I know this may seem a couple of weeks behind but the upcoming income tax deadline has taken up some of our blogging time…but not our wine tasting time : )
We have 3 weeks of blogging to update but we will split it up in 3 posts.
The Zinfandel Weekend is one of our favorite times of the year here in the Paso Robles area. This normally takes place sometime around mid-March, and this year it took place on the weekend of March 20-22.
The Zinfandel here in the Paso area is top notched. When we first started wine tasting over a decade ago, we realized quickly that ALL the Zins that are grown and crafted in this area are in a word…yummy. In EVERY winery that we visit in the Paso Robles area, even if we don’t prefer some of the wines offered, we always agree on liking the Zinfandel. Zinfandel quickly became our “go to” wine. The terroir of this area provides a fruit forward, black peppery, and complex spiciness. And although somewhat higher in alchohol, it is not unbalanced. Not to mention, Zinfandel goes well with all types of BBQ meats.
We visited Poalillo Vineyards on Saturday evening (3/21) for one of their events, which included a live band, food pairings, and of course…Zinfandel. Even though this winery has been around for a long time, we’ve visited this place for the first time at the beginning of this year (if you visit their Facebook page, we are in the picture of a group of people having a great time). At this event they offered a barrel taste of a Zin blend that will be released in a few months. They also offered tastes of 2012 Zinfandel, which definitely had hints of lavender blossoms per their description; and the Zinful Encounter has all that’s good about the zinfandel…notes of raisin and black pepper, dark fruity goodness and the smoky complexity. If you live in the area, the Summer Concert Series begins on July 11, if it’s anything like the event on Zin weekend, you can be assured it will be a fun time. At this event we met lots of fun people including Charles Poalillo, the founding father himself.
As the musicians were packing up and as the sun was setting over a pleasant evening, we continued to enjoy stories and conversations along with the equally pleasant wines. We met Beverly, who caught our eye with her Rabbit Ridge Winery t-shirt, a winery whose wine club we had recently re-joined. After sharing fun anecdotes with Beverly, she reminded us that they were pouring four(4) Zinfandels that were recently release and were going to be offered during zin weekend…so we felt compelled to go. So on Sunday(3/22), we went in to Rabbit Ridge Winery and as our tradition, we went in around 3pm (most of the tourists are gone by then). As we knew from the previous day, Beverly was going to be pouring at the winery, so we were glad to see her again.
The four new Zinfandels did not disappoint 2013 Zinfandel, 2013 OVZ, 2013 LPR, and 2013 RUSSELL reserve should be renamed the “four horseman” of killer tasting zinfandels. Rabbit Ridge’s tradition of putting out great zinfandels did not disappoint. My preference for Zinfandel is black peppery, spicy (anise), and dark berry fruit forwardness with smoky notes as a bonus. The 2013 OVZ met those requirements.
I know we only scratched the surface of Zinfandel weekend and this was not meant to be definitive. But I hope we’ve been able to give you a sense of the joys of savoring wine and food with good company.