2013 El Portal Barrel Select Red
Sure, there’s something inherently powerful about the red wine. Red is a passionate, bold color that’s equally associated with anger as it is love. Red wines tend to follow suit, tending to be complex but bombastic. As a result red wines tend to be louder than their white counterparts. The 2012 El Portal Barrel Selects Red, however, is an exception to this tendency. A quiet red that maintains its expression but eschewing the noise that comes with it. One of our expert panel took a sip of the El Portal and sat for awhile, lost in thought. “It’s reflective,” she finally, with a nod to herself. She chuckled quietly at a distant memory and took another sip. The panel had cooked a beef stew and sat eating mostly in silence. As they drank El Portal, they quietly agreed that they had a pleasant evening.
The Zinfandel takes a backseat to the Syrah’s red fruits and a Bordeaux-influenced Merlot. Concentrated blackberry and cherry aromas are joined by notes of black currant, plum, spice and violet. Although this is a California wine, it follows a more subdued style of winemaking than the typically bigger winemaking style from the Golden State.
This winemaker comes to us from Lodi and the Delta growing areas, part of California’s vast inland valleys. The river delta is where the two valleys meet, about 100 miles east of San Francisco. The area accounts for about 24% of California’s annual grape crush. Lodi is within the Delta area, and has been an important winegrowing region since the 1850’s
Food Pairing Notes
The 2011 El Portal goes nice with beef, lamb, game, roasted root vegetables and bean based dishes. Here’s the beef stew our panel enjoyed: http://americanfood.about.com/od/classicchowdersandstews/r/beefstew.htm
(May 24, 2013 at 6:14 AM)
Very drinkable wine. Goes well with most any food and also is good just for sipping on the patio. Hubby's favorite red wine. We're ordering another case.
(Aug 5, 2013 at 10:03 AM)
Nice simple, unpretentious wine - not very full bodied but not overly alcoholic either. Good drinking. Wine Insiders just filled my order July 13 with the 2011, instead of the 2010 that I ordered even though in August the web site still lists the 2010 as available. We'll see how 2011 stacks up.
(Oct 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM)
My preference is table quality burgundy such as Carlo Rossi. I am well traveled which includes France, Germany and Italy. This is a good drinking wine. Paresd well with a good steak or Cheese and Sausage assortment.
(Oct 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM)
I just want to comment on a wine I just purchased from you. The wine is El Portal Vineyard Select. I am no wine connoisseur, but I do know what I like and I love this wine. I am a Burgundy drinker and I cook with Merlot. This El Portal hits the perfect happy medium between the fruity moderate sweetness of Burgandy and the Tart dryness of the Merlot. Happily, it has the deep body of both. Thanks for hearing me out. No reply required of course.
(May 3, 2014 at 5:19 PM)
One of my favorite wines and easily the best for the price!