Fall is coming and that means bring out the red – red wine and red meat. But as much as I love red meat, I can’t go around eating rib eye and rack of lamb seven nights a week. Sadly, this means that a lot of my big tannic reds collect dust when it comes to mealtime. For example, last night was stir-fry chicken night, and although a crisp aromatic white probably would’ve sealed the deal, I wouldn’t have it. Football was on, and the leaves on the tree outside of my window were starting their annual fade to orange. I was in the mood for red, and a BIG one at that. So I looked passed all the cabs and found a bottle of 2000 Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel.
Short review: yum.
Long review: medium garnet in color, with a touch of fine sediment visible in suspension (which could’ve been decanted out if I felt like making the effort). Nose reveals its age, with raisining black and red fruits, dark chocolate and clove. Dry with medium acidity, and a small amount of supple tannin. Medium to full-bodied, with a silky mouthfeel and intense flavors of strawberry jam, black cherries, raspberries and spice. A little heat from the alcohol, but well-hidden by the acidity and robust fruit. Loooooong finish makes this wine a pleasure to drink. 88% zinfandel, 9% alicante bouschet, 3% petite syrah.
Did this zin work with the chicken stir-fry? You bet. Much better than a tannic cabernet or syrah would have. Was it the best match? Probably not, but you can’t have perfection every night of the week! -- WG