Don't you love it when someone else does all your homework for you? And you didn't even have to bully them to do it?!?
Well, Derrick, who lives just a few blocks from us, did all the research on Dashe Cellars for this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday. So, instead of regurgitating it all, I'll let you head over there and read it all for yourself. But, be sure to come back, because Derrick and I drank different Dashe bottlings, and I'm glad for that.
But first... "Hello, my name is Fatemeh and I'm a zinfandel junkie". I love this gorgeously velvety grape. I love when the fruit is balanced by white pepper and other delicious spices. I think a properly vinified zinfandel doesn't show its 15+% alcohol so obnoxiously. That means, for the most part, that I really, really like what Michael & Anne Dashe have created.
Wine: Dashe Cellars Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Varietal: 86% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane
Appellation: Sonoma Dry Creek Valley
Price: $22 MSRP, widely available for $18
Immediately noticeable dark chocolate; dark black berry fruit, with a good measure of cracked black pepper. Some heat comes through right off the bat.
Inky violet-purple. Fairly dense all the way through the meniscus.
Velvet, pure sumptuous velvet on the palate. Spreads broadly across the tongue, softening at the edges. More of that tooth-staining black fruit gives way to clove, black pepper and a long, juicy, cranberry finish. Grippy tannins need food to tame them.
The only thing holding this wine back is the heat -- it's REALLY hot. The excessive heat belies the relatively tame (for zinfandel) 14.5% alcohol. It's most definitely a food wine -- even the steak salad we ate didn't stand up to it particularly well. The lovely piece of dark chocolate I enjoyed while watching MythBusters, on the other hand, was a nice pairing.
Not necessarily my favorite Dashe bottling, but still far better that the goopy, sticky zins with little to no spice that are becoming increasingly popular.