Lately I have been trying several Old Vine Zinfandels. This is probably my favorite. It’s the 2011 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi Appellation. I am going to give it a 94. Spectacular is one of the many words that come to mind.
When you bring the glass to your nose, the first thing I noticed was the smoke flavoring. It reminded me of the flavouring I used in my Pulled Pork recipe. On the palate, a kaleidoscope of flavours that include plums, cherries, vanilla, coffee, and of course a smokey oaky taste. I had friends over last night and everyone thought this wine was fantastic. The NSLC suggests you serve with BBQ ribs, funny, as that is what I am having this evening. I may have to pick up another bottle.
If the $25.29 price tag is a little hefty, there are other fantastic old vine Zinfandels. Pepperwood Grove is another big favorite of mine. At $16.99, this wine is a sensational value.
So where does the term ‘Old Vine’ come from. Well, it means pretty well what you think it means. Grape vines can grow for over 120 years. After about 20 years vines start to produce smaller crops, and average yields decrease, leading to more concentrated, intense wines. In the United States, the most common is for Zinfandel. The vineyards in California are up to 125 years old, and bearing small amounts of prized Zinfandel. If you see old vine on a bottle, whether it’s from California or Australia, it means the vines are at least 30 or 40 years old. And because of it, the wine is fantastic.
Pick up a bottle of Old Vine Zinfandel at your favorite Liquor store or wine boutique and let me know what you think.