23 August 2006

2004 V. Sattui Pilgrim Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel

Here's my second report on a Sattui wine, another gift from Dad. Today, for reasons that I won't get into, was a bad day. Had to call in sick to work, lots of automotive repair in the driveway, mowed the yard, repaired the weedeater, and attended to other gloriously fun duties. After all was said and done, I felt like rewarding myself. There was a steak in the fridge, plenty of ripe tomatoes, and a bottle of 2004 V. Sattui Pilgrim Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel. It's also an Old Vine wine. I don't have any real opinions on young versus old vines, though I'm providing the information anyway. Pictured at right you can see the wine and the steak, in this case a decent-sized T-bone. Not my favorite cut of beef, but nothing to sneer at. And yes, I did cook the steak. I enjoy beef rare, but not that rare.

I usually salt and pepper my steaks before grilling, but I decided to upgrade the procedure a bit. I replaced my old black peppercorns with a much more aromatic blend of white and black peppercorns, and for salt, I used coarse French grey salt. The latter is mostly due to the influence of Michael Chiarello. I didn't use his branded grey salt, but got some from a local spice shop. God, that stuff is delicious. I can eat it straight, and it's wonderful with my tomatoes.

The wine is wonderful. It's definitely a Zin, but even at 14.5% alcohol, it doesn't have a hot aroma or flavor. On the nose I get some leather and a hint of coffee, as well as the rich dark cherry you'd expect. Particularly when paired with hearty fare, this is a remarkably light Zinfandel for its age. Flavors are bold and fruit-forward, but not jammy or succumbing to the California Zin stereotypes. On its own there is a bit of tannic bite on the finish. It's time like this when I wonder why I don't drink more well-made Zinfandel.

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