My friends Lance & Fiona have been collecting Turley Zinfandels for quite sometime. Enough in fact that they amassed quite a village of delicious zinfandel. They were kind enough to invite me over for a comparative tasting of 2004-2006 vintages of Dragon Vineyard, Rattlesnake Ridge & Dusi Vineyard. Needless to say I was on the verge of spontaneously combusting at the mere thought of trying some of these gems. Kelly & I were on our way back from my folks' in Illinois so we hit Memphis just in time for me to rush to Whole Foods to gather provisions for a dish to pair. I also had in my possession a fresh summer truffle that I purchased at Fox & Obel in Chicago. I was racking my brain on what to use it on. With truffles you have to be careful not to use to much or to overwhelm itself. Also, this was a summer truffle so I knew that it would be more delicate & milder in flavor than winter truffles, also $1000/lb less than the winter ones! I decided to go with seared ny strip over arugula with shaved parmiggiano & grated truffle. Mmmm, perfect with the big reds.
We started the evening off with bubbles.....as every evening should begin in my opinion! The bubbles of the night were from L.Mawby from the Leenalau Peninsula in Northern Michigan. I know what your thinking..Michigan? What? Bubbly? No! Yes, actually this producer does a very good job with methode champenoise wines. I was very very pleased with the quality & complexity of the wine. Biscuity, yeasty, orange peel, some chalkiness. Yum!
So it begins...we dove right into the much lauded Turleys with gusto. They didn't disappoint. Each vineyard site showed its own personality & characteristics. I was partial to Rattlesnake & Dragon, both were wild & a little foxy with brambly fruit & a jammy juicy quality that wasn't overwhelming.
Lance was very organized & tagged each one with info on a drinking window.
About 3/4 of the way through the Turleys we took a breather & Fiona served up the most sensually spiced curry mussel soup I've ever had! It was smoky, sweetly spicy & just heavenly. Luckily, I had brought along a Ridge Chardonnay 2003 Monte Bello Vineyard that paired seamlessly with it. The poached apple/pear/apricot & pie spice notes matched well with the soup.
At the end of all of this, as if it wasn't enough already, Michael B brought along a 24 year old port to finish us off. See below to see how much crazy sediment was dropping!
The Pour: To Move Beyond Malbec, Look Below the Surface - In the Mendoza region of Argentina, winemakers are using soil pits partly to educate visitors, but also to educate themselves.
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