Rombauer Vineyards 2017 El Dorado Zinfandel: I Want My Baby Back [Ribs!]

Hello Friends, 

We're midway through National Grilling Month, and I’ve been keeping my reliable Weber Kettle and Green Mountain pellet grill pretty busy. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has been busy grilling, too. I mean, July has been a real scorcher. Every time I’m outdoors, I feel like I’m being cooked (lol). Blazing hot weather aside, man cannot live off of bread and water alone. So, yes, I want my baby back ribs and a bottle of Zinfandel! 

During a recent virtual tasting hosted by Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), the good folks at Rombauer Vineyards recommended trying ribs with their Zinfandel. Ribs are one of my favorite meats to smoke—low and slow—so it was game on! I rubbed my ribs with an apple-honey barbeque spice, smoked them with applewood, slathered them in an apple cider BBQ sauce, and cooked them using the popular 3-2-1 method (for six hours of cooking). They were so juicy and tender! 

I Want My Baby Back [Ribs!]

Rombauer Vineyards makes five distinct Zinfandels—these guys absolutely love working with the variety. The one I enjoyed with the baby back ribs was El Dorado, Spanish for “the gold,” and a reference to the nearby location that sparked the California Gold Rush in the mid-1800s when the precious metal was first discovered. Rombauer’s El Dorado estate sits at an elevation of approximately 1,650 feet in the Sierra Foothills. Rombauer has made a vineyard designate wine from the site since 1997, and that experience and love of the land is reflected in this bottle of wine. The ripe fruit character and fullness of the Zinfandel complemented the applewood smoked pork and lightly sweet sauce particularly well. This is definitely something you backyard grillers will want to try at home. For further information and where you can find this Zinfandel, please see my tasting notes below.

Rombauer Vineyards 2017 El Dorado Zinfandel 

Rombauer Vineyards 2017 El Dorado Zinfandel (SRP $42): This wine pours a bright ruby color. It is comprised of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. Opulent aromas of sun-kissed red fruit and crushed brown spice fill the nose. The palate is ripe and concentrated with rich, rounded texture, delivering deep flavors of raspberry tart, purple stone fruit, and blackberry preserve, followed by hints of floral perfume with a generous dash of sweet oak lingering on the finish. Big and intense, yet there’s enough acidity to provide lift. It would be a nice sipper on its own (it’s everything the fireside calls for on a cold winter's night) or equally enjoyable paired with a hearty meal. Region: Sierra Foothills, California. Other info: ABV 15.9%, hand-harvested/sorted, matured 15 months in French and American oak, natural cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.  

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