#NWTW Week 16: The Verdict On Californian Zinfandel

week 16 raven and TL

Me oh my have I eaten a lot of medium rare beef this week!  Great thing about Zinfandel is that pretty much any grilled or barbequed meat will go great with it, but after my good mate Paolo made me Tagliata in the week, I had to try to make it myself too.  Cue the meat sweats!

First wine this week was the Gnarly Head Old Vine 2011 from Spirited Wines.  I have to say, I absolutely loved it.  My sense of smell for chocolate is on heat this week as all the knock-off easter eggs are being cleared at bargain prices (hitting the gym hard next week!).  The chocolate was there on the nose in abundance.  It was full, it was smooth, it had a gorgeously balanced and long finish (just means you keep tasting it long after you’ve glugged it back) with that underlying blackcurrant flavour continuing throughout.  A top wine on it’s own and a great pairing with Paolo’s (perfectly cooked) Tagliata.  Gnarly Head gets 8/10 (that is high for me!)

week 16 gnarly head

Next two were had when I tried to recreate Paolo’s masterpiece on Friday night.  Just after I narrowly avoided setting off all the fire alarms in my flat cooking the meat (we really need a new extractor fan!), we at down to eat and drink.

First up was the Turning Leaf 2011 from Morrison’s/Sainsbury’s.  Other than the blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit flavours, there was once again the dark chocolate (maybe I’ve just got it stuck in my nostrils this week?!), and also clove and juniper spices.  Really not unpleasant.  On the taste though, it was more medium bodied than full, a bit wishy washy in the mouth, and felt a bit alcoholic on the finish, a finish that was fairly short.  Look, it’s £8, we can’t expect miracles.  It was very drinkable, but I probably wouldn’t rush back.   5/10

Next up, and the last one for the week was the Ravenswood 2011, from Lodi County.  I picked this one up for under a tenner at Majestic.  Great value wine!  Cloves and vanilla spice, smokey cedar oakiness, and blackcurrant and bramble fruit.  The smell was fantastic.  As much as it didn’t blow me away on the palate, it also didn’t let me down either.  Well balanced, the same flavours came through in a very strong manner, and the finish was a decent length.  I have to say, this’d be a good one to come back to after a couple of years of ageing.  Very drinkable now though and a great match for my (i’d like to think decent effort at) Tagliata.  7/10

This could be a very high scoring week.  Hope you all enjoyed it!


Other posts in NWTW Week 16:

#NWTW Week 16: Zinfandel from Californ-I-A!

#NWTW Week 16: Going To California…er, Without The Aching In My Heart!

#NWTW Week 16: Zinfandel, The USA’s Very Own Grape…Almost!

#NWTW Week 16: What Can You Eat With Zinfandel



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