Red wine and chocolate is not such a good idea, unless the red wine is deliciously sweet like this 2009 Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel from Sonoma Sonoma Valley.
For Valentine's Day this is a delightful and decadent pairing. Better still, skip the chocolate! The wine is deliciously rich and seductive all on its own. It's deep ruby in color, with an intense nose that draws you in. Intense aromas of chocolate drizzled black cherries, dried plums and blueberries mingle with sweet baking spices, licorice and espresso. Richly textured, it is fairly full-bodied and packed with succulent flavors of wild berry compote. The spicy notes and nuances of dark chocolate continue across the palate and the refreshing acidity cuts through the rich, velvety texture. Long length, with a rich, spicy finish.
At the Table
Deliciously sweet and rich, this Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel is a perfect partner for all things chocolate, particularly dark and bittersweet chocolates like a rich chocolate ganache cake, a warm dark chocolate soufflé or salt sprinkled chocolate truffles. Personally I prefer to enjoy a glass on its own instead of dessert. Enjoy!
About Dashe Cellars and the 2009 Late Harvest Zinfandel
Dashe Cellars is a small boutique winery most known for their dry old-vine single vineyard Zinfandel wines, from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley area. Essentially a husband and wife team - Michael and Anne Dashe, who met in 1994, got married in 1996 and immediately set about following their dream of producing small-lot, hand-crafted artisan wines.
The grapes for this 2009 Late Harvest Zinfandel were harvested when ultra ripe in October 2009 from a vineyard located in Dry Creek Valley famous for its Zinfandel vines. The fermentation stopped naturally when the wine has reached 14% abv., leaving about 90-100g/l residual sugar. Unlike Port, this is not a fortified wine. After fermentation it was aged for about five months in older oak barrel to add structure to the wine, without the overt aromas and flavors of toasty new oak.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne
Previous Wine of the Week: Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.
(Image: Cellar Tracker)