A portion of the ZAP fest I attended this past January in San Francisco was the food and wine event that matches local restaurants with Zinfandels. It’s a pricey proposition; at $125 a ticket, it was more than I have ever paid, but celebrating my birthday that weekend with friends, it was the price of being a baller for the night. The food was epic, lamb chops in my right hand and tasty duck bites in my left. Heaven!
Held in the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio event center, the grounds are situated in the eucalyptus treed park near the scenic southern edge of the Golden Gate bridge. A perfect setting for tasting this showcase of California fruit.
Packed shoulder to elbow, we found ourselves in the room I like to call the Lodi room. This wine AVA is located 86 miles east of San Francisco and the wines I tasted were just a tease of what I hope to taste when I next make a trip down south.
The first words out of any of the wine pourer’s mouth was the fact that these wines are from vines over 100 years old. In comparison, Washington can only boast vines at their oldest is maybe 60 years old. If 40 years makes the difference, then vive la difference!
What I appreciate about these wines is the depth of the Zin flavor elegantly smoothed out before becoming those ‘fruit bombs’ that I have fallen out of love with these days. So maybe that’s what an old vine zinfandel vine brings to the glass; a balanced, medium bodied and a lingering finish. It was a wonderful wine education for me and makes for some enjoyable sipping.
These are a handful of the ones that made my eyes roll heaven-ward, and if you can locate them, I highly recommend you give them a taste.
– McCay Cellars, 2010 Contention
– St. Amant Winery (All 2012 Vintages)
Mohr Fry Ranch – Old Vine
Marian’s Vineyard- Old Vine
– Harney Lane Winery , 2011 Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard