15 June 2012

2009 The Federalist Dueling Pistols

On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr shot former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Hamilton died the next day. Despite what you think about the venom of contemporary politics, events like this are thankfully rare, like when...

Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina had been in a duel with a future Texas Senator, and due to the injury, had to walk with a cane. In 1856, he got aggravated when Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts insulted another South Carolina politician over the issue of slavery. Brooks was so furious that he delivered a savage beating to Sumner with his gutta-percha cane on the Senate floor, and the poor Senator took three years to recover from the injuries. Brooks became something of a folk hero in the South, and such tensions culminated in the Civil War.

I've never consumed wine while angry or in a bad mood, and think that it's better to think of positive things while sipping on fermented grapes. So far I have never entered into a duel or beaten a Senator with a cane, so I think my track record is good.

2009 The Federalist Dueling Pistols
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
50% Zinfandel, 50% Syrah
$35, 15% abv.

During my visits to various Sonoma wineries in 2009, I fell in love with Dry Valley and the many different approaches to Zinfandel in such a small area. This particular blend is deep and meaty with aromas of blackberries and bacon fat and a touch of spice. Firm tannins and a big dark blackberry fruit profile with a long, rich finish. Later as it breathes, there's a slight toasty aroma that contributes to a wonderful dark berry pie flavor. Graceful aging so far, but it could probably go another couple of years safely. While you should probably serve this with a joint of mutton or some other 19th century source of indigestion, I found it to be delightful with a rare roasted ribeye topped with a Chicago steak seasoning blend.

Note: This wine was received as a sample.

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