The bottle for the night was a 2005 Mauritson Westphal Vineyard Rockpile Zinfandel. I think we drink a lot of Zinfandel. This bottle came in my latest shipment from Mauritson, which we are working through at fairly quick pace, which is alarming, given that we won't see another shipment from them until next October. It had a real cork closure, cost us $27.60, and Matt tossed the bottle again before I could write down the alcohol content...perhaps that's why he looks a little sheepish in my picture!
On the nose I found vanilla, blackberries, dark fruit, and oak. The wine had a sort of sweet perfume about it, which is different from what I'm used to with Zinfandels, I sort of expect an overall spicy aroma. In the mouth the wine showed blackberries, black cherry, and a bit of oak. Overall, is was smooth and balanced in the mouth.
I served it with what is known around our house as "Liz's Mom's Chicken Casserole," a recipe I got in 2nd grade from a friend at the time whose name is Liz. By this point, the recipe has been passed around to many people now, all with that title on the recipe card. It's a yummy, fattening concoction of sour cream, cream of chicken soup, chicken breasts, Ritz Crackers, and butter....clearly not healthy, but so good on a cold winter night. I will be the first to admit that the wine choice was not great with this casserole. So we drank most of it after dinner. I'd pick a Viognier or a fuller bodied Chardonnay with this next time.
Overall, this was a tasty Zinfandel, but I though it was a bit simple for the price tag. I have another bottle in the basement that I will hang onto for a bit to see how it tastes down the road. I understand that single vineyard Zins tend to be more expensive, but I really prefer the Mauritson Grower's Reserve we had the other night that was significantly less expensive.
yummy, but $$ for a zin...even a single vineyard.