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2018 Markus Wine Co. Essenzo
90% Zinfandel – River Song Vineyard, Planted 1987
10% Syrah – Borra Vineyards Gill Creek Ranch, Planted 2001
Balance. That’s how Dennis Deg grew the River Song Vineyard grapes in 2018. That’s how the fruit, acid and tannins of this first bottling of a Markus-branded Zinfandel can be described. River Song is north across the river from our winery in Victor, right in the heart of the best Zinfandel region of the world, and we think this is a very good case study for keeping these essential (“essenzo”) 31-year-old vines in the ground.
Unexpected. You can see your fingers through the ruby red, but the wine is full-bodied. 15% alcohol is on the label, but you don’t taste it. You’ll need quite a few sips if you want to figure this dry wine out. Black cherries, plum, briary blackberry jelly, red vines? Kalamata olives in the finest balsamic? Maybe leather or clay? Melted dark chocolate with coffee, perhaps? There’s almost a new wave of flavor re-emerging as a sort of delayed second finish.
Food? How about just firing-up the grill and put a good sear on a New York steak, using the wine as your sauce. You don’t need anything else.