If you are paying attention to the wine calendar then you know we recently had two celebratory weeks of wine; November 13 was International Tempranillo Day (see my article Celebrating International Tempranillo Day with Pedernales Cellars) and November 19 was National Zinfandel Day. To insure you (and I) do not miss out on celebrating any of these wine days American Winery Guide has published next year’s calendar.
Zinfandel is a black skinned grape. It is believed Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to two lesser known Croatian grapes: Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag, as well as a better known Italian grape from Puglia known as Primitivo. There are various tales of how Zinfandel immigrated to the United States; however what is important is that Zinfandel arrived in California with the 49ers in 1850. From that time through the 1920’s Zinfandel was the most widely planted grape in California; however, the grape fell on hard times due to disease and Prohibition. Zinfandel began to make a comeback in the 1970’s in its sweet white form; though many found it to be a disaster consumers loved it.
Zinfandel is an acidic wine with dominate flavors of ripe berries and spice. However, the weight and flavors of Zinfandel can vary depending on the different regions where the grapes are grown. There are 6 distinct California Zinfandel growing regions each producing its own distinct Zinfandel: Sonoma County, Paso Robles, LA County, Napa Valley, Lodi, and the Sierra Foothills. To learn more about these regions and the glorious Zinfandel each region produces please visit Zinfandel Advocates and Producers web site and Winefolly web site.
From the ZAP web site:
Zinfandel generates an enthusiasm and magic that captures our American pioneering spirit in a bottle. This distinct varietal engages our imagination and attention like no other, uniting winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts in the pursuit of the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s Heritage Wine. Through the Association of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), Zinfandel enthusiasts study and celebrate the Zinfandel grape, connect with one another, and educate the public about Zinfandel’s place in America’s history and culture. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ZAP was founded in 1991 at a time when Zinfandel was the underdog with a cause. A small group of passionate winemaking pioneers and Zinfandel lovers joined to create a movement that would elevate the understanding and status of Zinfandel wine – rightfully establishing it among the premier varietals of the world.
Seghesio 2011 Cortina Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel: This beautiful Zin poured a luscious deep garnet with purple highlights into the glass. It met the nose with bright aromas of berry jam, spice, chocolate, wet tobacco leaves and smoke. On the palate this beautifully restrained Zin smoldered with flavors of ripe cherries, raspberry jam, cranberries and blackberry compote wrapped around earthiness of Asian 5-spice, pepper and tobacco. This Zin delivered round concentrated fruit well balanced with great acidity and tame tannins. It offered a full body with a lingering finish. This wine was aged for 10 months in American and French oak and contained 14.8% alcohol. SRP $38. Click here to buy this wine. I recommend this wine!
We paired this wine with delicious pizza crafted from pomodoro sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil on delicious Napoleon crust from a local pizzeria. It was a perfect pairing. The Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel would also pair well with pasta with red sauces, pizza, barbeque, and hamburgers.
From the Seghesio Family Vineyards web site:
Established in 1895, when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, Sephesio Family Vineyards produces award-winning wines that honor the history of Sonoma and the Seghesio family. Collected over a century, our 300 acres in preeminent growing regions – the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys – represent some of the oldest and proprietary clones. We specialize in Zinfandel, including wines made from century old vines, as well as rare Italian Varietals.
To learn more about Seghesio Family Vineyards, view their entire portfolio of wines and order the Cortina Zinfandel please visit their web site.
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with Seghesio Cortina 2011 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley is Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. I chose Billie Jean because it is a mysterious song with funk that is complex yet smooth. That is exactly how Seghesio Cortina Zin tasted; dark, smoldering, mysterious with complex layers of flavor, concentrated fruit and very smooth. It was a well made wine; therefore, it deserves a well written and produced song!
Get your own bottle of Seghesio Cortina 2011 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!