I haven’t blogged a French bottle of wine in a while, so I resisted the urge to pick up a Chilean carmenere (maybe next time!) and picked up the Chateau Pesquie. I opened this with my friend Jackie, who is a fan of fruit forward Pinot Noir (she loved The Line Wines – The Racing Line Pinot Noir). Blackberry, blueberry, and pepper on the nose – a bit of clove in there as well. I really loved the nose on this wine! As soon as I took a sip, the acidity was definitely present so this is more of a food wine – as most French wines are. The grape blend is Grenache and Syrah. The Syrah definitely shows itself on the finish – it was a bit like taking a black pepper grinder and grinding the peppers right into your mouth. Not to be confused with the bell pepper you get in Cab Franc!
So Jackie’s feedback was that she definitely preferred the Pinot. I enjoyed this wine, but am aware that it would be a bit much on its own and needed cheese and other snacks to soften the acidity. With cheese, it was delicious and it paired well with bacon wrapped dates as well!
I haven’t had a wine from Rioja in a while, and this one seemed promising - a blend of tempranillo and graciano at $9.99/bottle. Spicy fruit and vanilla on the nose, a powerful, meaty midpalate and berries galore on the finish. The juicy berries definitely linger. There’s quite a bit of acidity as well, so this will be a great food wine. Great complexity and longevity on the finish for the price! I definitely want to buy this one again and try it with some spicy tapas!
On Friday November 19, I participated in a virtual Zinfandel tasting on Twitter. Went to BevMo the night before on a mission to find two delicious zins to taste under the $15 price point. I picked out the 2006 Irony Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel – because I love a good old vine zin – and a helpful employee recommended the 2009 Main & Geary Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley).
2006 Irony Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
The words “Napa Valley” and “Zinfandel” usually are synonymous with big, ripe, jammy flavors. This is not the case with the Irony. This zin had nice blackberry and pepper notes, and was surprisingly dry on the finish. I did like the complexity, and it was definitely different. Do not pick this bottle if you are looking for a fruity zin, but if you prefer them on the dry side this is for you. This tasted great with pizza!
2009 Main & Geary Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)
I used to steer towards Napa zins (some favorites being Rombauer and Grgich Hills), but these days I have been drinking more Dry Creek zins. The Main & Geary is incredibly rich with delicious strawberry and raspberry jam notes coming out. A teeny bit of black pepper on the finish. The berry notes linger on for quite a while. This zin is definitely made in a bigger style and is absolutely delicious paired with turkey.