Varietal: 80% Zinfandel; 10% Mourvedre; 8% Carignane; 2% Petite Sirah
Region: California – USA
Cost: $10 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: This is a refined pleasure with intense flavors of blackberry mingling with soft creamy touches of oak, vanilla, and dry herbs. It’s full on the palate, but not heavy and the fruit is constant from the first sip to the end of the finish. Pairs well with grilled pork, pasta Bolognese, and barbecued ribs or chops.
My Review: It’s taken me a while to get around to sampling/reviewing this wine. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but rather because I knew what I wanted to pair with it and took my sweet time getting and then cooking up some ribs. This past Saturday I finally got around to it.
The wine was lighter in the glass than I was expecting, with more of a reddish hue than purple. On the nose I got aromas of berry, and in the mouth red fruit with a hint of tobacco. My wife claimed there was green pepper but I never got any of it.
The wine was lighter than I was expecting, which is not to say that it was a bad thing, only that I was more used to heavier Zinfandel, and the 2009 Big House Cardinal Zin is decidedly not heavy. Normally I would say how the wine paired with the food at this point, but given that the ribs I made were, quite frankly, not very good (the place I buy them from changed up the sauce and it wasn’t as good), it’s unfair to say whether or not the wine did anything for the food. That being said, I would have liked to have had some good ribs or even a juicy hamburger with this wine.
If you’re a die-hard Zinfandel purist this is probably not the wine for you. However, if you’re looking for a different red to serve during the remains of the grilling/cook-out season, this is a nice affordable option that’s different from your typical Zinfandel and is light enough to be enjoyed on a hot day.
If you can’t find the 2009 Big House Cardinal Zin at your local store, you can follow this link and have it sent directly to you.