I haven’t bought in to the whole organic/biodynamic thing in wine yet. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some ecologically laissez-faire industrialist monster looking for any excuse to burn coal and club baby seals, but wine needs to taste good.
I’ve tried a few attempts at the organic/biodynamic thing1 and I’ve been less than impressed.
Until I stumbled upon a little winery in Dry Creek Valley I’d (no surprise here, really) never heard of.
Quivira Vineyards and Winery is a total hippie new-agey type place. Fortunately I’m actually pretty down with that in general, as long as your juice brings it. And theirs does, especially our topic of discussion today: the 2006 Anderson Ranch Zinfandel. There’s all kinds of great info on this wine on their website, but I’m here to tell you the most important part: what’s it taste like?
Unlike the baked zins of Lodi and California’s central valley, the zins of Dry Creek Valley always come off a bit subtler, more refined. No escaping that here, so don’t expect to get your ass handed to you by overpowering spice. There’s a smoothness to the big sound, here—more Michael McDonald, less Don Henley, if that makes any sense to you.
In the glass, the wine is a solid dark ruby throughout, with very little change retreating to the edges. The nose features dark chocolate, raspberry, and a bit of a bitter espresso note. You kinda have to dig the bitter (Ed note: I do.) to dig that, but it’s nice.
The 2006 Anderson Ranch is full-bodied, with lots of notes of black pepper and dark spices, tasting a lot like a spice rack smells. But there’s also a pretty sick chocolate note in there, nothing to sniff at (though, certainly, something to sniff).
All in all, this is exactly what I like in zinfandel, and I can highly recommend it. Hopefully, it bodes well for my personal experience in the years to come with organic/biodynamic wine.
quick sidenote: I don’t want to offend anyone by conflating the two terms, but it seems to me that the latter is a subset of the former. However, since the former is so much more well-known as a term, I will continue to use them in this slashy manner.↩