Good Deal - February 2009

By ericg February 1, 2009

Every now and then Bacchus sends us a little token of his affection. It’s happened again. Just in time for the romantically inclined oenophile in search of the perfect way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day comes word that the No. 10 wine among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2008 can be had for a mere $24 the bottle! This, needless to say, does not happen often. Seize the day!

The wine is the 2007 Seghesio zinfandel Sonoma County, and it is rated by the magazine’s editors at an astonishing 93 points. This big supple red, of which 68,000 cases were made, was sourced from a variety of vineyards and aged 11 months in mostly American oak. It has the long complex finish to prove it, too.

We tasted this wine in conjunction with a meal of assertive flavors: an herb-and-mustard-crusted rack of lamb served rare and accompanied by French fingerling potatoes first steamed, then dressed in an aggressive brew of sherry vinegar, Meyer lemon juice, garlic and goat cheese. The Seghesio held its own beautifully. Although a bit more refined than many zins at this price, it still shows the bramble and spice we expect of the varietal and tosses in some nice tobacco and cherry notes for fun, giving it both the muscle and the subtlety needed to complement the full-flavored dishes with which we paired it.

Seghesio Family Vineyards has been making wine in California since 1895 and specializes in fully expressed zinfandels, some of single origin and some blends from several growers. Its wines regularly make Wine Spectator’s Top 100, but this is the first time it has broken into the Top 10. Look for it at boutique wine shops and at big box liquor stores that specialize in wine.

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