25 November 2013

2012 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin & Gulyás

Zinfandel often gets mentioned as a favorite choice for Thanksgiving, because it's (sort of) a unique American wine (by way of Italy and by earlier way of Croatia). But the big and bold style is something that really flourished in California, which is why today we celebrate Malbec in Argentina but ignore the small quantities made in the home fields of Bordeaux.

There's a big Zinfandel Experience happening in San Francisco January 23-25, 2014:
The Heritage Vineyard stretches over one acre within the UC Davis Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley. Over the years, notable winemakers such as Nils Venge, Mary Buckles, Robert Biale, Matthew Cline, Rod Berglund, Joel Peterson, Ehren Jordon, Paul Draper, Kent Rosenblum, Bill Knuttel, Dr. J. Bernard Seps, Tom Mackey, Ted Seghesio, Diane Wilson and Chris Leamy have each had a hand in crafting these wines. For the 2011 vintage, it was Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Wines. Of this vintage, only 120 cases were produced. I'm very confident that you will love this wine.
You can read more about it at the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers website.

2012 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin
Zinfandel (Blend or pure Zin?)
Lodi, California
$12, 14% abv.

Lots of blackberries on the nose with a rich, deep berry flavor that's just on the edge of jam. Little bit of toast and just a hint of spice. Fairly balanced tannins for such a young wine, but rich, concentrated flavors all around. Long, lingering finish.

Big red wines aren't the best match for turkey and ham, but who says that you have to stick to those two proteins? For my family Thanksgiving this weekend, we're doing beef tenderloin. In the past I've done pork loin roasts, legs of lamb... If you want to be really authentic with Thanksgiving, you ought to be serving duck and venison. But that's a rant for another day.

I took advantage of the cold weather and a certain ursine impulse to store things for the winter by making a big batch of goulash to freeze. Originally known as gulyás I used the recipe from Saveur, mainly because I love parsnips so much. I was lucky to find parsnips and carrots of roughly the same size, though if you're making this, be sure to trim out the tough, woody core of the parsnips.

It's a very simple stew to make, and even though I enjoyed a savory bowl of it yesterday, I know that it will be better once it has time to rest. I might even make a batch of nokedli to go along with it.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.

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