Friday, March 11, 2011

Joel Gott Wines Zinfandel (2008)

The name -- Joel Gott Wines -- has always had a familiar ring.  It was one of those names that I know that I've heard before, but I just could not remember when or where.  But when I saw a bottle of Joel Gott Zinfandel at my local Whole Foods, I decided to buy a bottle and do a review.  The goal was to find where I had first heard of the winemaker.  I ended up learning a lot more ... and, all the while, I enjoyed a great wine.

Joel Gott has been identified by Wine Spectator with "Robin Hood winemaking."  Gott purchased the sixteen acre plot of land that was originally a chicken farm, but later became one of the wineries of Sutter Home wines, or, as the Wine Spectator put it, "the House that Zin built."  Gott arranged the purchase of the site with the goal of wine makers pooling resources, sharing equipment and producing artisan wines.  The "Robin Hood" part is that Gott planned on leasing the tanks to larger winemakers and using the proceeds to provide the smaller winemakers with the opportunity to make their wines.

But I am not interested in their wines, at least at this time.  I wanted to try the Joel Gott Zinfandel.  Generally, Zinfandel wines are very intense in terms of the fruit, both in the nose and on the palate.  The nose of Joel Gott's Zinfandel wine is heavy on the blackberries laced with a little black pepper.  The taste of his wine is full of fruit, with blackberries, dark cherries and some spice. The ABV of this wine, as with many Zinfandel wines, is a little higher than your average wine, at 14.4% ABV.  But, you easily forget about that as you sip a very drinkable wine.

When it comes to pairing a wine like this Zinfandel, think red meat, like beef, lamb, venison and other game.  I think this wine would go well with my grass-fed strip steak with watercress chili salad or with a bistecca alla fiorentina.  This wine also goes well with aged cheeses, like blue cheese and aged hard cheeses. 

I am generally not a big fan of Zinfandels, but I really like this wine.  It transcends other Zinfandels that I have tried in the past and it is definitely one that I would have again.  I found this bottle at my local Whole Foods for about $16.99 a bottle and it should also be available at wine stores. 


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