’s Cellar, told us a lovely story of his first eye-opening Zin experience with a 1977 Monteviña Special Selection Zin.  He follows up that tale with a a blind tasting of 3 Zins (great minds think alike!).  Richard picked that 2005 Hendry Block 7 Napa Zin, the 2005 Dendor Patton Wisdom Mendocino Old Vine Zin, and the 2005 Sequum Riverwash Dry Creek Zin. Which won? You’ll have to visit Silene’s Cellar to find out!

Next up, Shea of Just Grapes. Shea chose to write up his visit to Mazzocco Winery after the Wine Blogger Conference where they make many Zins (I’ve visited before, but not in years). He tells us about the 6 Zins he tasted, with his favorite being the mighty pricey $120 2006 Antoine Phillipe Reserve. Read about them all here.

My roomie from WBC, Catie, aka the Walla Walla Wine Woman, brings us, what else? Zin from Walla Walla, Washington! I was actually surprised by the number of Washington Zins that popped up for this WBW, though I would expect nothing less from Catie!  She picked the 2005 Forgeron Cellars Zinfandel and paired it with Bulgogi, which sounds delish! Head on over for her recipe and wine review.

Our first Zin mishap comes from Rob over at Wine Post. (Who, by the way, recognizes how multi-talented I am at smiling and talking at the same time.) He picked up one of my favorites, a 2006 Titus Zinfandel. Sadly, he found it cooked. What a shame, it’s a great wine!

Then there’s me. I also did a blind tasting of 3 Zins! I chose the 2003 Sky Saddle, the 2004 Ridge Lytton Springs, and the 2005 Mauritson Rockpile Cemtery Vineyard.  I tasted mine with BBQ and found my BBQ sauce seemed to overwhelm the Zins, but of course, I didn’t let that get in my way! Read about my Zins here.

Kevin over at Under the Grape Tree joined us with a Zin from afar.  Now, I don’t see too many Zins coming out of Australia, so I was thrilled with this obscurish pick.  He chose the 2006 Groom Bush Vine Zin from Barossa. Over two days, he paired the wine with a grilled steak and BBQ ribs, and thankfully had better luck than I did with the BBQ sauce pairing! His review is here.

The Brix Chicks went all out for this WBW! Brix Chick Janesta reviewed the 2006 Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel one of many Zins the Brix Chicks tasted that evening! They also smoked some meat and Janesta posts a photo of Sean Connery as 007…how does that connect with the wine? You’ll have to read to find out!

Jim from VineGeek submitted the post on Zin he did last month, seeing as how he had just written about the exact topic at hand, I decided to let him slide 😉 He chose the 2006 Cline Bridgehead Contra Costa County Zin, and sadly found it a bit lacking for the price point.  His full write up is here.

Gwendolyn, aka the Art Predator, (gee, what’s with all these bloggers with several aliases, lol), joins us with yet another Ridge Zinfandel.  Folks love Ridge Zins, one of the kings of Zin in my mind! She picked the 2006 Ridge Lytton Springs to go with her marinated tri tip and it blew her out of the water! Check out her review here.

We got another Brix Chick post out of the event too! Liza wrote up several of the other wines that they enjoyed with their brisket.  To round out the tasting, they enjoyed the 2006 Harney Lane Lizzie James Vineyard Old Vine Zin, the 2007 m2 Wines Soucie Vineyard 1916 Block Lodi Old Vine Zin, and the 2007 Newsome Harlow Big John’s Vineyard Calaveras Zinfandel. Quite the tasting. Head on over to the Brix Chicks for the details!.

Over at Drink What You Like, Frank brings us yet another Washington State Zinfandel! That’s three so far! I had no idea so much Zin was coming out of Washington, but that makes my mission clear: I must have some.  Frank searched through 5 wine shops in Seattle before finding the 2006 Maryhill Zinfandel.  He find it to be a decent QPR wine and hopes to taste more Washington Zin in the future. His review is here.

Joe, the Suburban Wino, has a great sildeshow/video up of the tantalizing ribs he made to go with his Zin. It’s worth a visit just for the drool worthy BBQ, as well as his review! He chose the 2006 Cartlidge and Browne Amador Zinfandel. It appears he preferred his ribs to the Zin, but thought it was fine for the price point. Visit Suburban Wino for the full review!

Our 4th Washington State Zinfandel comes from Kori over at Wine Peeps! She tasted 2 Zins blind (clearly another great mind!), the 2005 Forgeron Zin (same as Catie!) and the 2006 Columbia Crest Reserve Zin.  The meal she had with it made me want to hop on a plane and beg her mother to make BBQ for me too!  Find out which Zin prevailed by heading over to Wine Peeps.

Not a traditional WBW post, but Hello Vino participated by bringing us some info about Zin!  They write about the history of Zin, talk about how alcohol levels affect the fruit, and offer suggested grilled and BBQ foods to pair with it! Head on over to Hello Vino to read all about Zinfandel.

A fairly new wine blogger, Dee Wineo loses his WBW virginity on the Zin and BBQ theme!  He BBQ’d up some pork steak (which I just learned about last week when friends of mine made it for dinner while I was out in St. Louis!) and pulled out a value Zin to pair with it, the 2007 Foxglove Zinfandel.  Read about how his pairing turned out here.

My favorite Lush, Thea, aka Winebratsf, of course joined us for this WBW as she has a similar affection for Zinfandel like me! Raising it up yet another notch, Thea attended the ZAP summer outing and visited 3 wineries and tasted a plethora of Zins. She chose to focus on Rockwall Wine Company and D-Cubed Cellars in her post, highlighting 2 of their Zins along with the BBQ at the event. Visit Luscious Lushes for the full report.

Debbie, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, had a mishap with her post too: her dog ate her tasting notes! Now there’s a new twist on the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse!  Not to fear, being a trooper, Debbie sacrificed and opened another Zin in time for WBW! She chose the 2006 Truett Hurst Red Rooster Old Vine Dry Creek Zinfanel.  Read her review here.

My friend John over at Anything Wine joined in on the fun, though being a vegetarian he skipped the toss some meat on the grill part….I think he should do a follow up on how Zin pairs with grilled tofu or veggie burgers! John picked the 2006 Seghesio San Lorenzo Block 8 Zinfandel.  A sure winner, head on over for his take on the wine.

Now, I hope the link for this participant will work. Grace, the CellarMistress, posted her WBW on FaceBook. I’m not sure if you have to be her friend to read it, if so, let me know and I’ll reproduce the whole thing here. Grace chose the 2006 Seghesio Family Vineyards Della Costa Alexander Valley Zin.  You can (hopefully) read her review here!

Michelle from My Wine Education had to do a local twist on the theme, being loyal to her beloved Cincinnati (and also started Wine Blogging Thursday)! She picked the 2006 Zincinnati Zinfandel from Mendocino. The story on this wine is that a local distributor teamed up with a CA Zin producer to create this wine! Swing by My Wine Education for the full story!

John of Brim to the Dregs came out of WBW hiding to join in on the BBQ and Zin theme on Wine Blogging Thursday as well. He had a little trouble with the grilling part…first it rained and then his cooking skills failed him and his steaks were a bit more well done than intended. Good thing he had an excellent bottle of Zin to make things right! John chose the 2005 Fritz Dry Creek Zinfandel (one I’ve had many times!) and you can read his review here.

Our founding father Lenn also came in for Wine Blogging Thursday 😉 with a Zin he had trouble finding.  He picked the 2000 (oldest Zin for this WBW!) Neyer’s Pato Vineyards Zinfandel. Unfortunately, he thought it seemed tired and speculated that perhaps it hadn’t been stored properly for the time it lived in the store. Head on over to Lenndevours for his review.

Another Wine Blogging Thursday participant, Jill of Domaine 547 came out of blog, Zinfandel, and WBW hiding to join in the fun! Jill doesn’t drink a lot of Zin, so I appreciate her stepping out of her wine zone and trying a Zin! She picked the 2007 Homefire Homecoming Dry Creek Zin. It made her reconsider stocking some Zins in her soon to be open brick and mortar store! Read her review here.

For a Wine Blogging Sunday entry, we have Andrew of Spittoon, our first international participant for this WBW!  He had a bit of trouble finding a Zin, his stores only had two options.  With little in the way of choices, he ended up with the 2007 Bonterra Vineyards. Sadly, he didn’t find it very food friendly.  Read his full review here.

And finally, joining us for Wine Blogging Monday is Erika of StrumErika.  Erika plucked the 2007 Merryvale Jan Vineyard Napa Zinfandel from the share pile at work to pair with her sister’s famous hot wings.  While the wine didn’t live up to expectations, the hot wings sound mighty fine to me! Visit StrumErika for her full review and wing recipe!

Thanks again to everyone for breaking out the Zin in honor of WBW’s 5th Birthday and Zinning with me. And as always, a nod of the hat to Lenn for founding such a lasting event and for having me host this month! If I missed your post, please let me know and I will happily add it in!


That’s Amore!

We had bratwurst for dinner last night and I thought sausage=fairly light red wine.  So I pulled a bottle of the 2005 Camellia Cellars Sangiovese from the basement.  I probably should have had a beer…it seems like a more natural match with bratwurst, but a you know by now, wine is my thing, so wine it was.  I purchased the wine at Camellia Cellars on one of last year’s CA trips but I can’t remember what I paid, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 13.3% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found strawberries, red cherries, raspberries, spice, milk chocolate, pencil lead, and flowers.  In the mouth I got bright red fruit, strawberries, red cherries, spice, and red berries.  Overall, I found the wine to be bright and juicy with great acidity.  I think this would make an excellent pizza wine and I will be serving my second bottle with one of my homemade pizzas.

A First Kiss to Remember

Do you remember your first kiss? Well, you’ll remember this one. I chose the 2007 Camellia Cellars First Kiss Proprietor’s Blend to drink with our chicken soup.  I picked this bottle up when I visited the tasting room in September with my favorite Lush and WineQT.  I think it cost me $13 in the tasting room, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and had a screw cap closure.

We drank the wine on its own, after a very long, cold day skiing last week. It finished off our day perfectly, but would have also gone nicely with some light white fish or the crab legs we had 2 weeks ago.  On the nose I found honey, pineapple, apricot, and other tropical notes.  In the mouth I found the wine to be tingly and refreshing, I imagine it would be perfect for drinking on the porch on a hot Virginia summer day. I got flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, oranges, and pineapple. Overall, I liked the crispness and acidity of the wine, and I’d guess some Sauvignon Blanc went into the blend….

Zinfandel, My Old Favorite

Camellia 1

I must admit, when I first started drinking wine, red wine really wasn’t my thing. It took me a trip to Sonoma and my very first taste of Zinfandel however, to completely change my mind and fall head over heels in love with this grape. Not long after Zinfandel, I discovered Petite Sirah, Merlot, Grenache, and all my other red wine loves.  And now, I think we drink slightly more red wine than white wine.

However, I have never outgrown my first love, Zinfandel, and I almost instinctively reach for a bottle when I am in the mood for a big red wine.  Tonight being no exception, I chose the 2005 Camellia Cellars Leconi Vineyards Zinfandel.  It clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost me around $25.

See my pretty Christmas Cactus? It's a little confused...

See my pretty Christmas Cactus? It

On the nose I found blackberries, black currants, black cherry, spice, vanilla, and slight chocolate. In the mouth I got flavors of fresh black cherries, dark fruit, blackberries, black currants, some red fruit on the mid palate, raspberries, and plums. This Zin showed all fruit on the palate, which tasted great to me. The fruit seemed fresh, not jammy at all. I thought the wine seemed well structured, with some tannins on the back of the palate, but quite ready to drink right now.

tannins on the end, but perfect to drink now.

Meeting New Wines

On our second day in Sonoma, we were lucky enough, as I’ve mentioned before, to have Patrick of Iridesse Wines showing us around. The second stop of the day was to a group of wineries who share space in the same building complex that I likely would never have found without his guidance. We had intended to go to several of the wineries in the space, but after the first, got a phone call and took a detour for a private tasting over at Michel Schlumberger. Prior to knowing of our detour, Patrick directed Matt, Russ, and I into Camellia Cellars to taste some excellent wines, where we also got to meet the owner!

We tasted through their whole line up (and more, including some wine that won’t be released until this fall and came away very happy!

2007 First Kiss: $22, Proprietor’s Blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Viognier, 12.7% alcohol by volume. Melon, lemon, tropical, floral, crisp, the Sauvignon Blanc really shows through in this one.

2006 Sangiovese: $25. Tart, tannic, tart fruit, cherry, strawberry, nice and fruity after a bit of a swirl in the glass.

2006 Zinfandel: Lencioni Vineyard, $26, 14.6% alcohol by volume. Vanilla, blackberries, dark fruit, tannic, needs time. We took home 1.

2005 Bountiful Zinfandel: $30, 14.4% alcohol by volume. Bigger berries, boysenberry, black berries, currants, fruitier than the ’06. Very good, not sure why I didn’t bring any home.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon: $40, 13.8% alcohol by volume. Cream, little funk, bell pepper, herbs, dark fruit, still needs time!

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon: $45, 14.8% alcohol by volume. Vanilla cream, more up front fruit, strawberry, red fruit.

2006 Syrah: Not released until the fall, will definitely be getting some of this though! Vanilla, dark currants dark cherries, dark berries, lots of fruit, very very good, though needs time, a good year or 2.

2001 Diamo Grazie Proprietor’s Blend: 65% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Sirah: Dusty fruit, blueberry, peppery, earthy, leather saddle, cherry, strawberry. Yum. We took home 1.

2004 Petite Sirah: $32, 13.4% alcohol by volume. Blueberry, coffee, floral, chocolate, blueberry pie, yum, my kind of PS. We took home 2.

As you can see, Matt and Russ made themselves at home at the bar while we spent a lovely part of our afternoon tasting through a great line up of wines. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the release of the 2006 Syrah, it may have been my favorite of Camellia’s wines, though the Petite Sirah gave it a run for the money as well. Many thanks again to Patrick for bringing us to this gem!