Okay, so the “stop the presses” is a rerun, but good to know that this week “Wine of the Week” is not. In fact, it’s a brand new wine. First vintage and all, and I’M bringing it to you first! Well, at least I think I’m first, okay, so maybe second or third, the point is that I’m mentioning it because I just had it yesterday and I once again had to change the “Wine of the Week” because this was too important to delay talking about.
Deciding to ATTEND a wine tasting on Sunday, as I wasn’t working at one, and being such a nice day out, it was the perfect thing for someone like me to do, the rest of you will have to figure your own stuff out, for me GOING to a wine tasting is sooo enjoyable. Really, it is.
Usually, I don’t anticipate finding that ONE wine that just knocks me off my feet. I found those when I was the one organizing the tastings. Poured all the “good stuff” so to speak. No, I will normally find some nice wines, some that are so-so and the rest, well, we’ll just leave it there for now.
This was to be the exception to the rule. Finding that ONE wine that, given the wine and its pedigree, I couldn’t pass up, not only to buy but to deem it so important that I had to rearrange the schedule of my posts.
I’ve never mentioned one of my most memorable moments as a wine buyer. I actually had to go back and check because I thought I had. Since I hadn’t, you lucky folks get to hear about it now. It occurred just over three years ago. I was fortunate enough to attend the release party for the 2012 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon in Chicago. It was a memorable event for several reasons. First off, I arrived early (I’ve been early to most things in my life) and because of arriving early I was invited to attend a pre-seminar the winery was offering at which they had a number of samples of their Cabernets from their different vineyards in Napa. Oakville, Rutherford, Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain and a couple others. The idea was to show how the various terroirs influence the flavor of the wine. Enlightening it was, being able to taste side-by-side the different regions and what they bring to wines from those areas.
After the seminar, we were escorted to the main room where they were pouring the 2012 Kathryn Hall Cabernet. A 97+ Robert Parker Jr. stunner. I loved every molecule (that’s my science background taking over) of the wine. What was even better (and you’d know this reading some past posts) was that during the pouring I was able to meet and talk to the real Kathryn Hall, completing my experience and elevating it to a new high. As I’ve said, an experience can make a wine or wines more enjoyable.
All this talk about Hall wines, so what do they have to do with this week’s wine, right? Here it is.
The newest project from Hall Wines: Baca Zinfandel.
And I had the first vintage of one of their four releases, the
2016 Cat’s Cradle Rockpile Zin.
My friend, David (oh my gosh, another friend – see my last post for explanation) from Heritage Wine Cellars was at this tasting and filled me in and peaked my interest to the extent that I knew this wine was coming home with me. The timing couldn’t have been better as I was already planning a meal of Lamb Chops with Artichokes and Lemon Rice. Now Zin might not be the first choice for a meal like this, but when you realize that this Sonoma Zin has just the right amount of fruit and nice, but not jammy, body followed by a nice spice note, it worked for me! Click here for the tech sheet.
My trusty Coravin was put into play that night so I would be able to have a second evening falling in love with the wine. That’s still to come and I’ll keep that night’s experience all to myself. No blog post sharing on that one. I REALLY need to get a life!!
I’m really excited to try the Howell Mountain “I Spy” Zin for the mountain fruit, oh heck, I want to try all four! The Dusi Vineyard “Double Dutch” and the Maffei Vineyard “Tug O’ War.
Being new, availability may be an issue as production is likely to be low and the wine right now is for what is called “On Premise”. Restaurants and Wine Bars and such. To obtain the wine, click here for the winery’s website and order direct.
My job is done for now, we can once again start the presses again and get back to work on this Monday morning.