We've been fans of Nil's Venge and his wines since the eighties and now son Kirk has taken over center stage in Venge Vineyard wines. We first met Kirk up at the Rossini Ranch estate during the time that they were actually digging the caves there. This label is a tribute to Scout, their yellow Lab that used to romp through the vineyards accompanying Nils and the workers. I had the chance to meet Scout and witness this during one of visits to the Family vineyards down in central Napa Valley during one of our visits back in the nineties. I recall owning this label from as early as 1995 and have owned several of the rebranded styles of it since.
I think Nil's was one of the first to take Zinfandel seriously as a core lead varietal in this sophisticated Blend, as if it were a Bordeaux varietal. This version is 71% Zinfandel with 16% Petite Sirah, 7% Charbono and 6% Syrah. We hold a half dozen vintages of the label and tasted and acquired this year's at the release unveiling tasting at Vin Chicago in Naperville. I write often that every cellar needs a few bottles of Zin for hearty foods and this begs for grilled meats, hearty cheese or my favorite with big sweet Zins, barbecue!
Dark blackish purple colored, full bodied, concentrated, tongue coating thick black raspberry and more subtle blue berry fruits are accented by a layer of sweet mocha with tones of anise and spicy oak with hints of coffee and vanilla bean on a firm tannin finish.
RM 92 points.
Coming next ..
Hartford Court "Four Hearts" Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2014