Take a trip through time with an old style California Zinfandel that harkens back to the days of the wild west. This vineyard’s earliest plantings from the mid-nineteenth century produce a delicate, fruity wine that’s easy to love. The sweet berry and licorice aromas tantalize while gentle tannins lead the flavors to an elegant finish. Enjoy this with a classic hearty frontier meal.
When our wine panel got back from San Francisco’s annual ZAP festival, the world’s largest gathering of Zinfandel winemakers and enthusiasts, they seemed only to able to say two words: “James” and “Bell.” One of our panel raved, “I went to the festival trying to find something new and instead found an exquisite take on a classic California Zin!” They were overloaded with bottles and their teeth were purple. We took away their car keys and popped open another bottle.
Zinfandel is recognized as America’s Heritage Wine. Its historical association with the Wild West, the Gold Rush and rugged individualists taming rugged territory, captured the imagination of 100s of winemakers and thousands of enthusiasts. Once only planted in California, today its popularity has sprung new plantings across the United States and around the world. A typically robust red wine, Zinfandel grapes are planted in one in every ten California vineyards, white it is also grown in states across the nation. They can run a bit “hot”, or too alcoholic, but they frequently tend to be very refreshing.
A vineyard in Lodi, where some of the earliest plantings date from the Gold Rush, is the source for most of this blend. This award winning winery was a big winner at the annual ZAP festival in San Francisco, continuing their legacy of excellence in winemaking.
Food Pairing Notes
Our food pairing expert got back from ZAP and told us, “The 2013 James & Bell Zin is at home with any bbq or hearty stew.” She suggested this one: http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotbarbecue/r/bl105c15.htm
This unpretentious, understated and easy-drinking red wine captured our attention immediately. Its aromas focus on sweet berry and licorice, while gentle tannins let the delicate fruit flavors shine through.
Gold Medal 91-point - 2016 Monterey Wine Competition
Silver Medal 88-point - 2016 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition
Silver Medal - 2016 West Coast Wine Competition