Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Scott Harvey Zinfandel Mountain Selection 2011

Scott Harvey makes wines that go great with Thanksgiving dinner.  That's the opinion of Sunset magazine, anyway, who named his 2010 Mountain Selection Zinfandel "the Perfect Zin to pair with a pungent, spicy, fruity Thanksgiving dinner."  It also goes great with dinner the other 364 days of the year.  Add one for leap year.

Harvey has recently released new vintages of three of his Zin's, including the Mountain Selection.  Samples of these wines were sent to me - read about Vineyard 1869 here - and I wish I had received them in time for Thanksgiving dinner.  I had a Hickory Farms Spicy and Savory Beef Summer Sausage for Thanksgiving dinner, and it would have gone great with that.  All spicy and savory and all.

Scott Harvey Zinfandel Mountain Selection 2011 is made with Zinfandel grapes harvested from Shenandoah Valley in Amador County, Syrah from York Vineyard in Fiddletown and Barbera from Golden Vineyard.  It's 88% Zin, 7% Syrah and 5% Barbera.  The alcohol content is not unreasonable, by the standard of the region - 14.5%.  19 months aging in French oak left its mark on the grapes grown in the granite soils of Amador County.

The 2011 vintage in Napa Valley has been cursed by some as too cold, praised by others as just right.  Harvey is in the Goldilocks camp.  "I have always said that when Napa has a cold vintage, Amador has a great vintage."

The wine is dark-colored with a full nose of earthy red fruit getting a spice rack of help from aromas of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.  The acidity is wonderful and the tannic structure is firm.  It's a very food-friendly wine, but it tastes great on its own.  Big black cherry and raspberry flavors are caressed by oak spices.  The finish is long and memorable, with clove and cassis notes the last to leave.


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