2014 Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel

Musings by the Glass - Bargain Wines - Peachy Canyon Westside 2014 Zinfandel

Year: 2014

Producer: Peachy Canyon, Westside

Region: Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

Grape(s): Zinfandel

Alcohol: 14.8%

Body: Medium-Full

Dry/Sweet: Dry

Tasting Notes: Strawberry, raspberry, cherry, vanilla, white pepper, baking spice

Pairings: Venison, brisket, Mongolian Beef, Korean Barbecue (Kalbi), aged cheeses

Price (approximately): $14


My Musings:

A classic expression of Zinfandel at a bargain price. A wonderful, deep ruby color gave way to expressive aromas of ripe red fruit (strawberry, cherry and raspberry) with sweet tobacco, vanilla and baking spice. White pepper notes lingered in the nose. On the palate, ripe fruit of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry jam dominate in a fruit-forward wine, but accented nicely with sweet tobacco, vanilla and spice (allspice, nutmeg, clove).  When the bottle was first opened, white pepper was rather dominant on the nose and palate, but this mellowed over time. Medium, soft tannins provided structure and the persistent spice pleasantly balanced the palate.

This would pair excellently with most red meat, especially venison or a brisket. Grilled preparations in particular would accentuate the smoky tobacco and spice. For pasta, red sauce would hold up nicely, perhaps a lasagna or meat lover's pizza with sausage. For Asian inspiration, look to Korean barbecue (Kalbi!), Mongolian Beef, and the classic Chinese stir fry of beef and broccoli.


2014 San Simeon Estate Reserve Viognier

Year: 2014

Producer: San Simeon

Region: Paso Robles, California

Grape(s): Viognier

Alcohol: 15.1d%

Body: Medium

Dry/Sweet: Sweet

Tasting Notes: Apricot, ripe peach, lime

Pairings: Seared scallops with butter, fried rice, baked pie (apple, pear or peach)

Price (approximately): $15


My Musings:

Often California Viognier can be a bit too oaked for my taste, but this particular wine was a really pleasant surprise. Wonderful aromatics of apricot and ripe peach fill the nose, with soft accents of citrus (lime peel) and floral elements. On the palate, the stone fruit is balanced nicely with citrus and green apple. Slightly oaked, the nose and palate is met with toasty, spicy elements that complement rather than dominate.

Viognier is a classic pairing with scallops and lobster, particularly if there is as cream sauce involved. It is also one of my standard wines to pair with fried rice, which often carries complicated flavor profiles. Last night I enjoyed with baked pear pie. The baked crust and autumn fruit pair wonderfully with the stone fruit flavors, toasted oak elements, and round body of the Viognier.