Credit to Ridge Vineyards for this lovely photo of
Zinfandel grapes growing in their Lytton Springs Vineyard.
In addition to blogging, I write articles for a couple of local papers. I thought you all might enjoy reading a few suggestions for fall wines that will appear in my column, "WINEderlust." Oenophiles & foodies always appreciate good wine suggestions:
There’s finally a little chill in the air which means we can think about leaving summer wines behind. Now’s the perfect time to try some robust reds, you know, the kind that will put a little pink in your cheeks. Some of my fall favorites are jammy, brambly and even prunish sorts like Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Franc (holla!) Most folks have tried the first two, but the latter? If you haven’t taken the plunge with Cab Franc, you should.
An all-time favorite is a Sonoma producer with a cult-following and an artistic touch with [Red] Zinfandel. You can’t make a poor choice with RIDGE Wines, but the 2015 Lytton Springs is an excellent option. Technically, the 2015 isn’t Zinfandel because it is blended with 16% Petite Sirah and small amounts of lesser-known varietals: Carignane & Mourvedre. This wine is full of the aforementioned bramble flavors (raspberry & blackberry), smoky oak and the expected peppery finish. Great with barbecue or brownies. $38ish
France’s Rhône is on point when you are looking for affordable & affable Syrah (AKA Shiraz in other parts of the world). Right now, I’m digging Chateau de Nages Joseph Torres Rouge. A bit more budget-driven than the RIDGE, this one’s about $25 and is intense. You remember the little candies you tried in French Class as a child? The ones that came in a pretty tin? They tasted like violets & smelled amazing? That’s what’s going on here. Elegant & feminine but in a big way.
Grand Finale. Robert Sinskey Vandal Vineyard Cabernet Franc, 2013. This has all of my favorite flavors in one very balanced bottle. Berries, chocolate, green olive, lavender and a big bunch of leather up the back. A tiny bit spendy at $50 and worth every penny. [Shout-out to my good friend, Jon Keep. This Sinskey wine reminds me so much of a wine that's no longer made: Gravity Hills, Killer Climb Syrah. It was one that I loved and my buddy and I spent a memorable evening polishing off, ahem, SEVERAL bottles. Cheers to us, Jon!]
@RidgeWines @ChateaudeNages @RobertSinskeyVineyards
Elizabeth Morse cooks professionally, is an Advanced Master Gardener and lover of all things local.