Whew...that was alot to get out.
Well, that's kinda how we met Fred. See, I walk into Riviera Ristorante and start talking with my pal GP, who, along with other family members, owns the place. I was just done with the Wine Bloggers Conference and was tired after 2 nights of not too much sleep, so just wanted to mind my own business and have a lite dinner before heading home... a 90+ minute adventure. GP and I are talking about the
conference and he introduces me to Fred and insists I sit at the table next to he and his wife.
GP pours some wine, Fred starts talking with me, we start talking about the conference and wine blogging and then wine in general, and it turns out, Fred owns a nice vineyard. A REALLY nice vineyard, as it turns out. Based on the East Benchland in Dry Creek Valley, the Lencioni Vineyard has been in Fred's family for quite some time. Decades. LOTS of decades! OLD is GOOD!
We finish up and exchange contact info and agree to stay in touch. Cool. Done.
I finish up my dinner and head south. Ahhhh...a long weekend, but well worth it.
..I know what you're sayin', now: "Hey, what about the wine?"
Yes, yes, the wine. Mmm. The wine.
So, in the past few weeks, Fred and I caught up over email and I mentioned that I was doing a post for Wine Blogging Wednesday and it was a Zin theme this month. Ha HA!...now, you see, more KISMET!
Fred suggested that I look into the Camellia Cellars Zin
for this review and he and the folks at Camellia Cellars are to be thanked for providing this bottle at no cost to me for this review. (That's the disclosure part, folks.)
So, for Wine Blogging Wednesday #60, the 5th anniversary of WBW (read more about WBW for some cool info and how it works!) hostess, @sonadora (for those of you on twitter...if not, you can read her blog here) set down the rules as essentially this:
1) It's Zin. So pick one.
2) Grill something and eat it.
2.1) The George Foreman grill isn't really a grill, but we'll let it slide
2.2) The saute pan is definitely not a grill, but it's all about the wine, so what the hell, go for it.
OK. Since we DO have a grill, and it was a beautiful day in lovely HMB, CA today, we're grillin' baby!
On the menu:
Heirloom Tomato Salad
w/ avocado and grilled sweet corn
Grilled Moroccan Spiced Chicken
w/ smokey Spanish lentils and grilled veg
The 2006 Camellia Cellars Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Lencioni Vineyards Zinfandel (ouch, fingers tired)
OK, so we cooked it all up and had a great time...(video posted soon, so check back shortly).
Now for the wine and food:
The Zin, upon opening, was quite welcoming with a nice, aromatic bark and tobacco nose coupled with peppery blueberries. I enjoyed that this was NOT a fruit bomb from my first whiff. Nice. After aerating a bit, the first sip was delicious. The nose brings a balanced spiciness to bear and the decreasing mouthfeel was not over-anxious to go away quickly, but just at the right time. With the sweetness of the tomatoes and the acidity of the vinegar in the dressing, the substantial, but not overpowering fruitiness of raspberry and boysenberry notes lent to a pleasant support of the clean tasting, fresh and luscious tomatoes.
Next, the chicken, with a fair bit of Moroccan spices was quite aggressive. Straight off the grill, the complement of the grilled vegetables and the smoky lentils was a very forward flavorful and challenging match to work with. This Zin did it with flying colors!
When spicy was up front from the chicken or lentils, the fruit flowed straight to the palate and when the clean veggie taste was asking for a partner, the spiciness of the grape lent a hand and turned simple to sublime.
Kismet. That's what I say. I couldn't have picked a better match for aggressively spicy chicken if I tried.
Again, my thanks to Fred and the Camellia Cellars folks for doing a great job and sharing a bottle of their craft with us.
2006 Camellia Cellars Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Lencioni Vineyards Zinfandel