Monday, January 11, 2021

Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel and Byron's Blend

 Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel and Byron's Blend - spectacular pairing with BBQ

This blog is devoted to wine, collecting, tasting, marketing, branding, trading. It would be fair to argue that not enough time is devoted to food, more specifically, pairing food and wine. I wish I had the discrimination and knowledge of a cook and cuisine to do such justice to the subject. Never-the-less, I note often that the 'force multiplier', exponent of enjoying either food or wine, is the proper pairing of the two. The perfect match of a food and wine combination, when one gets it right, amplifies the experience enormously. We Americans pontificate on the nuances of food and wine and have been doing so seriously for going on fifty years. Lest we forget, the 'old world' oenophiles and foodies have been doing this for more than six centuries. 

This week has been an exhibition in food and wine pairing. I last wrote in my previous post, Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin Champerrier Vieilles Vignes, about selecting that aged vintage Burgundy Pinot Noir to pair with baked pork chops. That resulted in a wonderful enjoyable meal based on the appropriate wine and food pairing. 

Tonight, Linda prepared barbecue pork with the remaining pork chops, adding celery, onion and Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, served with baked potatoes and grilled spears of asparagus. For a wine to pair with the dinner, I pulled from the cellar this unique Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel. Wow! The combination of the two, each perfectly accenting and highlighting the other, was absolutely amazing - a remarkable sensational sensory experience! 

Carpenter Creek Cellars Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2017

I featured Carpenter Creek Cellars from north central Indiana in an earlier post in these pages when we visited the winery and discovered their wines. They acquire grapes from growers throughout the midwest, California, and also grow some of their own. 

For this Zinfandel varietal selection, they obtained grapes from northern California sources, and aged the wine in used Bourbon Barrels. The result was infusing an exotic smokiness and liquor layer that when combined with the full forward Zinfandel fruits accentuated and highlighted the tangy barbecue wonderfully. 

Linda stopped in at Carpenter Creek during her visit with out of state family several weeks ago in the late fall and tasted and picked up a couple bottles of this label. We were waiting for the right, suitable occasion to try it and clearly this was it! 

This label release from Carpenter Creek Cellars features a striking gold label packaging, the first indication that there is something special going on here.

Garnet colored, slightly opaque, medium-full-bodied, black fruits accented by clove spice, smoke, caramel, vanilla, and hints of black pepper and cocoa. An extraordinary pairing with with BBQ.

RM 92 points.

Our wine and dine culinary experience continued when we pulled from the cellar this Carpenter Creek Cellars Byron's Blend dessert wine. 

This wine is named in memory of proprietors Ed and Beckie Courtright's son Byron. Byron helped plant the five varietals of grapes in an estate vineyard that would become his namesake vineyard, while at home from college in 2003. Bryon was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 2004. Byron's Blend is blended from the five grape varietals sourced from Byron's Vineyard. 

This wine was also a spectacular pairing with the barbecue pork dinner, and a natural and complementary follow-on to the Zinfandel.  

We followed dinner with Linda's homemade molasses cookies that were equally ideally suited as a pairing with these wines. 

Carpenter Creek Cellars Byron's Blend 

This would be a spectacular pairing with barbecue, molasses cookies, or hearty cheese and dark mocha chocolate. 

Dark garnet colored, full bodied, rich concentrated port style with notes of dark mocha, black cherry, hints of caramel and vanilla and a sprite of ginger and cognac on the sweet lingering finish.

RM 91 points.