WineSpeed | Green & Red
GREEN & RED | “Tip Top Vineyard” Zinfandel 2013
(Napa Valley) $30 (750ml)
Many of the great zinfandel producers insist that zinfandel can be refined, even elegant. I’ve always been a little dubious. Except when it comes to the very best of the best zins. Green & Red is one. This wine is classy, pure tasting and so vivid in flavor you feel like your taste buds just put on 3-D glasses. More raspberryish than raspberries. Spicy to the hilt. Rich and yet restrained at the same time. The Tip Top Vineyard rests in serpentine-laced rock at 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley. It takes a great site to produce zinfandels that can be considered beautiful. Tasting is believing. (14.9 % abv)
93 points KM
Available at Green & Red
Vintage Port is:
A. Bottled two to three years after fermentation then aged a long time in the bottle
B. Bottled 10 to 15 years after fermentation and then usually even longer by the ultimate consumer
C. Bottled after it has thrown a sediment
D. Bottled as soon as the governing body in Oporto formally declares it to be a vintage year
Scroll down for the answer!
Despite the rather common assumption that all red wines taste good with cheese, many cheeses can strip the core out of red wine and make it taste flat and hollow. One exception is amarone—which stands up to even the most microbial and salty cheeses. At 15 to 16 percent alcohol and with a Portlike body, amarone is a powerhouse of deep bitter chocolate, mocha, dried fig and earthy flavors. The late Italian wine expert Victor Hazan once told me that he considered amarone is the perfect wine to drink with a roast, being careful to save the last glasses to sip during the finale: a plate of walnuts and bite-size chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The term musque (moose KAY) refers to an especially aromatic version of a grape variety. (The word “musk” is an ancient term for perfume). The best example is sauvignon musque, which is more floral and fruity than its sister sauvignon blanc. Though sauvignon musque is still relatively rare, plantings are on the rise in California. Already many of the best sauvignon blanc wines are blends of sauvignon blanc with sauvignon musque.
Herewith a few items we’ve filed under the heading Don’t Taste. (And, yes, the following all exist).
Pinot Meow—Wine for your kitty. (You’d think cat-pissy sauvignon blanc would have been the first feline varietal, but, hey, cats are cool; they prefer pinot).
Bacon Vodka—Curious to try it? Absolut makes one. (Personally, we think Bacon Vodka ties with Fruit Loops Vodka for the TBD—Truly Bad Idea—Award.
Edible Wineglasses—Riedel must be kicking themselves over missing this obvious opportunity. Solves the wineglasses-don’t-fit-in-the-dishwasher problem.
Brussel Sprout Soda—Taking the “grown up soda” notion a wee bit too far.
Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt—Oh, those opportunistic food marketers… poised and ready for global warming.
“I know that barrels are toasted over a live fire when they are made. Wouldn’t the barrel just burn up?”
—Mark S., Detroit
Hi, Mark. It certainly seems like a barrel would, but barrel coopers are very careful. The inside of a lightly toasted barrel is usually toasted for approximately 30 minutes. A heavily toasted barrel for up to 60 minutes. The temperature of the fire in the fire pot can reach 800 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep barrels from burning completely, the cooper often mops the outside of the barrel with a wet rag while the inside is toasting.
Got a wine question for Karen? Great. She loves questions, and chances are, she’s got an answer. Send your question to AskKaren@winespeed.com.
A. Vintage Ports are first aged just two years in barrel, to round off their powerful edges. Then—and this is the key—they are aged reductively (without oxygen) for a long time in bottle. During bottle aging, the Vintage Port matures slowly, becoming progressively more refined and integrated. A decade’s worth of aging is standard, and several decades used to be fairly common. Indeed, the 1970 Vintage Port is now, nearly 50 years later, considered to be one of the Ports to experience. And Ports from the 1950s are still amazingly lively on the palate. (The 1955 Cockburn’s is one of the most hauntingly luscious wines I have ever tasted or felt…it was sheer silk).