Houston, we have a problem....
Or maybe, "The lady (or in this case me) doth protest too much.
Be honest ladies, how many men out there do you know that are wine connoisseurs (I think that's the way you spell it), are familiar with the Space Race AND can quote Shakespeare? Heck, he was even my roommate in college some time back. Okay, that last part is a little far-fetched, that would make me around 400 years old. BUT YOU KNOW that there are aliens being held at Area 51 that could be well over that age. So even with my younger look, can you ever be sure. Leading me to the quandary before me and the questions posed above.
That very large rack of Pork Baby Backs above. If you can't tell, it covers a well-sized plate and for those wanting to make sure I eat healthily, I did have a serving of Brussel Sprouts alongside. For the special occasion, I decided on nothing less than a superb bottle of Zinfandel. In this case the
Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel 2016
I was bound and determined not to review a French wine or an Italian wine, so I settled on a wine from the Russian (wait, a wine from Russia?), not quite, the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, in good ole' U.S. of A.
Having had these ribs before, I knew how good they would be cooking them low and slow, as they say, with a nice spice rub and finished with a little dose of Bar-B-Q sauce. I just needed a wine as good. A quick check of my cellar components and I realized I had a few bottles of this glorious wine, I opted to break it open. I didn't even use the Coravin as I knew it wasn't going to last more than two days.
The last time I tasted the Giuseppe & Luisa Zin was almost exactly a year ago and it was the 2014 Vintage, another stunner! With ratings at 96 and 93 Points, it was almost exactly the same for 2016, 95 and 93 Points.
Three LONG hours in the oven (I know, grilling is better) I dug out my waiter's corkscrew and opened the bottle about a half hour before the ribs were done to perfection, thus giving me a little time to luxuriate (word of the week) in the wine. With the possible exception of their Jackass Vineyard (not making that up), this has got to be one of their best Zins they produce.
Not jammy and so intense that you could spread it on toast, no, this is a well defined and refined wine of texture, aromas and with a palate to please the most ardent Zin drinker. Dark Cherry dancing in the glass with warm spice notes that linger on the finish. Even as I sit here letting my fingers dance across my keyboard, I can't seem to put the wine down for very long. The ribs long gone but satisfying as is the wine to complete my day.
The wine named for the original owners (Guiseppe & Luisa Martinelli) being established in the late 1800's in the Russian River Valley, still only retain a small percentage of the very best grapes for their label and sell off the rest. Taking nothing away from the current winemakers, it is important to note that Helen Turley (yes, the Turley wines) was their winemaker from 1992 to 2010. Quality has endured!
At around $60 a bottle, it isn't inexpensive, but then again, great wines rarely are inexpensive. Click here for the tech sheet. With Summer almost gone, get the grill out one more time and treat yourself to this wonderful wine. I know you won't be disappointed.