Mission Codename Grapes of Gotham
One of our all-time favorite winemakers, Nils Venge of Saddleback is back with another KILLER Double Gold winner Black Rock Zin. Where do we begin? For starters, Venge made history as the very first American to earn a perfect 100-point score from Robert Parker and has not skipped a beat since. His son Kirk Venge, naturally, grew up under his tutelage to become one of the greatest winemakers of his generation, too. 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. The Petite Sirah and the Zinfandel he grows on the ranch are truly hearty, with deep roots cracking the shiny black volcanic obsidian they are stubbornly struggling to ripen on. This translates to grapes with more skin than pulp and wines with deep, dark souls.
The best way to describe the color here is 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 lure as they waft out of the glass. Fleshy wild berries and terracotta 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. Fire up the BBQ for your favorite cuts, sausages, veggies, and a tangy, vinegary sauce and pair away over balmy summer nights.
All that for $22 and change? 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. This is what Batman would sip after a hard day Operatives! So, treat yourself to the sublime inkiness within. Be warned though, as history shows that the cougar leaps far every time, ending up sold out with each feature. Be nimble and you’ll win.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
Double Gold, 94 points – Orange County 2019 Wine Competition
What the Winery Says
2015 Black Rock Red Hills Zinfandel
- 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