Wine | Maple Zin: Buying Into Vineyard-Specific Wine
Most of the time we really don’t pay much attention to the details about where the grapes in our wine come from. The wine’s region of origin (Napa, Sonoma, Umbria, Bordeaux, Etc.) is all that matters.
Just leave all the rest to the experts. But there are a select group of special, self-appointed, wine aficionados who feel quite differently about this. For them, the very vineyard from which the grapes are sourced (sometimes even the blocks or row numbers), are very important.
These fearless groups, under their own purchasing power, and sometimes with an informally appointed “leader”, effectively use word-of-mouth to create what we call “Cult Wines”. As these rock stars of the grape rise to prominence, so do their prices. And rise they will. Just check out the bottle prices of “Screaming Eagle”, one of the established staples of cult wines.
For the rest of us with more frugal inclinations, there are still cult wines to be had. These are what vintners call “vineyard-specific” and they will say so right on the bottle. One of our favorites is Bella Winery’s “Maple Vineyards, Annie’s Block” Zinfandel. Hey, it says what vineyard, what block, and even what region (Dry Creek Valley, CA). What more could you want?
And as a bonus, it even says this about Maple Vineyards’ magic spot right on the bottle:
“Perched on a bench-land overlooking the Dry Creek Valley, this legendary old-vine ranch has achieved cult status in the Zinfandel world.”
Hey, that’s good enough. For Zin lovers, this wine speaks for itself. With a rich bouquet of blueberries, strawberry jam, and deep spice, the depth of this dark beauty begs for a cult following. In the mouth, Annie’s Block is quite a refined, rich, jammy Zin featuring big fruit that softly finishes with delicate pepper.
Priced at around $45, it hasn’t soared like most. Maybe a well-kept secret? Maybe Zins just don’t become wild rock stars. Whatever the reason, this is a totally classy way to chase down a big batch of sliders & deviled eggs. Uh huh…
Serve slightly chilled or a little more, this wine stays nice for hours after opening. As may be expected from Dry Creek, no wimp, but deceptively smooth.