Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winey Tasting Notes: Finishing the Christmas Returns and Fields Family Old Vine Zinfandel

The holidays are over (The Winey Son is back at West Point, the Winey Daughter back to high school, Winey Hubby back to work), but the wonderful memory lingers! We had a classic Christmas in Northeast Ohio this year: family, fun and lots and lots of snow. So pretty!

The white stuff is especially pretty when it is coming down hard outside and you and yours are snuggled on the couches, dogs snoring away, fire in the fireplace and Fields Family Wines Old Vine Zinfandel (2010, Lodi, CA, 14.7%) in your glass. I actually opened this bottle the Sunday after Christmas, but given the fact that kids and hubby had all been off from school and work for a week, I really couldn't tell you what the actual day was. Especially since we had spent the day finishing up returns at the very crowded mall. (It is a Winey Household rule that all returns must be made before school and school related activities resume. Believe me, if they're not done by then actually getting them done is a brutal endeavor.)

Turns out that popping the cork on this bottle was a wonderful idea! At first sniff, I got aromas of wood smoke, oak and a hint of dark cherries. The taste was cherry and raspberry and boysenberry - oh those wonderful berries! There was also some of that Zinfandel spice, something I had tasted before but never knew it had a name until I did on online tasting with the Lodi California Wine Folks. Anyway, the spice is dark and flavorful and rather hard to describe except to tell you that you will know when you taste it. (I swear I'm not pulling the lazy card here...it is hard to put into words and you will know it when it hits your mouth, I promise.) It ended with a touch of mocha coffee and finished with a taste of toasted marshmallow and tart plums. And balance? Amazing..one of the most balanced and complex wines I've had in a while..warm but not hot in the mouth, bursting with flavors all over the place. I was one happy Winey Mom. Tired, but wine-ily happy.

I hate to admit it, but given the exhausted state of, well, me (aka: chief cook), this paired very nicely with take out pizza and garlic Parmesan wings. (Did you really think I could cook another big meal that week, especially after a day of returns - with a husband AND 17 year old girl in tow? Winey Son hit the jackpot this year and didn't need to return anything, mostly because he got skis and we took him in person to be measured for it all!)

I am told that Zinfandel grapes are a specialty of the Lodi area. This is my second bottle of Zinfandel from that area (see also: Dinner With Friends and Some Lodi Wines) and I can see why it's such a favorite there. Those grapes must be very, very happy, with very few holiday returns to make, because they sure make a wonderful wine! (I can't imagine a tired, crabby, shopped out grape making a good wine, can you?) If you get the chance, pick some up and get the fireplace going. Snoring dogs are optional, but they add quite a bit of warmth to your feet if that is where they are doing their snoring. Like mine were.

Cheers!

I was sent this wine for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions are my own.



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