If Cab is the King and Pinot is the Queen, then I guess Zin is the B-I-T-C-H
“If Cabernet is the king of wines and Pinot Noir is the queen, well then I guess Zinfandel is the B-I-T-C-H.” I was sorry I’d even asked. I was just trying to be friendly. Last week while sorting my Rockpile zin, I’d chatted up the harvest intern across from me. I asked him how he was enjoying his first harvest experience - mundane enough. Then I asked him what he’d learned thus far. That’s where I went wrong. He mocked my fruit and spelled a naughty word. Poor Zinfandel, ever maligned, adopted, foster step child of red grapes. A varietal eternally overshadowed by pink box wine and slutty treacle with too much RS. Could this really represent zin’s reputation in the wine grape continuum?
To me, zin smells like comfort food. Dark and rich with plum and spice, it sings alongside braised winter meats, cozy one dish casseroles, and any grilled meat. To me, zin tastes like fall. It tastes like the memory of summer barbecues when the mornings dip into the 40’s. I make zin for the same reasons that I make pinot and rose: because I like to drink it. And it truly speaks to sense of place.
Rockpile is Zin Country. If you look at the Rockpile Grape Growers website, there’s a lot of talk about Rockpile sitting above the fog line. That’s a big deal. Zin is thin skinned and susceptible to rot. But because Rockpile is above the fog line, the grapes don’t hang out in the same soupy, wet morning fog that carpets the valley below. Even on the foggiest of mornings, the grapes stay dry.
2012 is a banner year for zin. Everybody’s crop is up. Even we got a record yield this year. It’s great for a traditionally low yielding site like our swale block, so low yielding in fact that our 2010 vintage is nearly gone. In a record breaking, zintastic, zin sloshing frenzy, we sold our entire year’s allocation in less than 5 months. You call that a B-I-T-C-H Mr. Harvest Intern?
I say we re-christen zin “Overlord of Wines Worldwide.” “Patriarch” and “Chieftain” are OK, too. Meanwhile, we just learned that our 2010 Rockpile Zinfandel earned a score of 89 from Wine Enthusiast.
If you want to jump on our zintillating band wagon, please send me an e mail. We are literally down to the last cases of the 2010 vintage. After that, you gotta wait until summer 2013.