Without question, Mother Nature has posed many challenges for the world this year: earthquakes in Mexico, tropical storms in the Caribbean, and torrential flooding in South Asia. But, for oenophiles and winemakers, one of the most notable and dramatic natural disasters has been in California. The fires in Napa and Sonoma will not only strike an incredible blow to California winemaking and its economy, lives and homes have been lost.
And so we collectively have our fingers crossed as we think of and pray for those directly affected by this tragedy. California winemakers have long been viewed as pioneers, and as they wait to see what the 2017 vintage brings, they work to rebuild. So in honor of that undeniable, true American grit ever-present in the winemakers of this region, we realized that our Inspired Wine Club could draw no greater inspiration this month than from some of California’s finest. In this case, these reds will hopefully only set your palate ablaze as we wish for a quick recovery to the family and friends who bring us such great wine, year after year.
2014 Sean Minor Nicole Marie Red Blend, Napa Valley, California
Named after the winemaker’s wife, the “Nicole Marie” Red Blend from Sean Minor provides a cozy quaff. Think brown sugar, molasses and vanilla as you grab your first sniff from this elegant, deep ruby wine. This is a big, rich, spicy wine with soft tannins and sweet oak, made from 50% Merlot, 25% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot and 12% Zinfandel. Dark cherry, plum, cassis and black pepper flavors lead to a balanced, long and lingering finish that make this a perfect match for that Porterhouse steak you just stood out in the chilly November night to grill for your friends. It’s also a great friend to a platter of robust cheese and charcuterie.
2014 H Mynors Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Amador County and Lodi, California
It takes a village of grapes to make this outstanding Zin from Sean Minor. Actually…several villages or vineyards, as it were. Inhale the beautiful aromas of cranberry, violet, brown sugar and vanilla after taking in the wine’s mesmerizing deep ruby hues. On the palate, this big red follows through with flavors of cranberry, black pepper and bright red fruit that intertwine with hints of oak spices. Perfectly tempered, round soft tannins and the sweet oak balance give a long, lingering finish. This too, is a great wine with beef, whether it’s a Beef Bourguignon garnished with crusty French baguettes or a Roquefort-topped filet mignon. Perfect for autumn, and a perfect reminder of why we love our California Reds.