(Originally posted to my LJ http://freetha.livejournal.com/
(From Friday)Tonight I had the pleasure of splitting a bottle of Dancing Bull - Zinfandel with Selcar.
With it we had some cheesecake, some fresh strawberries, a paprika seasond cracker from LU and some young Brie.
This is a red wine produced in California and we were sipping the 2006 vintage.
The back of the bottle reads;
Rancho Zabaco means BIG, BOLD Zinfandels. Winemaker Eric Cinnamon chooses grapes from some of California's finest growing regions including Lodi and the North Coast to create this powerful yet approachable, immediately drinkable Dancing Bull. This wine is filled with intense jammy flavor of blueberry and black cherry complemented by spicy notes of black pepper and vanilla.
Rancho Zabaco is named after an historical Spanish land grant in Sonoma where our other winery is located.
Now onto my own take on this wine;
This is a very full bodied and luxurious wine to the mouth. It's full of flavor and it feels warm on your lips like a kiss. It doesn't invade and while it is obviously acidic, it isn't agressively so, making it a soft, almost velvety caress for the palate.
It's jammy tones make it sweet and soft enough to be enjoyed greatly with a peppery steak (I suggest black and maybe rosé pepper with a nice, rich cut of beef) with which it would flourish and truly complement the meal itself, especially if served with a rich gravy and possibly a baked potatoe.
We did find that it's peppery tones made it a perfect companion with the sweet fruity flavor of the large and ripe german strawberries we were munching with it. It does it's job beautifully as a desert wine when balanced against the sweeter fruits such as the aforementioned strawberries, or mango, or something similar.
This wine is very Autumn in it's nature. It would probably be at it's best served during long, still warm, autumn evenings or even into later in November during the early frost season.
For ritual use I'd suggest it for any Harvest related celibration or possibly the end of october/start of november celebration, whatever you may call it.
The warmth of this wine hits you on the lips and in the center chest making it a very deep sort of wine. It's quite quick to your head but is not unpleasant in that sense either.
The bottle is aesthetically pleasing, it's slightly wider around the hips than the base and the lables are simple but pretty.
All in all, it's a very warm, pleasant, and beautiful wine and I would reccommend it.
(Today)What we're drinking tonight is a 2007 Merlot from Patagonia under the lable Black River.
We had this wine with a Castello cheese, another white mold cheese, on Jacobs cream crackers, some mango and the rest of the chocolate-cheesecake.
Front of the bottle says; Wine made from organically grown grapes.
Back of the bottle says; The Canale Family vineyards are found in the upper Rio Negro Valley in Patagonia, one of the most southerly in the world. Patagonia, a wild, remote and natural region has a dry growing season with hot days and cold Andes-influenced nights. These factors create conditions so good, that the vineyards are naturally organic.
The yield has been kept extremely low to obtain the maximum concentration of fruit thereby further enhancing the flavor and intensity of this wine.
And now for my take on it:
This wine is a strong contrast for yesterdays Zinfandel.
This is a light and gentle wine, soft on the mouth and soft on the head. It's sweet in the flavor, and the obviously acidic qualities of "wine" pales in comparison to the soft, sweet tones of this wine.
For a meal I'd suggest this for a softer meat, like lamb or even pork, preferably gently seasoned, with herbs. It would also be well placed with Salmon or Trout or any other red fish. Suggest a cream-added sauce, possibly a mushroom sauce. Anything soft and gentle, or it would overpower this very gentle wine.
The Mango overpowered the wine a little while the cheese and cheesecake were soft and fluffy enough to complement the wine.
This wine is a summer wine. It's soft sweet tones make it beautiful if chilled and would contrast the heat of summer. It's is really that light which is quite astonishing for a merlot.
For ritual use I'd suggest any Sun centered celebration, preferably from mid-spring to summer, though it might do well for fertility rituals such as spring equinox or easter.
The warmth of this wine hits you right in the larynix, however, it's a gentle, slow rizing heat that never grows to a burn. Just a gentle warmth. It creeps up on you too and so you don't realize it gets to your head until you've gotten quite a bit tipsy.
The bottle is a simple green bottle with simple brown lables, further reinforcing their image as an ecologically sound and organic image of the wine.
All in all it's a very pleasant wine, I would reccomend it, especially to those new to wine or loking for something soft.