Wine of the World Wednesday (still no photos uploading)
It’s a bird, It’s a plane, its… SUPER-RHÔNE!
Zaca Mesa Winery introduces the 2003 Z Three, a reserve blend of 52% Syrah, 46% Mourvèdre, and 2% Grenache, coined a “Super-Rhône.”
After hand-harvesting, fermentation and separate barrel aging for seven months, the vintages are combined and aged in French Oak barrels for an additional 12 months. “These varieties provide rich layers of flavor creating a wine greater than the sum of its parts and enabling it to be enjoyed now or cellar for five to seven years,” says winemaker Clay Brock.
Zaca Mesa Winery, founded in 1972, consists of 244 plantable acres on a 750 acre estate in Los Olivos, California, nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their grape varietals thrive in the unique weather conditions such as morning fog and afternoon breezes. The soils, mostly sandy loam with plenty of rocks, once pre-historic ocean dunes, now sit 1,500 feet above sea level.
By the early 1990’s, the winemakers discovered that grapes varieties indigenous to the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut, Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc) consistently produced well-developed flavors and ripend evenly. It presented its first Rhône style blend with the 1992 Z Cuvée. Since that time, Zaca has been dedicated to estate grown and bottled Rhône varietal wines. No grapes grown at Zaca Mesa vineyards leave the winery until bottled, affording their product the ‘estate bottled.’
In 2002, the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers developed and published a Code of Sustainable Winegrowing. Zaca Mesa has embraced that code ensurring the health and sustainability of its vineyard, employees, neighbors and the environment. has been dedicated to estate grown and bottled Rhône varietal wines.
The 2003 Z Three was released Nationally April 1, 2006. 697 cases were produced, with a suggested retail bottle price of $40. Pairing suggestions for the Z Three include:
Herbs & Spices - Basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel
Vegetables - Beets, eggplant, tomatoes, beets, mushrooms
Fish & Seafood - Salmon, tuna (baked, grilled, sautéed)Meats - Bacon, beef, duck, lamb, game
Cheeses - Aged cheddar, brie
Other - BBQ, pizza, tapas
Zaca Mesa Winery, 6905 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos, CA 93441; (805) 688-9339; www.zacamesa.com