2015 Black Rock Red Hills Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Black Rock Ranch
California: Lake County: Red Hills
Grapes of Gotham
Nils Venge might be the proclaimed “King of Cabernet” but is he also the Czar of Zin?
One thing’s for sure, he’s been a dominant FORCE in the wine industry for 4 decades now. He helped propel Charles Krug, Mount Eden, Sterling, Saddleback and Groth into the forefront of California’s wine scene. Oh and he crafted Groth’s 1985 100-point Cabernet – the first-ever perfect scoring CA wine. Not too shabby.
But you don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars to get a taste of his talent. Today, if you can spare $19, you’ll own one of the best value Zins we’ve come across.
Cougar’s Leap is Nils’ personal project, and Black Rock Ranch is his sanctuary in Lake County, just a few miles north of his Oakville home base in the heart of Napa Valley. There he focuses on Petite Sirah and Zinfandel under the warm sun, in deep black obsidian rich soil. And yes, cougars roam wild there.
The wild, dark terrain directly translates into the wine. It’s inky, dark, teeth staining stuff, for sure. So dark the street lights come on when you open it. And you can be sure it’s not a wine for the meek or mild mannered. Deep, RIPE layers of rum-raisin cake, blackberry, fig preserve, and crushed terracotta, with undertones with nuances of chocolate, and mocha complicate matters on the tarry, grippy palate. Round, velvety, complex, and immense on the authoritative finish, with a full-bodied, spicy, juicy, savory charm lingering. A true BBQ wine no doubt.
Unfathomable one might think, however, our exclusive partnership with the winery brings a 50% savings off retail, along with one of the darkest, brawniest and mightiest Zins you will ever have.
All that Zin for $19?
Double Gold, 94 points – Orange County 2019 Wine Competition
Dark as a caped knight on a moonless night, riding the hills on his pitch-black horse
Rum-raisin cake, blackberry, fig preserve, balsamic, dried flowers, spices, and stones
Fleshy wild berries and terracotta undertones with nuances of chocolate, and mocha
Round, velvety, complex, and immense with a full-bodied, spicy, juicy, savory charm
Fire up the BBQ for your favorite cuts, sausages, veggies, and a tangy, vinegary sauce
What the Winery Says
- Nils Venge
- 100% Zinfandel
- Red Hills, Lake County, CA
- 2,300 feet
- Harvest Date
- October 2, 2015
- Hand-picked 7.30 tons
- Sugar at Harvest
- 26.5 Brix
- In 4X4 bins for 10 days
- 6.7 g/L
- 18 months in neutral French oak
- Bottling date
- June 6, 2017
- 16 barrels
- 18 months in 50% new American oak