By Darin Pemberton
It’s been said the only constant in our lives is change. Not the kind you find under your couch cushions – the kind that takes us from one state of being; one point of view; one condition to the next. Last week my wife celebrated her 32nd birthday. Folks have asked me what I got for her – what present did I buy. I gave her the gift of change. Up until last week one of my wife’s favourite wines was made by the late Colvin Vineyards of Walla Walla – their Allegresse. Not a lot of folk I’ve met realize how good that juice was; it’s a shame the winery is no longer around. The Colvin Allegresse is a wine my wife and i use as a measuring stick. It’s generally asked like this:
“…did you like it better than the ‘gresse?”
I believe our new question may be more like “…how does that compare to the Lynfred Zin?”
The three-decades-old Lynfred Winery is located in Roselle, Illinois – just about 45 minutes west of Chicago – and is the creation based on “the love and ingenuity” of Fred and Lynn Koehler. Starting with a turn-of-the-last-century home, the Koehlers created and organized a cellar during the house renovations. Securely encased in 18″-thick walls, the cellar provides ideal conditions. I can attest to that – based on the bottle I sampled for this review.
Thoughtfully included with the wine for this review was an information sheet which contained background information about the wine, as well as a suggested recipe – Savory Beef Stroganoff. Thus, armed with an open bottle, a plate of Stroganoff, my wife and I sat to enjoy her Birthday dinner.
- Aged: American and French oak
- Residual sugar: 0.1%
- Alcohol percentage: 14
- Titratable Acid: 6.67 g/L
- pH: 3.67
- MSRP: $25.25
- Beverage Tasting Institute: Gold – 91 points
- Finger Lakes International: Silver
- San Diego International: Silver
Smells like: Strong notes of pepper, leather, a little musk and earthiness, sweet/fruity
Taste: When sipped my first thought was “Now that’s a zin!” The wine seemed to jump out of my glass and breakdance on my tongue. The taste invoked images of smoking a pipe while walking along a path in an evergreen forest after a spring rain. I could ‘taste the smell’ of wildflowers, maybe a little nuttiness and butter – very aggressive yet non-offensive taste. Very smooth across the tongue. After about 15 minutes of smelling and tasting the wine I realized I’d forgotten about my dinner. The Stroganoff was a spot-on match for this wine. The flavors of the dinner blended and complimented what I was drinking. Within 30 minutes my wife and I had polished off all but about half-glass worth of the Zin. I re-corked the wine and placed the bottle in the refrigerator. Before dinner the next day I poured what was left into a glass and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Swirl, snif, drink – again, the Zin was fantastic. I was shocked, really, as I’ve had many wines lose half their moxie after an over-night in the chill box.
Don’t wait for your, or your mate’s birthday to crack open a bottle of this Zin – even if you have to rummage through your couch cushions, or under your car seats – dig up enough change to pick up a bottle of this wine. Don’t wait for your birthday…go now.