It’s that day again!
As you probably know, I love the Paso Robles wine region.
Aw, who am I kidding? I pretty much love EVERY wine region.
But, Paso Robles holds a special place in my heart and I love when I’m able to find bottles from places we’ve visited while we were out there.
Like Four Vines.
Now, when we visited Four Vines (probably back in 2006 or 2007), they only had 4 wines and all were Zinfandels. That was pretty intriguing to us because 1) Zinfandel is a big ole wine and 2) it’s unusual to find a winery that only does one thing and 3) we tried some Zinfandels at other Paso wineries (really, it may have only been one or two others that even attempted a Zin) and we weren’t crazy about them (okay, we really didn’t like any of them at all) so the thought of a winery in Paso ONLY doing Zins blew our minds a little.
(I should add that they now produce a Chardonnay but I’ve yet to try it. It’s on my “to drink” list. What? You don’t have one of those?) 🙂
My sailor’s favorite is an Old Vine Zinfandel and he’s pretty particular.
We went with some friends as they had been many times before and loved the wines. They also really talked up the atmosphere of the tasting room, which was totally unassuming, pretty badass, and kinda fun. 🙂
(Unfortunately, it seems that the Four Vines tasting room is no longer open but you can still find their wines across the states.)
Anyway, we LOVED it. They snagged us hook, line, and sinker and, whenever we’re in the mood for an insanely drinkable and easily affordable Zin, I usually reach for a Four Vines bottle.
I found the biker at our Food Lion and it was on sale to $19 (down from $25) so it fit nicely into my $20 or less grocery store wine budget. Cha-ching!
According to the winemaker’s comments, the grapes for this vine came from the west side of Paso Robles which happens to have more calcareous soil than the east side. Yes, I know that’s a big and confusing word. I can barely pronounce it myself! Calcareous means the soil contains more calcium carbonate or is more chalky. The west side is also rockier and rainier (it’s closer to the coast so that means more rain) than the east side which has more rolling hills and plains.
Those conditions produce different types of grapes better than others and only the truly hardy grapes do well on the west side. That usually means the grape is more concentrated with fruit flavor (it has to work hard to keep from shriveling up so the flavor intensifies – think Theodore Roosevelt – west side grapes usually speak softly (because they’re trying to survive the difficult growing conditions) and carry a big stick (flavor punch!).
As you can see, it has a beautiful cherry color (don’t mind the outside cat tree). A little swirl and a big sniff brings you amazing berry fruit and pepper. No, not so much that you’re going to sneeze. It’s subtle but exhilarating.
With your first sip, you’ll pick out delicious and bold cherry flavors and some spiciness (no, not like Frank’s Red Hot. Sheesh) that makes you think of pepper and a little bit of licorice. The fruit is really jammy and you almost want to chew it. Watch out, don’t bite your tongue trying to do just that!
It ends dry (which means you’ll want to pucker a little and your tongue will reach for the roof of your mouth) but with great flavors of warm vanilla and caramel and a hint of chocolate.
Trust me when I say you’ll go back for more. 🙂
This wine will pair beautifully with any grilled meat or hearty roast. You could even pair it with a substantial pasta dish (not vegetarian unless you throw in some really hearty eggplant) or stew.
We paired ours with bacon cheeseburgers. Om nom nom!
Talk to me: How do you feel about Zinfandel? What about bacon cheeseburgers?