OK, I think I’ve pieced enough of ZAP back together to make a little sense.Â We will skip the first stop, second stop nonsense, because after Edmeades, I don’t know where the hell we went.Â So in order of how it popped into my brain:
C.G.Â di ArieÂ we went here because some older lady, who I thought was probably a grape grower, well manicured in overalls, boots and a cowboy hat, saw the sign and acted like they were the holy grail.Â So we joined in.Â They make three Zins.Â This was not our first stop or we would have used better logic in selecting the stop.Â They had three Zins out:
We skipped the Amador County and went right to Southern Exposure.Â It was a very well made, nicely structured Zin.Â Lots of spice on the finish, which is how I like my Zins.Â The Shenandoah Valley was even better.Â Â This one is pretty fruit forward with cherries and some jamminess, also finishing spicey.Â Note to self, follow old ladies in overalls around, they know what time it is.
Benessere.Â I’m a big fan of their Zin.Â I’ve written about it here before.Â Actually, I opened a bottle a couple of months ago that blew me away.Â There is no fall off with this vintage.Â I liked the BK Collins Old Vine best.Â Like the bottle I had at home, it’s perfect with spicey food.Â And they have a great wine dog.
Moss Creek.Â I’ve written about George’s wine before.Â Actually, his 1998 blew me away and I tracked him down so I could get more.Â They were there pouring a 2003, which while not that young for normal standards, was very young for George standards.Â While we were there he opened the 1998, for which I will be eternally greatful.Â His wines age so beautifully it’s hard to put words together to describe it.Â He’s a great guy, I’m very happy to have met him and I think we left before I got too stupid.Â He’s got that 1998 on his website for $39.Â It’s the best deal in wine you’ll ever find.Â
JR Wines.Â John Ramsey is the winemaker and he buys some of his grapes from George.Â His George’s vineyard Zin is proof positive that great wine begins in the vineyard.Â He also has a Big Dave’s which was good, but not like George’s.Â This guy is very small, but he makes a good glass of juice and is worth seeking out.
Edmeades was our first stop.Â I’ve had more than my share of their wines, so it was a pleasure to meet Van Williamson.Â They had probably five different Zins out there and a barrel tasting as well.Â The one I liked best was the 2005 Perli.Â Their wines tend to be really jammy and the Perli has a lot more complexity.Â I want to say it’s a smarter wine, although it didn’t make me any smarter.Â Quite the opposite.
Dashe Cellars, really nice people and really great wine.Â The one that jumped outÂ atÂ me was the 2005 Old Vines, Todd Brothers.Â That thing was just full ofÂ spice spice spice.Â I like spicey Zins so I thought this one was the shiznet.Â They are a husband and wife winemaking team and it works.Â Really works.
Graziano Family of Wines, Greg Graziano, what a great guy.Â All of his wines were very nice, but my favorite was theÂ 2004 Blozzi.Â He gets some grapes from his cousin Eddie and does I think it’s called the Eddie Vineyard, but it didn’t really do much, not like the Blozzi.Â Fruit forward with dark cherries and a very complex finish.Â He does a great job.
Carol Shelton Wines, poor Carol Shelton.Â They were put in the S room and not the A-G room.Â I can’t remember what the hell her wine tasted like.Â I forgot to write anything down and I’m sure it’s a damned shame.Â I checked out her website hoping to bring back a thought or two.Â I certainly remember somebody talking about the Wild Thing.Â I guess I’ll have to take a run up there and figure out what the hell happened in the H-Z room.
In the interim, it’s raining here, I’m teaching the dogs how to hold hammers without opposable thumbs…just in case we need an ark.