Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
Wine: Bedrock Wine Co.
Grapes: Zinfandel, misc.
Bedrock Wine Co. founder and winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson comes from a winemaking family with a California legacy. His father, Joel Peterson, founded Ravenswood Winery in 1976 as a part time project. By the early 1990s they'd finally turned a profit and earned media attention. The iconic label, a circle of ravens, is one of the first I can recall seeing, an emblem immediately recognizable and synonymous with California wine. After all, the wines were based on America's heritage grape, the zinfandel. Joel first began tasting wine with his father at age 10, and his son Morgan began tasting even earlier. He made his first wine, a pinot noir, at age five. Today, Ravenswood is a mammoth entity in the zin world and a pillar of quality and prestige. Morgan's own wines have a growing reputation, and the Old Vine Zinfandel is one of the most accessible in his collection, which Twain-Peterson has dubbed, "the gateway drug to Bedrock."
I drank this bottle with my writer friend Autumn at Bennachin in the French Quarter on a Tuesday afternoon during a rain storm. The African-influenced restaurant doesn't have a license for alcohol so BYOB is welcome. The waitress brought us "go cups" and a wine opener and so we began our nearly three-hour lunch. We writers always seem to have a lot to say, possibly a side effect of spending so much time alone. I had the boiled lamb with dried apricots and broccoli over couscous and Autumn had a spicy black-eyed pea situation which was far tastier, though the zin and lamb were well-matched.
I had anticipated the Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel 2014 would be much richer than it was, having recently tasted the Ridge and Mauritson Dry Creek zins, two wines considered restrained for the grape. This one was the most restrained, with acid and structure more dominant than lush, succulent black fruit. Even the mid-palate was comparatively subtle, but the quality and deliciousness were abundantly present with briar fruit and herbal hints. It's the quiet American celebrating our nation's birth at home with a book and a bottle, like some writers we know... Made from 77% zinfandel grapes grown in several different AVAs, the remaining 23% is a field-mix of alicante bouschet, petite sirah, carignan and maybe some other black grapes. The details are not clearly stated anywhere that I could find, reflecting a true throwback to California grape growing a century ago, which Clay Mauritson talked about in a recent interview with Pig&Vine. Happy Birthday USA.