The 2015 vintage in Sonoma County proved to be another banner year for Zinfandel. Tierra Y Mar, in particular, has turned out a bold, concentrated wine of incomparable quality in their 2015 Tierra Y Mar El Rio Vivo Sonoma Zinfandel. Juicy, ripe and downright hedonistic, this deeply colored wine enlivens all of the senses, beginning with its captivating regal purple robe and alluring aromatics. A decadent compote of red and black fruits tantalizes the nose. In the mouth, lush berry, bramble and spice flavors explode on the palate, but that’s not all. The wine finishes with plenty to like, too, in the form of ripe lush tannins, dashes of spice, and well-integrated oak tones that add considerable complexity and structure to the wine. What may come as a surprise is how this Zinfandel’s elevated alcohol level goes almost unnoticed until after the wine has been consumed. Tierra Y Mar’s El Rio Vivo Zinfandel means business so consider yourself forewarned. Afford the bold, full-throttle Tierra y Mar El Rio Vivo Sonoma County Zinfandel 15-20 minutes of aeration and enjoy it at cool room temperature (60°- 64° F).
As a traditional Sonoma County Zinfandel, the 2015 Tierra y Mar El Rio Vivo can elevate mid-week staples to the status of haute cuisine as easily as it can accompany spicy Mediterranean dishes or hold court at an elegant dinner party. So why not consider juicy hamburgers topped with goat cheese, organic greens, and all the fixings; pork sliders with a spicy slaw; or the finest ribeye steak smothered in portabella mushrooms? Lamb burgers, lamb shanks, and a whole roast leg of lamb also offer ideal companionship to Tierra y Mar’s rich, power-packed Zinfandel. The 2015 El Rio Vivo Zinfandel also provides the ideal companion to Mediterranean specialties, but most especially to southern Italian staples such as penne pasta in a rich tomato cream sauce served with grilled chicken, broccoli, and roasted eggplant; manicotti; lasagna; sausage and peppers, or nearly any dish prepared with a heady tomato sauce. Bruschetta or caponata served on toasted garlic rounds with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese makes another tasty accompaniment to Tierry Y Mar’s hearty El Rio Vivo Zinfandel. A grilled, barbecued bone-in pork chop served with braised greens and polenta also provides a tasty complement to the 2015 Tierra y Mar El Rio Vivo Sonoma Zinfandel, but that’s not all.
Tierra Y Mar’s 2015 El Rio Vivo Sonoma Zinfandel also makes a delightful partner to full-flavored aged cheeses. Aged Gouda, Asiago, Beemster, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, and even Pepper Jack or similar cheeses with habañero or spicy jalapeño flavors provide a great match for El Rio Vivo’s deep rich flavors. Why partake of just wine or cheese when you can enjoy them together? For more expert wine and cheese pairings or to learn more about the world’s finest cheeses, contact us at www.cheeesemonthclub.com. Enjoy!
Tierra y Mar, meaning “Earth and Sea,” pays tribute to the elements that shape the rare and highly allocated wines that Tierra y Mar fashions from single vineyard sites in California’s Napa and Sonoma counties. Tierra y Mar dedicates itself to producing only wines that are the ultimate expression of nature’s balance and harmony by allowing each wine to speak for itself as a unique creation of the grape, soil, water, and climate of its individual terroir. Tierra y Mar’s specialty award winning winemaker Douglas Danielak fashions small quantities of full-throttle Sonoma Zinfandel and Napa Syrah. Come and taste the splendid wine Douglas Danielak has crafted in Tierra y Mar’s “Earth and Sea” El Rio Vivo Zinfandel.
Although its DNA points to Eastern Europe’s Primitivo grape and its New World appearance still remains under investigation, Zinfandel has been dubbed “America’s own grape variety.” In California, Zinfandel produces a wine quite different from its Croatian and Italian forebears, and nowhere is that more apparent and welcome than in Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel. In Dry Creek Valley and along the banks of Sonoma County’s Russian River, Zinfandel relishes the cooling Pacific breezes that funnel up the appellations’ canyons and valleys as Zinfandel’s fruit basks in the long dry summer afternoons, which bring the grape to the pinnacle of perfection. Zinfandel’s deep rich colors, intense berry, bramble, and herb flavors, high alcohol, and lush tannins result in wines that fill the mouth and satisfy all of the senses. One of Zinfandel’s keys to success is an extraordinary lifespan of productivity, which can last well into old age (100 years or more) and result in increasingly finer fruit from the oldest vines. The grape can be quite versatile, too, (think White Zinfandel as well as many of California’s most celebrated and intense red wines).
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