Rock Wall Wine Co. 2018 Maggie's Zinfandel: Did She Just Say "Grilled Avocados?"

 Hello Friends, 

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to join an entertaining Facebook Watch Party put on by the good folks at Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) to celebrate National Grilling Month (which happens to be year-round for me). For most of you, it’s no secret that Zinfandel is a fabulous food wine that pairs wonderfully with many smoked and grilled meats and veggies. And, if you know me, you know that I’m always game for a short trip to the backyard to fire up the grill for a delicious dinner. As a matter of fact, my menu following this virtual event was already set: grilled lamb chops and a parmesan cauliflower risotto. 

Rock Wall Wine Co. 2018 Maggie's Zinfandel

Lucky for me, one of the Facebook Watch Party special guests was Shauna Rosenblum, the cheerful proprietor and winemaker of Rock Wall Wine Co. in Alameda, California. Shauna joined from her beautiful tasting room, back-dropped by a wall of framed photos (aptly named Legacy of Love) of her father Kent Rosenblum—an iconic winemaker and passionate advocate of Zinfandel who worked with many of California’s old-vine vineyards over his illustrious 40-year career in the business. During the event, I learned that this particular bottling was very special to Shauna. Her father, who at the time was working at Maggie’s vineyard with his team, unexpectedly passed in September 2018, about six weeks before harvest. With mixed emotions and a heavy heart, Shauna frequently traveled to Sonoma, farmed the land, and completed the harvest her father began. What she crafted is quite a stunner. Her father would be beyond proud; he worked with this vineyard for many years and knew how special the historic site was.

Add I Have the Grill Going and Wine Flowing!caption

As with all virtual tastings, Shauna was asked, “What are some of your favorite pairings for this wine?” Her response: grilled avocado. Did she just say grilled avocados? I thought. I had done a good bit with avocados in the kitchen, but I had never grilled them. By the end of the tasting, I had an idea: grilled avocados stuffed with fresh pico de gallo. This side would complement my lamb dish—and boy did it deliver. 

And so did the wine! What Shauna did with Maggie's fruit shows the pretty side of Zinfandel. The wine was lifted by juicy freshness, and brought out subtle nuances of my dish—especially the herbal tones the lamb was marinated in, with the wine’s fresh, natural acidity tying everything together. This bottle would be a great addition to any feast! For further information and where you can find this Zinfandel, please see my tasting notes below.

Bon Appétit!

Rock Wall Wine Co. 2018 Maggie's Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel (SRP $50): This appealing bottling is sourced from a historic heritage vineyard that was planted in 1901. These gnarly head-trained vines are some of the oldest in Sonoma Valley. The vineyard is unique for being inter-planted with white wine grape varieties: Sémillon, Muscadelle, and Palomino. A true field blend, the wine is co-fermented with small percentages of these grapes. From first swirl and sniff, this wine is simply gorgeous. There are fresh notes of black cherry, red plum, and dried citrus rind on the entry, trailed by incense-like spices and savory tones on the back end, all held together by a vivid structure and elegant acidity. Fine grained tannins lead to a flavorful and lengthy finish. Such a pleasing table companion, get some before it’s gone! Region: Sonoma Valley, California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, matured in 63% neutral oak, 30% new French oak, and 7% new American oak, natural cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

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